Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi


Length: 1124 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Al-Razi was one of the greatest eastern scholars, he made a lot of contributions which have a great impact on eastern society and many sciences. He was born in Rayy, Iran in the year 865 AD (251 AH), and died there in 925 AD. During his life Razi was physician, philosopher, and scholar who made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, and philosophy, he wrote more than 184 books and articles in various fields of science, his most important accomplishment being the discovery of alcohol(Wikipedia,2006). He was well versed in Greek medical knowledge and added substantially to it from his own observations.
In Persian, Razi means "from the city of Rayy, an ancient town in the south of the Caspian Sea, situated near Tehran, Iran. In this city he accomplished most of his work. In his early life he could have been a jeweler, a money-changer but more likely a lute-player who changed his interest in music to alchemy. At the age of forty he stopped his study of alchemy because its experiments caused an eye-disease, obliging him to search for physicians and medicine to cure it. This was the reason why he began his medical studies. His teacher was 'Ali ibn Rabban al-Tabari, a physician and philosopher born in Merv about 192 (Wikipedia, 2006). Al-Razi studied medicine and probably also philosophy with ibn Rabban al-Tabari. Therefore his interest in spiritual philosophy can be traced to this master, whose father was a Rabbinist versed in the Scriptures. Al-Razi took up the study of medicine after his first visit to Baghdad, when he was at least 30 years old, under the well-known physician Ali ibn Sahl. He showed such a skill in the subject that he quickly surpassed his master, and wrote no fewer than a hundred medical books. He also composed 33 treatises on natural science, mathematics and astronomy.
A lot of discoveries were made by Razi in many sciences. One of his contributions in alchemy was discovering of sulfuric acid, which became the "work horse" of modern chemistry and chemical engineering. Ethanol and its refinement and use in medicine were also firstly found by Razi (1001 Inventions, 2005). So it can be understood that he was one of the greatest Islamic scholars, and his discoveries had a great influence not only on Asia, but also had positive impact on European science and medicine.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Apr 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=159867>.
Title Length Color Rating  
America's Accountability to its Constitution and the Events at Abu Ghraib - Our constitution is built upon the ideas of freedom and decency. After all, it was written after hundreds of years worth of tyranny both at home in England (at the time), and abroad. People were standing against oppression leveled against them from thousands of miles away (for example, the Boston Tea Party), and they were called traitors to the Crown. Today, if someone speaks out against the US and its oppression, or chooses to fight back, we call him an insurgent or a terrorist. It’s quite a twist....   [tags: constitution, USA, government, Abu Ghraib, ]
:: 5 Works Cited
771 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Ibn Rushd An Ismalic Philosopher Essay - Abu Al-Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, known in Latin as Averroes, was one of the most influential Islamic philosophers and scientist. He lived in a time where Philosophy was not celebrated in the Islamic world, and philosophers were regarded as unbelievers. He, however, revived the Aristotelian philosophy stressing that it has no conflict with the belief in God, and that was the theme he used throughout his writings. He integrated religion and philosophy challenging the anti-philosophical view of the Muslim scholars at that point....   [tags: averroes, spain, existence of God]
:: 5 Works Cited
1516 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Ibn Battuta's 1331 Journey to West Africa Essay - Ibn Battuta’s 1331 journey to West Africa provides a contrast of two worlds: Battuta’s pre-modern Islamic culture conflicting with African societies’ interpretation of Muslim beliefs and tribal traditions. He is especially critical of the various roles of women he observes—thus, allowing us insight into his own judgments formed by his culture and society. A brief summary of his life is paramount in the understanding of Battuta’s impressions and reactions to West African society. Abu Abdallah ibn Battuta was born in Morocco in 1304....   [tags: Gender Roles, Mecca, Islamic Society] 1357 words
(3.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Pros and Cons of Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Essay - Muhammad Ibn Abdullah: Good or Bad. You Decide Many centuries ago, a very significant event in the Muslim tradition occurred. More specifically, this occasion occurred in the later part of the mid sixth century. In about the year 570 AD, Muhammad ibn Abdullah was born in Mecca. Just six weeks before his birth, his father had passed away. He continued to live in Mecca where he was cared for by his foster mother; a Bedouin woman named Halimah. Unfortunately, she died when Muhammad was only six years old....   [tags: History] 1725 words
(4.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Imam Abu Hanifah (ra) Essay - Imam Abu Hanifah (ra) The book Qamoos al-alam states: Al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's name was Numan. His father's name was Thabit. His grandfather's name was Numan, too. He was the first of the four great imams of the Ahl as-Sunnah Wal Jama'ah. 'Imam' means 'profoundly learned scholar.' He was one of the main pillars of the brilliant religion of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). He was a descendant of a Persian notable. His grandfather had embraced Islam. He was born in Kufa in 80 (698 A.D.)....   [tags: Papers] 2458 words
(7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ibn Battutah's Travels Essay - Ibn Battutah was a Moroccan scholar who traveled to different regions in Asia and Africa. Throughout 1325 to 1354 C.E he traversed the regions of Asia and Africa. Ibn Battutah decided after his second pilgrimage to Mecca, he would travel on the road. He documented each of the travels he did on his journey. He wrote down his experiences, his thoughts, the diverse individuals he met, the customs of the different countries and regions he visited, and the overall state of the regions he visited. Throughout his travels, Ibn Battutah found the cultures, he visited noteworthy....   [tags: Moroccan Scholar, Asia, Africa] 1129 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghriab Essay - Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib (2) The number of incidences of torture on prime-time network television shows from 1995 to 2002 was 110; from 2002 to 2005 the number of torture showings on TV shows: 624. (http://tinyurl.com/4ek9ayz). According to the Parents Television Council the statistics of torture being shown on network TV shows have increased drastically since 2002, right before the United States took over the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib and the abuses began. The United States was found guilty for many salacious abuses at the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib, caused by lack of firm command and nationwide fear; however in years since steps have been taken to make sure it does not reoccur....   [tags: Human Rights]
:: 11 Works Cited
2354 words
(6.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Torture at Abu Ghraib Essay - From the mid fourteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century torture was an accepted practise by armies, judicial systems and even churches Public opinion changed in the nineteenth century, but torture continued to be carried out. Torture can be explained to be the inflicting of pain upon individuals for the means of a coercive interrogation technique. As the idea of torture in the 21st century may seem absurd due to the existence of human rights and organizations such the United Nations assuring that all humans are dealt with in a humane manner, the reality is that such cruel crimes do exist....   [tags: US Military] 415 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Abu Sayyaf - Introduction In the study of Criminal Justice, individuals wish to understand the why in crime. If an official answer was given theories wouldn’t exist and the Chicago School would have found the answers to what causes crime. The truth is, crime is ever changing and will continue to be. Society plays a huge role in the way crime is interpreted. One type of specific crime, terrorism, has many interpretations and definitions. According to the U.S. Department of State this definition is used; “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” However, this is just one o...   [tags: Criminal Justice, Philippian Terrorist Group]
:: 9 Works Cited
1733 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Mumia Abu Jamal Essay - America, the land of the free, the land of the just. It is here, where paople from all over the world can come for refuge from tyranny. Here, people are not judged by their color, but by who they are. Too bad it isn't true, for what you are about to read will contradict everything that America is supposed to be. Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Philadelphia journalist, was put through an unfair and biased trial, then convicted of murdering a Philadelphia cop in 1982, and has been on death row since....   [tags: essays research papers] 3286 words
(9.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]



Al-Razi was the first in many areas of medicine and treatment and the health sciences in general. In particular, he was a pioneer in the fields of pediatrics, obstetrics and ophthalmology. According to Zahoor his contribution in medicine was so great that it can only be compared to that of Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Some of his works in medicine, e.g., Kitab al-Mansoori, Al-Hawi, Kitab al-Mulooki and Kitab al-Judari wa al-Hasabah earned everlasting fame. A special feature of his medical system was that he greatly favored cures through correct and regulated food. This was combined with his emphasis on the influence of psychological factors on health. He was also an expert surgeon and was the first to use opium for anesthesia.
As chief physician of the Baghdad hospital, Razi formulated the first known description of smallpox. Razi's book: al-Judari wa al-Hasbah was the first book describing smallpox, and was translated more than a dozen times into Latin and other European languages.
Rhazes contributed in many ways to the early practice of pharmacy by compiling texts, in which he introduces the use of 'mercurial ointments' and his development of apparatus such as mortars, flasks, spatulas and phials, which were used in pharmacies until the early twentieth century.
According to Zahoor on a professional level, Razi introduced many practical, progressive, medical and psychological ideas. He attacked charlatans and fake doctors who roamed the cities and countryside selling their nostrums and 'cures'. At the same time, he warned that even highly educated doctors did not have the answers to all medical problems and could not cure all sicknesses or heal every disease, which was humanly speaking impossible(1997). To become more useful in their services and truer to their calling, Razi advised practitioners to keep up with advanced knowledge by continually studying medical books and exposing themselves to new information. He made a distinction between curable and incurable diseases. Pertaining to the latter, he commented that in the case of advanced cases of cancer and leprosy the physician should not be blamed when he could not cure them. To add a humorous note, Razi felt great pity for physicians who took care for the well being of princes, nobility, and women, because they did not obey the doctor's orders to restrict their diet or get medical treatment, thus making it most difficult being their physician.
G. Stolyarov says about Razi “He proclaimed the absolutism of Euclidean space and mechanical time as the natural foundation of the world in which men lived, but resolved the dilemma of existent infinities by synthesizing this outlook with the atomic theory of Democritus, which recognized that matter existed in the form of indivisible and fathomable quanta. The continuity of space, however, holds due to the existence of void, or a region lacking matter... This is remarkably close to the systems yielded by the discoveries of such later European scientists as John Dalton and Max Planck, as well as the observational and theoretical works of modern astronomer Halton Arp and Objectivist philosopher Michael Miller. Progress, in the view of all these men, is not to be obstructed by a jumble of haphazard and contradictory relativistic assertions which result in metaphysical hodge-podge instead of a sturdy intellectual base. Even in regard to the task of the philosopher, Rhazes considered it to be progressing beyond the level of one's teachers, expanding the accuracy and scope of one's doctrine, and individually elevating oneself onto a higher intellectual plane."
It can be understood that he was one of the greatest eastern scholars whose works had a great impact on scientific world. Razi believed that contemporary scientists and scholars are by far better equipped, more knowledgeable, and more competent than the ancient ones, due to the accumulated knowledge at their disposal. Razi's attempt to overthrow blind acceptance of the unchallenged authority of ancient Sages, encouraged and stimulated research and advances in the arts, technology, and sciences.

Reference list

Wikipedia, 2006, ‘Al Razi’. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Razi [Accessed 21 March, 2007].

1001 Inventions, 2005, ‘Development of Chemistry’, Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World. Available:http://www.1001inventions.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.viewBlogEntry&intMTEntryID=2747 [Accessed 24 March, 2007]

Stolyarov G. (2002), ‘Rhazes: The Thinking Western Physician’, Geocities. Available: http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/Rhazes.html [Accessed 20 March, 2007].


Zahoor, A. 1997, ‘ABU BAKR MUHAMMAD BIN ZAKARIYA AR-RAZI (Rhazes)’, Unhas. Available: http://www.unhas.ac.id/~rhiza/saintis/razi.html [Accessed 25 March, 2007].


Return to 123HelpMe.com