We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Ibn Sina - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Ibn Sina

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Ibn Sina

    980 – 1037 Persian

    physician and

    philosopher

    Also known by his Latin name, Avicenna, Ibn Sina was a famous and influential philosopher in the Islamic world. Trained as a physician and scientist, he worked as a doctor by day and wrote about philosophy, science, and medicine at night. Canon of Medicine, one of the most highly regarded books in the history of medicine, includes information on herbs, organ diseases, fevers, surgery, and other subjects. Ibn Sina based the Canon of Medicine on the writings of ancient Greek physicians as well as his own experiences as a doctor. His most noted philosophical work, the Book of Healing, is a vast encyclopedia of science, mathematics, psychology, music, logic, and other subjects. It is probably the largest work of its kind written by a single author. Scholars translated both books into Latin in the 1100s, spreading Ibn Sina's knowledge and ideas throughout the West.

    Born in Bukhara, a city in present-day Iran, Ibn Sina grew up in an intellectual household where his father held gatherings with leading scholars. By the age of 10, he memorized the Qur'an and a large amount of Arabic poetry. Teaching himself after he had surpassed his masters, Ibn Sina became proficient in law, medicine, the sciences, and many other branches of learning. He was recognized as an outstanding physician at the age of 16 and was in great demand by the time he was 21.

    Turkish invasions, however, swept through Persia and forced Ibn Sina to leave his home, a pattern that continued throughout his life. Ibn Sina spent some time in prison and in hiding to avoid his enemies. Despite these setbacks, he continued to study, write, and practice medicine. Ibn Sina wrote nearly 200 treatises on various subjects. He became a court physician and vizier and held discussions with students in the evening. These sessions often continued until late in the night, involving musical performances and boisterous parties. Ibn Sina's strong physical constitution enabled him to carry on such a lifestyle, but he died at 57 of a stomach ailment and exhaustion while accompanying a Persian ruler on a battle campaign.

    A follower of the ancient Greek philosophers, Ibn Sina tried to reconcile the writings of Aristotle and Plato with the teachings of the Qur'an. To that end, he developed his own system of religious philosophy. It rested on the concept of God as the original being, whose self-contemplation brings forth the universe and all other entities. Like his mentor Abu Nasr al-Farabi , Ibn Sina believed that prophets learn divine truths through intuition and insight rather than through logical processes. They have the most perfect understanding of God and communicate their knowledge through images and symbols.

    Ibn Sina's writings influenced Sufi scholars, such as Ibn al-Arabi , as well as other Muslim philosophers. Many of his ideas, however, run contrary to traditional Islamic views. Ibn Sina's belief that the world was created from the thoughts of God contradicts the orthodox Islamic view that it emerged from nothing. Nonetheless, his works continue to inspire philosophers, physicians, and scientists from all over the world. See also Farabi, Abu Nasr al-; Ibn al-Arabi ; Medicine; Philosophy; Sufism.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2019. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice