Avicenna (Persian: ابن سینا), Abu Ali Sina (Persian: ابوعلی سینا) or “Ibn Sina” as Easterns call him (980 – June 1037) was a Persian polymath (Hezarfen / a person with extensive knowledge in many different disciplines). He is considered one of the most significant doctors, astronomers, thinkers, writers, and scholars of the Golden Age of Islam period, and a physician known as the father of polymeric (Multiple fields) early medicine.

APA 7: Çarıkçıoğlu, A. E. (2023, June 4). İbn-i Sina. PerEXP Teamworks. [Article Link]

His contributions

Avicenna, full name Abu Ali al-Husayn bin Abdullah bin Ali bin Sina, was born in 980 in Bukhara, Iran, in the territory of present-day Uzbekistan. In 1037, he passed away in Hamadan, Iran. Avicenna was a Muslim doctor. At the same time, he is seen as the most famous and influential philosopher-scientist of the medieval Islamic world. He was especially noted for his contributions to the areas of Aristotelian philosophy and medicine. He is the author of “Al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb (Principles of Medicine),” one of the most renowned publications in the history of medicine, as well as the vast philosophical and scientific encyclopedia “Kitāb al-shifāʾ (Book of Healing)”.

Avicenna did not advance to an erroneous intellectual stage in the Islamic tradition. Two centuries before Avicenna, it is thought that the Muslim philosopher Ibn al-Muqaffa—or perhaps his son—introduced Aristotelian logic to the Islamic world. Al-Kindi, the first Islamic Peripatetic/Traveler (Aristotelian) philosopher, and the Turkish wise man Farabi, from whom Avicenna learned Aristotle’s metaphysics from his book, are the pioneers of Avicenna. However, Avicenna, one of these intellectuals, is qualified as the greatest by far. [1]

His life and education

As reported in his account of his life and in the records of Al-Lezhjani, who had been his student for a long time, Avicenna had read and memorized the entire Qur’an by age 10. His instructor, Natili, taught fundamental reasoning to the intelligent youth of the time. Soon after leaving his teacher behind, Avicenna began to study Hellenistic writers by himself. By the time he was 16, he had decided to pursue a career in medicine, which subject he thought he could “Easily” learn. Avicenna was sent to the bedside of the sultan of Bukhara when he developed a condition that stumped the court physicians, and he treated him. The Sultan opened the famous library of the Samani Palace to him with a fateful benevolence that introduced Avicenna to an internal abundance of science and philosophy.

Avicenna started his extraordinary writing career at the age of 21. About 240 articles that have survived to the present day bear his name. Caught up in his period’s peculiar political and religious strife, Avicenna’s scholarship was unquestionably hindered because he had to be on the move himself. Math, geometry, astronomy, physics, philosophy, philology, music, and poetry are only a few of the many subjects covered in these pages. Caught up in his period’s peculiar political and religious strife, Avicenna’s scholarship was unquestionably hindered because he had to be on the move himself. Finally, Avicenna found the stability and security he was looking for in Isfahan under the auspices of Ala al-Dawla. If it can be said that Avicenna spent any quiet days, these days were experienced during his time in Isfahan. He has moved away from political tension here and politics by holding meetings with the surrounding scholars every Friday and discussing them voluntarily. In this fertile climate, Avicenna completed the Kitāb al-shifāʾ, wrote the “Dānish nāma-i ʿalāʾī ” (Book of Knowledge) and the “Kitāb al-najāt” (Book of Salvation), and compiled new, more accurate astronomical tables. [2]

Avicenna contracted inflammation of the large intestine while he was with Ala al-Dawla. He recovered in one day using the heroic measure of eight celery seed enemas (Washing the colon by squirting water through the anus) that he had applied to himself. However, an official accidentally or intentionally changed one of the ready-made medicines that Avicenna created for him to contain five active ingredients instead of two. For this reason, an ulcer has appeared in his intestines. Then a slave tried to poison Avicenna by secretly adding a handful of “mithridate (A mild opium drug attributed to the Sixth Mithridates, king of Pontus)” to his medicine. Avicenna is weakened, but he is not tired. He accompanied Ala al-Dawla on his walk to Hamadan. Due to worse pain, he turned around halfway, had to rest in one of the nearby settlements, and lost his life during the blessed month of Ramadan. [3]

The Avicenna effect

In 1919-20, Edward G. was considered an English orientalist (Orientalist) and an authority on Iranian historiography. Browne wrote, “Avicenna is a better philosopher than a doctor, and Al-Razi is a better doctor than a philosopher.”. This inference has been repeated frequently since. But the decision made 900 years later brings to mind the following question: according to the conditions of which era should an assessment be made about whether it is “Better” or not? To make the philosophical and scientific views of these scientists understandable today, a few more points need to be touched upon. The culture of which they were the forerunners brought about the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate, which was built on the Islamic orders of the Muslim world (Ummah). Therefore, their beliefs were far from those of the West of the twentieth century and those of their Hellenistic ancestors. Their worldview was theocentric (God—centered) rather than anthropocentric (People-centered), a viewpoint known to the Greco-Roman world. Their understanding of the universe was the union of the natural, supernatural, and supernatural realms. These scholars’ Worldview was not “Anthropocentric” (People-centered), a perspective recognized by the Greco-Roman world, but “Theocentric” (God-centered). Their understanding of the universe covered the natural, metaphysical, and supernatural realms. [4]

Avicenna’s understanding of the universe centralized God as The Creator. According to him, God is the first cause, in his words, the mandatory being who emits the 10 “Bits of intelligence” and whose existence reigns over these bits of intelligence with its unchangeable essence. The first intelligence has been reduced to “Effective intelligence,” which is a symbolic quality that derives authority from the Qur’an, and it is transmitted to people by its divine light.

Avicenna’s comments on Aristotle influenced European Scholasticism. Avicenna has deepened Aristotle’s understanding of existence, and he has divided existence into two “Mandatory existence” and legal entity. Avicenna inherited Aristotle’s ideas about form and matter and contended that they both had to be present for an object to have actual existence. Avicenna accepted Aristotle’s concepts of potential (Form) and reality and stated that something exists both potentially and really. Avicenna followed Aristotle’s ideas on movement and contended that a principle is the first source of movement. He claimed that the movement’s existence was essential. “Wherever there is movement, there is abundance.”.

Avicenna was seen as a guide in science as well as philosophy. He became the doctor of several rulers, especially the great Seljuk Ruler Melikshah and Mahmud of Ghazni. His canon in medicine has long been considered a vital study in his area. He is known for his great encyclopedia of philosophy, “Kitāb al-shifāʾ”. Among his other writings are “Kitāb al-najāt” and “Kitāb al-isharat ve’t-tenbihat (Book of Instructions and Explanations)”. [5]

One of the immense contributions of Avicenna in the field of science is in the field of medicine. His work “Al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb” (The Law of Medicine) also had a colossal influence on medieval Europe. Anatomy, physiology, pharmacology (The study of drugs), diagnosis, and various forms of treatment are among the medical subjects covered in this work. In addition, Avicenna has put forward original ideas about the identification and treatment of many diseases, such as meningitis (Inflammation of the brain membrane) and diabetes (Diabetes mellitus).

Avicenna emphasized the importance of experience and practice in the learning process and did not consider learning limited only to the transfer of information. It has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to education and has deconstructed the development of the individual holistically.

All of these Avicenna legacies have gained a firm foothold in both Islamic and Western cultures and have developed into a treasure that is still significant today. His works have contributed to the development of science, philosophy, and culture and have left a deep intellectual and scientific treasure for humanity. [6]


  1. DICTIONARY ENTRY Flannery, M. (2023, May 2). AvicennaEncyclopedia Britannica. [Britannica]
  2. DICTIONARY ENTRY Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia (2021, July 24). Avicenna summaryEncyclopedia Britannica. [Britannica]
  3. WEBSITE Alper, Ö. M., Durusoy, A., Terzioğlu, A., Turabi, A. H., Karlığa, H. B., & Görgün, T. (1999). İBN SÎNÂ. TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi. [TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi]
  4. BOOK Bearman, P., Bianquis, T., Bosworth, E., Van Donzel, E. J., & Heinrichs, W. (2009). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Brill.
  5. BOOK Sina, İ. (2022). Metafizik. Litera Yayıncılık.
  6. JOURNAL Amr, S. S., & Tbakhi, A. (2007). Ibn Sina (Avicenna): The Prince Of Physicians. Annals of Saudi Medicine. [PMC free article] [Annals of Saudi Medicine]

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