Medicine in the medieval Islamic world
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine is the science of medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization. Islamic medicine preserved and developed the medical knowledge of classical antiquity, including the major traditions of Hippocrates and Dioscorides. During the post-classical era, Islamic medicine was the most advanced in the world, integrating concepts of ancient Greek and Persian medicine as well as the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda, while making numerous advances and innovations. Islamic medicine, along with knowledge of classical medicine, was adopted in the medieval medicine of Western Europe, after European physicians became familiar with Islamic medical authors during the Renaissance of the 12th century. Medieval Islamic physicians retained their authority until the rise of medicine as a part of the natural sciences, beginning with the Age of Enlightenment, nearly six hundred years after their textbooks were opened by many people.
Aspects of their writings remain of interest to physicians today. Medicine was a central part of medieval Islamic culture. Responding to circumstances of time and place/location, Islamic physicians and scholars developed a large and complex medical literature exploring and synthesizing the theory and practice of medicine Islamic medicine was built on tradition, chiefly the theoretical and practical knowledge developed in Arabia and was known at Muhammad's time, ancient Hellenistic medicine such as Unani, ancient Indian medicine such as Ayurveda, the ancient Iranian Medicine of the Academy of Gundishapur; the works of ancient Greek and Roman physicians Hippocrates and Dioscorides had a lasting impact on Islamic medicine. Ophthalmology has been described as the most successful branch of medicine researched at the time, with the works of Ibn al-Haytham remaining an authority in the field until early modern times; the adoption by the newly forming Islamic society of the medical knowledge of the surrounding, or newly conquered, "heathen" civilizations had to be justified as being in accordance with the beliefs of Islam.
Early on, the study and practice of medicine was understood as an act of piety, founded on the principles of Imaan and Tawakkul. The Prophet not only instructed sick people to take medicine, but he himself invited expert physicians for this purpose. Muhammad's opinions on health issues, habits with regard to leading a healthy life, were collected early on, edited as a separate corpus of writings under the title Ṭibb an-Nabī. In the 14th century, Ibn Khaldun, in his work Muqaddimah provides a brief overview over what he called "the art and craft of medicine", separating the science of medicine from religion: You'll have to know that the origin of all maladies goes back to nutrition, as the Prophet – God bless him! – says with regard to the entire medical tradition, as known by all physicians if this is contested by the religious scholars. These are his words: "The stomach is the House of Illness, abstinence is the most important medicine; the cause of every illness is a poor digestion." The Sahih al-Bukhari, a collection of prophetic traditions, or hadith by Muhammad al-Bukhari refers to a collection of Muhammad's opinions on medicine, by his younger contemporary Anas bin-Malik.
Anas writes about two physicians who had treated him by cauterization and mentions that the prophet wanted to avoid this treatment and had asked for alternative treatments. On, there are reports of the caliph ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān fixing his teeth with a wire made of gold, he mentions that the habit of cleaning one's teeth with a small wooden toothpick dates back to pre-islamic times. The "Prophetic medicine" was mentioned by the classical authors of Islamic medicine, but lived on in the materia medica for some centuries. In his Kitab as-Ṣaidana from the 10./11. Century, Al-Biruni refers to collected poems and other works dealing with, commenting on, the materia medica of the old Arabs; the most famous physician was Al-Ḥariṯ ben-Kalada aṯ-Ṯaqafī, who lived at the same time as the prophet. He is supposed to have been in touch with the Academy of Gondishapur he was trained there, he had a conversation once with Khosrow I Anushirvan about medical topics. Most the Arabian physicians became familiar with the Graeco-Roman and late Hellenistic medicine through direct contact with physicians who were practicing in the newly conquered regions rather than by reading the original or translated works.
The translation of the capital of the emerging Islamic world to Damascus may have facilitated this contact, as Syrian medicine was part of that ancient tradition. The names of two Christian physicians are known: Ibn Aṯāl worked at the court of Muawiyah I, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty; the caliph abused his knowledge. Abu l-Ḥakam, responsible for the preparation of drugs, was employed by Muawiah, his son and great-grandson were serving the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphate. These sources testify to the fact that the physicians of the emerging islamic society were familiar with the classical medical traditions at the times of the Umayyads; the medical knowledge arrived from Alexandria, was transferred by Syrian scholars, or translators, finding its way into the Islamic world. Few sources provide information about how the expanding Islamic society received any medical knowledge. A physician called Abdalmalik ben Abgar al-Kinānī from Kufa in Iraq is supposed to have worked at the medical school of Alexandria before he joined ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz's court
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East, the 15th-largest in the world, is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Middle East, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.
With a population of over 9 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers, Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of traffic. Cairo's metro, one of two in Africa, ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides; the economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. Egyptians refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's importance for the country, its official name al-Qāhirah means "the Vanquisher" or "the Conqueror" due to the fact that the planet Mars, an-Najm al-Qāhir, was rising at the time when the city was founded also in reference to the much awaited arrival of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz who reached Cairo in 973 from Mahdia, the old Fatimid capital. The location of the ancient city of Heliopolis is the suburb of Ain Shams.
The Coptic name of the city is Kashromi which means "man breaker", akin to Arabic al-Qāhirah . Sometimes the city is informally referred to as Kayro by people from Alexandria; the area around present-day Cairo Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile; this fortress, known as Babylon, was the nucleus of the Roman and the Byzantine city and is the oldest structure in the city today. It is situated at the nucleus of the Coptic Orthodox community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine churches in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including the Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo.
Following the Muslim conquest in 640 AD, the conqueror Amr ibn As settled to the north of the Babylon in an area that became known as al-Fustat. A tented camp Fustat became a permanent settlement and the first capital of Islamic Egypt. In 750, following the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate by the Abbasids, the new rulers created their own settlement to the northeast of Fustat which became their capital; this was known as al-Askar. A rebellion in 869 by Ahmad ibn Tulun led to the abandonment of Al Askar and the building of another settlement, which became the seat of government; this was al-Qatta ` closer to the river. Al Qatta'i was centred around a ceremonial mosque, now known as the Mosque of ibn Tulun. In 905, the Abbasids re-asserted control of the country and their governor returned to Fustat, razing al-Qatta'i to the ground. Since 1860s, Cairo expanded west as far as what is called now In 968, the Fatimids were led by general Jawhar al-Siqilli to establish a new capital for the Fatimid dynasty.
Egypt was conquered from their base in Ifriqiya and a new fortified city northeast of Fustat was established. It took four years to build the city known as al-Manṣūriyyah, to serve as the new capital of the caliphate. During that time, Jawhar commissioned the construction of the al-Azhar Mosque by order of the Caliph, which developed into the third-oldest university in the world. Cairo would become a centre of learning, with the library of Cairo containing hundreds of thousands of books; when Caliph al-Mu'izz li Din Allah arrived from the old Fatimid capital of Mahdia in Tunisia in 973, he gave the city its present name, al-Qāhiratu. For nearly 200 years after Cairo was established, the administrative centre of Egypt remained in Fustat. However, in 1168 the Fatimids under the leadership of vizier Shawar set fire to Fustat to prevent Cairo's capture by the Crusaders. Egypt's capital was permanently moved to Cairo, expanded to include the ruins of Fustat and the previous capitals of
The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin founded by Saladin and centred in Egypt. The dynasty ruled large parts of the Middle East during the 13th centuries. Saladin had risen to vizier of Fatimid Egypt in 1169, before abolishing the Fatimids in 1171. Three years he was proclaimed sultan following the death of his former master, the Zengid ruler Nur al-Din. For the next decade, the Ayyubids launched conquests throughout the region and by 1183, their domains encompassed Egypt, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Crusader states including the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine's coastline in the 1190s. After Saladin's death in 1193, his sons contested control of the sultanate, but Saladin's brother al-Adil became the paramount sultan in 1200. All of the Ayyubid sultans of Egypt were his descendants. In the 1230s, the emirs of Syria attempted to assert their independence from Egypt and the Ayyubid realm remained divided until Sultan as-Salih Ayyub restored its unity by conquering most of Syria, except Aleppo, by 1247.
By local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz and parts of Mesopotamia. After his death in 1249, as-Salih Ayyub was succeeded in Egypt by al-Mu'azzam Turanshah. However, the latter was soon overthrown by his Mamluk generals who had repelled a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta; this ended Ayyubid power in Egypt. In 1260, the Mongols conquered the Ayyubids' remaining territories soon after; the Mamluks, who expelled the Mongols, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341. During their short tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled, the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world; this period was marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas in their major cities. The progenitor of the Ayyubid dynasty, Najm ad-Din Ayyub ibn Shadhi, belonged to the Kurdish Rawadiya tribe, itself a branch of the Hadhabani confederation.
Ayyub's ancestors settled in northern Armenia. The Rawadiya were the dominant Kurdish group in the Dvin district, forming part of the political-military elite of the town. Circumstances became unfavorable in Dvin when Turkish generals seized the town from its Kurdish prince. Shadhi left with Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, his friend Mujahid ad-Din Bihruz—the military governor of northern Mesopotamia under the Seljuks—welcomed him and appointed him governor of Tikrit. After Shadhi's death, Ayyub succeeded him in governance of the city with the assistance of his brother Shirkuh. Together they managed the affairs of the city well, gaining them popularity from the local inhabitants. In the meantime, Imad ad-Din Zangi, the ruler of Mosul, was defeated by the Abbasids under Caliph al-Mustarshid and Bihruz. In his bid to escape the battlefield to Mosul via Tikrit, Zangi took shelter with Ayyub and sought his assistance in this task. Ayyub complied and provided Zangi and his companions boats to cross the Tigris River and safely reach Mosul.
As a consequence for assisting Zangi, the Abbasid authorities sought punitive measures against Ayyub. In a separate incident, Shirkuh killed a close confidant of Bihruz on charges that he had sexually assaulted a woman in Tikrit; the Abbasid court issued arrest warrants for both Ayyub and Shirkuh, but before the brothers could be arrested, they departed Tikrit for Mosul in 1138. When they arrived in Mosul, Zangi provided them with all the facilities they needed and he recruited the two brothers into his service. Ayyub was made commander of Shirkuh entered the service of Zangi's son, Nur ad-Din. According to historian Abdul Ali, it was under the care and patronage of Zangi that the Ayyubid family rose to prominence. In 1164, Nur al-Din dispatched Shirkuh to lead an expeditionary force to prevent the Crusaders from establishing a strong presence in an anarchic Egypt. Shirkuh enlisted Saladin, as an officer under his command, they drove out Dirgham, the vizier of Egypt, reinstated his predecessor Shawar.
After being reinstated, Shawar ordered Shirkuh to withdraw his forces from Egypt, but Shirkuh refused, claiming it was Nur al-Din's will that he remain. Over the course of several years and Saladin defeated the combined forces of the Crusaders and Shawar's troops, first at Bilbais at a site near Giza, in Alexandria, where Saladin would stay to protect while Shirkuh pursued Crusader forces in Lower Egypt. Shawar died in 1169 and Shirkuh became vizier, but he too died that year. After Shirkuh's death, Saladin was appointed vizier by the Fatimid caliph al-Adid because there was "no one weaker or younger" than Saladin, "not one of the emirs obeyed him or served him", according to medieval Muslim chronicler Ibn al-Athir. Saladin soon found himself more independent than before in his career, much to the dismay of Nur al-Din who attempted to influence events in Egypt, he permitted Saladin's elder brother, Turan-Shah, to supervise Saladin in a bid to cause dissension within the Ayyubid family and thus undermining its position in Egypt.
Nur al-Din satisfied Saladin's request. However, Ayyub was sent to ensure th
Bakhtshooa Gondishapoori were Persian or Assyrian Nestorian Christian physicians from the 7th, 8th, 9th centuries, spanning six generations and 250 years. The Middle Persian-Syriac name which can be found as early as at the beginning of the 5th century refers to the eponymous ancestor of this "Syro-Persian Nestorian family"; some members of the family served as the personal physicians of Caliphs. Jurjis son of Bukht-Yishu was awarded 10,000 dinars by al-Mansur after attending to his malady in 765CE, it is said that one of the members of this family was received as physician to Imam Sajjad during his illness in the events of Karbala. Like most physicians in the early Abbasid courts, they came from the Academy of Gondishapur in Persia, they were well versed in the Greek and Hindi sciences, including those of Plato, Aristotle and Galen, which they aided in translating while working in Gondishapur. In the course of their integration into the changing society after the Islamic invasion of Persia, the family acquired Arabic while preserving Persian as oral language for about 200 years.
The family was from Ahvaz, near Gondeshapur, however they moved to the city of Baghdad and on to Nsibin in Northern Syria, part of the Persian Empire in the Sassanid era. Yahya al-Barmaki, the vizier and mentor to Harun al-Rashid, provided patronage to the Hospital and Academy of Gondeshapur and helped assure the promotion and growth of astronomy and philosophy, not only in Persia but in the Abbasid Empire in general. Consisting of a first, Middle Persian term meaning "redeemed" and a Syriac component for Yeshua/Jesus, the name can be translated as "Redeemed by Jesus" or "Jesus has redeemed". However, in his book Kitāb'Uyūn al-anbā' fī ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbā, the Arab, 12th century historian Ibn Abi Usaibia renders the meaning as "Servant of Jesus" in Syriac language. There are no known remaining records of the first two members of the family, and the remaining records of the chain start from Jurjis. But the genealogical sequence follows as: Jurjis, the father of Bukhtishu II and grandfather of Jibril ibn Bukhtishu, was a scientific writer and was the director of the hospital in Gondeshapur, which supplied physicians to courts in Iraq and Persia.
He was called to Baghdad in 765 CE to treat the stomach complaint of the Caliph al-Mansur. After curing the caliph, he was asked to remain in attendance in Baghdad, which he did until he fell ill in 769 CE. Before allowing him to return to Gondeshapur, the caliph invited him to convert to Islam but he declined, saying that he wanted to be with his fathers when he died. Amused by his obstinacy, the caliph sent an attendant with Jurjis to ensure he reached his destination. In exchange for the attendant and a 10,000 dinar wage, Jurjis promised to send his pupil Isa ibn Sahl to the caliph, since his son, Bukhtishu II, could not be spared from the hospital at Gondeshapur. Bukhtishu II was the father of Jibril ibn Bukhtishu, he was left in charge of the hospital at Gondeshapur when his father was summoned to treat the stomach complaints of Caliph al-Mansur. Jurjis never intended for Bukhtishu II to go to Baghdad and tend to the caliphs and had offered to send one of his pupils in his stead. Bukhtishu II was in turn called to the city to treat the Caliph al-Hadi, gravely ill.
He was unable to establish himself in Baghdad until 787 CE, when Caliph Harun al-Rashid was suffering violently painful headaches. He treated Harun al-Rashid and in gratitude the caliph made him physician-in-chief, a post he held onto until his death in 801 C. E. Alternate Spellings: Djibril b. Bukhtishu’, Jibril ibn Bakhtishu', Jibra’il ibn Bukhtyishu, Djabra’il b. Bakhtishu Jibril ibn Bukhtishu was the son of Bukhtishu II, who served the caliphs in Baghdad from 787 CE until his death in 801 CE. In 791 CE, Bukhtishu II recommended Jibril as a physician to Jafar the Barmakid, the vizier of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. Despite the recommendation, Jibril did not succeed his father until 805 CE, after he treated one of Harun al-Rashid’s slaves, thereby winning the confidence of the caliph. During Jibril’s time in Baghdad, he advised Harun al-Rashid in the building of its first hospital; the hospital and connected observatory was modeled after the one in Gondeshapur where Jibril had studied medicine and served as the director.
Jibril served as the director of this new hospital, which Harun al-Rashid named after himself. The Abbasid court physicians gained high standing and trust once accepted and employed by the caliph, as illustrated by the anecdote in which Harun al-Rashid used Jibril to try to humble his vizier Yahya al-Barmaki on an occasion when Yahya entered the caliph’s presence without first gaining permission. In his collection of prose, Tha'alibi cites a story he heard from al-Babbagha: "Bakhtishu’ ibn Jibril relates from his father…Then al-Rashid turned to me and said, ‘Jibril, is there anyone who would come before you without your permission in your own house?’ I said: ‘No, nor would anyone hope to do that.’ He said: ‘So what is the matter with us that people come in here without permission?’" After this exchange, Yahya skillfully reminds Harun al-Rashid that he had been granted the privilege of entering his presence without permission by asking the caliph if a change had been made in court etiquette.
Being a part of such court interactions, Jibril would approach the caliph with a level of frankness not allowed most attendants. During Harun al-Rashid’s final illness, Jibril’s matter-of-fact respo
Abu Yūsuf Yaʻqūb ibn ʼIsḥāq aṣ-Ṣabbāḥ al-Kindī was an Arab Muslim philosopher, mathematician and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, is unanimously hailed as the "father of Arab philosophy" for his synthesis and promotion of Greek and Hellenistic philosophy in the Muslim world. Al-Kindi was educated in Baghdad, he became a prominent figure in the House of Wisdom, a number of Abbasid Caliphs appointed him to oversee the translation of Greek scientific and philosophical texts into the Arabic language. This contact with "the philosophy of the ancients" had a profound effect on his intellectual development, led him to write hundreds of original treatises of his own on a range of subjects ranging from metaphysics, ethics and psychology, to medicine, mathematics, astronomy and optics, further afield to more practical topics like perfumes, jewels, dyes, tides, mirrors and earthquakes. In the field of mathematics, al-Kindi played an important role in introducing Indian numerals to the Islamic and Christian world.
Al-Kindi was one of the fathers of cryptography. His book entitled Manuscript on Deciphering Cryptographic Messages gave rise to the birth of cryptanalysis, was the earliest known use of statistical inference, introduced several new methods of breaking ciphers. Using his mathematical and medical expertise, he was able to develop a scale that would allow doctors to quantify the potency of their medication; the central theme underpinning al-Kindi's philosophical writings is the compatibility between philosophy and other "orthodox" Islamic sciences theology. And many of his works deal with subjects; these include the nature of the soul and prophetic knowledge. But despite the important role he played in making philosophy accessible to Muslim intellectuals, his own philosophical output was overshadowed by that of al-Farabi and few of his texts are available for modern scholars to examine. Al-Kindi was born in Kufa to an aristocratic family of the Kinda tribe, descended from the chieftain al-Ash'ath ibn Qays, a contemporary of Muhammad.
The family belonged to the most prominent families of the tribal nobility of Kufa in the early Islamic period, until it lost much of its power following the revolt of Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath. His father Ishaq was the governor of Kufa, al-Kindi received his preliminary education there, he went to complete his studies in Baghdad, where he was patronized by the Abbasid caliphs al-Ma'mun and al-Mu'tasim. On account of his learning and aptitude for study, al-Ma'mun appointed him to the House of Wisdom, a established centre for the translation of Greek philosophical and scientific texts, in Baghdad, he was well known for his beautiful calligraphy, at one point was employed as a calligrapher by al-Mutawakkil. When al-Ma'mun died, his brother, al-Mu'tasim became Caliph. Al-Kindi's position would be enhanced under al-Mu ` tasim, but on the accession of al-Wāthiq, of al-Mutawakkil, al-Kindi's star waned. There are various theories concerning this: some attribute al-Kindi's downfall to scholarly rivalries at the House of Wisdom.
Henry Corbin, an authority on Islamic studies, says that in 873, al-Kindi died "a lonely man", in Baghdad during the reign of al-Mu'tamid. After his death, al-Kindi's philosophical works fell into obscurity and many of them were lost to Islamic scholars and historians. Felix Klein-Franke suggests a number of reasons for this: aside from the militant orthodoxy of al-Mutawakkil, the Mongols destroyed countless libraries during their invasion. However, he says the most probable cause of this was that his writings never found popularity amongst subsequent influential philosophers such as al-Farabi and Avicenna, who overshadowed him. According to Ibn al-Nadim, al-Kindi wrote at least two hundred and sixty books, contributing to geometry and philosophy, physics. Although most of his books have been lost over the centuries, a few have survived in the form of Latin translations by Gerard of Cremona, others have been rediscovered in Arabic manuscripts, his greatest contribution to the development of Islamic philosophy was his efforts to make Greek thought both accessible and acceptable to a Muslim audience.
Al-Kindi carried out this mission from the House of Wisdom, an institute of translation and learning patronized by the Abbasid Caliphs, in Baghdad. As well as translating many important texts, much of what was to become standard Arabic philosophical vocabulary originated with al-Kindi. In his writings, one of al-Kindi's central concerns was to demonstrate the compatibility between philosophy and natural theology on the one hand, revealed or speculative theology on the other. Despite this, he did make clear that he believed revelation was a superior source of knowledge to
Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic. It is colloquially known in Syria as aš-Šām and titled the "City of Jasmine". In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world; the city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009. Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the center of a large metropolitan area of 2.7 million people. Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau 680 metres above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect; the Barada River flows through Damascus. First settled in the second millennium BC, it was chosen as the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate from 661 to 750. After the victory of the Abbasid dynasty, the seat of Islamic power was moved to Baghdad. Damascus saw a political decline throughout the Abbasid era, only to regain significant importance in the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods.
Today, it is all of the government ministries. As of 2018, Damascus has witnessed repeated conflicts and has been considered by Mercer as one of the most unfavorable places to live; the name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as / T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, it is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: Dimasqa, Dimàsqì, Dimàsqa. Aramaic spellings of the name include an intrusive resh influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus", imported from originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq, Darmsûq in Syriac", meaning "a well-watered land". In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi, although this is shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey.
Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria". Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem, was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra. Hence, Sham refers to. Damascus was built in a strategic site on a plateau 680 m above sea level and about 80 km inland from the Mediterranean, sheltered by the Anti-Lebanon mountains, supplied with water by the Barada River, at a crossroads between trade routes: the north-south route connecting Egypt with Asia Minor, the east-west cross-desert route connecting Lebanon with the Euphrates river valley; the Anti-Lebanon mountains mark the border between Lebanon. The range has peaks of over 10,000 ft. and blocks precipitation from the Mediterranean sea, so that the region of Damascus is sometimes subject to droughts. However, in ancient times this was mitigated by the Barada River, which originates from mountain streams fed by melting snow. Damascus is surrounded by the Ghouta, irrigated farmland where many vegetables and fruits have been farmed since ancient times.
Maps of Roman Syria indicate that the Barada river emptied into a lake of some size east of Damascus. Today it is called Bahira Atayba, the hesitant lake, because in years of severe drought it does not exist; the modern city has an area of 105 km2, out of which 77 km2 is urban, while Jabal Qasioun occupies the rest. The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada, dry. To the south-east and north-east it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the Middle Ages: Midan in the south-west and Imara in the north and north-west; these neighborhoods arose on roads leading out of the city, near the tombs of religious figures. In the 19th century outlying villages developed on the slopes of Jabal Qasioun, overlooking the city the site of the al-Salihiyah neighborhood centered on the important shrine of medieval Andalusian Sheikh and philosopher Ibn Arabi; these new neighborhoods were settled by Kurdish soldiery and Muslim refugees from the European regions of the Ottoman Empire which had fallen under Christian rule.
Thus they were known as al-Muhajirin. They lay 2–3 km north of the old city. From the late 19th century on, a modern administrative and commercial center began to spring up to the west of the old city, around the Barada, centered on the area known as al-Marjeh or the meadow. Al-Marjeh soon became the name of what was the central square of modern Damascus, with the city hall in it; the courts of justice, post office and railway station stood on higher ground to the south. A Europeanized residential quarter soon began to be built on the road leading between al-Marjeh and al-Salihiyah; the commercial and administrative center of the new city shifted northwards towards this area. In the 20th century, newer suburbs developed north of the Barada, to some extent to the south, invading the Ghouta oasis. In 1956–1957 the new neighborhood of Yarmouk bec