Given the state of science in the Muslim world today, one could be forgiven for imagining that Muslim scientists have made no contributions to the accumulated knowledge of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.
INTEREST: Medicine, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Psychology, Theology, Logic, Mathematics and Poetry
WORKS: Ibn-e-Sina, known in the west as Avicenna, memorised the Qur’an and a great deal of Arabic poetry by the age of ten. At the age of thirteen, he began to study medicine and mastered the subject in just three years after which he began treating patients.
His most famous work is the 14-volume Al-Qanun fit Tibb that served as a chief guide for medical science in the West from the 12th to the 17th century. The book is known for the discovery of contagious and sexually transmitted diseases, the introduction of quarantine to limit the spread of infectious diseases and the introduction of experimental medicine.
His most important mathematical work is the 20-volume Kitab al-Shifa (The Book of Healing) in which he included astronomy and music as branches of mathematics.
LEGACY: Ibn-e-Sina is considered the most famous Muslim scientist. He is remembered in the West as a major figure who made important contributions to medicine and eventually the European Renaissance.
In his honour, a lunar crater on the far side of the moon has been named after him. In March 2008 it was announced that all new directories of education institutions for health care professionals worldwide would now be called Avicenna Directories.