Muslim Medical System in Medieval Europe

Al-Zahrawi blistering a patient in the hospital at Cordova.
Albucasis blistering a patient in the hospital at Cordova. Oil painting by Ernest Board. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

Europe has become one of the world’s best healthcare networks. However, the Muslim medical system has a long-term impact on the development of medical care in Europe. Today’s medicine in Europe is based on the Muslim medical system.

Arabic medical books started to be translated into Latin in the 11th century. As a result, Muslim books written in Arabic have gradually gained popularity in Western society. Europeans learned a lot of valuable information about modern medicine by reading the books of Arab Muslims. A new door of knowledge was also opened in front of them.

Because of the success of Muslim writers ‘books, many European authors concentrated on Arab Muslims’ texts. At that time, Muslim scientists and researchers made important contributions to all branches of knowledge, but Arabic medicine aroused a special response in Europe.

Until the 18th century, it took a special place in the medical curriculum of a significant number of European universities. They depended on it more than at any other time, and it had a transformative impact on the European medical system. Only Ibn Sina’s Al Qanun Fit Tibb was published in 60 formats in Latin.

Many claim that Arabic medical books were confined to Europe before the Middle Ages. Al Qanun Fit Tibb was a part of the curriculum of one of Europe’s biggest universities up to the 18th century, according to western sources.

The book of Ibn Sina was learned from the 13th to the 18th centuries at the University of Bologna in Italy.

The first book on medicine was translated by Hanin Ibn Ishaq (194-280 Hijri). Constantine the African was the first to translate the book Eye Structure from Greek to Latin.

Isaac Israeli ben Solomon, an influential physician, wrote some important books on medicine. Kitab al-Ḥummayat, Kitab fi al-Tiryaḳ, and Kitab al-Baul are remarkable. Talking about his book Kitab al-Ḥummayat, he expressed this excitement. His books became very popular after they were translated into Latin. A few more of his books were later translated into Latin.

The book of Ishaq Ibn Imran, a famous physician from Baghdad, was also popular in Europe at that time. There was a great demand for the author’s book, which specializes in medicine and diagnosis. He was a popular writer in both Arabia and non-Arabia. His book Al Malikhulia was translated into Latin. Arab authors claim that no one has ever seen such a rich book before.

Several books by the Moroccan physician Ibn al-Jazzar were translated into Latin. From the beginning of the 14th century, various translators translated his numerous writings. Zād al-Musāfir wa Quwwat-ul-Hadhir brought him outstanding fame. Several Muslim doctors of the period even wrote books that turned into many languages.

Many Muslim doctors became popular with European doctors at that time, but none like Ibn Sina had been accepted. He gained unparalleled fame in European civilization and culture through his innovative information and sharp writing in medicine.

These Muslim doctors are still respected in Medical science. They are now a symbol of humanity.