Ali Bin Abbas

Cerrah, Fizikçi

Diğer İsimler
Mesudi, el-Mecusi

Surgeon and physicist (B.?, Iran / Cündişapur / Ahvaz – D. 994). He is also known as Mesudi and el-Mecusi. He is an Iranian Turk about hose life there is not detailed information. He is known as Haly Abbas in the West. He became student of Ebu Mahir Musa bin Seyyar and completed his first works in the city where he was born. The work, which granted him reputation, was his work titled “Kitab Kamilü-s Sina”. This book later was also called “El-Kitab-ül Melikî” (Royal Book or in Latin Liber Regalis and Regalis Dispositio). Ali b. Abbas has also works on psychology besides. He was one of the most respectable medical scholars such as Avicenna (980-1037), er-Razî (864-925), İbn Zuhr (1091-1162) and Ebû-l Kâsım (936-1013) with whom his name is referred. These physicians taught Europe medicine for hundreds of years and their works were always at their hands. They were also studied in medical faculties as teaching books…  

Ali bin Abbas was above all a good surgeon (operator) and a medical doctor to make cancer operation thousand years ago. For long years one of the first questions to ask candidates of surgery in the Islamic world was about anatomy and surgery of Ali b. Abbas. One could not become a surgeon without knowing his book. Especially treatment of broken and dislocated bones, operations of stones, tonsillar and cataract, drainage of fistula and amputating an organ made only one part of questions which belonged to his work. He not only criticized famous physicians who lived before him such as Hippocrates (B.C. 460-377), Galena (A.D.131-201) and Oribasios (325-403) but also showed numerous of their errors. Ali bin Abbas is a scholar who also examined Greek medicine, corrected its errors and completed its lacks and combined it with Islamic medicine. He made inventions in fields, which were not known by Greeks at all. He collected his experiments and wrote an important book. His writings in his book encompass results of his observations, examinations and experiments.

Ali bin Abbas was the first person to present capillary vessels in the history of medicine. He defended stable and coherent opinions in this issue. Hippocrates and others after him believed that the child came to earth out of the womb of his mother with his own actions. Ali bin Abbas destroyed this opinion fundamentally. He discovered that birth was realized not by the actions of the baby but by strain and tighten of muscles in the womb.

The work which granted Ali bin Abbas his fame was his work titled “Kitab-ül Melikî”. In the words of Dr. Sigrid Hunke; “This book was a work which was given to the medical world as a present and which did not have any counterpart until that time.” The most important characteristics of the work is that it studied the medical knowledge of all societies and ages until that time and organized these in a logical way. People of previous times never had such a book. Until Avicenna’s “Canon” was published this book was highly esteemed. Ali bin Abbas wrote this book in the name of Adudü-d Devle Fenne Hüsrev (949-983), a ruler of Büveyhi State. This book which was known as Liber Regius in the West had also another title: “Kâmil-üs Sinaat-it Tıbbiye” (Treasure which included medical science and arts).

Kitab-ül Melikî is more substantial than er-Razî´s gigantic work “el-Hâvî”. It was written for more practical purposes than Avicenna’s “El-Kanun fi't-Tıb”. Most competent chapters of the book were about diets and treatment methods in medicine. This book shortly was a very good and stuffed encyclopedia. The book mentioned not only theoretical aspects of medical specialization but also its application. The beginning chapter, which included Greek and Islamic medical works’ critics, was one of the most interesting chapters of the book. The reason why this “reigning book” which is a source of admiration even nowadays was written because Ali bin Abbas said that there was not a book among the works of previous and new physicians to include everything in order to learn the medical arts and articulated his critics in this way: Ali bin Abbas said “Hippocrates wrote very short. Many of his writings are too dark in need of explanation.” And wrote his mentioned medical book “Kitab-ül Melikî” making use of his observations, experiences and applications.

Ali bin Abbas realized in a more superior and competent way what Râzî thought but could not realize. He wrote his book with his power to penetrate El- Hâvi’s deep dimensions and choosing the stable and successful plan of el-Mansûrî and dedicated it to Sultan Adu-d Devle who admired science and scientists. Therefore his book which was known as “Sultânî Kitap” or “Kitâb-ül Melikî” was clear, organized and orderly. Aside from short information in the previous medical books in the form of questions & answers it also included new medical knowledge. It was written in a clear and understandable language. On the contrary of the previous books, it had integrity. Shattered pieces inherited from the ancient civilization were clarified and regulated. This was the reason why this work was appreciated by the Westerners. On the other hand, medical knowledge in the Greek literature were complicated and chaotic. Besides they were not translated into other languages. A physician to have this book in the West considered himself happy.

Kitâb-ül Melikî was published in Cairo in 1294. This book which was translated into Latin, French and German has only one sample in Berlin Library today. Sultanî Kitap was also translated partly into Turkish by the kadi of Bergama. This translation which consists of 2 volumes is registered in Bursa Grand Mosque Library, number 2. Although it is not known when the work was translated, it is assumed that it was translated in the 13th century. The book was donated to the library by Timurtaşoğlu Umur Bey in 1453. This book is one of the oldest medicine books written in Turkish in our country. Translated parts are ulcers, pox disease and measles.

Ali b. Abbas also provided information about neurology and psychology in his Kitab el-Maliki. He defined in his work 3 -anatomy, neuro-biology and neuro-psychology of brains and defined health problems such as various psychological disorders, sleeping diseases, amnesia, hypochondria, coma state, warm and cold meningitis, melancholy, epilepsy and hemiplegia. Ali b. Abbas emphasized the importance to health protection by diets and natural nourishment rather than treatment by medicines. 

REFERENCE: Wustenfeld / Geschichte der Arabischen Aerzte (s. 59, 1840), Fuat Sezgin / Medizin-Pharmazie-Zoologie-Tierheilkunde bis ca 430 H., Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums Band 3 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1970),  Manfred Ullmann / Islamic Medicine (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1978, reprinted 1997), Rehber Ansiklopedi (1984),  İhsan Işık / Ünlü Bilim Adamları (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 2, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013). 


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