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The Little Qanun of Ibn Sina

Little Model of the Great Qanun

Kadircan Hidir Keskinbora

Ibn Sina wrote many books on various scientific branches, many of which are on philosophy, religion, music, medicine, astronomy, physics, and natural sciences. Some sources state that the number of books he has written is over 240; 153 of these have been discovered. Among his valuable books, the two most well-known books are «al-Shifa», which deals mostly with philosophy, and the five-volume «al-Qānūn Fī al-Tibb», which is a complete medical encyclopedia. The Little Qanun is the model of «al-Qānūn». The idea of publishing this book struck the author’s mind when he thoroughly dealt with Avicenna’s views and thoughts. It is hard to imagine such discoveries were generated more than one thousand years ago.

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Although very few copies of the Qanun-u Saghir (Little Qanun of Ibn Sina), Avicenna’s world renowned Canon of Medicine exist today, the Handwritten Works libraries in Istanbul, Turkey remain one of the wealthiest sources of such works. There are four copies of this particular work in Turkey:

1. SÜLEYMANİYE Library REIS-UL-KUTTAB Collection Nb.103

2. SÜLEYMANİYE Library FATİH Collection Nb.3593

3. BAYAZIT Library UMUMİ Collection Nb.4123

4. BAYAZIT Library VELİYÜDDİN EFENDİ Collection Nb.2529

During the course of this work, four of the copies have been carefully read, revealing no differences apart from the prayers and identification information included at the end by the scribes; meaning that these four copies are identical in terms of style, wording and outline.

This book has been translated from the 2529 numbered book in the VELİYÜDDİN EFENDİ Collection at the BAYAZIT Library into Turkish. The international scientific community has been informed of the existence of this translation numerous times through presentations at international conferences. It was subsequently translated into English, and presented to scientists on various occasions for their perusal. Scientists working in this area have been aware of this work for nearly 6 years.

To answer a question commonly posed by scientists as to whether this book is a “Kanunçe-Kanunche (Canon summary)”:

Not only could a Kanunçe be a ‘special booklet’ written by any...

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