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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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Foreword (for Bahçeşehir Univ. edition)

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Ibn Sina wrote many books on various scientific branches such as philosophy, religion, music, medicine, astronomy, physics, and natural sciences. Some sources state that the number of the books he has written is over 240; 153 of these have been found. Except for a few written in Persian, all his works are in Arabic, which was considered as the language of science at the time. Thus it was a tradition for the scientists to write their in Arabic. Among his valuable books, the two most well-known books are al-Shifa, which deals mostly with philosophy, and the five-volume al-Qānūn fi al-Tibb, which is a complete medical encyclopedia.

Within less than a century, his book Qānūn was translated into Latin at the beginning of the 12th century and left a great impact on the Western medical world. This book was used as a course book in all European faculties of medicine, especially in Montpellier and Louvain Universities, which are the most famous medical faculties in France. Ibn Sina was the guide for medicine for Europe for 700 years. This went on until the middle of the 17th century. Ibn Sina not only influenced the Western world physicians but also philosophers and theologians with his work.

The significance of his books on medicine, especially the Kanun (Qanun - Canon), in the Islamic world can be understood through the large number of the commentaries of the Arabic versions, and the translations and adaptations in...

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