Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (865 - 925) MP

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Birthplace: Persia
Death: Died in Persia
Occupation: Alchemist & preeminent pharmacist and physician of his time.
Managed by: Yigal Burstein / יגאל בורשטיין
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About Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī

Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī (Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi: Persian: محمد زکریای رازی), known as Rhazes or Rasis after medieval Latinists, (August 26, 865 – 925) was a Persian polymath, physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar.

Numerous “firsts” in medical research, clinical care, and chemistry are attributed to him, including being the first to differentiate smallpox from measles, and the discovery of numerous compounds and chemicals including kerosene, among others. Edward Granville Browne considers him as "probably the greatest and most original of all the physicians, and one of the most prolific as an author".

Razi made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, music, and philosophy, recorded in over 200 books and articles in various fields of science. He was well-versed in Persian, Greek and Indian medical knowledge and made numerous advances in medicine through own observations and discoveries.

Educated in music, mathematics, philosophy, and metaphysics, he chose medicine as his professional field. As a physician, he was an early proponent of experimental medicine and has been described as the father of pediatrics. He was also a pioneer of ophthalmology. He was among the first to use Humoralism to distinguish one contagious disease from another. In particular, Razi was the first physician to distinguish smallpox and measles through his clinical characterization of the two diseases.

As an alchemist, Razi is known for his study of sulfuric acid. He became chief physician of Rey and Baghdad hospitals.

Razi was a rationalist and very confident in the power of ratiocination; he was widely regarded by his contemporaries and biographers as liberal, free of prejudice, and bold in expressing his ideas.

He traveled extensively, mostly in Persia. As a teacher in medicine, he attracted students of all disciplines and was said to be compassionate and devoted to the service of his patients, whether rich or poor.

Rhazes was born in the silk road passing city of Rey. His name Razi in Persian means "from the city of Rey"), an ancient town called Ragha in old Persian and Ragâ in Avestan. It is located on the southern slopes of the Alborz Range situated near Tehran, Iran. In this city (like Ibn Sina) he accomplished most of his work.


Muhammad Rāzī's Timeline

August 26, 865
Age 59