Friday, October 24, 2008

The Book of Healing by Ibnu Sina

The Book of Healing by Ibnu Sina
Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn Sina (980 – 1037) was born in the neighborhood of Bukhara, in what is now modern Uzbekistan. By age of 10, Avicenna had already memorized The Quran, the holy book of Islam. By age 21, Avicenna was recognized as a philosopher, physician and legal expert. The breadth of his study which included grammar, law, logic, mathematic, natural philosophy, medicine and theology, is reflected in the list of his work, which includes no fewer than 242 titles.

The Book of Healing is often confused with the Canon of Medicine, because of the medical connotation of its title, which is meant to suggest however, only that philosophy constitutes and antidote against illness of false opinions. The Book of Healing divides into sections on logic, mathematics, physics and metaphysics and ends with an abridgement of itself, The Book of Salvation. The author openly declares his debt to al-Farabi for his understanding of metaphysics, but his exposition of it is a great deal more organized.

The Book of Healing also included detailed descriptions of natural phenomena such as rainbows and geological formations including description of igneous and sedimentary rocks and stalagmites, with references to Avicenna’s own childhood observations of Amu Darya River in Bukhara.

There is one special section on the “science of god’ in Book of Healing. This section was translated into Latin and circulated under the title The Metaphysic of Avicenna, thus guaranteeing it would be known to the masters of western scholasticism and exert an exceptional influence on them.

The Book of Healing, a vast eighteenth volume philosophical and scientific encyclopedia which has been described a “probably the largest work its kind ever written by one man”.
The Book of Healing by Ibnu Sina
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