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{{redirect|Ibn Sīnā|the mountain peak|Lenin Peak}}

Avicenna Mausoleum and Museum, Hamadan)| othernames =
{{Hlist |list_style=line-height:1.3em;
| |Sharaf al-Mulk |Hujjat al-Haq |Sheikh al-Rayees
| | Bu AlÄ« SÄ«nā ()
98023}}Encyclopedia of Islam: Vol 1, p. 562, Edition I, 1964, Lahore, PakistanBukhara Region>Bukhara, Samanid Empire (now in present-day Uzbekistan)1037228|23}}Hamedan, Kakuyids>Kakuyid Emirate}} (Iran)| era = Islamic Golden AgeSamanid EmpireIn Bukhara (19 years) then Gurgānj, Khwārazm (13 years). Medicine |Aromatherapy}} The Book of Healing Aristotelianism>Alarsttalihlist_style=line-height:1.3em; Hippocrates >Aristotle Galen >Neoplatonism al-Kindi >al-Farabi Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi>Rhazes Al-Biruni >Abu Sahl 'Isa ibn Yahya al-Masihi> Abul Hasan Hankari}}list_style=line-height:1.3em; Al-Biruni >Omar Khayyám Averroes >Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi NasÄ«r al-DÄ«n al-TÅ«sÄ«>Tusi Ibn al-Nafis >Ibn Tufail Albertus Magnus >Maimonides Aquinas >William of OckhamAbu 'Ubayd al-Juzjani Age of Enlightenment>Enlightenment philosophers |Hossein Nasr}}}}{{Contains Perso-Arabic text}}{{Avicenna sidebar}}Ibn Sina (), also known as Abu Ali Sina (), Pur Sina (), and often known in the west as Avicenna ({{IPAc-en|ËŒ|æ|v|ɪ|ˈ|s|É›|n|É™|,_|ËŒ|ɑː|v|ɪ|-}}; {{c.|lk=no|980}} â€“ June 1037) was a PersianWEB,weblink Avicenna and the Visionary Recital, Princeton University Press, en, 2018-08-12, In this work a distinguished scholar of Islamic religion examines the mysticism and psychological thought of the great eleventh-century Persian philosopher and physician Avicenna (Ibn Sina), author of over a hundred works on theology, logic, medicine, and mathematics., BOOK,weblink The Rise of Western Power: A Comparative History of Western Civilization, Daly, Jonathan, 2013-12-19, A&C Black, 978-1-4411-1851-6, en, 18, HTTPS://WWW.BRITANNICA.COM/BIOGRAPHY/AVICENNA, Avicenna {{!, Persian philosopher and scientist|work=Encyclopedia Britannica|access-date=2018-08-04|language=en}} Muslim polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age,* BOOK, Bennison, Amira K., The great caliphs: the golden age of the 'Abbasid Empire, 2009, Yale University Press, New Haven, 978-0-300-15227-2, 195, Avicenna was a Persian whose father served the Samanids of Khurasan and Transoxania as the administrator of a rural district outside Bukhara.,
  • BOOK, A brief history of medicine: from Hippocrates to gene therapy, Paul Strathern, Running Press, 2005, 58,weblink's+ethnicityv=onepage&q&f=false, 978-0-7867-1525-1, .
  • BOOK, Medieval Philosophy, Brian Duignan, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2010, 89,weblink 978-1-61530-244-4, .
  • BOOK, Central Asian republics, Michael Kort, Infobase Publishing, 24,weblink 978-0-8160-5074-1, 2004,
  • "He was born in 370/980 in Afshana, his mother's home, near Bukhara. His native language was Persian" (from "Ibn Sina ("Avicenna")", Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, second edition (2009). Accessed via Brill Online at
  • "Avicenna was the greatest of all Persian thinkers; as physician and metaphysician ..." (excerpt from A.J. Arberry, Avicenna on Theology, KAZI PUBN INC, 1995).
  • "Whereas the name of Avicenna (Ibn Sina, died 1037) is generally listed as chronologically first among noteworthy Iranian philosophers, recent evidence has revealed previous existence of Ismaili philosophical systems with a structure no less complete than of Avicenna" (from p. 74 of Henry Corbin, The Voyage and the messenger: Iran and philosophy, North Atlantic Books, 1998. and the father of modern medicine.BOOK,weblink Ibn Sina, Keyhani, Ali, Torkaman, Samira, 2017-12-28, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 978-1-9842-9641-2, 1st, English, Ibn Sina is called the father of modern medicine for establishing a clinical practice., JOURNAL, Saffari, Mohsen, Pakpour, Amir, 2012-12-01, Avicenna's Canon of Medicine: A Look at Health, Public Health, and Environmental Sanitation,weblink's_Canon_of_Medicine_A_Look_at_Health_Public_Health_and_Environmental_Sanitation, Archives of Iranian medicine, 15, 785–9, Avicenna was a well-known Persian and a Muslim scientist who was considered to be the father of early modern medicine., BOOK,weblink Advice to the Young Physician: On the Art of Medicine, Colgan, Richard, 2009-09-19, Springer Science & Business Media, 978-1-4419-1034-9, en, 33, Avicenna is known as the father of early modern medicine., Avicenna is also called "the most influential philosopher of the pre-modern era".WEB,weblink Avicenna (Ibn Sina) {{!, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy}} Of the 450 works he is believed to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine.{{MacTutor Biography|id=Avicenna}}
His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopediaENCYCLOPEDIA, Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Avicenna, 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007-11-05,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 31 October 2007, live, Edwin Clarke, Charles Donald O'Malley (1996), The human brain and spinal cord: a historical study illustrated by writings from antiquity to the twentieth century, Norman Publishing, p. 20 ({{ISBN|0-930405-25-0}}).Iris Bruijn (2009), Ship's Surgeons of the Dutch East India Company: Commerce and the progress of medicine in the eighteenth century, Amsterdam University Press, p. 26 ({{ISBN|90-8728-051-3}}). which became a standard medical text at many medieval universitiesWEB,weblink Avicenna 980–1037,, 2010-01-19, dead,weblink" title="">weblink October 7, 2008, and remained in use as late as 1650.e.g. at the universities of Montpellier and Leuven (see WEB,weblink Medicine: an exhibition of books relating to medicine and surgery from the collection formed by J.K. Lilly,, 2010-01-19,weblink" title="">weblink 14 December 2009, live, ). In 1973, Avicenna's Canon Of Medicine was reprinted in New York.WEB,weblink Avicenna's Canon Of Medicine, Cibeles Jolivette Gonzalez, Internet Archive, Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and works of poetry.WEB,weblink Avicenna", in Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Version 2006,, 2010-01-19,


' is a Latin corruption of the Arabic patronym ibn Sīnā (),{{citation |title=Encyclopedia of the Black Death, Vol. I |contribution=Avicenna |contribution-url= |url= |last=Byrne |first=Joseph Patrick |location=Santa Barbara, CA |publisher=ABC-CLIO |date=2012 |isbn=978-1-59884-253-1 }}. meaning "Son of Sina". However, Avicenna was not the son but the great-great-grandson of a man named Sina.{{citation |title=Classical Arabic Literature |series=Library of Arabic Literature |editor-last=Van Gelder |editor-first=Geert Jan |url= |date=2013 |location=New York |publisher=New York University Press |contribution=Introduction |p=xxii |isbn=978-0-8147-7120-4 }} His formal Arabic name was Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbdillāh ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Sīnā'''{{harv|Goichon|1999}} (}}).


Ibn Sina created an extensive corpus of works during what is commonly known as the Islamic Golden Age, in which the translations of Greco-Roman, Persian, and Indian texts were studied extensively. Greco-Roman (Mid- and Neo-Platonic, and Aristotelian) texts translated by the Kindi school were commented, redacted and developed substantially by Islamic intellectuals, who also built upon Persian and Indian mathematical systems, astronomy, algebra, trigonometry and medicine.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Major periods of Muslim education and learning, 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007-12-16,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 December 2007, live, The Samanid dynasty in the eastern part of Persia, Greater Khorasan and Central Asia as well as the Buyid dynasty in the western part of Persia and Iraq provided a thriving atmosphere for scholarly and cultural development. Under the Samanids, Bukhara rivaled Baghdad as a cultural capital of the Islamic world.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Afary, Janet, Janet Afary, Iran, 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007-12-16,weblink There, the study of the Quran and the Hadith thrived. Philosophy, Fiqh and theology (kalaam) were further developed, most noticeably by Avicenna and his opponents. Al-Razi and Al-Farabi had provided methodology and knowledge in medicine and philosophy. Avicenna had access to the great libraries of Balkh, Khwarezm, Gorgan, Rey, Isfahan and Hamadan. Various texts (such as the 'Ahd with Bahmanyar) show that he debated philosophical points with the greatest scholars of the time. Aruzi Samarqandi describes how before Avicenna left Khwarezm he had met Al-Biruni (a famous scientist and astronomer), Abu Nasr Iraqi (a renowned mathematician), Abu Sahl Masihi (a respected philosopher) and Abu al-Khayr Khammar (a great physician).



Early life

Avicenna was born {{c.|lk=no|980}} in Afshana, a village near Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan), the capital of the Samanids, a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan. His mother, named Sitāra, was from Bukhara;"Avicenna"Encyclopædia Britannica, Concise Online Version, 2006 (weblink); D. Gutas, "Avicenna", in Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Version 2006, (LINK); Avicenna in (Encyclopedia of Islam: © 1999 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands) his father, Abdullāh, was a respected IsmailiBOOK, Corbin, Henry, Henry Corbin, History of Islamic Philosophy, Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard, London, Kegan Paul International in association with Islamic Publications for The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1993, First published French 1964), 978-0-7103-0416-2, 167–175, 22109949, scholar from Balkh, an important town of the Samanid Empire, in what is today Balkh Province, Afghanistan. His father worked in the government of Samanid in the village Kharmasain, a Sunni regional power. After five years, his younger brother, Mahmoud, was born. Avicenna first began to learn the Quran and literature in such a way that when he was ten years old he had essentially learned all of them.Khorasani, Sharaf Addin Sharaf, Islamic Great Encyclopedia.p1.1367 solarAccording to his autobiography, Avicenna had memorised the entire Quran by the age of 10.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink The Canon of Medicine (work by Avicenna), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008, 2008-06-11,weblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2008, live, He learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian greengrocer, Mahmoud MassahiKhorasani Sharaf, Islamic Great Encyclopedia, vol. 1. p. 1 1367 solar and he began to learn more from a wandering scholar who gained a livelihood by curing the sick and teaching the young.{{sfn|Chisholm|1911}} He also studied Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) under the Sunni Hanafi scholar Ismail al-Zahid.Jorge J.E. Gracia and Timothy B. Noone (2003), A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages, p. 196, Blackwell Publishing, {{ISBN|0-631-21673-1}}. Avicenna was taught some extent of philosophy books such as Introduction (Isagoge)'s Porphyry (philosopher), Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's Almagest by an unpopular philosopher, Abu Abdullah Nateli, who claimed philosophizing.Sharaf Khorasani, Islamic Great encyclopedia, vol. 1. p. 1 1367 solarAs a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle, which he could not understand until he read al-Farabi's commentary on the work. For the next year and a half, he studied philosophy, in which he encountered greater obstacles. In such moments of baffled inquiry, he would leave his books, perform the requisite ablutions, then go to the mosque, and continue in prayer till light broke on his difficulties. Deep into the night, he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their solution. Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure to him until he purchased a brief commentary by al-Farabi from a bookstall for three dirhams (a very low price at the time). So great was his joy at the discovery, made with the help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed alms upon the poor.{{EB1911|inline=y|wstitle=Avicenna|volume=3|pages=62–63}}He turned to medicine at 16, and not only learned medical theory, but also by gratuitous attendance of the sick had, according to his own account, discovered new methods of treatment. The teenager achieved full status as a qualified physician at age 18, and found that "Medicine is no hard and thorny science, like mathematics and metaphysics, so I soon made great progress; I became an excellent doctor and began to treat patients, using approved remedies." The youthful physician's fame spread quickly, and he treated many patients without asking for payment.A number of theories have been proposed regarding Avicenna's madhab (school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence). Medieval historian ẒahÄ«r al-dÄ«n al-BayhaqÄ« (d. 1169) considered Avicenna to be a follower of the Brethren of Purity.BOOK, An annotated bibliography on Ibn Sînâ (1970–1989): including Arabic and Persian publications and Turkish and Russian references, Janssens, Jules L., Leuven University Press, 1991, 978-90-6186-476-9, 89–90, excerpt: "... [Dimitri Gutas's Avicenna's maḏhab convincingly demonstrates that I.S. was a sunnî-Ḥanafî."weblink On the other hand, Dimitri Gutas along with Aisha Khan and Jules J. Janssens demonstrated that Avicenna was a Sunni Hanafi.BOOK, The Rosen Publishing Group, 978-1-4042-0509-3, Aisha Khan, Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim physician and philosopher of the eleventh century, 2006, 38,weblink However, the 14th century Shia faqih Nurullah Shushtari according to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, maintained that he was most likely a Twelver Shia.Seyyed Hossein Nasr, An introduction to Islamic cosmological doctrines, Published by State University of New York press, {{ISBN|0-7914-1515-5}} p. 183 Conversely, Sharaf Khorasani, citing a rejection of an invitation of the Sunni Governor Sultan Mahmoud Ghazanavi by Avicenna to his court, believes that Avicenna was an Ismaili.Sharaf Khorasani, Islamic Great encyclopedia, vol. 1. p. 3 1367 solar Similar disagreements exist on the background of Avicenna's family, whereas some writers considered them Sunni, some more recent writers contested that they were Shia.


(File:Avicenna.jpg|thumb|upright|A drawing of Avicenna)Avicenna's first appointment was that of physician to the emir, Nuh II, who owed him his recovery from a dangerous illness (997). Ibn Sina's chief reward for this service was access to the royal library of the Samanids, well-known patrons of scholarship and scholars. When the library was destroyed by fire not long after, the enemies of Ibn Sina accused him of burning it, in order for ever to conceal the sources of his knowledge. Meanwhile, he assisted his father in his financial labors, but still found time to write some of his earliest works.At 22 years old, Avicenna lost his father. The Samanid dynasty came to its end in December 1004. Avicenna seems to have declined the offers of Mahmud of Ghazni, and proceeded westwards to Urgench in modern Turkmenistan, where the vizier, regarded as a friend of scholars, gave him a small monthly stipend. The pay was small, however, so Ibn Sina wandered from place to place through the districts of Nishapur and Merv to the borders of Khorasan, seeking an opening for his talents. Qabus, the generous ruler of Tabaristan, himself a poet and a scholar, with whom Ibn Sina had expected to find asylum, was on about that date (1012) starved to death by his troops who had revolted. Avicenna himself was at this time stricken by a severe illness. Finally, at Gorgan, near the Caspian Sea, Avicenna met with a friend, who bought a dwelling near his own house in which Avicenna lectured on logic and astronomy. Several of his treatises were written for this patron; and the commencement of his Canon of Medicine also dates from his stay in Hyrcania.Avicenna subsequently settled at Rey, in the vicinity of modern Tehran, the home town of Rhazes; where Majd Addaula, a son of the last Buwayhid emir, was nominal ruler under the regency of his mother (Seyyedeh Khatun). About thirty of Ibn Sina's shorter works are said to have been composed in Rey. Constant feuds which raged between the regent and her second son, Shams al-Daula, however, compelled the scholar to quit the place. After a brief sojourn at Qazvin he passed southwards to Hamadãn where Shams al-Daula, another Buwayhid emir, had established himself. At first, Ibn Sina entered into the service of a high-born lady; but the emir, hearing of his arrival, called him in as medical attendant, and sent him back with presents to his dwelling. Ibn Sina was even raised to the office of vizier. The emir decreed that he should be banished from the country. Ibn Sina, however, remained hidden for forty days in sheikh Ahmed Fadhel's house, until a fresh attack of illness induced the emir to restore him to his post. Even during this perturbed time, Ibn Sina persevered with his studies and teaching. Every evening, extracts from his great works, the Canon and the Sanatio, were dictated and explained to his pupils. On the death of the emir, Ibn Sina ceased to be vizier and hid himself in the house of an apothecary, where, with intense assiduity, he continued the composition of his works.Meanwhile, he had written to Abu Ya'far, the prefect of the dynamic city of Isfahan, offering his services. The new emir of Hamadan, hearing of this correspondence and discovering where Ibn Sina was hiding, incarcerated him in a fortress. War meanwhile continued between the rulers of Isfahan and Hamadãn; in 1024 the former captured Hamadan and its towns, expelling the Tajik mercenaries. When the storm had passed, Ibn Sina returned with the emir to Hamadan, and carried on his literary labors. Later, however, accompanied by his brother, a favorite pupil, and two slaves, Ibn Sina escaped from the city in the dress of a Sufi ascetic. After a perilous journey, they reached Isfahan, receiving an honorable welcome from the prince.

Later life and death

(File:Avicenna canon 1597.jpg|thumb|upright|The first page of a manuscript of Avicenna's Canon, dated 1596/7 (Yale, Medical Historical Library, Cushing Arabic ms. 5))The remaining ten or twelve years of Ibn Sīnā's life were spent in the service of the Kakuyid ruler Muhammad ibn Rustam Dushmanziyar (also known as Ala al-Dawla), whom he accompanied as physician and general literary and scientific adviser, even in his numerous campaigns.During these years he began to study literary matters and philology, instigated, it is asserted, by criticisms on his style. A severe colic, which seized him on the march of the army against Hamadan, was checked by remedies so violent that Ibn Sina could scarcely stand. On a similar occasion the disease returned; with difficulty he reached Hamadan, where, finding the disease gaining ground, he refused to keep up the regimen imposed, and resigned himself to his fate.His friends advised him to slow down and take life moderately. He refused, however, stating that: "I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length".BOOK, Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician And Philosopher of the Eleventh Century, Aisha Khan, The Rosen Publishing Group, 85,weblink 978-1-4042-0509-3, 2006-01-15, On his deathbed remorse seized him; he bestowed his goods on the poor, restored unjust gains, freed his slaves, and read through the Quran every three days until his death. He died in June 1037, in his fifty-eighth year, in the month of Ramadan and was buried in Hamadan, Iran.BOOK, The Evolution Of Modern Medicine, William, Osler, William Osler, Kessinger Publishing, 2004, 978-1-4191-6153-7, 72,


Ibn SÄ«nā wrote extensively on early Islamic philosophy, especially the subjects logic, ethics, and metaphysics, including treatises named Logic and Metaphysics. Most of his works were written in Arabic â€“ then the language of science in the Middle East â€“ and some in Persian. Of linguistic significance even to this day are a few books that he wrote in nearly pure Persian language (particularly the Danishnamah-yi 'Ala', Philosophy for Ala' ad-Dawla'). Ibn SÄ«nā's commentaries on Aristotle often criticized the philosopher,{{Citation needed|date=May 2011}} encouraging a lively debate in the spirit of ijtihad.Avicenna's Neoplatonic scheme of "emanations" became fundamental in the Kalam (school of theological discourse) in the 12th century.Nahyan A.G. Fancy (2006), pp. 80–81, "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-NafÄ«s (d. 1288)", Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Notre Dame {{page needed|date=February 2015}}His Book of Healing became available in Europe in partial Latin translation some fifty years after its composition, under the title Sufficientia, and some authors have identified a "Latin Avicennism" as flourishing for some time, paralleling the more influential Latin Averroism, but suppressed by the Parisian decrees of 1210 and 1215.c.f. e.g.Henry Corbin, History of Islamic Philosophy, Routledge, 2014, p. 174.Henry Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital, Princeton University Press, 2014, p. 103.Avicenna's psychology and theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergne, Bishop of ParisWEB,weblink The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (c. 980–1037),, 2006-01-06, 2010-01-19, and Albertus Magnus, while his metaphysics influenced the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

Metaphysical doctrine

{{Technical|section|date=January 2014}}Early Islamic philosophy and Islamic metaphysics, imbued as it is with Islamic theology, distinguishes more clearly than Aristotelianism between essence and existence. Whereas existence is the domain of the contingent and the accidental, essence endures within a being beyond the accidental. The philosophy of Ibn SÄ«nā, particularly that part relating to metaphysics, owes much to al-Farabi. The search for a definitive Islamic philosophy separate from Occasionalism can be seen in what is left of his work.Following al-Farabi's lead, Avicenna initiated a full-fledged inquiry into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence (Mahiat) and existence (Wujud). He argued that the fact of existence cannot be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves cannot interact and originate the movement of the universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Existence must, therefore, be due to an agent-cause that necessitates, imparts, gives, or adds existence to an essence. To do so, the cause must be an existing thing and coexist with its effect.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Islam, 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 2007-11-27,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2007, live, Avicenna's consideration of the essence-attributes question may be elucidated in terms of his ontological analysis of the modalities of being; namely impossibility, contingency, and necessity. Avicenna argued that the impossible being is that which cannot exist, while the contingent in itself (mumkin bi-dhatihi) has the potentiality to be or not to be without entailing a contradiction. When actualized, the contingent becomes a 'necessary existent due to what is other than itself' (wajib al-wujud bi-ghayrihi). Thus, contingency-in-itself is potential beingness that could eventually be actualized by an external cause other than itself. The metaphysical structures of necessity and contingency are different. Necessary being due to itself (wajib al-wujud bi-dhatihi) is true in itself, while the contingent being is 'false in itself' and 'true due to something else other than itself'. The necessary is the source of its own being without borrowed existence. It is what always exists.Avicenna, Kitab al-shifa', Metaphysics II, (eds.) G.C. Anawati, Ibrahim Madkour, Sa'id Zayed (Cairo, 1975), p. 36Nader El-Bizri, "Avicenna and Essentialism," Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 54 (2001), pp. 753–778The Necessary exists 'due-to-Its-Self', and has no quiddity/essence (mahiyya) other than existence (wujud). Furthermore, It is 'One' (wahid ahad)Avicenna, Metaphysica of Avicenna, trans. Parviz Morewedge (New York, 1973), p. 43. since there cannot be more than one 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' without differentia (fasl) to distinguish them from each other. Yet, to require differentia entails that they exist 'due-to-themselves' as well as 'due to what is other than themselves'; and this is contradictory. However, if no differentia distinguishes them from each other, then there is no sense in which these 'Existents' are not one and the same.Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publications SUNY, 2000) Avicenna adds that the 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' has no genus (jins), nor a definition (hadd), nor a counterpart (nadd), nor an opposite (did), and is detached (bari) from matter (madda), quality (kayf), quantity (kam), place (ayn), situation (wad), and time (waqt).Avicenna, Kitab al-Hidaya, ed. Muhammad 'Abdu (Cairo, 1874), pp. 262–263Salem Mashran, al-Janib al-ilahi 'ind Ibn Sina (Damascus, 1992), p. 99Nader El-Bizri, "Being and Necessity: A Phenomenological Investigation of Avicenna's Metaphysics and Cosmology," in Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology on the Perennial Issue of Microcosm and Macrocosm, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2006), pp. 243–261Avicenna's theology on metaphysical issues (ilāhiyyāt) has been criticized by some Islamic scholars, among them al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, and Ibn al-Qayyim.Ibn al-Qayyim, Eghaathat al-Lahfaan, Published: Al Ashqar University (2003) Printed by International Islamic Publishing House: Riyadh.{{page needed|date=April 2016}} While discussing the views of the theists among the Greek philosophers, namely Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle in Al-Munqidh min ad-Dalal ("Deliverance from Error"), al-Ghazali noted that the Greek philosophers "must be taxed with unbelief, as must their partisans among the Muslim philosophers, such as Ibn Sina and al-Farabi and their likes." He added that "None, however, of the Muslim philosophers engaged so much in transmitting Aristotle's loreas did the two men just mentioned. [...] The sum of what we regard as the authentic philosophy of Aristotle, as transmitted by al-Farabi and Ibn Sina, can be reduced to three parts: a part which must be branded as unbelief; a part which must be stigmatized as innovation; and a part which need not be repudiated at all.BOOK, al-Munqidh min al-Dalal, Ibn Muḥammad al-GhazālÄ«, AbÅ« Ḥāmid Muḥammad, American University of Beirut, 1980, Boston, 10,weblink dead,weblink 2016-03-04,

Argument for God's existence

Avicenna made an argument for the existence of God which would be known as the "Proof of the Truthful" (Arabic: al-burhan al-siddiqin). Avicenna argued that there must be a "necessary existent" (Arabic: wajib al-wujud), an entity that cannot not existENCYCLOPEDIA, From the necessary existent to God, Peter, Adamson, Peter, Adamson, Interpreting Avicenna: Critical Essays,weblink 2013-07-04, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-19073-2, 170, and through a series of arguments, he identified it with the Islamic conception of God.ENCYCLOPEDIA, From the necessary existent to God, Peter, Adamson, Peter, Adamson, Interpreting Avicenna: Critical Essays,weblink 2013-07-04, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-19073-2, 171, Present-day historian of philosophy Peter Adamson called this argument one of the most influential medieval arguments for God's existence, and Avicenna's biggest contribution to the history of philosophy.

Al-Biruni correspondence

Correspondence between Ibn Sina (with his student Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Ma'sumi) and Al-Biruni has survived in which they debated Aristotelian natural philosophy and the Peripatetic school. Abu Rayhan began by asking Avicenna eighteen questions, ten of which were criticisms of Aristotle's On the Heavens.Rafik Berjak and Muzaffar Iqbal, "Ibn Sina—Al-Biruni correspondence", Islam & Science, June 2003.


Avicenna was a devout Muslim and sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology. His aim was to prove the existence of God and His creation of the world scientifically and through reason and logic.Lenn Evan Goodman (2003), Islamic Humanism, pp. 8–9, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|0-19-513580-6}}. Avicenna's views on Islamic theology (and philosophy) were enormously influential, forming part of the core of the curriculum at Islamic religious schools until the 19th century.James W. Morris (1992), "The Philosopher-Prophet in Avicenna's Political Philosophy", in C. Butterworth (ed.), The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, {{ISBN|978-0-932885-07-4}}, Chapter 4, Cambridge Harvard University Press, pp. 152–198 [p. 156]. Avicenna wrote a number of short treatises dealing with Islamic theology. These included treatises on the prophets (whom he viewed as "inspired philosophers"), and also on various scientific and philosophical interpretations of the Quran, such as how Quranic cosmology corresponds to his own philosophical system. In general these treatises linked his philosophical writings to Islamic religious ideas; for example, the body's afterlife.There are occasional brief hints and allusions in his longer works however that Avicenna considered philosophy as the only sensible way to distinguish real prophecy from illusion. He did not state this more clearly because of the political implications of such a theory, if prophecy could be questioned, and also because most of the time he was writing shorter works which concentrated on explaining his theories on philosophy and theology clearly, without digressing to consider epistemological matters which could only be properly considered by other philosophers.James W. Morris (1992), "The Philosopher-Prophet in Avicenna's Political Philosophy", in C. Butterworth (ed.), The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, Chapter 4, Cambridge Harvard University Press, pp. 152–198 [pp.  160–161].Later interpretations of Avicenna's philosophy split into three different schools; those (such as al-Tusi) who continued to apply his philosophy as a system to interpret later political events and scientific advances; those (such as al-Razi) who considered Avicenna's theological works in isolation from his wider philosophical concerns; and those (such as al-Ghazali) who selectively used parts of his philosophy to support their own attempts to gain greater spiritual insights through a variety of mystical means. It was the theological interpretation championed by those such as al-Razi which eventually came to predominate in the madrasahs.James W. Morris (1992), "The Philosopher-Prophet in Avicenna's Political Philosophy", in C. Butterworth (ed.), The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, Chapter 4, Cambridge Harvard University Press, pp. 152–198 [pp. 156–158].Avicenna memorized the Quran by the age of ten, and as an adult, he wrote five treatises commenting on suras from the Quran. One of these texts included the Proof of Prophecies, in which he comments on several Quranic verses and holds the Quran in high esteem. Avicenna argued that the Islamic prophets should be considered higher than philosophers.Jules Janssens (2004), "Avicenna and the Qur'an: A Survey of his Qur'anic commentaries", MIDEO 25, p. 177–192.

Thought experiments

While he was imprisoned in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan, Avicenna wrote his famous "Floating Man" â€“ literally falling man â€“ thought experiment to demonstrate human self-awareness and the substantiality and immateriality of the soul. Avicenna believed his "Floating Man" thought experiment demonstrated that the soul is a substance, and claimed humans cannot doubt their own consciousness, even in a situation that prevents all sensory data input. The thought experiment told its readers to imagine themselves created all at once while suspended in the air, isolated from all (Wikt:sensation|sensations), which includes no sensory contact with even their own bodies. He argued that, in this scenario, one would still have self-consciousness. Because it is conceivable that a person, suspended in air while cut off from sense experience, would still be capable of determining his own existence, the thought experiment points to the conclusions that the soul is a perfection, independent of the body, and an immaterial substance.See a discussion of this in connection with an analytic take on the philosophy of mind in: Nader El-Bizri, 'Avicenna and the Problem of Consciousness', in Consciousness and the Great Philosophers, eds. S. Leach and J. Tartaglia (London: Routledge, 2016), 45–53 The conceivability of this "Floating Man" indicates that the soul is perceived intellectually, which entails the soul's separateness from the body. Avicenna referred to the living human intelligence, particularly the active intellect, which he believed to be the hypostasis by which God communicates truth to the human mind and imparts order and intelligibility to nature. Following is an English translation of the argument:|Ibn Sina|Kitab Al-Shifa, On the Soul}}}}However, Avicenna posited the brain as the place where reason interacts with sensation. Sensation prepares the soul to receive rational concepts from the universal Agent Intellect. The first knowledge of the flying person would be "I am," affirming his or her essence. That essence could not be the body, obviously, as the flying person has no sensation. Thus, the knowledge that "I am" is the core of a human being: the soul exists and is self-aware.BOOK, Hasse, Dag Nikolaus, Avicenna's De Anima in the Latin West, 2000, Warburg Institute, London, 81, Avicenna thus concluded that the idea of the self is not logically dependent on any physical thing, and that the soul should not be seen in relative terms, but as a primary given, a substance. The body is unnecessary; in relation to it, the soul is its perfection.BOOK, Routledge, 978-0-415-05667-0, Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, Oliver Leaman, History of Islamic philosophy, 1996, 315, 1022–1023, In itself, the soul is an immaterial substance.BOOK, Hasse, Dag Nikolaus, Avicenna's De Anima in the Latin West, 2000, Warburg Institute, London, 92,

The Canon of Medicine

File:Canons of medicine.JPG|thumb|Canons of medicine book from Avicenna, latin translation located at UT Health of San Antonio ]]Avicenna authored a five-volume medical encyclopedia: The Canon of Medicine (Al-Qanun fi't-Tibb). It was used as the standard medical textbook in the Islamic world and Europe up to the 18th century.BOOK, McGinnis, Jon, Avicenna, 2010, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 978-0-19-533147-9, 227, BOOK, A.C. Brown, Jonathan, Jonathan A.C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy, 2014, Oneworld Publications, 978-1-78074-420-9, 12,weblink The Canon still plays an important role in Unani medicine.Indian Studies on Ibn Sina's Works by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Avicenna (Scientific and Practical International Journal of Ibn Sino International Foundation, Tashkent/Uzbekistan. 1–2; 2003: 40–42

Liber Primus Naturalium

Avicenna considered whether events like rare diseases or disorders have natural causes.Avicenna Latinus. 1992. Liber Primus Naturalium: Tractatus Primus, De Causis et Principiis Naturalium. Leiden (The Netherlands): E.J. Brill. He used the example of polydactyly to explain his perception that causal reasons exist for all medical events. This view of medical phenomena anticipated developments in the Enlightenment by seven centuries.Axel Lange and Gerd B. Müller. Polydactyly in Development, Inheritance, and Evolution. The Quarterly Review of Biology Vol. 92, No. 1, Mar. 2017, pp. 1–38. {{doi|10.1086/690841}}.

The Book of Healing

{{Summary too long|The Book of Healing|date=July 2016}}

Earth sciences

Ibn Sīnā wrote on Earth sciences such as geology in The Book of Healing.Stephen Toulmin and June Goodfield (1965), The Ancestry of Science: The Discovery of Time, p. 64, University of Chicago Press (cf. The Contribution of Ibn Sina to the development of Earth sciences) While discussing the formation of mountains, he explained:

Philosophy of science

In the Al-Burhan (On Demonstration) section of The Book of Healing, Avicenna discussed the philosophy of science and described an early scientific method of inquiry. He discusses Aristotle's Posterior Analytics and significantly diverged from it on several points. Avicenna discussed the issue of a proper methodology for scientific inquiry and the question of "How does one acquire the first principles of a science?" He asked how a scientist would arrive at "the initial axioms or hypotheses of a deductive science without inferring them from some more basic premises?" He explains that the ideal situation is when one grasps that a "relation holds between the terms, which would allow for absolute, universal certainty". Avicenna then adds two further methods for arriving at the first principles: the ancient Aristotelian method of induction (istiqra), and the method of examination and experimentation (tajriba). Avicenna criticized Aristotelian induction, arguing that "it does not lead to the absolute, universal, and certain premises that it purports to provide." In its place, he develops a "method of experimentation as a means for scientific inquiry."JOURNAL, McGinnis, Jon, Scientific Methodologies in Medieval Islam, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 41, 3, July 2003, 307–327, 10.1353/hph.2003.0033,weblink


An early formal system of temporal logic was studied by Avicenna.History of logic: Arabic logic, Encyclopædia Britannica. Although he did not develop a real theory of temporal propositions, he did study the relationship between temporalis and the implication.BOOK, Temporal Logic: From Ancient Ideas to Artificial Intelligence, Springer, Peter Øhrstrøm, Per Hasle, 1995, 72, Avicenna's work was further developed by Najm al-DÄ«n al-QazwÄ«nÄ« al-KātibÄ« and became the dominant system of Islamic logic until modern times.{{citation |title=Toward a History of Syllogistic After Avicenna: Notes on Rescher's Studies on Arabic Modal Logic |author=Tony Street |journal=Journal of Islamic Studies |volume=11 |issue=2 |year=2000 |pages=209–228|doi=10.1093/jis/11.2.209 }}BOOK, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-52069-0, 247–265, Peter Adamson, yes, Richard C. Taylor, Street, Tony, The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy, Logic, 2005-01-01, Avicennian logic also influenced several early European logicians such as Albertus MagnusRichard F. Washell (1973), "Logic, Language, and Albert the Great", Journal of the History of Ideas 34 (3), pp. 445–450 [445]. and William of Ockham.Kneale p. 229Kneale: p. 266; Ockham: Summa Logicae i. 14; Avicenna: Avicennae Opera Venice 1508 f87rb Avicenna endorsed the law of noncontradiction proposed by Aristotle, that a fact could not be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense of the terminology used. He stated, "Anyone who denies the law of noncontradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned."Avicenna, Metaphysics, I; commenting on Aristotle, Topics I.11.105a4–5


In mechanics, Ibn Sīnā, in The Book of Healing, developed a theory of motion, in which he made a distinction between the inclination (tendency to motion) and force of a projectile, and concluded that motion was a result of an inclination (mayl) transferred to the projectile by the thrower, and that projectile motion in a vacuum would not cease.Fernando Espinoza (2005). "An analysis of the historical development of ideas about motion and its implications for teaching", Physics Education 40 (2), p. 141. He viewed inclination as a permanent force whose effect is dissipated by external forces such as air resistance.A. Sayili (1987), "Ibn Sīnā and Buridan on the Motion of the Projectile", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 500 (1), pp. 477–482: "It was a permanent force whose effect got dissipated only as a result of external agents such as air resistance. He is apparently the first to conceive such a permanent type of impressed virtue for non-natural motion."The theory of motion presented by Avicenna was probably influenced by the 6th-century Alexandrian scholar John Philoponus. Avicenna's is a less sophisticated variant of the theory of impetus developed by Buridan in the 14th century. It is unclear if Buridan was influenced by Avicenna, or by Philoponus directly.Jack Zupko, "John Buridan" in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2014(fn. 48)"We do not know precisely where Buridan got the idea of impetus, but a less sophisticated notion of impressed forced can be found in Avicenna's doctrine of mayl (inclination). In this he was possibly influenced by Philoponus, who was developing the Stoic notion of hormé (impulse). For discussion, see Zupko (1997) ['What Is the Science of the Soul? A Case Study in the Evolution of Late Medieval Natural Philosophy,' Synthese, 110(2): 297–334]."In optics, Ibn Sina was among those who argued that light had a speed, observing that "if the perception of light is due to the emission of some sort of particles by a luminous source, the speed of light must be finite."George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, Vol. 1, p. 710. He also provided a wrong explanation of the rainbow phenomenon. Carl Benjamin Boyer described Avicenna's ("Ibn Sīnā") theory on the rainbow as follows:In 1253, a Latin text entitled Speculum Tripartitum stated the following regarding Avicenna's theory on heat:}}


Avicenna's legacy in classical psychology is primarily embodied in the Kitab al-nafs parts of his Kitab al-shifa (The Book of Healing) and Kitab al-najat (The Book of Deliverance). These were known in Latin under the title De Anima (treatises "on the soul").{{dubious|date=October 2012}} Notably, Avicenna develops what is called the Flying Man argument in the Psychology of The Cure I.1.7 as defense of the argument that the soul is without quantitative extension, which has an affinity with Descartes's cogito argument (or what phenomenology designates as a form of an "epoche").Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, NY: Global Publications SUNY, 2000), pp. 149–171.Nader El-Bizri, "Avicenna's De Anima between Aristotle and Husserl," in The Passions of the Soul in the Metamorphosis of Becoming, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), pp. 67–89.Avicenna's psychology requires that connection between the body and soul be strong enough to ensure the soul's individuation, but weak enough to allow for its immortality. Avicenna grounds his psychology on physiology, which means his account of the soul is one that deals almost entirely with the natural science of the body and its abilities of perception. Thus, the philosopher's connection between the soul and body is explained almost entirely by his understanding of perception; in this way, bodily perception interrelates with the immaterial human intellect. In sense perception, the perceiver senses the form of the object; first, by perceiving features of the object by our external senses. This sensory information is supplied to the internal senses, which merge all the pieces into a whole, unified conscious experience. This process of perception and abstraction is the nexus of the soul and body, for the material body may only perceive material objects, while the immaterial soul may only receive the immaterial, universal forms. The way the soul and body interact in the final abstraction of the universal from the concrete particular is the key to their relationship and interaction, which takes place in the physical body.BOOK, Avicenna, Avicenna's Psychology. An English translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, Book II, Chapter VI, with Historico-Philosophical Notes and Textual Improvements on the Cairo edition, F. Rahman, Oxford University Press, Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1952, London, 41, The soul completes the action of intellection by accepting forms that have been abstracted from matter. This process requires a concrete particular (material) to be abstracted into the universal intelligible (immaterial). The material and immaterial interact through the Active Intellect, which is a "divine light" containing the intelligible forms.BOOK, Avicenna, Avicenna's Psychology. An English translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, Book II, Chapter VI, with Historico-Philosophical Notes and Textual Improvements on the Cairo edition, F. Rahman, Oxford University Press, Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1952, London, 68–69, The Active Intellect reveals the universals concealed in material objects much like the sun makes color available to our eyes.

Other contributions

Astronomy and astrology

(File:Skulls of Avicenna.jpg|thumb|Skulls of Avicenna, found in 1950 during built of new mausoleum)Avicenna wrote an attack on astrology titled Resāla fī ebṭāl aḥkām al-nojūm, in which he cited passages from the Quran to dispute the power of astrology to foretell the future.George Saliba (1994), A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam, pp. 60, 67–69. New York University Press, {{ISBN|0-8147-8023-7}}. He believed that each planet had some influence on the earth, but argued against astrologers being able to determine the exact effects.WEB, George, Saliba, George Saliba, Avicenna, Encyclopædia Iranica, Online Edition, 2011,weblink Avicenna's astronomical writings had some influence on later writers, although in general his work could be considered less developed than Alhazen or Al-Biruni. One important feature of his writing is that he considers mathematical astronomy as a separate discipline to astrology. He criticized Aristotle's view of the stars receiving their light from the Sun, stating that the stars are self-luminous, and believed that the planets are also self-luminous.JOURNAL, The phases of venus before 1610, Roger, Ariew, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 18, 1, March 1987, 81–92, 10.1016/0039-3681(87)90012-4, He claimed to have observed Venus as a spot on the Sun. This is possible, as there was a transit on May 24, 1032, but Avicenna did not give the date of his observation, and modern scholars have questioned whether he could have observed the transit from his location at that time; he may have mistaken a sunspot for Venus. He used his transit observation to help establish that Venus was, at least sometimes, below the Sun in Ptolemaic cosmology,BOOK, Ibn Sīnā: Abū ʿAlī al‐Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Sīnā, Sally P. Ragep, Thomas Hockey, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer Science+Business Media, 2007, 570–572,weblink i.e. the sphere of Venus comes before the sphere of the Sun when moving out from the Earth in the prevailing geocentric model.JOURNAL, Some Medieval Reports of Venus and Mercury Transits, Goldstein, Bernard R., Centaurus, 14, 1, 1969, 49–59, 10.1111/j.1600-0498.1969.tb00135.x, 1969Cent...14...49G, JOURNAL, Theory and Observation in Medieval Astronomy, Bernard R., Goldstein, Isis (journal), Isis, 63, 1, March 1972, 39–47 [44], 10.1086/350839, He also wrote the Summary of the Almagest, (based on Ptolemy's Almagest), with an appended treatise "to bring that which is stated in the Almagest and what is understood from Natural Science into conformity". For example, Avicenna considers the motion of the solar apogee, which Ptolemy had taken to be fixed.


Ibn SÄ«nā used steam distillation to produce essential oils such as rose essence, which he used as aromatherapeutic treatments for heart conditions.Marlene Ericksen (2000). Healing with Aromatherapy, p. 9. McGraw-Hill Professional. {{ISBN|0-658-00382-8}}.BOOK, The Traditional Healer's Handbook: A Classic Guide to the Medicine of Avicenna, Ghulam Moinuddin Chishti, 239, 1991, 978-0-89281-438-1, Unlike al-Razi, Ibn SÄ«nā explicitly disputed the theory of the transmutation of substances commonly believed by alchemists:Four works on alchemy attributed to Avicenna were translated into Latin as:Georges C. Anawati (1996), "Arabic alchemy", in Roshdi Rashed, ed., Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Vol. 3, pp. 853–885 [875]. Routledge, London and New York.

was the most influential, having influenced later medieval chemists and alchemists such as Vincent of Beauvais. However Anawati argues (following Ruska) that the de Anima is a fake by a Spanish author. Similarly the Declaratio is believed not to be actually by Avicenna. The third work (The Book of Minerals) is agreed to be Avicenna's writing, adapted from the Kitab al-Shifa (Book of the Remedy).
Ibn Sina classified minerals into stones, fusible substances, sulfurs, and salts, building on the ideas of Aristotle and Jabir.{{citation|title=The Historical Background of Chemistry|first=Henry Marshall|last=Leicester|publisher=Courier Dover Publications|year=1971|isbn=978-0-486-61053-5|page=70|url=|quote=There was one famous Arab physician who doubted even the reality of transmutation. This was 'Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina (980–1037), called Avicenna in the West, the greatest physician of Islam. ... Many of his observations on chemistry are included in the Kitab al-Shifa, the "Book of the Remedy". In the physical section of this work he discusses the formation of minerals, which he classifies into stones, fusible substances, sulfurs, and salts. Mercury is classified with the fusible substances, metals}} The epistola de Re recta is somewhat less sceptical of alchemy; Anawati argues that it is by Avicenna, but written earlier in his career when he had not yet firmly decided that transmutation was impossible.


Almost half of Ibn SÄ«nā's works are versified.E.G. Browne, Islamic Medicine (sometimes also printed under the title Arabian medicine), 2002, Goodword Pub., {{ISBN|81-87570-19-9}}, p61 His poems appear in both Arabic and Persian. As an example, Edward Granville Browne claims that the following Persian verses are incorrectly attributed to Omar Khayyám, and were originally written by Ibn SÄ«nā:E.G. Browne, Islamic Medicine (sometimes also printed under the title Arabian medicine), 2002, Goodword Pub., {{ISBN|81-87570-19-9}}, pp. 60–61){{Verse translation|italicsoff=y|rtl1=y||From the depth of the black earth up to Saturn's apogee,All the problems of the universe have been solved by me.I have escaped from the coils of snares and deceits;I have unraveled all knots except the knot of Death.Gabrieli, F. (1950). Avicenna's Millenary. East and West, 1(2), 87–92.{{rp|91}}}}


Middle Ages and Renaissance

File:Avicenna Mausoleum interior.jpg|thumb|upright|Inside view of the Avicenna Mausoleum, designed by Hooshang SeyhounHooshang SeyhounAs early as the 13th century when Dante Alighieri depicted him in Limbo alongside the virtuous non-Christian thinkers in his Divine Comedy such as Virgil, Averroes, Homer, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Socrates, Plato, and Saladin. Avicenna has been recognized by both East and West, as one of the great figures in intellectual history.George Sarton, the author of The History of Science, described Ibn Sīnā as "one of the greatest thinkers and medical scholars in history"George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science.(cf. Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq (1997). Quotations From Famous Historians of Science, Cyberistan.) and called him "the most famous scientist of Islam and one of the most famous of all races, places, and times." He was one of the Islamic world's leading writers in the field of medicine.Along with Rhazes, Abulcasis, Ibn al-Nafis, and al-Ibadi, Ibn Sīnā is considered an important compiler of early Muslim medicine. He is remembered in the Western history of medicine as a major historical figure who made important contributions to medicine and the European Renaissance. His medical texts were unusual in that where controversy existed between Galen and Aristotle's views on medical matters (such as anatomy), he preferred to side with Aristotle, where necessary updating Aristotle's position to take into account post-Aristotelian advances in anatomical knowledge.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Musallam, B., Avicenna Medicine and Biology, 2011, Encyclopædia Iranica, 2011-11-09,weblink Aristotle's dominant intellectual influence among medieval European scholars meant that Avicenna's linking of Galen's medical writings with Aristotle's philosophical writings in the Canon of Medicine (along with its comprehensive and logical organisation of knowledge) significantly increased Avicenna's importance in medieval Europe in comparison to other Islamic writers on medicine. His influence following translation of the Canon was such that from the early fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries he was ranked with Hippocrates and Galen as one of the acknowledged authorities, ("prince of physicians").ENCYCLOPEDIA, Weisser, U., Avicenna The influence of Avicenna on medical studies in the West, 2011, Encyclopædia Iranica, 2011-11-09,weblink

Modern reception

File:Monument Avicenna in Qakh.JPG|thumb|left|A monument to Avicenna in Qakh (city), AzerbaijanAzerbaijanIn present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, he is considered a national icon, and is often regarded as among the greatest Persians. A monument was erected outside the Bukhara museum{{year needed|date=February 2015}}. The Avicenna Mausoleum and Museum in Hamadan was built in 1952. Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamadan (Iran),the biotechnology Avicenna Research Institute in Tehran (Iran), the ibn SÄ«nā Tajik State Medical University in Dushanbe, Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences at Aligarh, India, Avicenna School in Karachi and Avicenna Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan,WEB,weblink Home Page, 1, 28 March 2014,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 November 2013, Ibne Sina Balkh Medical School in his native province of Balkh in Afghanistan, Ibni Sina Faculty Of Medicine of Ankara University Ankara, Turkey, the main classroom building (the Avicenna Building) of the Sharif University of Technology, and Ibn Sina Integrated School in Marawi City (Philippines) are all named in his honour. His portrait hangs in the Hall of the Avicenna Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris. There is a crater on the Moon named Avicenna and a mangrove genus.In 1980, the Soviet Union, which then ruled his birthplace Bukhara, celebrated the thousandth anniversary of Avicenna's birth by circulating various commemorative stamps with artistic illustrations, and by erecting a bust of Avicenna based on anthropological research by Soviet scholars.Thought Experiments: Popular Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Physics, Ethics, Computer Science & Mathematics by Fredrick Kennard, p. 114Near his birthplace in Qishlak Afshona, some {{convert|25|km|0|abbr=on}} north of Bukhara, a training college for medical staff has been named for him.{{year needed|date=February 2015}} On the grounds is a museum dedicated to his life, times and work.BOOK, Fredrick Kennard, Thought Experiments: Popular Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Physics, Ethics, Computer Science & Mathematics,weblink, 978-1-329-00342-2, 114–, File:TajikistanP17-20Somoni-1999(2000)-donatedsb f.jpg|thumb|left|Image of Avicenna on the Tajikistani somoniTajikistani somoniThe Avicenna Prize, established in 2003, is awarded every two years by UNESCO and rewards individuals and groups for their achievements in the field of ethics in science.WEB,weblink UNESCO: The Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science, The aim of the award is to promote ethical reflection on issues raised by advances in science and technology, and to raise global awareness of the importance of ethics in science.File:Persian Scholar pavilion in Viena UN (Avicenna).jpg|thumb|The statue of Avicenna in United Nations Office in Vienna as a part of the Persian Scholars PavilionPersian Scholars PavilionThe Avicenna Directories (2008–15; now the World Directory of Medical Schools) list universities and schools where doctors, public health practitioners, pharmacists and others, are educated. The original project team stated "Why Avicenna? Avicenna ... was ... noted for his synthesis of knowledge from both east and west. He has had a lasting influence on the development of medicine and health sciences. The use of Avicenna's name symbolises the worldwide partnership that is needed for the promotion of health services of high quality.""Educating health professionals: the Avicenna project" The Lancet, March 2008. Volume 371 pp. 966–967.In June 2009, Iran donated a "Persian Scholars Pavilion" to United Nations Office in Vienna which is placed in the central Memorial Plaza of the Vienna International Center.WEB,weblink Monument to Be Inaugurated at the Vienna International Centre, 'Scholars Pavilion' donated to International Organizations in Vienna by Iran, UNIS,, The "Persian Scholars Pavilion" at United Nations in Vienna, Austria is featuring the statues of four prominent Iranian figures. Highlighting the Iranian architectural features, the pavilion is adorned with Persian art forms and includes the statues of renowned Iranian scientists Avicenna, Al-Biruni, Zakariya Razi (Rhazes) and Omar Khayyam.WEB,weblink Permanent mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations office – Vienna,, WEB,weblink Negareh: Persian Scholars Pavilion at United Nations Vienna, Austria, Mir Masood Hosseini,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-03-19, The 1982 Soviet film Youth of Genius () by {{Interlanguage link multi|Elyor Ishmukhamedov|ru|3=Ишмухамедов, Эльёр Мухитдинович}} recounts Avicenna's younger years. The film is set in Bukhara at the turn of the millennium."Youth of Genius" (USSR, Uzbekfilm and Tajikfilm, 1982): 1984 â€“ State Prize of the USSR (Elyer Ishmuhamedov); 1983 â€“ VKF (All-Union Film Festival) Grand Prize (Elyer Ishmuhamedov); 1983 â€“ VKF (All-Union Film Festival) Award for Best Cinematography (Tatiana Loginov). See annotation on Louis L'Amour's 1985 historical novel The Walking Drum, Kerbouchard studies and discusses Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine.In his book The Physician (1988) Noah Gordon tells the story of a young English medical apprentice who disguises himself as a Jew to travel from England to Persia and learn from Avicenna, the great master of his time. The novel was adapted into a feature film, The Physician, in 2013. Avicenna was played by Ben Kingsley.

Arabic works

The treatises of Ibn Sīnā influenced later Muslim thinkers in many areas including theology, philology, mathematics, astronomy, physics, and music. His works numbered almost 450 volumes on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived. In particular, 150 volumes of his surviving works concentrate on philosophy and 40 of them concentrate on medicine.His most famous works are The Book of Healing, and The Canon of Medicine.Ibn Sīnā wrote at least one treatise on alchemy, but several others have been falsely attributed to him. His Logic, Metaphysics, Physics, and De Caelo, are treatises giving a synoptic view of Aristotelian doctrine, though Metaphysics demonstrates a significant departure from the brand of Neoplatonism known as Aristotelianism in Ibn Sīnā's world;Arabic philosophers{{who|date=February 2015}}{{year needed|date=February 2015}} have hinted at the idea that Ibn Sīnā was attempting to "re-Aristotelianise" Muslim philosophy in its entirety, unlike his predecessors, who accepted the conflation of Platonic, Aristotelian, Neo- and Middle-Platonic works transmitted into the Muslim world.The Logic and Metaphysics have been extensively reprinted, the latter, e.g., at Venice in 1493, 1495, and 1546. Some of his shorter essays on medicine, logic, etc., take a poetical form (the poem on logic was published by Schmoelders in 1836).Thought Experiments: Popular Thought Experiments in Philosophy, Physics, Ethics, Computer Science & Mathematics by Fredrick Kennard, p. 115 Two encyclopedic treatises, dealing with philosophy, are often mentioned. The larger, Al-Shifa' (Sanatio), exists nearly complete in manuscript in the Bodleian Library and elsewhere; part of it on the De Anima appeared at Pavia (1490) as the Liber Sextus Naturalium, and the long account of Ibn Sina's philosophy given by Muhammad al-Shahrastani seems to be mainly an analysis, and in many places a reproduction, of the Al-Shifa'. A shorter form of the work is known as the An-najat (Liberatio). The Latin editions of part of these works have been modified by the corrections which the monastic editors confess that they applied. There is also a (hikmat-al-mashriqqiyya, in Latin Philosophia Orientalis), mentioned by Roger Bacon, the majority of which is lost in antiquity, which according to Averroes was pantheistic in tone.

List of works

Avicenna's works include:WEB,weblink Ibn Sina Abu 'Ali Al-Husayn,, 2010-01-19,weblink" title="">weblink 2 January 2010, live, Tasaneef lbn Sina by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Tabeeb Haziq, Gujarat, Pakistan, 1986, pp. 176–198
  • Sirat al-shaykh al-ra'is (The Life of Ibn Sina), ed. and trans. WE. Gohlman, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1974. (The only critical edition of Ibn Sina's autobiography, supplemented with material from a biography by his student Abu 'Ubayd al-Juzjani. A more recent translation of the Autobiography appears in D. Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works, Leiden: Brill, 1988; second edition 2014.)
  • Al-isharat wa al-tanbihat (Remarks and Admonitions), ed. S. Dunya, Cairo, 1960; parts translated by S.C. Inati, Remarks and Admonitions, Part One: Logic, Toronto, Ont.: Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies, 1984, and Ibn Sina and Mysticism, Remarks and Admonitions: Part 4, London: Kegan Paul International, 1996.
  • Al-Qanun fi'l-tibb (The Canon of Medicine), ed. I. a-Qashsh, Cairo, 1987. (Encyclopedia of medicine.) manuscript,WEB,weblink The Canon of Medicine, 1 January 1597,, WEB, The Canon of Medicine, World Digital Library, 2014-03-01, 1597,weblink
, Latin translation, Flores Avicenne,WEB,weblink Flowers of Avicenna, 1 January 1508,, Michael de Capella, 1508,WEB, Flowers of Avicenna â€“ Flores Avicenne, World Digital Library, 2014-03-01,weblink Modern text.WEB,weblink "The Book of Simple Medicine and Plants" from "The Canon of Medicine", 1 January 1900,, Ahmed Shawkat Al-Shatti, Jibran Jabbur.WEB, Avicenna, The Canon of Medicine, World Digital Library, 2014-03-01,weblink
  • Risalah fi sirr al-qadar (Essay on the Secret of Destiny), trans. G. Hourani in Reason and Tradition in Islamic Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
  • Danishnama-i 'ala'i (The Book of Scientific Knowledge), ed. and trans. P. Morewedge, The Metaphysics of Avicenna, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.
  • Kitab al-Shifa' (The Book of Healing). (Ibn Sina's major work on philosophy. He probably began to compose al-Shifa' in 1014, and completed it in 1020.) Critical editions of the Arabic text have been published in Cairo, 1952–83, originally under the supervision of I. Madkour.
  • Kitab al-Najat (The Book of Salvation), trans. F. Rahman, Avicenna's Psychology: An English Translation of Kitab al-Najat, Book II, Chapter VI with Historical-philosophical Notes and Textual Improvements on the Cairo Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1952. (The psychology of al-Shifa'.) (Digital version of the Arabic text)
  • Hayy ibn Yaqdhan a Persian myth. A novel called Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, based on Avicenna's story, was later written by Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) in the 12th century and translated into Latin and English as Philosophus Autodidactus in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively. In the 13th century, Ibn al-Nafis wrote his own novel Fadil ibn Natiq, known as Theologus Autodidactus in the West, as a critical response to Hayy ibn Yaqdhan.Nahyan A. G. Fancy (2006), "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-NafÄ«s (d. 1288)", pp. 95–102, Electronic Theses and Dissertations, University of Notre Dame.weblink

Persian works

Avicenna's most important Persian work is the Danishnama-i 'Alai (, "the Book of Knowledge for [Prince] 'Ala ad-Daulah"). Avicenna created new scientific vocabulary that had not previously existed in Persian. The Danishnama covers such topics as logic, metaphysics, music theory and other sciences of his time. It has been translated into English by Parwiz Morewedge in 1977.Avicenna, Danish Nama-i 'Alai. trans. Parviz Morewedge as The Metaphysics of Avicenna (New York: Columbia University Press), 1977. The book is also important in respect to Persian scientific works.Andar Danesh-e Rag (, "On the Science of the Pulse") contains nine chapters on the science of the pulse and is a condensed synopsis.Persian poetry from Ibn Sina is recorded in various manuscripts and later anthologies such as Nozhat al-Majales.

See also



Further reading

Encyclopedic articles

  • BOOK, Syed Iqbal, Zaheer, An Educational Encyclopedia of Islam, Iqra Publishers, Bangalore, 978-603-90004-4-0, 1280, 2nd, 2010,

, Flannery
, Michael
, Encyclopædia Britannica
, Avicenna
, harv

, Goichon
, A.-M.
, A.-M. Goichon
, Encyclopedia of Islam
, Brill Publishers
, Ibn Sina, Abu 'Ali al-Husayn b. 'Abd Allah b. Sina, known in the West as Avicenna
, 1999
, harv

, Mahdi
, M.
, M. Mahdi
, D
, Gutas
, Sh.B.
, Abed
, M.E.
, Marmura
, F.
, Rahman
, G.
, Saliba
, O.
, Wright
, B.
, Musallam
, M.
, Achena
, S.
, Van Riet,
, U.
, Weisser
, Encyclopædia Iranica
, Avicenna
, 1987
, harv

Primary literature

  • For an old list of other extant works, C. Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), vol. i. pp. 452–458. (XV. W.; G. W. T.)
  • For a current list of his works see A. Bertolacci (2006) and D. Gutas (2014) in the section "Philosophy".
  • BOOK, 1, Brigham Young University, 978-0-934893-77-0, Avicenna, Michael E. Marmura (trans.), The Metaphysics of The Healing, A parallel English-Arabic text translation, 2005,
  • BOOK, Great Books of the Islamic World, 978-1-871031-67-6, Avicenna, Laleh Bakhtiar (ed.), Oskar Cameron Gruner (trans.), Mazhar H. Shah (trans.), The Canon of Medicine (al-QānÅ«n fÄ«'l-á¹­ibb), vol. 1, 1999, harv,
  • Avicenne: Réfutation de l'astrologie. Edition et traduction du texte arabe, introduction, notes et lexique par Yahya Michot. Préface d'Elizabeth Teissier (Beirut-Paris: Albouraq, 2006) {{ISBN|2-84161-304-6}}.
  • William E. Gohlam (ed.), The Life of Ibn Sina. A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation, Albany, State of New York University Press, 1974.
  • For Ibn Sina's life, see Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary, translated by de Slane (1842); F. Wüstenfeld's Geschichte der arabischen Aerzte und Naturforscher (Göttingen, 1840).
  • Madelung, Wilferd and Toby Mayer (ed. and tr.), Struggling with the Philosopher: A Refutation of Avicenna's Metaphysics. A New Arabic Edition and English Translation of Shahrastani's Kitab al-Musara'a.

Secondary literature

  • BOOK

, Soheil M.
, Afnan
, Soheil Afnan
, Avicenna: His Life and Works
, 1958
, G. Allen & Unwin
, London
, 31478971
, harv

This is, on the whole, an informed and good account of the life and accomplishments of one of the greatest influences on the development of thought both Eastern and Western. ... It is not as philosophically thorough as the works of D. Saliba, A.M. Goichon, or L. Gardet, but it is probably the best essay in English on this important thinker of the Middle Ages. (Julius R. Weinberg, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 69, No. 2, Apr. 1960, pp. 255–259)
  • BOOK

, Avicenna
, Lenn E.
, Goodman
, Lenn Evan Goodman
, 2006
, Cornell University Press
, Updated
, 978-0-415-01929-3
, harv

This is a distinguished work which stands out from, and above, many of the books and articles which have been written in this century on Avicenna (Ibn SÄ«nā) (980–1037). It has two main features on which its distinction as a major contribution to Avicennan studies may be said to rest: the first is its clarity and readability; the second is the comparative approach adopted by the author. ... (Ian Richard Netton, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 4, No. 2, July 1994, pp. 263–264)
  • JOURNAL, 5–6, 323–336, Gutas, Dimitri, Avicenna's maḏhab, with an Appendix on the question of his date of birth, Quaderni Di Studi Arabi, 1987,
  • Y.T. Langermann (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy. A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy, Brepols Publishers, 2010, {{ISBN|978-2-503-52753-6}}
  • For a new understanding of his early career, based on a newly discovered text, see also: Michot, Yahya, Ibn Sînâ: Lettre au vizir Abû Sa'd. Editio princeps d'après le manuscrit de Bursa, traduction de l'arabe, introduction, notes et lexique (Beirut-Paris: Albouraq, 2000) {{ISBN|2-84161-150-7}}.
  • BOOK, Avicenna, German, Gotthard, Strohmaier, Gotthard Strohmaier, C.H. Beck, 2006, 978-3-406-54134-6,

This German publication is both one of the most comprehensive general introductions to the life and works of the philosopher and physician Avicenna (Ibn SÄ«nā, d. 1037) and an extensive and careful survey of his contribution to the history of science. Its author is a renowned expert in Greek and Arabic medicine who has paid considerable attention to Avicenna in his recent studies. ... (Amos Bertolacci, Isis, Vol. 96, No. 4, December 2005, p. 649)
  • BOOK, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Resalah Judiya of Ibn Sina (First edition 1971), Literary Research Unit, CCRIH, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh; (Second edition 1981) Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Govt. of India, New Delhi; (Fourth edition 1999), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Govt. of India, New Delhi,
  • BOOK, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, AI-Advia al-Qalbia of Ibn Sina, 1996, Publication Division, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh,
  • BOOK, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Ilmul Amraz of Ibn Sina (First edition 1969), Tibbi Academy, Delhi (Second edition 1990), (Third edition 1994), Tibbi Academy, Aligarh,
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Qanoon lbn Sina Aur Uskey Shareheen wa Mutarjemeen, 1986, Publication Division, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh,
  • {{Citation|publisher = PablÄ«keshan DÄ«vÄ«zan, Muslim YÅ«nÄ«varsiá¹­Ä«|publication-place = Ê»AlÄ«gaá¹›h|author = Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman|url =weblink|title = QānÅ«n-i ibn-i SÄ«nā aur us ke shārḥīn va mutarajimÄ«n|publication-date = 1986}}
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA, Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Qanun Ibn Sina and its Translation and Commentators (Persian Translation; 203pp), 2004, Society for the Appreciation of Cultural Works and Dignitaries, Tehran, Iran,
  • Shaikh al Rais Ibn Sina (Special number) 1958–59, Ed. Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Tibbia College Magazine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India.


  • Browne, Edward G.. Islamic Medicine. Fitzpatrick Lectures Delivered at the Royal College of Physicians in 1919–1920, reprint: New Delhi: Goodword Books, 2001. {{ISBN|81-87570-19-9}}
  • Pormann, Peter & Savage-Smith, Emilie. Medieval Islamic Medicine, Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2007.
  • Prioreschi, Plinio. Byzantine and Islamic Medicine, A History of Medicine, Vol. 4, Omaha: Horatius Press, 2001.


  • Amos Bertolacci, The Reception of Aristotle's Metaphysics in Avicenna's Kitab al-Sifa'. A Milestone of Western Metaphysical Thought, Leiden: Brill 2006, (Appendix C contains an Overview of the Main Works by Avicenna on Metaphysics in Chronological Order).
  • Dimitri Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works, Leiden, Brill 2014, second revised and expanded edition (first edition: 1988), including an inventory of Avicenna' Authentic Works.
  • Andreas Lammer: The Elements of Avicenna’s Physics. Greek Sources and Arabic Innovations. Scientia graeco-arabica 20. Berlin / Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2018.
  • Jon McGinnis and David C. Reisman (eds.) Interpreting Avicenna: Science and Philosophy in Medieval Islam: Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Avicenna Study Group, Leiden: Brill, 2004.
  • Michot, Jean R., La destinée de l'homme selon Avicenne, Louvain: Aedibus Peeters, 1986, {{ISBN|978-90-6831-071-9}}.
  • Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger, Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publications SUNY, 2000 (reprinted by SUNY Press in 2014 with a new Preface).
  • Nader El-Bizri, "Avicenna and Essentialism," Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 54 (June 2001), pp. 753–778.
  • Nader El-Bizri, "Avicenna's De Anima between Aristotle and Husserl," in The Passions of the Soul in the Metamorphosis of Becoming, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003, pp. 67–89.
  • Nader El-Bizri, "Being and Necessity: A Phenomenological Investigation of Avicenna's Metaphysics and Cosmology," in Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology on the Perennial Issue of Microcosm and Macrocosm, ed. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2006, pp. 243–261.
  • Nader El-Bizri, 'Ibn SÄ«nā's Ontology and the Question of Being', Ishrāq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook 2 (2011), 222–237
  • Nader El-Bizri, 'Philosophising at the Margins of 'Sh'i Studies': Reflections on Ibn SÄ«nā's Ontology', in The Study of Sh'i Islam. History, Theology and Law, eds. F. Daftary and G. Miskinzoda (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014), pp. 585–597.
  • Reisman, David C. (ed.), Before and After Avicenna: Proceedings of the First Conference of the Avicenna Study Group, Leiden: Brill, 2003.

External links

{{Sister project links|n=no|b=no|v=no}}
  • {{Gutenberg author|id=49814}}
  • SEP, ibn-sina/, Ibn Sina [Avicenna], Dimitri, Gutas,
  • SEP, ibn-sina-metaphysics/, Ibn Sina's Metaphysics, Olga, Lizzini,
  • SEP, ibn-sina-logic/, Ibn Sina's Logic, Riccardo, Strobino,
  • SEP, ibn-sina-natural/, Ibn Sina's Natural Philosophy, Jon, McGinnis,
  • IEP, avicenna, Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Sajjad H., Rizvi,
  • IEP, av-logic, Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Logic, Saloua, Chatti,
  • Avicenna (Ibn-Sina) on the Subject and the Object of Metaphysics with a list of translations of the logical and philosophical works and an annotated bibliography
  • {{In Our Time|Avicenna|b00855lt|Avicenna}}
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