Abdul Kareem Shehada
His full name is Ala-Uddin Abul Hassan Ali Ben Abil Hazm al-Qurashi al-Dimashqui, better known as Ibn al-Nafees. He was born in Damascus in 607 Hijri (1210 A.D.). He studied medicine at al-Nouri al-Kabeer Hospital in Damascus where he was tutored by the two well-known professors Muhathabul-Din al- Dakhwar and Omran al-Israili. Later, he moved to Cairo where he took up medicine as a career, practising and teaching it. In the latest years of his life, he became the chief of physicians. He died in Cairo at the age of 80 in 687 Hijri (1288 A.D.).
Ibn al-Nafees was not only a physician but he was a philosopher, a linguist and a jurisprudent as well. He was an encyclopaedic type of scientist, so prolific that he was credited for a voluminous variety of books in various disciplines, especially in medicine. In his medical writings and researches he followed a special method based on accurate observation. He never adopted anything said by his predecessors until he went through a painstaking process of ascertaining it. With all due respect to such staunch physicians as Galinus and Ibn Sina he never hesitated, when necessary, to oppose and criticise them.
He is, therefore, truly considered one of the pioneers of medical sciences and a revolutionist who ref:used to blindly follow the same line of thinking of others or imitate them. This is what led him to autamatic medical discoveries at the top of which is the discovery of the pulmonary blood circulation. With this discovery he scooped such renowned Renaissance scholars in Europe, especially in Italy, as Servitus, Fesalius. Columbo and Sesalinu by three centuries. We intend to prove this by quotations from Ibn al-Nafees's manuscripts available in libraries allover the world. We shall also prove that these writings had been translated into Latin since 1547 A.D. and were later disseminated in the Italian universities which were the centre of scientific activites during the Renaissance.
We shall also see that the English physician, Harvey, who was the first to discover the blood circulation in 1628 had been influenced by Ibn al-Nafees's ideas when he studied medicine at the University of Padova in Italy.
For all this, we can proudly acclaim the Arab and Muslim physician, Ibn al-Nafees, to be the first and real discoverer of the pulmonary blood circulation.
As the English translation of the full text could not be made available, we are publishing here the abstract only.