There are no words that can describe the value and the importance of Ar-razi among not only the Arab scientists, but scientists in general. He was a peculiar encyclopedic scientist. He was one of the earliest Arab physicians. He was also one of the founders of modern chemistry. He studied different branches of knowledge such as medicine, philosophy, chemistry and so on. For several centuries, he was the main reference for scientists especially in medicine.
**His Birth and Early Life**
Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zakariyyah Ar-Raazi was born around 250 A.H. (864 A.C). in Rey, in Iran. He studied chemistry, logic, philosophy and other branches of knowledge. In his early years, he was known for his intelligence, genius, and excellence. When he was thirty years old, he went to the center of culture and sciences, Baghdad, in order to study chemistry and philosophy, but he paid special attention to medicine. He was the student of the famous physician Ali Ibn Sahl At-Tabari. the `Abbasid caliph `Adhud Ad-Dawlah Ibn Buwayh, senior minister in `Abbasid caliph, summoned Ar-Raazi to Baghdad and appointed him as the head of the `Adhudian Hospital. After that Ar-Razi become a famous physician not only his time, but also overtime.
**His Unique Achievements and Inventions**
Abu Bakr Ar-Raazi was one of the first pioneers who has great contributions until the present day in different fields such as medicine, chemistry, pharmacology, and physics.
**His Achievements in Medicine and Pharmacology:**
1- Abu Bakr Ar-Raazi was the first scientist who differentiated between smallpox and measles and he provided us with a precise description of both diseases and outlined the symptoms of each.
2- He was the first scientist who innovated “sutures”.
3- He was the first scientist who produced “mercurial ointment”.
4- He is considered one of the pioneers of experimental research in medicine; he made medical experiments first on animals and then took notes of their effect. He was the first scientist who made the “mercury” experiment and its salts on monkeys in order to study their effect on their bodies.
5- He was the first scientist who used “sterilized strings” in wounds.
6- He was the first scientist who paid attention to the “hereditary infection” as he classified some illnesses to “hereditary factors”.
**His Opinion and wisdom**
One of his opinions is that medicine should be used at first as a means of protection instead of using it as a means of treatment and cure after that. One of his famous sayings is that “if you could treat patient using (healthy) food, instead of using drugs. But if you were compelled to do that, use drugs instead of compound drugs”.
Ar-raazi is also considered the first scientist who paid attention to the impact of “psychological effects” in treatment. As an evidence on his wisdom, Ar-raazi always advised his students to give their patients a good impression about their health and they are in a good health and will recover soon as the performance of the body is greatly affected by the psychological mood. if the psychological mood of the patient is good, the performance of the body will respond quickly in contrast to when the psychological mood is bad.
Ar-raazi followed several means in “clinical medicine” which involved monitoring the patient in bed and recording and symptoms or any disorders in order to provide proper diagnosis through checking the symptoms on skin and eyes, and testing breath, temperature, pulse and urine.
As an evidence of his intelligence, he developed an “innovative method” in order to choose the best location to build the hospital. He used this method by placing some pieces of meat in different places in the city while watching which one of them will take more time to become rotten. Of course, the best locations to build hospitals are the ones which have good and healthy environment and that which would be the least effective in making the meat rotten.
**His Achievements in Chemistry:**
1- Scientists consider Abu Bakr Ar-Raazi as the father of modern chemistry. His great attributions in this science became very clear when he classified the known materials into four categories: metal, plant, animals, and derivative materials. He also divided metals into six categories according to their characteristics and attributes.
2- Abu Bakr Ar-Raazi was the first scientist who referred to “Sulfuric acid” and he called it as “Vitriol oil” or “Green vitriol”. He also prepared some other acids in his laboratory and the methods which he followed in preparing them are still used till now.
3- He was the first scientist who extracted “Alcohol” from distilling fermented starchy and saccharine material.
4- He was one of the first scientists who applied chemical knowledge/ the effect of chemistry in medicine and to recognize the effect of drugs on activating chemical reactions in the patient's body.
5- He was the first scientist who differentiated between “Soda” and “Potassium”. He also prepared some poisonous liquids from “Vinegar”.
**His Achievements in Physics:**
Ar-Raazi was interested in determining the “Qualitative intensity” of liquids, and developed a special scale for measuring it, which he named: "The Physical Scale". In addition, he was one of the first scientists who criticized “Euclid's theory of vision” which claimed that vision occurs due to a ray that is emitted from the eye to the visible mass. Ar-Raazi’s opinion was that vision occurs because a light beam is emitted from the visible mass to the eye.
Ar-Raazi wrote a large number of books in all knowledge fields. Some researchers listed about 148 books and treatises authored by him. Some of his books, especially those concerning medicine, were largely widespread and many of them were translated into several languages. European universities relied on many of his writings in teaching, and some of his books were even the top references in medicine until the seventeenth century.
1- Al-Haawi (The Comprehensive):
It is the greatest and most voluminous book written by Ar-Raazi. He spent 15 years writing it. In this great book, Ar-Raazi's skills in medicine are very clear, his accurate observations in addition to deep knowledge.
2- Other books include **"Smallpox and Measles"**, **"Al-Mansoori in Medicine**", **"The Excellent in Medicine**", **"He Who is not Attended by a Physician",** **"Stones in Kidneys and the Bladder"**, **"Benefits of Foods"**, **"The Secret of Secrets"**, **"The Pre-requisites of Vision"**, **"Why Magnets Attract" **and others.
The scientist and physician, Abu Bakr Ar-Raazi, died in 313 A.H. (925 A.C) when he was in his early sixties.
By: Maiada Mossad