Ibn Sina on Quarantine, Medicine and Pandemics

By Halal Trip | 06, May, 2020

Covid-19 represents one of the greatest challenges mankind has faced in the 21st century. Over 10 centuries ago, Ibn Sina, the father of modern medicine and polymath, unlocked the nature of epidemics. He discussed this in his seminal book "The Canon of Medicine".

Once, Ibn Sina, who was born in Bukhara, visited another polymath named Al-Biruni at his Urganch academy in Khwarezm. This movie/documentary, released in 1956 by the Tashkent Production Studio in Uzbek, includes a conversation between them on Ibn Sina's views on how to overcome epidemics, how to quarantine, and how to keep the population safe at the time. In this movie clip, we could see how certain measures in place to overcome Covid-19 today, were already emphasized by Ibn Sina over 10 centuries ago.

Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna, is regarded as the father of early modern medicine. He was also one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers, inventors, and writers of the time. Al-Biruni was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences. He also distinguished himself as a historian, chronological, and linguist. Al-Biruni spent the first twenty-five years of his life in Khwarezm, in the current day Uzbekistan, and made most of his findings in the Urganch Academy. 

Both these scientists were the product of the Golden Age of Science in the Muslim lands of that time. The period where exchange and preservation of knowledge flourished. With Muslims discovering paper making technology from China, they revolutionized the transfer of know-how, by writing voluminous books.  Ibn Sina's book "The Canon of Medicine" (القانون في الطب‎) was a multi-volume encyclopedia of medicine used as one of the primary books in the universities up until the 17th century. He wrote the book in Arabic, which was the lingua-franca of the time.

This video was produced by HalalTrip in partnership with Uzbekistan Tourism. The movie footage was used with the permission of Uzbekistan Tourism.

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