Ibn Sina: Google Doodle honors Muslim Philosopher/Physician

Ibn Sina

In honor of Ibn Sina’s 1038th birthday, Google has dedicated today’s doodle to celebrate the life and legacy of Ibn Sina. The illustration is by Cynthia Yuan Cheng and only users in Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman and the UAE can see the doodle.

Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna in the west, was a polymath, physician, and scientist-philosopher whose work dominated intellectual circles in the Islamic world for centuries. Born in c. 980 in what is now modern-day Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina is one of the most influential philosophers of the pre-modern world.

The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit. – Ibn Sina

Ibn Sina worked during the Islamic Golden Age that was marked by an advanced knowledge which surpassed that in the West. The territorial expansion of the Arab Caliphate during that time gave the Muslim scholars access to vast knowledge including that of ancient Greco-Roman, Byzantine, Indian, Egyptian and Persian civilizations which became accessible to the Western scholars only in the later Middle Ages and Early Modern Period.

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Ibn Sina story is inspirational from his childhood.

Growing up in the village of Afšana, near present-day Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina learned Indian arithmetic from an Indian grocer. By the age of 10, he had memorized the Quran. As a teenager, he took up an intense study of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. From the age of 16, he started studying medicine and reportedly found it “easy”. By the age of 18, he was treating patients already.

The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes.

Ibn Sina is thought to have written over 400 books, 240 of which survive today. His monumental five-volume medical encyclopedia, The Canon of Medicine (Al-Qanun fi’t-Tibb) was his most important contribution to medical science. This volume was translated into Latin in the 12th century and became the predominant text used in European medical courses until the 17th century. The ‘Canon’ was the first work to identify contagious diseases such as tuberculosis, to hypothesize that soil and water spread sickness, and to set forth the basics of anatomy, pediatrics, and gynecology. It is now credited as forming the basis of Western medicine.

Ibn Sina’s contributions to the world of medicine, philosophy, and science are essential in today’s modern world.

He led a life devoted to learning and to contribute towards a better future for humankind.

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