Ali Tabari

Ali Tabari books and biography


Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari

Abu al-hasan Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari (c.838 – c.870 CE) was a Persian scholar physician (a hakim), who produced the first encyclopedia of medicine. His famous pupil, Zakariya al-Razi ("Razi"), has eclipsed his stature.

Ali came from a well-known Jewish family of Merv in Tabaristan (hence al-Tabari – "from Tabaristan") but became an Islamic convert under the Abbassid caliph Al-Mu'tasim (833-842), who took him into the service of the court, in which he continued under Al-Mutawakkil (847-861). His father Sahl ibn Bishr was a famous Astrologer.

Ali ibn Sahl was fluent in Syriac and Greek, the two sources for the medical tradition of antiquity, which was lost to medieval Europe, and versed in fine calligraphy.


His works

  1. His Firdous al-Hikmah (Paradise of Wisdom), which he wrote in Arabic called also "Al-Kunnash" a system of medicine in seven parts; but also translated into Syriac to give it wider usefulness, was in seven sections. The information in Firdous al-Hikmah has never entered common circulation in the West because it was not edited until the 20th century, when Mohammed Zubair Siddiqui assembled an edition using the five surviving partial manuscripts. There is still no English translation.
  2. "Tuhfat al-Muluk" (The King's Present)
  3. a work on the proper use of food, drink, and medicines.
  4. "Hafzh al-Sihhah" (The Proper Care of Health), following Greek and Indian authorities.
  5. "Kitab al-Ruqa" (Book of Magic or Amulets)
  6. "Kitab fi al-hijamah" (Treatise on Cupping)
  7. "Kitab fi Tartib al-'Ardhiyah" (Treatise on the Preparation of Food).


  • H. Suter: Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber (l0, 1900)
  • M. Steinschneider: Die arabische Literatur der Juden (23-34, Frankfurt, 1902).
  • Edward G. Browne, Islamic Medicine, 2002, p.37-38, ISBN 81-87570-19-9

See also

  • Muslim scholar
  • List of Iranian scientists

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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