1. Ben Musa ( 9th century )
Credit : Illustration by sufistik.com
Ben Musa is actually a name for three people. They are Muḥammad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir, Aḥmad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir and Al-Ḥasan ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir. These three people are brothers, their father named Mūsā ibn Shākir who was astronomer and astrologer in Khorasan. Their father worked for a governor named Al-Ma’Mun. Al-Ma’Mun took care of the three brothers and saw their abilities in science. The three brothers become scholars and wrote 20 books. Their valuable invention is Book of ingenious Devices where they employ innovative engineering technology. Their notable ideas is application of arithmetic to geometry.
2. Avenzoar (1094-1162)
Credit : Illustration by Veloso Salgado
He was known by his Latin name Avenzoar but his full name was Abū-Marwān ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Abī al-ʻAlāʼ Ibn Zuhr or in short Ibn Zuhr. He studied medicine and become a surgeon. He was the one who introduced animal testing as an experimental method before applying it to the human patient. One of his method is tracheotomy on a goat, a procedure to open a direct airway through a incision in the trachea. He also made an accurate description of esophageal and stomach cancers. What so amazing about him is he had a daughter and granddaughter who become a physician focusing on obstetrich, a field of study concentrated in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period.
3. Geber ( 721 CE – 821 CE )
Credit :15th-century European portrait of “Geber”, Codici Ashburnhamiani 1166, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence
Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān or in Latin called Geber was a polymath : chemist and alchemist, astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and pharmacist. He has been entitled as the father of early chemistry. His experiments has become today’s foundation in chemistry such as the use of over twenty types of now-basic chemical laboratory equipment and description of chemical processed such as crystallisation, citric acid, acetic acid, tartaric acid, arsenic, Mercury, etc.
4. Avicenna ( c. 980 – June 1037 )
Credit : Photo by Adam Jones
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Sīnā or known as Ibn Sīnā in Latin his name become Avicenna. He was a physicians, astronomers, and thinkers. He synthesized east and west knowledge and made a lasting influence on the development of medicine and health sciences. His notable works are The book of Healing and The Canon Medicine.
5. Averroes ( 1126 – 1198)
Credit : painting by Andrea di Bonaiuto
His name was ʾAbū l-Walīd Muḥammad Ibn ʾAḥmad Ibn Rushd or Ibn Rushd latinized as Averroes. He was a polymath. Averroes is most famous for his commentaries of Aristotle’s works. He also wrote several number of Medical treatises. The most famous was General Principles of Medicines (al Kulliyat fi al-Tibb) where in the west latinized as Colliget. The Latin translation became a medical texbook in Europe for centuries.