Sunday, August 08, 2010

The unrivaled legacy of Avicenna

Kourosh Ziabari - Historically, Iran has been a land of prominent, influential figures in science, letters, arts and literature whose impact on the global civilization will remain in place forever.

Throughout its ancient history, Iran has introduced numerous people to the world who have been among the most impressive, notable and valuable figures in their own field of expertise.

Although the European nations usually boast of being the foremost pioneers and harbingers in various fields of science and arts, they know well that they owe to the Persians the achievement of many peaks and breakthroughs which they introduce as being theirs. Persians have been traditionally skilful and dexterous in different branches of astronomy, mathematics, physics, medicine, psychiatry, architecture, philosophy, theology and literature and the unparalleled names of Ferdowsi, Rumi, Rhazes, Rudaki, Biruni, Al-Farabi, Al-Khawrizmi and Avicenna attest to the fact that Iran has been perpetually a land of science, knowledge and conscience in which cleverness grows and talent develops.

Although we are customarily grappling with our daily concerns and rarely find the opportunity to study about the figures who have shaped our civilization and our knowledge of the external world, it's vitally necessary to have a basic acquaintance with these great men and know the reasons why they did become eternal and everlasting in the annals of history.

Avicenna is one out of hundreds of Iranian intellectuals whose contributions to science and literature has made him an unforgettable name in the memory of the world and there are millions of people around the globe who admire and respect him for what he achieved and what he was.

Avicenna was an 11 th century Persian polymath, physician, philosopher and scientist, born in the ancient Iranian province of Bukhara in 980. He has written more than 450 books on various subjects, particularly in physics, medicine and philosophy.

He always considered himself a student whose knowledge is incomplete and imperfect. In a famous distich, he described himself this way:

My knowledge reached to the point that / I can know that I know nothing

Avicenna's exceptional talents emerged since his early childhood and by the age of ten he was proficient in memorizing and reciting the Holy Quran. In his adolescence years, he studied Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy and natural sciences. He started studying medicine when he was 17 and described the field as "not difficult" to study. By the age of 18, he had become a prominent physician and the Samanid ruler Nuh ibn Mansur, in gratitude to his services, invited him to attend the royal library where the young Avicenna could access to a number of rare and unique books. Avicenna set out to write his first book by the age of 21.


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