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Al-Suyuti is a healer

 

It is known to researchers that Al-Suyuti is an encyclopedic historian who wrote many books in various fields, he criticized many people in his time, and issued several important fatwas(advisory opinions), which led to an increase in his opponents.

Al-Suyuti is an academic scientist

The most important thing that distinguishes Al-Suyuti is that he mentioned the names of the religious, linguistic, and human sciences, which he was blessed to master, and one of his merits is that he mentioned the names of all the professors and scholars from whom he took some basic and applied sciences.

In the sciences related to arithmetic, he read the miqat to Sheikh Majd al-Din Ismail bin al-Sibbaa, and he read medicine to Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Dawani, who was a healer who had come to Cairo from the Roman lands.

Perhaps this is what is strange about the matter, although Al-Suyuti is a historian and jurist, he read books on medicine, and wrote about it and public health for the benefit of humanity, but he did not practice the profession at all, and we did not find a single source proving that he practiced medicine in any way. 

Therefore, we will deal with the features of this personality, how he was able to study medicine and talk about it, and his most important medical books and their usefulnes.

His upbringing and life

Imam Al-Suyuti was born in Egypt at the beginning of the month of Rajab in the year 849 of the Hijri year, which corresponds to October 3, 1445 AD, his name is: Abdul Rahman bin Al-Kamal Abi Bakr bin Muhammad bin Sabiq Al-Din bin Al-Fakhr Othman Al-Assiut, named after a country called Assiut in Upper Egypt.

His father called him Jalal al-Din and Ibn al-Kutub (the son of the books in Arabic language), because he was born among the books, and his sheikh, Izz al-Din Ahmad al-Hanbali, nicknamed him Abu al-Fadl. Abu Imam al-Suyuti was one of the scholars.

 He worked in his hometown of Assiut and ruled as its representative, he heard Sahih Muslim (True Muslem It is attributed to its author, Imam Muslim) from al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in Cairo, and he took the sciences of jurisprudence and theology from Imam Shams al-Din al-Qayati.

Encyclopedic historian

Al-Suyuti spent twenty-two years composing and writing several works in various specializations in the sciences of the Qur’an, Hadith, jurisprudence, interpretation, history, biographies, and biographies, and other interesting works.

Therefore, Brockelmann counted 415 books for him, and Haji Khalifa calculated about 576 books for him in his book “Kashf al-Zunun”, and some, such as Ibn Iyas, reached 600 books, and therefore he was called the encyclopedic historian.

But what is surprising about Al-Suyuti’s writings is his medical writings, it is not known that he practiced medicine, but his passion for reading, writing, and summarizing encouraged him to write some medical and quasi-medical works.

A famous book was also attributed to him that combined traditional medicine with prophetic medicine, in addition to the medicine of fortune-tellers and charlatans, below we mention the names of some of the most important of these works and the extent of their medical benefit.

1 - The Book of the Right Method and Al-Manhil Al-Rawi (nourish the narrator) in Medicine of the Prophet: Byron translated this book into French in 1860 AD, and Elgood translated it into English in 1962, and its first editions in Arabic were in Cairo in 1870 AD.

2 - The Book of the Purpose of Charity in Creation of Man: The book was published as an editor by Dar Al-Fadila in Cairo in 1991, edited by Marzouq Ali Ibrahim.

3 - The Book of Mercy in Medicine and Wisdom, attributed to Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti:

 This book went through several editions in Egypt, the first in the Eastern Printing Press in the year 1311 AH, the second in the Yemeni Printing Press in the year 1322 AH, the third in the Great Arab Book House in the year 1329 AH, and the fourth in the Issa al-Babi al-Halabi Press. year 1357 AH. In Syria, the Muhammad al-Halabi Library photographed the last edition and published it without a date, and the Subih Press in Cairo also did the same work. Researchers in the Arab medical heritage agree that this book was written by Muhammad Mahdi bin Ali al-Sunbari, the Yemeni reciter, who died in 815 AH / 1412 AD. It was wrongly attributed to Al-Suyuti, as Haji Khalifa confirmed in “Kashf Al-Dunun.

4 - The message “What the Conscious Narrated in the News of the Plague”

His manuscript is preserved in the Al-Assad Library, No. 17365, where the following is stated in its introduction: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and in Him we seek help, Praise be to God, the Appreciator of livelihoods and deadlines, and may blessings and peace be upon our Master Muhammad and his companions and family. This is a part in which I selected what was reported in the news of the plague, and I summarized it from the book “Dhal al-Ma’un,” by Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Hajar, so I brought what was meant and deleted the chains of transmission, and what occurred was by way of digression.

5 - The Book of Immāl al-Dīrāya for Qurā’ al-Nāqāya: It is a school book, written by Al-Suyuti, and made it in the style of the book Mafatih al-Ulum by Al-Khwarizmi, who died in 783 AH / 997 AD. There are five manuscript copies of this book in the Al-Assad Library in Damascus and a book printed on lithography in the year 1309 AH. It was written on its cover: “The reason for printing it was to spread its benefit. The most glorious, perfect and honorable term of Muhammad al-Shirazi, called the King of the Book, will continue for all public good.” It is noted that this book includes many sciences, the most important of which are anatomy and medicine.

 

In what follows, we will suffice with explaining what Al-Suyuti spoke about in the sciences of anatomy and medicine: Al-Suyuti says: “I gave precedence to anatomy to medicine, because it is like the relation of morphology to grammar, because anatomy searches for the body’s essence and its structure, while medicine searches for matters incidental to it. Since medicine is intended to treat the apparent worldly diseases, it is therefore (preferable) to be followed by Sufism, with which the inner, otherworldly diseases are treated.

6 - Benefits for treating some diseases: Manuscript of Sami Haddad Library in Beirut.

7 - Medical Maqamat (standings in Arabic language): It contains nutritional Maqamat such as the Vegetable Maqamat, the Pistachio Maqamat, and the Apple Maqamat.

These Maqamat contain an explanation and interpretation  of  the therapeutic importance of some vegetables, fruits, and roses as a type of method used to prevent and protect humans from diseases.

Before talking about the medical shrines of Al-Suyuti, it is best to clarify what these Maqamat (standings) are. Maqamat are a fine literary art that is superior to poetry and oratory, it is a resonant literary text, studded with poetic devices, and not restricted to a specific length, the writer composes it either to demonstrate his prowess and linguistic superiority, or to present a certain issue.

This art has become the new collection of Arabs, which researchers rely on to study their social, intellectual, and linguistic lives, presented in a sophisticated and clear manner according to the ability of the writer. Al-Suyuti’s maqamat are distinguished by their great diversity of topics, they include literature, history, medicine, hadith, interpretation, jurisprudence, biography, politics, criticism, and description. What concerns us here is talking about Al-Suyuti’s medical maqamat.

 Selections from medical Maqamat



The Vegetable Maqama, in which Al-Suyuti explained the therapeutic benefits of squash, dandelion, lettuce, purslane, okra, molokhiya, and hibiscus, where he says: “A questioner asked about the best means, and the Diwan of Messages was asked about the seven vegetables, distinguished by their splendor and lustre, and which of them are most beneficial, most effective in their impact, quickest to be applied, most speedy, and most succinct in the art of medicine to be prescribed, he said: 
You fell upon the expert, and you caught from the sea, and you were fair in your question and you were not fair, and I will inform you of something that surpasses the wisdom of Hippocrates, without negligence or excess.

Apple Maqamat

In it, Al-Suyuti did not limit himself to the apparent virtues of apples. Rather, he explained the therapeutic benefits of pomegranates, citrons, quince, apples, pears, buckthorn, and peaches, and mentioned what the poets described them with, he says: “I asked a group of scholars about the virtues of the fruit, its similar qualities, the proverbs and similarities that were given to it, and what every suspicious healer and every poet of letters said about it, and it chose from them seven roses and a few, whose goodness has been publicly declared by time, so we responded to what they asked, and the channel of the pen asked. With eloquence in it when it asked and desired, and we began with the gentlest, then the gentlest in essence, and the noblest, then the noblest in qualities.

 

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