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Al-Razi Early Life and Education...

Ibn Zakariyya al-Razi Muhammad Ib Zakariyya al-Razi was born in the city of Rey in 854, located on the Great Silk Road, which for years enabled trade and cultural exchanges between the East and the West. In his youth, Razi moved to Baghdad where he was first introduced to medicine. He practiced and learned medicine in the local hospital there. Later, he was invited back to Rey by Mansur ibn Ishaq, who was back then the governor of Rey, and became the hospital’s head. As the years passed, Razi became increasingly familiar with medicine among other skills. He soon became a very respected and popular physician. As a result of this newfound popularity, he was invited to Baghdad once more in order to assume a position as director of the local hospital. Throughout his lifetime, Razi suffered from glaucoma. His eye problems began with cataracts and ended in complete blindness, the exact reasons behind the blindness being a mystery. Despite his blindness, Razi was considered a great physician and a great man; he treated the poor without any form of payment as a form of service to those he referred to as “Man la yahdurub al-tabib”, translated as “Who has no Physician to Attend Him”. He was referred to by Ibn al-Nadim in Fihrist as a sheikh; a title given to an individual considered honourable and capable of teaching those who wanted to learn. Among Razi’s contributions to medicine is identifying the smallpox and separating them from measles, as well as describing their exact symptoms and ways to deal with such an illness. As quoted by the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The most trustworthy statements as to the early existence of the disease are found in an account by the 9th-century Persian physician Rhazes [Razi], by...