Ibn Sina’s Childhood

Today, the only information we have about Ibn Sina’s (see: Avicenna) early childhood comes from his own autobiography, other details of his life come from his disciple Al-Juzajani. Born in 980 near Bukhara, modern day Uzbekistan, Ibn Sina’s father was a governor of the village which they lived in, and grew up witnessing numerous and frequent intellectual meetings in his father’s house.  Ibn Sina had mastered the memorization of the Quraan, the holy Islamic book, by age 10. His memory and keen attention and fueled desire to seek knowledge stunned his professors. At 14 years of age, he was so driven by the philosophy branch metaphysics that he memorized Aristotle’s Metaphysics. His hunger for knowledge compelled him to teach himself the conceptual foundations of medicine and the basics of chemistry by age 16, and began successfully treating the ill near his vicinity, with a remarkably prominent incident where he treated the King of Bukhara of an identified illness, and was honored by being granted access to the Royal Library of Samanids, where he spent years intensely researching various aspects of science. The political turbulence in The Samanid Dynasty triggered severe instability in Bukhara  At only 21 years of age, Ibn Sina was a court physician and a political administrator. His father’s death greatly affected him, for without a mentor, he spent years wandering villages, working as a professor of philosophy and scientist by day, and holding discussions for him, students, and whoever was interested in anything that encompassed philosophy or medicine.

Ibn Sina insists that he was mainly self taught through the teaching of Aristotle, Plato, and such. He has published over 450 books on philosophy, the two most prominent being “The Book of Healing”, an encyclopedia that covered nearly everything on philosophy, and “The Canon of Medicine”, an insight into revolutionary methods of medication, eventually used as a guide for medicine all over Europe.