Doctor's Day

1399/06/03 - 16:45 / 80



In IRAN, Avicenna’s  birthday (Iranian Month:Shahrivar 1st=August 23) is commemorated as the national day for doctors. Doctors' Day is a day celebrated to recognize the contributions of physicians to individual lives and communities. The date may vary from nation to nation depending on the event of commemoration used to mark the day. In some nations the day is marked as a holiday. Although supposed to be celebrated by patients in and benefactors of the healthcare industry, it is usually celebrated by health care organizations.Historically, a card or red carnation may be sent to physicians and their spouses, along with a flower being placed on the graves of deceased physicians.

Abu Ali al-Husayn ibn Abdullah ibn Sina, known as Ibn Sina, and in the West as Avicenna, was one of the most celebrated philosophers and physicians in the early Islamic Empire. He wrote prolifically on a wide range of subjects. Forty of his medical texts have survived, the most famous of which are the Kitab ash-Shifa (the Book of Healing) and the al-Qanun fi al-Tibb - or Canon of Medicine. The latter is one of the most significant books in the history of medicine; for instance it was printed in Europe at least 60 times between 1516 and 1574. The Canon remained a major authority for medical students in both the Islamic world and Europe until well into the 1700s.

The tomb of “Tabib-al-Otaba (the most famous physician)” was built according to the most ancient dated building of the Islamic era in Iran, the “Gonbad-e Qabus”. The tomb of Bu Ali is half the size of “Gonbad-e Qabus” building. On the other hand, “Gonbad-e Qabus” has no aperture, while this building has 12 pillars indicating the 12 scientific fields mastered by Ibn Sina









The tomb building is an integration of both traditional and post-Islamic era Iranian architecture. It benefited both from the traditional architecture art and modern methods, and contains elements such as the tower (encouraged by the Gonbad-e Qabus” tower), the small gardens (influenced by the Iranian gardens), the waterfront (encouraged by the traditional “Howz-Khaneh (basements with pools)”), and a facing covered with massive and rough rocks adorned with granite stones of Alvand Mountains resembling the traditional Iranian palaces. Bu Ali’s tomb is now situated in the domicile of Abu Said Dakhuk, Bu Ali Sina’s intimate friend who is also buried besides Bu Ali


The southern hall of the tomb-museum is now allocated to keep the coins, ceramics, bronzes and other subsoil discovered items from the B.C. millenniums and the Islamic era. The northern hall is composed of a library including 8000 volumes of exquisite handwritten and printed books both from Iran and abroad, and some booths related to works of Bu Ali Sina and other Hamadan poets and authors. An image of Bu Ali’s scull is also exhibited in the booth of his works. The image might be taken while destroying the old tomb.

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Avicenna’s major achievement was to propound a philosophically defensive system rooted in the theological fact of Islam, and its success can be gauged by the recourse to Avicennan ideas found in the subsequent history of philosophical theology in Islam. In the Latin West, his metaphysics and theory of the soul had a profound influence on scholastic arguments, and as in the Islamic East, was the basis for considerable debate and argument. Just two generations after him, al-Ghazali (d. 1111) and al-Shahrastani (d. 1153) in their attacks testify to the fact that no serious Muslim thinker could ignore him.





They regarded Avicenna as the principal representative of philosophy in Islam. In the later Iranian tradition, Avicenna’s thought was critically distilled with mystical insight, and he became known as a mystical thinker, a view much disputed in late 20th and early 21st century scholarship. Nevertheless the major works of Avicenna, especially The Cure and Pointers, became the basis for the philosophical curriculum in the madrasa. Numerous commentaries, glosses and super-glosses were composed on them and continued to be produced into the 20th century.

While our current views on cosmology, on the nature of the self, and on knowledge raise distinct problems for Avicennan ideas, they do not address the important issue of why his thought remained so influential for such a long period of time. In the 20th and 21st centuries, Avicenna has been attacked by some contemporary Arab Muslim thinkers in search of a new rationalism within Arab culture, one that champions Averroes against Avicenna.





Neshat Khosravi - Microbiologist


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