PARADISE OF WISDOM
INDIAN MEDICAL CONCEPTS IN A PERSIAN ISLAMIC MEDICAL TEXT
Antique traditional medical theories created by old medical doctrines and their historical background have been significantly mentioned today by medical historian scholars. Persia and India had many interactions in different perspectives, such as knowledge, religion, and traditions. One of the most considerable aspects of the relationship between Indians and Persians is the transmission of basic theories of their medical doctrines. As it is reported in many historical texts from the first ages of the Islamic era in Iran, a large number of medical texts were gathered from contiguous civilizations in Iran by order of the Abbasid Caliph. They were then translated into Arabic, Syriac, and Persian. So, Persian physicians and authors used them that way. One of the earlier physicians who reflected the viewpoints of Indian medicine in his famous medical textbook entitled “Paradise of Wisdom” is Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari (3rd century A.H./9th century A.D.).
Persian physicians in the Islamic golden age (8th to 16th A.D.) played an astonishing role in the development of medical knowledge in several aspects through physician innovations and expression and evaluation of different ideas about medicine. In this regard, some of the Indian medical theories were expressed by a famous Persian physician, Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari. Ali ibn Sahl Rabban al-Tabari was a Persian physician of the 3rd century A.H./9th century A.D. He wrote the book Firdous al-Hikmah (or Paradise of Wisdom), the first encyclopedia of Islamic medicine in Iran. The book introduces and describes the basics and therapeutic procedures adopted in Indian medicine, along with procedures of Persian and Greek medical doctrines, by discussing the basic medical theories in these three doctrines. In this paper, we discuss the reflection of traditional Indian medicine as described in Firdous al-Hikmah and its influence on later medical texts.