1008 GMT August 16, 2018
Also known as Ibn Sina, Avicenna was one of the most influential thinkers of the medieval Islamic world.
Born around 980 in Afshana, near Bukhara which was then a part of Iran and is now in Uzbekistan, Avicenna was struck in June 1037 with severe colic — a disease of the abdomen. He was 58 when he died, and laid to rest in Hamadan, Iran.
Avicenna was a self-taught intellectual. He learned Indian arithmetic from a grocer, pursued an intense study of Aristotle's 'Metaphysics' during his teenage years and began studying medicine at age of 16, time.com reported.
Avicenna was also a prolific writer, authoring at least 131 books. His contributions to medicine were particularly significant. 'Al Qanun fil-Tibb', or the 'Canon of Medicine', is a monumental medical encyclopedia that was translated into Latin in the 12th century and used as the primary text for European medical courses until the 17th century.
Avicenna's work was the first to recognize diseases like tuberculosis and postulate that illnesses could spread through soil and water. The 'Canon', having established some of the fundamentals of anatomy, pediatrics and gynecology, is now recognized as laying the groundwork for Western medicine.
Avicenna also wrote extensively on early Islamic philosophy. One of his most famous works, the 'Book of Healing', is a science and philosophic encyclopedia intended to cure ailments of the soul. Also called the 'Cure', Avicenna's metaphysics is said to have had a major impact on European scholasticism, and in particular the Italian theologian Thomas Aquinas.