Friday, February 26, 2010

Pharmacy and Islam

1. In the scientific medical tradition in Islam, pharmacology (dealing with simple medicines) and pharmacy (dealing with compound medicines) are sharply distinguished and practically always treated in separate works, but they receive about equal treatment.

2. In the Prophetic Medicine tradition pharmacology is more prominent than pharmacy.

3. In the Greek tradition, too, the term graphidion applied to synthetic medicines or pharmacy means "the small treatise" (the Arabic aqrābādhīn comes from the Greek through Syriac mediation).

4. But in Islam pharmacology, or the science of materia medica, became far more highly developed than it was among the Greeks and until recently was regarded by Western historians of medicine as the main contribution of Islam to medicine.

5. The development of pharmacology in Islam probably owes much to the great religion emphasis placed upon it by the representatives of the Prophetic Medicine.

Source: Fazlur Rahman, Health and medicine in the Islamic tradition : change and identity, Kuala LumpurS. Abdul Majeed, Kuala Lumpur, 1993

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