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The modern mercury anti-infective is safer than that which al-Razi borrowed from the Chinese.
Al-Razi ridiculed all religions as being superstitions.
Al-Razi studied the symptoms of smallpox.
He had read the alchemy of Geber, but did not know about sulfuric acid. This is evidence that the books about sulfuric acid were written centuries later by a Christian using the pseudonym of Geber.
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Modern mercury anti-infective is safer than that which al-Razi borrowed from the Chinese.
QURAN AND BIBLE ARE SUPERSTITIONS
Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (854 – 932?) (Rhazes) was a murtad (apostate). [not the same person as the Persian theologian al-Razi]
Al-Razi wrote “You are talking about a work [the Quran] which recounts ancient myths, and which at the same time is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation”. http://ilhaad.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/azad-khayal-muhammad-ibn-zakariya-al-razi-golden-age-of-islam/
Al-Razi wrote “The Prophets’ Fraudulent Tricks” (Arabic مخارق الانبياء), “The Stratagems of Those Who Claim to Be Prophets” (Arabic حيل المتنبيين), and “On the Refutation of Revealed Religions” (Arabic نقض الادیان).
Al-Razi wrote that the teachings of the Quran and the Bible were superstitions. http://www.aub.edu.lb/news/2012/Pages/translation-medieval.aspx
As punishment for this heresy, an emir ordered that al-Razi be hit on the head with the book until either the book broke or al-Razi’s head broke.
Al-Razi was the director and chief physician at a small hospital in Persia, and later of a large hospital in Baghdad toward the end of the 9th century. Rhazes was familiar with Persian medicine, and with an 8th century Arabic translation of the Hindu medical encyclopedia the “Sushruta Samhita”.
Al-Razi was the first physician to describe hay fever in great detail. The ancient Egyptians had a treatment for allergic asthma thousands of years before Rhazes identified it as a disease.
Al-Razi wrote a book about childhood diseases.
Al-Razi performed but did not invent tracheotomy; it had been performed in Egypt as early as 3600 BC.
Al-Razi did not invent the mortar and pestle. Wikipedia says the mortar and pestle has been in use for at least 35,000 years.
Al-Razi did not invent the use of opium as an anesthetic. The Roman Empire military surgeon Dioscorides had used opium as an anesthetic during surgery.
PUPIL CHANGES SIZE
Al-Razi was the first physician to write about the pupillary light reflex (bright light causes the pupil to constrict, allowing less light to enter the eye.)
ALCOHOL AS AN ANTISEPTIC
The Romans and Byzantines used wine as an antiseptic, and it is possible al-Razi may have done so also.
I can neither confirm nor refute the claim that al-Razi used distilled alcohol as an antiseptic.
The Chinese in 800 BC, and a few Romans such as Anaxilaus of Thessaly in 28 B.C., and members of Dionysian cults.distilled wine to produce concentrated alcohol for drinking.
Al-Razi (865 – 925/935) listed alcohol in his list of substances, and probably knew how to distill it from wine.
One Muslim website claims al-Razi successfully treated smallpox and measles, but I have not been able to locate any information about whether or not al-Razi had any treatments for smallpox or measles.
Treatment today for smallpox consists mostly of isolating the patient until blisters have fallen off, and drinking lots of fluids.
Al-Razi did write about his own clinical observations of smallpox and measles, and described in great detail the differences in their symptoms. http://www.muslimheritage.com/article/al-razi-smallpox-and-measles
GALEN OF PERGAMON
Al-Razi sometimes criticized the theory of Galen of Pergamon that the body possessed four separate “humors” (liquid substances), whose balance was the key to health. At other times al-Razi supported Galen’s theory of humors, as in his treatment of gout.
Al-Razi criticized Galen’s claim that fever was a disease rather than a symptom, saying it did not agree with his own clinical observations. [The “1001 Inventions” book claims “He was the first to realize that fever was a defense mechanism of the body and a natural part of its fight against disease” but I have not found any evidence to support this claim.]
Galen of Pergamon had experimented on animals, including monkeys and pigs, numbering the nerves and cutting them one at a time to determine the function of each. Al-Razi did autopsies on people who had paralysis of various parts of the body, examining which nerves were damaged, thus confirming that Galen’s writings were correct. When al-Razi determined that a patient’s symptoms were caused by an inflamed nerve, he would use a drug to reduce swelling. If he determined that a nerve had been cut into 2 pieces, he knew he could not cure the condition.
For one year, al-Razi had as a houseguest a Chinese scholar who translated Galen of Pergamon from Arabic into Chinese. It is likely that this houseguest told al-Razi the medical uses of mercury and mercury compounds in China. The ancient Chinese treatment for syphilis was to use externally mercuric chloride. The Tang dynasty (7th, 8th and 9th centuries) treatment in China for worms was to swallow mercury compounds and the liquid metal mercury. Al-Razi introduced in the Baghdad hospital the use of mercuric chloride ointment to treat herpes and skin diseases. (It temporarily eliminates the skin lesions but the herpes virus survives to strike again.) He also used mercuric chloride as a disinfectant for wounds, and prescribed liquid mercury metal to be used internally to kill parasitic intestinal worms. [Mercury and most of its compounds are poisonous.]
Another Chinese contribution to Muslim medicine was a few Chinese herbs.
Image by KevinVreeland, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Merbromin-Anti-Infective.jpg#mw-jump-to-license