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Archives of Truth (Part I)

History is a vast tree of knowledge, yet certain elements of the tree have been
stripped so that parts of the tree do not grow or show. Little is known about
Muslim History and its contributions to society in regards to, medicine, science,
mathematics, navigations etc¦ Over the next few articles I would like to enlighten
you on some of these missing elements, first starting with Medicine and
Navigations I hope you enjoy the reading.

Albucassis (Al-Zaharwi), born near Cordola in 936 A.D.

Albucassis was one of the greatest surgeons of his time. His encyclopedia of
surgery was used as standard reference work in the subject in all universities of
Europe for over five hundred years, he was among the very first of those who
worked in the field of medicine.

Albucassis was not only a medical scholar, but a great practicing physician and
surgeon. His works include, At-Tasrif, which contains the earliest pictures of
surgical instruments in history, about 200 are described and illustrated.
The 300 pages of Albucasis surgery represents the first book of this size devoted
solely to surgery which at that time also included dentistry and what one may term
surgical dermatology. Here in Albucasis developed all aspects of surgery and
various branches; Ophtalmology, disease of the ear, nose and throat, and of the
head and neck, general surgery, Obstetrics, Gynecology; Military medicine,
Urology, and Orthopedic surgery.

He divided the discourse into three parts: (1) on cauterization (56 sections); (2) on
surgery (97 sections), and (3) on orthopedic (35 sections). It is no wonder then that
Albucasis awakened in Europe a prepossession in favor of Arabic medical
Literature, that his book reached eminence as the foremost text book in Western
Christendom.

(By Dr. Ibrahim Shasashikh)

Speak of the worlds first navigators and the names Christopher of Vascoda Gama
flash through a Western mind. Little is known of the remarkable feats that a
Chinese Muslim Zheng He (1371-1433) had accomplished decades before the two
European adventures.

Admiral Zheng He, who ranks as perhaps the countrys foremost adventurer. A
muslim and a warrior, Zheng He helped transform China into the regions and
perhaps the worlds, superpower of his time. Ma He as he was originally known,
was born in 1371 to a poor ethnic Hui (Chinese muslims) family in Southwest
China. His grand father and father once made an overland pilgrimage o Makkah.
Their travels contributed much to youg Mas education, He grew up speaking
Arabic and Chinese, learning much about the world to the West and its geography
and customs.
In 1405, Zheng was chosen to lead the biggest naval expedition in history up to
that time. Over the next 28 years (1405-1433) he commanded seven fleets that
visited 37 countries, through Southeast Asia to faraway Africa and Arabia. In
those years China had by far the largest ships of the time. A great fleet of ships,
with mast and manned by 500 men, each set sail in July 1405, half century before
Columbuss voyage to America. Zheng He first fleet included 27,870 men on 317
ships, including sailors, clerks, interpreters, soldiers, artisans, medical men and
meteorologists.

On board were large quantities of cargo including silk goods, porcelain, gold and
silverware, copper utensils, iron implements and cotton goods. The fleet sailed
along Chinas coast to Champa close to Vietnam and, after crossing the South
China sea, he visited Java, Sumatra and reached Sri Lanka by passing through the
Strait of Malacca. On the way back it sailed along the west coast of India and
returned home in 1407.