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Hakim Mohammed Sayeed Central Library
Publications



AL-QANUN FI-AL TIBB
By Avicenna



          The Arabic text as well as the English translation of Al-Qanun fi al-Tibb by the Ibn Sina (980-1037 A.D.), a million word encyclopedic work on Arab medicine that used to be taught in many Western University till the 18th century, has now been published by Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India. Its first volume is on general principles of medicine; the second is concerned with Materia medica; the third one deals with particular diseases; the fourth is on general therapeutics and the fifth volume is on formulary of compound drugs. All these volumes of Arabic text have also been carefully and critically edited with the help of its oldest published and unpublished copies specially the rarest extant manuscript of Aya Sofia (Istanbul) transcribed in 618 A.H. The complete set of these volumes can be had from Jamia Hamdard.


          At first the West came to know about Al-Qanun through its Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona as early as the twelfth century A.D. But according to Prof. E.G. Browne “The Latin Qanun Swarms with barbarous words” and thus is “almost unintelligible”. Some other translations, whether whole or in part, also exist in different Western and eastern languages, However, in English only two translations of its first volume have been available. One of them was prepared by Dr. O.C. Gruner of London (1930) and the other is by Col. M.H. Shah of Karachi (1964). Dr. Gruner’s translation is based on the distorted Latin version (1595 and 1608) while Col. Shah has based his translation on the Urdu version of Ghulam Husain Kanturi. Thus there was no complete English translation of Al-Qanun directly done from its Arabic text. Keeping this in view,


          Jamia Hamdard has undertaken a project to translate all the volumes of Al-Qanun directly from Arabic into English for the first time, in the word. The first volume has already been published and the second is in the press. We expect the fifth volume to be out by end of August. Work on third and fourth volumes is going on and these will be out in about two years.