Personal Details
Title Ra'is al-Tibb ("Chief of Medicine")
Born 1170 CE
Died 1230 CE
Ethnicity Arab
Era Ayyubid
Region Egypt and Syria
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) Medicine

Muhadhdhabuddin Abd al-Rahim bin Ali bin Hamid al-Dimashqi (Arabic: مهذب الدين عبد الرحيم بن علي بن حامد الدمشقي) known as al-Dakhwar (Arabic: الدخوار) (1170–1230) was a leading Arab physician in the 13th century where he served various rulers of the Ayyubid dynasty.[1] He was also administratively responsible for medicine in Cairo and Damascus. Al-Dakhwar educated or influenced most of the prominent physicians of Egypt and Syria in the century,[2] including writer Ibn Abi Usaibia and Ibn al-Nafis, the discoverer of blood circulation in the human body.[3]

Early life

Al-Dakhwar was born and brought up in Damascus,[1] the son of an oculist.[2] Initially, he too was an oculist at the Nuri Hospital of Damascus,[4] but afterward he studied medicine with Ibn al-Matran.[2]

Physician of the Ayyubids

In 1208, al-Adil, the Sultan of Egypt, told his vizier al-Sahib ibn Shukur, that he was in need of another physician with the equivalent skill of the chief of medicine at the time, Abd al-Aziz al-Sulami. Al-Adil believed that al-Sulami was busy enough serving as physician of the army. Ibn Shukur recommended al-Dakhwar for the post and offered him 30 dinars a month. Al-Dakhwar turned him down, citing that al-Sulami receives 100 dinars a month and stating "I know my ability in this field and I will not take less!"[5] Al-Sulami died on June 7 and soon after al-Dakhwar himself came into contact with al-Adil,[4] and the latter was greatly impressed by him. He not only appointed him as his personal physician, but also as one of his confidants.[1]

When al-Adil died, his son and successor in Damascus, al-Mu'azzam, made him chief superintendent of the Nasiri Hospital. There he wrote books and gave lectures on medicine to his students. Later, when al-Adil's other son al-Ashraf annexed Damascus after al-Mu'azzam died, al-Dakhwar was promoted as chief medical officer of the Ayyubid state.[3]





  1. 1 2 3 Ali, 1996, p.40.
  2. 1 2 3 Meyerhof, 1968, p.9.
  3. 1 2 Ali, 1996, p.41.
  4. 1 2 Mahfuz, 1935, p.16.
  5. Leiser and al-Khaledy, 2004, p.5.


  • Ali, Abdul (1996), Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East: State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd, ISBN 978-81-7533-008-5 
  • Meyerhof, Max; Schacht, Joseph (1968), The Theologus autodidactus of Ibn al-Nafīs, Clarendon Publications 
  • Mahfuz, Najib (1935), The History of Medical Education in Egypt, Govt. Press, Bulâq 
  • Leiser, Gary; al-Khaledy, Nouri (2004), Questions and answers for physicians: a medieval Arabic study manual by ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz Al-Sulamī, BRILL, ISBN 978-90-04-13671-7 
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 4/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.