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The book “Healing” (Shefa) is a great encyclopedia composed on intellectual sciences.

It is written in Arabic by the pre- eminent philosopher “Avicenna” Healing is the most detailed philosophical work of Avicenna, it is also the first Islamic book concerning extensively all kinds of theoretical philosophy, Islamic history, culture civilization.


The author

Avicenna, one of the greatest Muslim scientists and philosophers, known in the East as Abu Ali Sina and also Ibn Sina (980 – 1037).
He was born near Bukhara, probably with Persian as his native language.
At the age of eighteen he had mastered all the then known sciences. After the death of his father, an official of the Samanid adminstration, and the overthrow of the Samanids by the Ilekhans in 1005, he first wandered through Persia and then, from 1021 until shortly before his death, he lived at Isfahan as court physician of the Buyid rulers Shams al-Dawla and Sama al-Dawla, who by then had come under Kakuid suzerainty.

He is known primarily as a philosopher and physician, Avicenna contributed also to all the sciences that were accessible in his day: natural history, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and music. He studied mathematics under “Abu Abdullah Natli”, then continued metaphysics, physics and medicine in the presence of “Abu Soheyl Masihi”.
 He wrote on economics, politics, moral and religious questions, Quranic exegesis and poetry.
In 1654, 131 authentic and 110 doubtful works were listed in his bibliography.
The following are his most famous works:

1-    Book of Healing ‘of the soul’ (a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopeida)
2-    The Canon of Medicine (one of the most famous books in the history of medicine)
3-    The Tale of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (a philosophical allegory)

Avicenna’s influence on medieval European philosophers such as Michael Scot,  Albertus Magnus,  Rager Bacon,  Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas is undeniable.

He died as the result of colic, in Hamedan – Iran where a monument was erected to celebrate the millennium of his birth.


The book structure

This book includes 4 sections, each section contains some techniques, each technique is divided into some articles and each article includes some chapters.

1- The section “logic” is compiled in 4 volumes

2- The section “natural sciences” is compiled in 3 volumes including psychology, zoology, botany and geology.

3- The section “mathematics” is compiled in 2 volumes including music, astronomy, arithmetic and geometry.

4- The section “theology” is composed in 1 volumes including ethics and politics

The book “Healing” has been always a comprehensive reliable source for the later philosophers and scholars, even the severe critics and opponents of Greek philosophy consider this book as the most influential work on peripatetic philosophy. 

After the death of Avicenna, his great student “jowzajani” composed the rest of the book. 

It has been translated into German, French and English.



Shia Encyclopedia


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