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Of the works he is believed to have written, around have survived, including on philosophy and 40 on medicine. His most famous works are The Book of Healing , a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine , a medical encyclopedia    which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities  and remained in use as late as Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy , alchemy , geography and geology , psychology , Islamic theology , logic , mathematics , physics and works of poetry.
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However, Avicenna was not the son but the great-great-grandson of a man named Sina. Ibn Sina created an extensive corpus of works during what is commonly known as the Islamic Golden Age , in which the translations of Greco-Roman , Persian , and Indian texts were studied extensively. Greco-Roman Mid- and Neo-Platonic , and Aristotelian texts translated by the Kindi school were commented, redacted and developed substantially by Islamic intellectuals, who also built upon Persian and Indian mathematical systems, astronomy , algebra , trigonometry and medicine.
Under the Samanids, Bukhara rivaled Baghdad as a cultural capital of the Islamic world.
Philosophy, Fiqh and theology kalaam were further developed, most noticeably by Avicenna and his opponents. Al-Razi and Al-Farabi had provided methodology and knowledge in medicine and philosophy. Various texts such as the 'Ahd with Bahmanyar show that he debated philosophical points with the greatest scholars of the time. Avicenna was born c.
After five years, his younger brother, Mahmoud, was born. Avicenna first began to learn the Quran and literature in such a way that when he was ten years old he had essentially learned all of them.
According to his autobiography, Avicenna had memorised the entire Quran by the age of As a teenager, he was greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle , which he could not understand until he read al-Farabi 's commentary on the work. In such moments of baffled inquiry, he would leave his books, perform the requisite ablutions , then go to the mosque, and continue in prayer till light broke on his difficulties. Deep into the night, he would continue his studies, and even in his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their solution.
Forty times, it is said, he read through the Metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure to him until he purchased a brief commentary by al-Farabi from a bookstall for three dirhams a very low price at the time. So great was his joy at the discovery, made with the help of a work from which he had expected only mystery, that he hastened to return thanks to God, and bestowed alms upon the poor.
He turned to medicine at 16, and not only learned medical theory, but also by gratuitous attendance of the sick had, according to his own account, discovered new methods of treatment.
A number of theories have been proposed regarding Avicenna's madhab school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence.
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Janssens demonstrated that Avicenna was a Sunni Hanafi. Avicenna's first appointment was that of physician to the emir , Nuh II , who owed him his recovery from a dangerous illness Ibn Sina's chief reward for this service was access to the royal library of the Samanids, well-known patrons of scholarship and scholars.
When the library was destroyed by fire not long after, the enemies of Ibn Sina accused him of burning it, in order for ever to conceal the sources of his knowledge. Meanwhile, he assisted his father in his financial labors, but still found time to write some of his earliest works.
At 22 years old, Avicenna lost his father. The Samanid dynasty came to its end in December Avicenna seems to have declined the offers of Mahmud of Ghazni , and proceeded westwards to Urgench in modern Turkmenistan , where the vizier , regarded as a friend of scholars, gave him a small monthly stipend.
The pay was small, however, so Ibn Sina wandered from place to place through the districts of Nishapur and Merv to the borders of Khorasan , seeking an opening for his talents. Qabus , the generous ruler of Tabaristan , himself a poet and a scholar, with whom Ibn Sina had expected to find asylum, was on about that date starved to death by his troops who had revolted.
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Avicenna himself was at this time stricken by a severe illness. Finally, at Gorgan , near the Caspian Sea , Avicenna met with a friend, who bought a dwelling near his own house in which Avicenna lectured on logic and astronomy. Several of his treatises were written for this patron; and the commencement of his Canon of Medicine also dates from his stay in Hyrcania.
Avicenna subsequently settled at Rey , in the vicinity of modern Tehran , the home town of Rhazes ; where Majd Addaula , a son of the last Buwayhid emir, was nominal ruler under the regency of his mother Seyyedeh Khatun. About thirty of Ibn Sina's shorter works are said to have been composed in Rey.
Constant feuds which raged between the regent and her second son, Shams al-Daula , however, compelled the scholar to quit the place. At first, Ibn Sina entered into the service of a high-born lady; but the emir, hearing of his arrival, called him in as medical attendant, and sent him back with presents to his dwelling. Ibn Sina was even raised to the office of vizier.
The emir decreed that he should be banished from the country. Ibn Sina, however, remained hidden for forty days in sheikh Ahmed Fadhel's house, until a fresh attack of illness induced the emir to restore him to his post. Even during this perturbed time, Ibn Sina persevered with his studies and teaching. Every evening, extracts from his great works, the Canon and the Sanatio , were dictated and explained to his pupils.
On the death of the emir, Ibn Sina ceased to be vizier and hid himself in the house of an apothecary , where, with intense assiduity, he continued the composition of his works.
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Meanwhile, he had written to Abu Ya'far, the prefect of the dynamic city of Isfahan , offering his services. The new emir of Hamadan, hearing of this correspondence and discovering where Ibn Sina was hiding, incarcerated him in a fortress. When the storm had passed, Ibn Sina returned with the emir to Hamadan, and carried on his literary labors. Later, however, accompanied by his brother, a favorite pupil, and two slaves, Ibn Sina escaped from the city in the dress of a Sufi ascetic.
After a perilous journey, they reached Isfahan, receiving an honorable welcome from the prince.
During these years he began to study literary matters and philology , instigated, it is asserted, by criticisms on his style. A severe colic , which seized him on the march of the army against Hamadan, was checked by remedies so violent that Ibn Sina could scarcely stand. On a similar occasion the disease returned; with difficulty he reached Hamadan, where, finding the disease gaining ground, he refused to keep up the regimen imposed, and resigned himself to his fate.
His friends advised him to slow down and take life moderately. He refused, however, stating that: "I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length".
Of linguistic significance even to this day are a few books that he wrote in nearly pure Persian language particularly the Danishnamah-yi 'Ala', Philosophy for Ala' ad-Dawla'. Avicenna's Neoplatonic scheme of "emanations" became fundamental in the Kalam school of theological discourse in the 12th century. His Book of Healing became available in Europe in partial Latin translation some fifty years after its composition, under the title Sufficientia , and some authors have identified a "Latin Avicennism" as flourishing for some time, paralleling the more influential Latin Averroism , but suppressed by the Parisian decrees of and Avicenna's psychology and theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris  and Albertus Magnus ,  while his metaphysics influenced the thought of Thomas Aquinas.
Early Islamic philosophy and Islamic metaphysics , imbued as it is with Islamic theology , distinguishes more clearly than Aristotelianism between essence and existence.
Whereas existence is the domain of the contingent and the accidental, essence endures within a being beyond the accidental. The search for a definitive Islamic philosophy separate from Occasionalism can be seen in what is left of his work.
Following al-Farabi's lead, Avicenna initiated a full-fledged inquiry into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence Mahiat and existence Wujud. He argued that the fact of existence cannot be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves cannot interact and originate the movement of the universe or the progressive actualization of existing things.
Existence must, therefore, be due to an agent-cause that necessitates, imparts, gives, or adds existence to an essence. To do so, the cause must be an existing thing and coexist with its effect.
Avicenna's consideration of the essence-attributes question may be elucidated in terms of his ontological analysis of the modalities of being; namely impossibility, contingency, and necessity. Avicenna argued that the impossible being is that which cannot exist, while the contingent in itself mumkin bi-dhatihi has the potentiality to be or not to be without entailing a contradiction.
When actualized, the contingent becomes a 'necessary existent due to what is other than itself' wajib al-wujud bi-ghayrihi. Thus, contingency-in-itself is potential beingness that could eventually be actualized by an external cause other than itself. The metaphysical structures of necessity and contingency are different.
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Necessary being due to itself wajib al-wujud bi-dhatihi is true in itself, while the contingent being is 'false in itself' and 'true due to something else other than itself'. The necessary is the source of its own being without borrowed existence. It is what always exists. Furthermore, It is 'One' wahid ahad  since there cannot be more than one 'Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself' without differentia fasl to distinguish them from each other.
Yet, to require differentia entails that they exist 'due-to-themselves' as well as 'due to what is other than themselves'; and this is contradictory. However, if no differentia distinguishes them from each other, then there is no sense in which these 'Existents' are not one and the same.
Avicenna made an argument for the existence of God which would be known as the " Proof of the Truthful " Arabic : al-burhan al-siddiqin.
Avicenna argued that there must be a "necessary existent" Arabic: wajib al-wujud , an entity that cannot not exist  and through a series of arguments, he identified it with the Islamic conception of God. Correspondence between Ibn Sina with his student Ahmad ibn 'Ali al-Ma'sumi and Al-Biruni has survived in which they debated Aristotelian natural philosophy and the Peripatetic school.
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Abu Rayhan began by asking Avicenna eighteen questions, ten of which were criticisms of Aristotle's On the Heavens.
Avicenna was a devout Muslim and sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology. His aim was to prove the existence of God and His creation of the world scientifically and through reason and logic. These included treatises on the prophets whom he viewed as "inspired philosophers" , and also on various scientific and philosophical interpretations of the Quran, such as how Quranic cosmology corresponds to his own philosophical system.
In general these treatises linked his philosophical writings to Islamic religious ideas; for example, the body's afterlife. There are occasional brief hints and allusions in his longer works however that Avicenna considered philosophy as the only sensible way to distinguish real prophecy from illusion.
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He did not state this more clearly because of the political implications of such a theory, if prophecy could be questioned, and also because most of the time he was writing shorter works which concentrated on explaining his theories on philosophy and theology clearly, without digressing to consider epistemological matters which could only be properly considered by other philosophers.
Later interpretations of Avicenna's philosophy split into three different schools; those such as al-Tusi who continued to apply his philosophy as a system to interpret later political events and scientific advances; those such as al-Razi who considered Avicenna's theological works in isolation from his wider philosophical concerns; and those such as al-Ghazali who selectively used parts of his philosophy to support their own attempts to gain greater spiritual insights through a variety of mystical means.
It was the theological interpretation championed by those such as al-Razi which eventually came to predominate in the madrasahs. Avicenna memorized the Quran by the age of ten, and as an adult, he wrote five treatises commenting on suras from the Quran. One of these texts included the Proof of Prophecies , in which he comments on several Quranic verses and holds the Quran in high esteem.
Avicenna argued that the Islamic prophets should be considered higher than philosophers.
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Avicenna believed his "Floating Man" thought experiment demonstrated that the soul is a substance, and claimed humans cannot doubt their own consciousness, even in a situation that prevents all sensory data input. The thought experiment told its readers to imagine themselves created all at once while suspended in the air, isolated from all sensations , which includes no sensory contact with even their own bodies.
He argued that, in this scenario, one would still have self-consciousness. Because it is conceivable that a person, suspended in air while cut off from sense experience , would still be capable of determining his own existence, the thought experiment points to the conclusions that the soul is a perfection, independent of the body, and an immaterial substance.
Avicenna referred to the living human intelligence , particularly the active intellect , which he believed to be the hypostasis by which God communicates truth to the human mind and imparts order and intelligibility to nature. Following is an English translation of the argument:.
One of us i. Then contemplate the following: can he be assured of the existence of himself?