The Book of Instant Recovery


Kitāb burʼ al-sāʻa (The book of instant recovery) is a short medical tract by the famous Islamic scientist and physician Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (died circa 925). The work consists of 24 short sections, which list the remedies for common afflictions. The work includes sections on al-udāʻ (headaches), wajʻ al-asnān (toothache), and al-iʻyā wa al-taʻab (exhaustion). The colophon lists the scribe’s name as Ghulam Muhammad Pursururi and the completion date for the manuscript as Dhu Qa’da 17, 1173 AH (July 1, 1760). Based on Qānūncha (The little canon) by Mahmud ibn Muhammad al-Jaghmini, which was completed by the same scribe the following month, the provenance of this manuscript is likely the city of Sialkot in present-day Pakistan. The name Razi is a reference to Abu Bakr’s hometown of Ray (near modern-day Tehran), a city famed for its scholarship in the early Islamic centuries. Razi is often considered among the most free-thinking philosophers of Islam.  He demonstrates his originality in such works as al-Shukūk ʻalā Jālīnūs (Doubts concerning Galen), and Kitāb al-judarī wa al-aba (The book of smallpox and measles), which is considered the first medical study of smallpox.

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Title in Original Language

برء الساعة

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Physical Description

74 folios ; 195 x 113 millimeters



  1. A.Z. Iskandar, A Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1967).

Last updated: August 15, 2016