Tabulation of Drugs


The full name of the author of Taqwīm al-adwiyah (Tabulation of drugs) is given in a work by Ismaʻil Basha al-Babani (died 1920), Īḍāḥ al-maknūn (Clarification of the hidden), as Fakhr al-Din Muhammad ibn ʻAli ibn Abu al-Nasr al-Nisaburi, “and subsequently” as al-Asfara’ini. Almost nothing is known of Fakhr al-Din’s life, although he is thought to have flourished in the 14th century. The attributions to Neyshabur and Esfarayen both indicate that he lived and worked in Khorasan in eastern Persia. Fakhr al-Din is known to have written several texts on medicine, including a commentary on al-Najāt (The salvation) by Ibn Sina (980–1037, known in the West as Avicenna). Taqwīm al-adwiyah is organized in two sections, with the first treating simple medicines and the second treating compounds. The author discusses the benefits and risks associated with each medicine, while also considering practical matters such as dosage. Fakhr al-Din cites al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb (The canon of medicine) by Avicenna, Kitāb al-jāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiyah wa-al-aghdhiyah (Compendium on simple medicaments and foods”) by Ibn al-Baytar (died 1248), and al-Minhāj fī al-adwiyah al-murakkabah (Methodology of compound drugs) by Ibn Jazla (died 1100) as among his sources. Taqwīm al-adwiyah is followed by a short and unidentified medical treatise (folios 92a to 113b). This work begins with an account of different kinds of meat and ends with an account of snakes and wasps. The manuscript dates from the 17th century, as indicated by the date of Shawwal 14, 1063 AH (September 6, 1653) which has been written at the beginning of the work as the date when the scribe began copying the manuscript. He worked in naskh script in black ink, with headings in red.

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

تقويم الأدوية

Type of Item

Physical Description

115 folios ; 255 x 165 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: November 27, 2015