Recovery from Diseases and Remedy for Pains


The full name of the author of Shifāʼ al-asqām wa dawāʼ al-ālām (Recovery from diseases and remedy for pains) is Khidr ibn ʻAli ibn Marwan ibnʿAli ibn Husam al-Din, originally called al-Qunawi, also known as Hajji Pasha al-Aidini and al-Misri, thus identifying his provenance as Konya, Turkey. In his introduction to Shifāʼ al-asqām wa dawāʼ al-ālām, the author describes his extended stay in Egypt where he practiced as a physician at the celebrated Maristan al-Mansuri as well as at other hospitals, thus validating the appellation al-Misri (the Egyptian). He also identifies himself as al-Khattab (the preacher), a title by which he is commonly referred to in Islamic sources. Shifāʼ al-asqām wa dawāʼ al-ālām is divided into four chapters: Chapter one is Kullīyāt juz’ay al-ṭibb aʻnī ʻilmīya wa ‘amalīya (On an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of medicine); chapter two is al-Aghdhīya wa al-ashriba wa al-adwīya al-mufrada wa al-murakkaba (On food and drink and medicines simple and compound); chapter three is called al-Amrāḍ al-mukhtassa bi ‘uḍw ‘uḍw min al-ra’s ilā al-qadam (On diseases specific to an organ of the body from the head to the feet); and chapter four is al-Amrāḍ al-ʻāma allatī lā tukhtaṣ bi ‘uḍw dūn ‘uḍw (On diseases not specific to an organ of the body). Each chapter is further divided into sections. Chapter four, for example, consists of sections on fevers, swellings, sores, and other topics. Hajji Pasha's non-medical works include books on logic, philosophy, Qurʼanic exegesis, and kalam (theology). He dedicated Shifāʼ al-asqām wa dawāʼ al-ālām to ʻIsa ibn Muhammad ibn Aidin, the fourth ruler of the Aidinid house (reigned 1360–90). The beylik established by the Aidinids was one of several beyliks that arose in western Anatolia and filled the power vacuum that resulted from the fall of the Seljuks of Rum in the waning years of the 13th century. The present manuscript was completed during the author’s lifetime, on 14 Shawwāl, 788 AH (November 7, 1386) in Selçuk, the capital city of the Aidinid dynasty. It contains copious marginal notes in Arabic and some in Persian. A short poem in Persian, apparently added by the copyist, appears at the very end of the work.

Last updated: December 29, 2015