Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī)(Persian:محمد زکریای رازی Mohammad-e Zakariā-ye Rāzi), known as Rhazes or Rasis after medieval Latinists (August 26, 865 – 925), was a Persia polymath, a prominent figure in Islamic Golden Age physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar.
Numerous “firsts” in medical research, clinical care, and chemistry are attributed to him, including being the first to differentiate smallpox from measles, and the discovery of numerous compounds and chemicals including kerosene, among others.Edward Granville Browne considers him as “probably the greatest and most original of all the physicians, and one of the most prolific as an author”.
Razi made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, music, and philosophy, recorded in over 200 books and articles in various fields of science. He was well-versed in Ancient Persian, Greek and Ancient Indian medical knowledge and made numerous advances in medicine through own observations and discoveries.
Educated in music, mathematics, philosophy, and metaphysics, he chose medicine as his professional field. As a physician, he was an early proponent of experimental medicine and has been described as the father of pediatrics. He was also a pioneer of ophthalmology. He was among the first to use Humoralism to distinguish one contagious disease from another. In particular, Razi was the first physician to distinguish smallpox and measles through his clinical characterization of the two diseases. He became chief physician of Rey and Baghdad hospitals.
As an alchemist, Razi is also known for his study of sulfuric acid.
He traveled extensively, mostly in Persia. As a teacher in medicine, he attracted students of all disciplines and was said to be compassionate and devoted to the service of his patients, whether rich or poor.