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TitleRa'is al-Tibb ("Chief of Medicine")
Born1170 CE
Died1230 CE
RegionEgypt and Syria
Main interest(s)Medicine
Muslim leader

Muhadhdhabuddin Abd al-Rahim bin Ali bin Hamid al-Dimashqi (Arabic: مهذب الدين عبد الرحيم بن علي بن حامد الدمشقي‎) known as al-Dakhwar (Arabic: الدخوار‎) (1170–1230) was a leading Arab physician in the 13th century where he served various rulers of the Ayyubid dynasty.[1] He was also administratively responsible for medicine in Cairo and Damascus. Al-Dakhwar educated or influenced most of the prominent physicians of Egypt and Syria in the century,[2] including writer Ibn Abi Usaibia and Ibn al-Nafis, the discoverer of blood circulation in the human body.[3]

Early life[edit]

Al-Dakhwar was born and brought up in Damascus,[1] the son of an oculist.[2] Initially, he too was an oculist at the Nuri Hospital of Damascus,[4] but afterward he studied medicine with Ibn al-Matran.[2]

Physician of the Ayyubids[edit]

In 1208, al-Adil, the Sultan of Egypt, told his vizier al-Sahib ibn Shukur, that he was in need of another physician with the equivalent skill of the chief of medicine at the time, Abd al-Aziz al-Sulami. Al-Adil believed that al-Sulami was busy enough serving as physician of the army. Ibn Shukur recommended al-Dakhwar for the post and offered him 30 dinars a month. Al-Dakhwar turned him down, citing that al-Sulami receives 100 dinars a month and stating "I know my ability in this field and I will not take less!"[5] Al-Sulami died on June 7 and soon after al-Dakhwar himself came into contact with al-Adil,[4] and the latter was greatly impressed by him. He not only appointed him as his personal physician, but also as one of his confidants.[1]

When al-Adil died, his son and successor in Damascus, al-Mu'azzam, made him chief superintendent of the Nasiri Hospital. There he wrote books and gave lectures on medicine to his students. Later, when al-Adil's other son al-Ashraf annexed Damascus after al-Mu'azzam died, al-Dakhwar was promoted as chief medical officer of the Ayyubid state.[3]



  • al-Janinah ("The Embryo")
  • Sharh Taqdimat-il-Ma'rifah ("Commentary on the Introduction of Knowledge")
  • Mukhtasar-ul-Hawl-il-Razi ("Resume of al-Hawi by al-Razi")


  • Kitab ul-Aghani (a summarized version of "The Book of Songs" by al-Isfahani)


  1. ^ a b c Ali, 1996, p.40.
  2. ^ a b c Meyerhof, 1968, p.9.
  3. ^ a b Ali, 1996, p.41.
  4. ^ a b Mahfuz, 1935, p.16.
  5. ^ Leiser and al-Khaledy, 2004, p.5.


  • Ali, Abdul (1996), Islamic Dynasties of the Arab East: State and Civilization During the Later Medieval Times, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd, ISBN 978-81-7533-008-5
  • Meyerhof, Max; Schacht, Joseph (1968), The Theologus autodidactus of Ibn al-Nafīs, Clarendon Publications
  • Mahfuz, Najib (1935), The History of Medical Education in Egypt, Govt. Press, Bulâq
  • Leiser, Gary; al-Khaledy, Nouri (2004), Questions and answers for physicians: a medieval Arabic study manual by ʻAbd al-ʻAzīz Al-Sulamī, BRILL, ISBN 978-90-04-13671-7