Burhan-ud-din Kermani

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The Prophet and the Persian physician c. 1468

Burhan-ud-Din Kermani or Burhān al-Din Nafīs ibn ‘Iwad al-Kirmanī was a 15th-century Persian physician from Kerman.

Nafis ibn ‘Iwad al-Kirmani was court physician to Ulugh Beg, the grandson of Tamerlane and the governor of Samarqand from 1409 to 1449 CE.

In 1424 AD, Kirmani dedicated to Ulugh Beg his commentary on the medical compendium of Najib al-Din al-Samarqandi, and in 1437 AD he again dedicated to Ulugh Beg his popular commentary on The Canon of Medicine of Avicenna.

Kirmani's commentary on Najib al-Din al-Samarqandi's treatise was so popular that commentaries were written on the commentary, and it was translated into Persian and amplified by Muqim Arzani in the 18th century.

He died in 1449 CE.


Burhan-ud-din was born in Kerman. His father and his ancestors were physicians and were fairly famous for it. He finished his medical education in Kerman and worked as a physician there. His fame and fortune were so vast that Ulugh Beg, a Timurid king, requested his presence in Samarqand, and made him his special physician. During his stay in Samarqand, he wrote a number of books about medicine, some of which took so long that he finished after he returned to Kerman. There, he taught medicine to students and wrote many books. He is considered a milestone in the history of medicine in Iran. He is an ancestor to the Naficy/Nafisi/Nafissi family.

His works[edit]

1. Sharh Mujaz al-Qanun li Ibn Sina fi al-Tibb, which he completed in 841 H.E., written in Arabic.

2. Sharh al-Asbab wa al-'Alamat, written in Arabic.

3. Sharh al-Amrad al-Juz'iyah of Hippocrates' Kitab al-Fusul, written in Arabic.


For life and works see:

  • Albert Dietrich, Medicinalia Arabica: Studien über arabische medizinische Handschriften in türkischen und syrischen Bibliotheken, Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in G?ttingen, philologisch-historische Klasse, Dritte Folge, No. 66, (G?ttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1966), pp. 122-124 no. 52
  • C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, 1st edition, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1889-1936). Second edition, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1943-49). Page references will be to those of the first edition, with the 2nd edition page numbers given in parentheses, vol. 2, p. 213 (276).

See also[edit]