Ibn Abi al-Ashʿath

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Ibn Abi al-Ashʿath (Arabic: أحمد بن محمد بن محمد بن أبي الأشعث‎; died 975 CE) was a Persian physician of medieval Islam. He wrote many commentaries on Galen's works.[1]

He died in Mosul, Iraq.


Ahmad ibn Abi al-Ash'ath described the physiology of the stomach in a live lion in his book al-Quadi wa al-muqtadi.[2] He wrote:

When food enters the stomach, especially when it is plentiful, the stomach dilates and its layers get stretched...onlookers thought the stomach was rather small, so I proceeded to pour jug after jug in its throat…the inner layer of the distended stomach became as smooth as the external peritoneal layer. I then cut open the stomach and let the water out. The stomach shrank and I could see the pylorus…

Ahmad ibn Abi al-Ash'ath observed the physiology of the stomach in a live lion in 959. This description preceded William Beaumont by almost 900 years, making Ahmad ibn al-Ash'ath the first person to initiate experimental events in gastric physiology.[2]


His works include:[1]

  • الأدوية المفردة
  • الحيوان
  • العلم الالهي
  • الجدري و الحصبة و الحميقاء
  • الرسام و البرسام و مداواتهما
  • القولونج و أسبابه و مداواته
  • البرص و البهق
  • الصريح
  • الاستسقاء
  • ظهور الدم
  • الماليخوليا
  • تركيب الأدوية
  • أمراض المعدة و مداواتها


  1. ^ a b Ward, Bāqir Amīn (1986). Awad, Gurgis (ed.). Muʻǧam al-ʻulamāʼ al-ʻArab (in Arabic). 1 (1st ed.). Bayrūt: ʻĀlam al-Kutub : Maktabaẗ al-Nahḍaẗ al-ʻArabiyyaẗ. p. 38.
  2. ^ a b "Interventional Physiology on the Stomach of a Live Lion: Ahmad ibn Abi al-Ash'ath (959 AD) | Journal of the Islamic Medical Association of North America". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)