Zayn al-Din Gorgani

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Sayyid Zayn al-Din Isma'il al-Husayni al-Jurjani (Ismail Gorgani)
Died1136 (aged 94–95)
EthnicityPersian Iranian
EraIslamic golden age
Main interest(s)traditional medicine, theology, philosophy and ethics
Notable work(s)Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi and many others

Zayn al-Din Sayyed Isma‘il ibn Husayn Gorgani (c. 1040–1136),[1] also spelled al-Jurjani, was a Persian[2] 12th century royal Islamic physician from Urganj, Uzbekistan.[1] In addition to medical and pharmaceutical sciences, he was also an adept in theological, philosophic and ethical sciences.[3] He was a Persian physician and learned the rudiments of medicine in Kunya-Urgench, Old Urgench or Urganj of Uzbekistan. Jurjani was a pupil of Ibn Abi Sadiq and Ahmad ibn Farrokh. He arrived at the court in the Persian province of Khwarazm in the year 1110 when he was already a septuagenarian. There he became a court physician to the governor of the province, Khwarazm-Shah Qutb al-Din Muhammad I, who ruled from 1097 to 1127. It was to him that he dedicated his most comprehensive and influential work, the Persian-language compendium Zakhirah-i Khvarazm'Shahi.

Jurjani continued as court physician to Khwarazm'Shah Qutb al-Din's son and successor, Ala al-Din Atsiz, until at some unspecified time he moved to the city of Merv, the capital of the rival Seljuq Sultan Sanjar (ruled 1118–1157), where he died nearly at 100 lunar years of age.

Jurjani composed a number of important medical and philosophical treatises, in both Persian and Arabic, most of them written after he moved to Khwarazm at the age of 70 lunar years.

Thesaurus of the Shah of Khwarazm[edit]

Al-Jurjani wrote the Persian medical encyclopedia, Thesaurus of the Shah of Khwarazm (also known as The Treasure of Khwarazm Shah), some time after 1110, when he moved to the northern Persian province of Khwarezm. Much of his work was dependent on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (c. 1025), along with al-Jurjani's own ideas not found in the Canon. The work is composed of ten volumes covering ten medical fields: anatomy, physiology, hygiene, diagnosis and prognosis, fevers, diseases particular to a part of the body, surgery, skin diseases, poisons and antidotes, and medicaments (both simple and compound).[4] In endocrinology in particular, al-Jurjani was one of "the first to associate exophthalmos with goitre," which was not repeated until Caleb Parry (1755–1822) in 1825, and later by Robert James Graves (1796–1853) and Carl von Basedow (1799–1854). Al-Jurjani also established an association between goitre and palpitation.[5]

On "Drugs recommended for lice control," Gorgani recommends the following method:

A) Keeping oneself clean

B) Wearing Cotton and Silk Clothing

C) Changing them Frequently

D) Using anointments composed of the following drugs which work as desiccating agents: 1) Fruits of sumac with Olive Oil. 2) leaves and roots of Rumex 3) Alum (vitriol) with olive oil. 4) leaves of Melia azedarach. 5) leaves of pomegranate; 6) leaves of colocynth 7) leaves of myrtle 8) leaves of Thymus Serpyllum 9) leaves of flax [Linum Usitatissimum] 10) leaves of Acorus Calamus. 9) Leaves of flax [Linum Usitatissimum] 10) leaves of Acorus Calamus and finally 11) Cinnamon with olive oil, specially with the oil of Cathamus Tinctorius and oil radish.

Most of the above botanicals have recently been shown to possess insecticidal properties.[6]


Some of his works are:[3]

  1. Zakhireh-i Kharazmshahi, a ten volume encyclopedia of medical sciences
  2. Khafi Alayee, a summary of Zakhireh-i Kharazmshahi
  3. Al-Iqraz al-Tebbieh and Al-Mabahis al-Alaieh,
  4. Tib Yadegar
  5. Kitab-fi-Hifz al-Sihat (Book on Preserving Health)
  6. Book on Anatomy
  7. Zubdah al-Tib, a discussion of medicine and pharmacology (Arabic)
  8. Al tazkereh al-Ashrafyeh fi Asnaah al-Tebbieh, an Arabic translation of Khafi Alayee
  9. Al-Tib al-Mulkuki
  10. Kitab al-Manbah or Al-Risalah al-Manbah, a book on ethics and resisting desires and passions,
  11. Kitab Tadbir al-Yaum va Laylah, a book on ethics and morality,
  12. Kitab Nameh, about ethics
  13. Fi al-Qias, a philosophical work
  14. Fi al-Tahlil, another philosophical work
  15. Al-Zakhireh al-Kharazmshahieh, a translation of Zakhireh-i Kharazmshahi into Arabic
  16. Al-Kazemieh, a philosophical treatise
  17. Al-Javiah al-Tebbiah va al Mabahes al-alaiyeh, (authorship disputed)
  18. Kitab fi al-Rad al-Phalasifah

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Abivardi, Cyrus (2001). Iranian entomology: an introduction. Springer. p. 484. ISBN 978-3-540-67592-1.
  2. ^ Selin, Helaine (2008). Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-western cultures. Berlin New York: Springer. p. 131. ISBN 9781402049606. Abū˒l-Fadā˒il Ismā˓īl ibn al-H. usayn al-Jurjānī, Zayn al-Dīn, sometimes called Sayyid Ismā˓īl, was the most eminent Persian physician after Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), and the author of the first great medical compilation written in Persian.
  3. ^ a b Shams Ardekani, Mohammad Reza (Medical University of Tehran); Moatar, Fariborz (Medical University of Isfahan), A Research Conducted on the Life and Works of Hakim Sayyid Esmail Jurjani.
  4. ^ Life and Works of Hakim Seyed Ismail Jorjani by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Majmua-e Maqalat Kangrah Buzargdasht Hakim Seyed Ismail Jorjani, Farhangistan Uloom Puzishki, Islamic Republic of Iran, 2000: 125–133
  5. ^ Nabipour, I. (2003), "Clinical Endocrinology in the Islamic Civilization in Iran", International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1: 43–45 [45]
  6. ^ Cyrus Abivardi, "Iranian Entomology", Published by Springer, 2001. pg 484.

Golshani S A. Sayyed Ismael Jorjani, The famous Iranian physician and philosopher. Jorjani Biomed J. 2014; 2 (2) :71-69. URL:]


  • B. Thierry de Crussol des Epesse, Discours sur l'oeil d'Esma`il Gorgani (Teheran: Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, 1998), pp. 7–13.
  • Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Persian Medical Manuscripts at the University of California, Los Angeles: A Descriptive Catalogue, Humana Civilitas, vol. 4 (Malibu: Udena Publications, 1978). pp. 208
  • C.A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey. Volume II, Part 2: E.Medicine (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1971), pp 207–211 no. 361
  • The article "Djurdjani" by J. Schacht in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960–2002) (2nd ed.), vol. 2, p. 603
  • The article "Dakira-ye Kvarazmshahi" by `Ali-Akbar Sa`idi Sirjani in Encyclopædia Iranica, ed. Ehsan Yarshater, 6+ vols. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul and Costa Mesa: Mazda, 1983 to present), vol. 6 (1999) pp. 609–610.
  • Shoja MM, Tubbs RS. The history of anatomy in Persia. J Anat 2007; 210:359–378.
  • A Research Conducted on the Life and Works of Hakim Sayyid Esmail Jurjani, Mohammad Reza Shams Ardekani, Fariborz Moatar. Journal of the International Society for the History of Islamic Medicine, Vol 4, No 7, April 2005.