(Last Updated on : 12/01/2013)
Unani Medicine during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb
developed considerably due the incursion of remarkable physicians whose contribution and expertise in the medical field in beyond comprehension. The period witnessed the publication of most of the benchmark works on the Unani-Tibb which were earlier translated into Persian. Two praiseworthy Unani medical texts composed during this period were: (i) Tuhfat-ul-Atibba, in which the essence of Ibn Sina's al-Qanun has been mentioned and (ii) Riyaz-e-Alamgiri, by Hakim Muhammad Raza Shirazi, dedicated to Aurangzeb.
During the period of Emperor Aurangzeb several hospitals were established in the town and the outlying cities. Clinics and dispensaries were also set up by wealthy persons. A hospital was founded by Nawab Khair-Andesh Khan, a well-experienced physician and a writer of Etawah. He also wrote a treatise by the name Khair-ul-Tajanb (Best of Experiences). Besides this, other notable physicians who served in the court of Aurangzeb were:
Hakim Abd al-Razzaq Mashrab
Hakim Abd al-Razzaq Mashrab came to India from Isfahan during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb. After a short trip in Bareilly
, he settled down in Sindh. He died in 1706.
Hakim Muhammad Amin Shirazi
Hakim Muhammad Amin Shirazi was one of the eminent physicians in the court of Aurangzeb. He was bestowed with high position for his medical expertise and ability.
Hakim Alawi Khan
Hakim Alawi Khan, a prominent physician was born in Shiraz in 1670 to Muhammad Hadi. His original name was Muhammad Hashim while Alawi Khan was his title. He was mostly known by his title to the students of Unani medicine in India. Hakim Alawi Khan after completing his studies in Shiraz landed in India during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb
in 1700. He however, gained reputation and prominence during the period of Muhammad Shah
(1719-1748) who ascended the throne of Delhi
in 1719. His extraordinary skill in medicine and other sciences helped him earn the position of a personal physician of the Emperor. Bestowing respect upon the physician, the Emperor who got him weighed in silver and gifted it to him. He was also conferred upon the title of Mutamid Al-Mulk.
Once, Nadir Shah was treated by Hakim Alawi Khan at the instance of the monarch. The Hakim was offered to return to Iran by Nadir Shah. The former accepted his proposal on a condition that he would be allowed to perform Hajj and pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The Nadir kept his promise and sent the Hakim on pilgrimage. In 1743 Hakim Alawi Khan again returned to India. Later in 1747 he died in Delhi and according to his wish he was buried at the mausoleum of Nizam al-Din Awliya. He has few noteworthy books to his credit such as,
* Jani al-Jawami
* Khulasat at-Tajarib
* Ashara Kamila
* Pharmacopoeia of Alawi Khan
He also wrote a huge collection of tested prescriptions which were later published in India.
Hakim Shaykh Hussayn Shirazi
Hakim Shaykh Hussayn Shirazi was a native of Arab. He was however, known as Shirazi for his long stay in Shiraz. A proficient physician and an excellent poet, he had authored a voluminous collection. He arrived in India during the reign of Aurangzeb and served in the court of his son, Muhammad Azam Shah. He also attained great fame in the reign of Farrukh Sayr and was bestowed with the title of Hakim al-Mulk.
Hakim Dawud Isfahan
Hakim Dawud Isfahan, a specialist in Unani, came to India from Isfahan. He studied medicine in his native place Isfahan. He was regarded as one of the top physicians in the court of Shah Abbas II. He arrived in India during the days of Aurangzeb and amassed great wealth. While returning to his native land, he built a splendid mosque in Isfahan which is known by his name.
Muhammad Akbar Arzani
Another exemplary physician of the Mughal period was Muhammad Akbar Arzani. He had left Shiraz to serve in the court of Aurangzeb. He has several Persian medical compilations to his cap such as,
* Mufrih-ul-Qutub (also known as Mufarrih-ul-Qutub)
Since 1700 these books have been utilised by the Unani teachers as standard textbooks for training of students of medicine. The Tibb-e-Hindi of Arzani particularly deals with the drugs taken from Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. In his Mufrih-ul-Qutub, he has mentioned about his experiences of employing unusual and unorthodox method for curing patients for the relief of burning and throbbing sensation caused by the pustules of smallpox.
There were several other physicians who served in the court of Aurangzeb and augmented the growth of medicine besides the one mentioned above who came to India from Gilan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Isfahan and Kashan. Their commendable contribution towards medicine is worth mentioning. Hakim Yusuf al-Mulk Lang from Damavand, Hakim Mashhadi from Mashhad, Hakim Jalal al-Din Muzaffar Ardistani from Ardistan are some of the distinguished physicians who contributed for the advancement of Unani medicine.