Ibn Sina

islamic medicine

medieval medicine



To many the word ‘Hakim’ is simply the family name or even first name of a friend most probably from a Middle Eastern descendant. However, in the Arabic language the word Hakim, means Doctor. Whenever somebody goes to medical school or gets a PhD in any field, he or she will get the title Hakim in other words Doctor. Hakim in Arabic is also an adjective meaning ‘wise’. So when you say this man is Hakim, you would be referring to his wisdom; that is why in some countries Hakim also means Judge.

Being Hakim or wise is such a noble attribute that in the Islamic Religion ‘Al-Hakim’ or ‘The Wise One’ is one of the 99 names given to describe Allah or God.

Hakim with an accent in pronunciation of the ‘A’, as if you are saying Haakem, means ruler in Arabic. This title is given to most political rulers in Arabic countries. For example the Prince ruler of Qatar is known as the Hakim of Qatar and so on…This title is even given in smaller groups and organizations, such as the top leader in the social organization The Lions Club is also called The Hakim.

You might be wondering what the significance of the old time Arabic Hakim or doctors is on today’s advanced western medicine. Did the doctors or Hakim of the old Arab world, as far back as one thousand and three hundred years ago have an impact on the way we diagnose and treat diseases in European and American hospitals today? It is a well acknowledged and documented fact, although not very commonly talked about, that after the spread of Islam in the known world then, Arabic doctors or the Hakim from the Islamic world, tremendously improved on the existing methods of treating diseases and developed new medical breakthroughs and procedures which literally placed the foundation of our contemporary medical system and knowledge of treating diseases, surgeries and sanitary practice today.