Ibn Sina: The source of the word Quarantine

Abu Ali Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina
Abu Ali Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina

Did you know that the Persian scholar of medicine, Ibn Sina (980-1037) suspected that some diseases were spread by microorganisms? To prevent human-to-human contamination, he came up with the method of isolating people for 40 days. He called this method al-Arba’iniya (“The forty”).

Traders from Venice heard of his successful method and took this knowledge back to contemporary Italy. They called it “Quarantine” (“The forty” in Italian).

This is where the word “Quarantine” comes from. The origin of the methods currently being used in much of the world to fight pandemics has its origins in the Islamic world.

Allah says in the Quran: “Who saves one human life, it is as if he has saved all mankind” (5:32). Even today Ibn Sina’s method saves thousands, perhaps millions, of lives. Masha Allah, that is another legacy filled with barakah!

Note: Ibn Sina’s full name was Abu Ali Al-Hussein Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina. In the west he is also known by the Latin version of his name: Avicenna.


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