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Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi
Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

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This 10th century Persian alchemist, chemist, physician, philosopher, and scholar made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, music, and philosophy. As a physician, he was an early proponent of experimental rather than theological medicine. Because of his belief in the importance of early intervention many consider him the father of pediatrics. His numerous accomplishments include: inventing rubbing alcohol, kerosene, and sulfuric acid, and developing diagnosis criteria for smallpox and chickenpox. He was a pioneer in neurosurgery and ophthalmology, and also the author of several philosophical works. He traveled extensively throughout Persia, attracting students of all disciplines, and spent his life devoted to the service of patients, both rich and poor.