Quṭb al‐Dīn Maḥmūd ibn Mas˓ūd al‐Shīrāzī (1236–1311) was a Persian scientist and philosopher. He was born into a medical family in Shiraz in central Iran. His father was a staff physician and ophthalmologist at the newly established MuẒaffarī hospital. As a child he was the apprentice of his father, who died when Shīrāzī was 14. Having assumed his father's position at the hospital, he continued his studies with several other local teachers of medicine and the rational and religious sciences. At this time he began the study of the first book, al‐Kullīyāt (On General Principles) of Ibn Sīnā's Qānūn fī ‘l‐ṭibb (Canon of Medicine), the leading medical textbook of the Middle Ages. His father had also initiated him into the Suhrawardī order of Sufis (Islamic mystics).
By the time he reached adulthood, he was in need of advanced medical instruction that could not be provided by the teachers of a provincial city like Shiraz. It would have been normal for him to have gone off earlier to one of...
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