Medicine, God, and the Unseen in Eleventh/Seventeenth-Century Morocco

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In the late seventeenth century, the head of the Salihiyya Sufi lodge in the far south of Morocco, Abu al-'Abbas Sidi Ahmad al-Salihi al-Dar'i (d. 1144/1731), wrote a poem of over a thousand lines on medicine, a long composition that went on to enjoy great popularity. The Worthy Gift of Medicine (al-Hadiya al-maqbula fi l-tibb) drew on a wide range of sources, including the Arab-Galenic tradition and Prophetic medicine, and in the fashion of the time, al-Salihi wrote a long commentary to fully explain it. Al-Salihi's medical writings thus provide a productive entry point into the nature of medical writing and practice in early modern Morocco, as well as the historiographical narratives that have structured the ways in which they have been studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-479
Number of pages21
JournalEarly Science and Medicine
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Islamic world
  • Medicine
  • Morocco
  • Sufism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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