The areas of human knowledge which Muhammad Ibn Zakariya al-Razi has influenced are myriad. In his lifetime, he became renowned as a polymath. He was a physician, alchemist, chemist and philosopher.
He was born in the Iranian city of Rey in 854 AD. He was educated in Music, Mathematics, Philosophy and Metaphysics. His chosen field was Medicine. He became one of the earliest proponents of experimental medicine. He did pioneering work in Paediatrics as well as in Ophthalmology. He was one of the first to be able to distinguish one disease from another by using Humouralism (an explanation of health, disease, and behavior on the basis of the relative proportions of four elemental fluids or 'humours'). He was able to distinguish between Small Pox and Measles. In his books, he devised a systematic classification of chemical substances based on observation and facts. He discovered alcohol, kerosene and numerous other chemicals. He developed apparatus like mortars, flasks and phials. He was the author of numerous books, such as 'The Virtuous Life', 'Doubts about Galen' and 'Proving the Science of Medicine'.
There is no doubt that he was one of the most inventive physicians as well as prolific author in medicine of his time.