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Ibn al-Nafis was born in 1213 to an Arab family[10] probably at a village near Damascus named Karashia,

after which his Nisba might be derived. Early in his life, He studied theology, philosophy and literature.
Then, at the age of 16, he started studying medicine for more than ten years at the Nuri Hospital in
Damascus, which was founded by the Turkish Prince Nur-al Din Muhmud ibn Zanki, in the 12th century.
He was contemporary with the famous Damascene physician Ibn Abi Usaibia and they both were taught
by the founder of a medical school in Damascus, Al-Dakhwar. Ibn Abi Usaibia does not mention Ibn al-
Nafis at all in his biographical dictionary "Lives of the Physicians". The seemingly intentional omission
could be due to personal animosity or maybe rivalry between the two physicians.[11]

In 1236, Ibn al-Nafis, along with some of his colleagues, moved to Egypt under the request of the
Ayyubid sultan al-Kamil. Ibn al-Nafis was appointed as the chief physician at al-Naseri hospital which was
founded by Saladin, where he taught and practiced medicine for several years.

Ibn Nafis said that blood awareness to the liver is done through fine veins which are spread throughout
the liver and not in the right heart. This is evidence that Ibn Nafis found blood circulation in the coronary
arteries. Ibn Nafis dared to reveal this discovery even though it was contrary to the opinion of Ibn Sina.

Ibn An-Nafis asserted that blood flows from the liver to the lungs to get air and not to feed the lungs, as
this conclusion is generally believed by all doctors in his time.

Ibn An-Nafis said that there was a relationship between the fine veins and blood vessels in the lungs that
functioned to drain blood, but this discovery was claimed by an Italian doctor, Matteo Colombo (1516-
1559 AD), as his discovery.

Ibnu An-Nafis concluded that the blood vessels in both lungs contained only blood, and he denied the air
inside or sediment as believed by Gelenus.

Ibn An-Nafis said that the walls of the veins in both lungs are thicker than the walls of the blood vessel
walls, because they consist of two layers. But what is unfortunate, European historians say that this was
discovered by Serveto. We still doubt this, because it could be that he quoted it from Ibn An-Nafis or
from one of those who quoted it without mentioning the source.

Ibn An-Nafis denied any holes in the separation wall between the two parts of the heart. This conclusion
is in accordance with modern medicine.
Some reference sources disagree about the year of his death. Some historians say that he died on 11
Dhu'l-Qaidah in 678 AH (December 17, 1288 AD) and some say he died in 696 AH (1297 AD). At the end
of his life, Al-Nafis donated his house, library and clinic to Masuriyah Hospital to be used for the benefit
of the community.