ISHAQ IBN IBRAHIM IBN NASTAS, Abu Ya‘qub, tenth-eleventh-century physician and grandson of NASTAS IBN JURAYJ, also a physician. He was born in Old Cairo (Misr) at an unknown date.
He entered the service of the Fatimid caliph al-HAKIM BI-AMR ALLAH (966-1021) and became his personal physician about 1004.
The Melchite historian Yahya ibn Sa‘id al-Antaki, in his Appendix to the Annals of Sa‘id ibn Bitriq (composed before the year 1015 and revised and completed by 1028), informs us that when Abu Ya‘qub became the private physician to al-Hakim, "he advised him to drink wine, telling him of its beneficial effects. Al-Hakim listened to his advice, and lifted the ban he had imposed concerning wine. He then invited a team of singers and musicians to his court, and took to drinking among their songs, losing all shame in their company and piling favours upon them. Thus people returned to their former way of living. Some time later, the physician Abu Ya‘qub [ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim] ibn Nastas died, and al-Hakim gave up wine and imposed a vigorous ban on drinking it" (from the translation by Kratchkovsky, 1932, p. 480). After this, Yahya ibn Sa‘id relates an event that occurred during Lent 1007. Therefore Abu Ya‘qub probably died around 1006 or at the beginning of 1007, and while al-Hakim was still living.
Abu Ya‘qub appears to have left no written works.
KHALIL SAMIR, S.J.
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