MUFADDAL IBN MAJID IBN AL-BISHR, AL-, also known by the name of Ibn al-Bishr al-Katib (the secretary), a famous Coptic physician who lived during the mid-thirteenth century. M. Steinschneider suggested that he was a Jew, and C. Brockelmann, following that example, gave Mufaddal the name of al-Isra’ili. In most manuscripts, however, he is simply called al-Qibti.
He authored a medical treatise, written in verse, totaling nearly 3,500 verses, called Naq‘ al-Ghalal/wa naf‘ al-‘alal (Treatise on How to Quench Thirst [for Medical Knowledge]). The work opens with various definitions, discusses different medicines, and ends with the subject of poisons.
We possess the autographed manuscript written by al-Mufaddal himself in A.H. 667/A.D. 1268/1269 (National Library, Paris, Arabe 2997, 137 sheets with 13 lines per page).
The text remains unedited, and for its identification we quote the incipit:
"Al-hamdu li-llahi al-ladhi abda‘a-l-bashara naran wa-ma’an wa-hawa’an wa-madara!" which may be translated "Praise be to God who created man,/Fire, water, air and earth!"
Besides the autograph manuscript mentioned above, at least five others are known under his name.
KHALIL SAMIR, S.J.
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