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Ibn Ṣaghīr/Ibn Kūjik Family

(702 words)

Author(s): Amir Mazor
Ibn Ṣaghīr/Kūjik was an eminent Karaite family in the period from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, known both from Cairo Geniza documents and from Muslim Arabic sources. Its members included several important merchants, high government officials, and prominent physicians. According to information provided by fourteenth-century Muslim historians, the ancestor of the family was Abū ʼl-Munajjā Solomon ibn Shaʿya, a high official in twelfth-century Fatimid Egypt. The family had originated in Iran; after settling in Egypt, some …

Dimyāṭī, al-Sadīd al-

(457 words)

Author(s): Amir Mazor
Al-Sadīd al-Dimyāṭī was one of the personal physicians of the Mamluk sultan al-Nāṣir Muḥammad ibn Qalāwūn (1285–1341) in Cairo. A member of the eminent Karaite family of Ibn Ṣaghīr/Kūjik (“Small”), and known as Ibn Kūjik, he was one of the few court physicians from this family who did not convert to Islam. We have no information regarding al-Sadīd al-Dimyāṭī’s personal name (Ar. ism). His nisba (attribution), however, indicates that the town of Damietta (Ar. Dimyāṭ) in the Delta on the east branch of the Nile River was his place of origin. His honorific title (Ar. laqab) al-Sadīd (“the so…

Asad al-Yahūdī

(439 words)

Author(s): Amir Mazor
Asad (or: Usayda) al-Yahūdī (“the Jew”) was a prominent physician in Mamluk Egypt and Syria during the second half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth. The only contemporaneous historian to mention Asad was his associate Khalīl ibn Aybak al-Ṣafadī (1297–1363), who included entries on him in his biographical dictionaries. As an erudite physician, Asad was knowledgeable in the rational sciences, especially metaphysics and physics. He worked as a general physician and ophthalmologist but was most famous as a gifted surgeon w…

Faraj Allāh ibn Ṣaghīr

(344 words)

Author(s): Amir Mazor
Faraj Allāh (Yeshūʿā) ibn Ṣaghīr was a distinguished physician at the court of the Mamluk sultan al-Nāṣir Muḥammad ibn Qalāwūn (r. 1310–1341) in Cairo and a member of the eminent Karaite family of Ibn Ṣaghīr/Kūjik (“Small”). He seems to have been one of the very few court physicians from this family who did not convert to Islam. Having studied under his own father, as well as the renowned physician Ibn al-Nafīs (d. 1288) and other physicians of equal standing, Faraj Allāh specialized in general medicine and was authorized to practice ophthalmology and…