Abū-Marwān ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Zuhr ( ; 1094–1162 CE), better known in the West by his Latinized name Avenzoar, was an Arab–Muslim physician, surgeon and a contemporary of Averroes and Maimonides. He was born at Seville (now southwestern Spain) and was regarded as the most renowned physician of Al-Andalus.Ibn Zuhr was known for his emphasis on a more rational, empiricbasis of medicine. His major work, Al-Taysīr fil-Mudāwāt wal-Tadbīr (“Book of Simplification Concerning Therapeutics and Diet”), was translated into Latin and Hebrew and was influential to the progress of surgery. He also improved surgical and medical knowledge by keying out several diseases and their treatments. Ibn Zuhr performed the first experimental tracheotomy on a goat. He is thought to have made the earliest description of bezoar stones as medicinal items
His full name is ‘Abū-Marwān ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Abī al-ʻAlāʼ Ibn Zuhr (Arabic: أبو مروان عبد الملك بن أبي العلاء بن زهر). His name was Latinized as Avenzoar, Abumeron, Abhomeron, Alomehón or Abhomjeron.
He was born in Seville and belonged to the Banu Zuhr family (of Arab origin), which produced six consecutive generations of physicians, and included jurists, poets, viziers or courtiers, and midwives who served under rulers of Al-Andalus. He studied medicine with his father, Abu’l-Ala Zuhr (d.1131) at an early age.
Fleeing from Seville
He fell out of favour of with the Almoravid ruler, ‘Ali bin Yusuf bin Tashufin, and fled from Seville. He was however, apprehended and jailed in Marrakesh in 1140. Later in 1147 when the Almohad dynasty conquered Seville, he returned and devoted himself to medical practice. He died in Seville in 1162.
Ibn Zuhr wrote three major books:
Kitab al-iqtisad fi Islah Al-Anfus WA al-Ajsad, written in his youth.
Kitab al-aghdhiya, on foods and regimen of health, written in exile in Morocco.
Kitab al-taysir, his opus magnum and written at the request of his colleague Averroes.
Ibn Zuhr presented an accurate description of the esophageal and stomach cancers, as well as other lesions.
Ibn Zuhr introduced animal testing as an experimental method of testing surgical procedures before applying them to human patients.
The Jewish physician-philosopher Maimonides admired Ibn Zuhr, describing him as “unique in his age and one of the great sages”. He frequently quoted him in his medical texts. He performed medical procedures on animals before doing them on humans to know if they would work