(3,821 words)

, often contracted to māristān , from Persian bīmār ‘sick’ + the suffix -istān denoting place, a hospital. In modern usage bīmāristān is applied especially to a lunatic asylum.

i. Early period and Muslim East .

According to the Arabs themselves (cf. Maḳrīzī, Ḵh̲iṭaṭ , ii, 405), the first hospital was founded either by Manāḳyūs, a mythical king of Egypt, or by Hippocrates, the latter of whom is said to have made for the sick in a garden near his house a xenodokeion , literally ‘lodging for strangers’. The authority for this statement is given by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa ( ʿUyūn , ed. Müller, i, 26-27)…

Cite this page
Dunlop, D.M., Colin, G.S. and Şehsuvaroǧlu, Bedi N., “Bīmāristān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 18 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0123>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

▲   Back to top   ▲