Jaffar Shehatha* & Abdulsalam Y Taha@
*MB ChB, AMC, FICMS, FRCS, FRACS, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Head of Cardiac Surgery,
Suleimania Center for Heart Diseases. Adjunct Senior lecturer/ University of Western Australia, School of
Surgery. @MB ChB, FIBMS (CTVS) Professor and Head of Cardio-thoracic and Vascular Surgery Unit,
School of Medicine, University of Suleimania, Consultant Thoracic and Vascular Surgeon, Suleimania
Teaching Hospital, Suleimania, Iraq
Correspondence to: Mr. Jaffar Shehatha, E-mail:
Ibn al-Nafis was a great Arabic scholar and physician of his time. His account of coronary blood
flow and pulmonary circulation in 13th century preceded the description by European
researchers by almost three decades. At his time anatomical dissections were prohibited by the
social and religious Muslim rules. Therefore it is not exactly known how he had reached his
conclusions, whether through conjecture, observation on animals like monkeys, or by autopsy
studies of humans. Because of the long period between Avicenna (the name used by the west
for Ibn-Sina) and the appearance of Ibn-Al-Nafis and because of Ibn-Al-Nafis’s remarkable
contributions many called him as the (second Avicenna). Ibn-Al-Nafis was a remarkable man
and he deserves to be better known.