Historical Article

Hakim Mohammad Azam Khan Chishti (1814-1902) and His Book about "Crisis in Diseases"


The term “crisis” in medical context is an important turning point or stage which occurs in some diseases and if not managed correctly, can become life threatening. Despite the use of the term in modern medicine, it was a much wider and sophisticated traditional medical concept. The first usage has been seen in the Greek writings of Hippocrates. In the Islamic Golden Age, this concept entered Persian Medicine by translation of Greek medical treatises. Great Persian Medicine scholars have paid particular attention to the concept and have written exclusive chapters about it. One of such scholars, Hakim Mohammad Azam Khan Chishti (1814-1902), an Indo-Persian physician and medical writer, wrote several comprehensive encyclopedic books - in Persian language - about various aspects of Persian Medicine including crises. In this historical review we discuss his biography and his books, especially his important book Rokn-e-Azam, which is a comprehensive work on the concept of crisis in which he collected and discussed opinions of great medical scholars from ancient times to the 19th century. Despite his fidelity, unfortunately he rarely criticized the previous literature and thus did not add an additional value to the subject else than his comprehensive review. In the recent worldwide accepted roadmap towards Integrative Medicine, studying such inclusive traditional manuscripts may give better insight and understanding of the behavior of acute and chronic diseases and their appearance, exacerbations and remissions.

Newman Dorland WA. Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Elsevier Saunders. Philadelphia 2012; p 431.

[No author listed]. Merriam-Webster's medical dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Massachusetts 1995; p 147.

Varounis C, Katsi V, Nihoyannopoulos P, Lekakis J, Tousoulis D. Cardiovascular hypertensive crisis: recent evidence and review of the literature. Front Cardiovasc Med 2017; 3:51.

Van Ness-Otunnu R, Hack JB. Hyperglycemic crisis. J Emerg Med 2013;45:797-805.

Puar TH, Stikkelbroeck NM, Smans LC, Zelissen PM, Hermus AR. Adrenal crisis: still a deadly event in the 21st century. Am J Med 2016;129:e1-9.

Novelli EM, Gladwin MT. Crises in sickle cell disease. Chest 2016;149:1082-1093.

Kligler B, Lee R. Integrative medicine: principles for practice. McGraw Hill Professional. New York 2012; p 184.

Cooper GM. Galen, De diebus decretoriis, from Greek into Arabic. Ashgate publishing company. Farnham 2011.

Cooper GM. Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq's Galen translations and Greco-Arabic philology: some observations from the crises (De crisibus) and the critical days (De diebus decretoriis). Oriens 2016;44:1-43.

Sharifi Darani N, Cooper GM, Alizadeh Vaghasloo M. Introduction to the Concept of Crisis in Diseases. Trad Integr Med 2019;4:165-169.

Cooper GM. Medical crises and critical days in Avicenna and after: insights from the commentary tradition. Intellec Hist Islamicate World 2018;6:27-54.

Chishti MAK. Rokn-e-Azam. Iranian Teb. Tehran 2017. [in Persian]

Zargaran A, Ahmadi SA, Daneshamouz S, Mohagheghzadeh A. Ancient Persian pharmaceutical vessels and tools in Iranian archaeological museums. Pharm Hist (Lond) 2012; 42:68-71.

Rezaeizadeh H, Alizadeh M, Naseri M, Shams Ardakani M. The Traditional Iranian Medicine Point of View on Health and Disease. Iran J Public Health 2009;38:169-172.

Shirbeigi L, Zarei A, Naghizadeh A, Alizadeh Vaghasloo M. The concept of temperaments in Traditional Persian Medicine. Trad Integr Med 2017;2:143-156.

Sagar KC. Foreign influence on ancient India. Northern book center. New Delhi 1992.

Khansir AA, Mozafari N. The impact of Persian language on Indian languages. Theory Pract Lang Studies 2014;4:2360-2365.

Bose DM, Sen SN, Subbarayapa BV. A concise history of science in India. Indian national science academy. New Delhi 1971.

Elgood C. Safavid medical practice: or, the practice of medicine, surgery and gynaecology in Persia between 1500 A.D. and 1750 A.D. Luzac. London 1970.

Jackson P, Lockhart L. The Cambridge history of Iran, Vol 6. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge 1986.

Zargaran A, Zarshenas MM, Borhani Haghighi A, Mohagheghzadeh, A. A short introduction to a 19th century Persian book on pulsology: Naiier Azam. Res Hist Med 2014; 3:21-24.

Abdollahi M, Askari SF, Badr P. A selection of ethical recommendations from Romuz-e Azam (19th A.D). J Islam Iran Trad Med 2016;6:286-297.

Vaseti N. History of Iran-Pakistan medical relations. Iran University of medical sciences publications. Tehran 2003. [in Persian]

[No author listed]. Book Review: Asma-al-Advieh. J Islam Iran Trad Med 2011;2:69,70. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Romuz-e-Azam. Almaei. Tehran 2014. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Qarabadin-e-Azam. Almaei. Tehran 2014. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Mohit-e-Azam. Almaei. Tehran 2015. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Exir-e-Azam. Almaei. Tehran 2014. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Nayyer-e-Azam. Almaei. Tehran 2000. [in Persian]

Chishti MAK. Asma-al-Advieh. Iran University of medical sciences publication. Tehran 2004. [in Persian]

Alizadeh Vaghasloo M, Zareian MA, Soroushzadeh SMA. The Concept of Nozj. Trad Integr Med 2016;1:133-135.

WHO Traditional Medicine strategy: 2014-2023. WHO press. Geneva 2013.

IssueVol 6, No 2, 2021 QRcode
SectionHistorical Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/tim.v6i2.6796
Persian medicine History of medicine Iran India Crises

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Sharifi Darani N, Zargaran A, Cooper G, Abbassian A, Alizadeh Vaghasloo M. Hakim Mohammad Azam Khan Chishti (1814-1902) and His Book about "Crisis in Diseases". Trad Integr Med. 2021;6(2):166-173.