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Disease and Medicine 
in India 



A Historical Overview 



edited by Deepak Kumar 



Indian History Congress 



Tulika 



an... — ' 2001 



Physicians as Professionals 
in Medieval India 



5. All Nadeem Rezavi 



A study of Mughal society reveals the existence of a 'class' dis- 
tinct from the landholding class and the peasantry, comprising physi- 
cians, architects, scholars, teachers, poets, painters, musicians and a 
large number of craftsmen, apart from merchants, who made their 
living by selling their professional skills.' Some recent studies have 
shown that this newly-arising intermediary professional group, by the 
seventeenth century, had started being recruited to influential bureau- 
cratic positions.^ 

This paper attempts to analyse the role of the physicians as 
professionals and assess their position in the Mughal society as well as 
their relations with the imperial ruling class. Was their position just 
that of clients bound to their patrons in expectation of a respectable 
income, or did a general demand exist for their services among various 
sections of the society, against which they received a salary? Related to 
this is the status of these practitioners of medicine from the point of 
view of their cHents and patients. 

I 

Commenting on the level of medical education in India, Fryer 
suggests that the field of medical science in India was 'open to all Pre- 
tenders, here being no Bars of Authority, or formal Graduation, Exam- 
ination or Proof of their Proficiencyi but every one ventures, and every 
one suffers; and those that are most skilled, have it by Tradition, or 
former Experience descending in their Families.'^ Fryer further observ- 
ed that the Indian physicians neither understood the pulse nor did 
they treat other ailments.'* Careri goes still further when he says, 'In 
Physick they have but small skill, and cure several diseases by Fasting',^ 



40 



Physicians as Professionals 

and Manucci is much harsher when he exclaims, 'From such doctors 

and such drugs libera nos DomineV^ 

Ahhough there were not many separate colleges exclusively 
dealing with the medical sciences, as in AUeppo, Egypt or Iran, their 
existence is testified in India as well. Monserrate pointedly mentions 'a 
very famous school of medicine' at Sirhind, 'from which doctors are 
sent out all over the empire'7 Abdul Baqi Nahawandi mentions the 
madrasa of Hakim Shams and Hakim Mu'in at Thatta, where they 
also gave lectures on medicine.^ Similarly, Mir Abu Turab Gujarati, a 
contemporary of Akbar, had his own maktab, where he imparted 
education.^ Abdul Hamid Lahori mentions a certain Hakim Mir 
Muhammad Hashim who used to impart instruction in his own school 
at Ahmadabad.'" Hakim Alimuddin Wazir Khan is said to have buiU a 
madrasa at his native town Chiniot in the Punjab.'^ 

One may assume that in these schools run by the tabths, the 
curriculum included a study of texts on tibb. This impression is streng- 
thened by Abul Fazl's statement in Axn-iAkbari, that Akbar had direct- 
ed the inclusion of tihb with the other sciences in the school curri- 
culum.^^ The well-known iVizflmi course included, besides other texts, 
the following well-known texts on tibb: Sharh-i Asbab, Mujaz al- 
Qanun, Qanun of Abu 'Ah Sina, al-Nafisi and Hidayah-i Sa'ida}^ 

Another form in which education in tibb may have been 
imparted was through dawakhanas (dispensaries) and sharbatkhanas 
(syrup houses /distilleries), often run through state munificence.'"^ 

The most important centres of medical education during the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, however, were located in Iran, 
fi-om where many physicians in India were recruited.^^ A sizeable num- 
ber of physicians of the Mughal period are said to have attained theh 
knowledge from various academies in Lahijan (Gilan), Mashhad, Isfa- 
han and Shiraz.^^ Mir Muhammad Hashim, better known as Hakim 
Hashim, who later became tutor to Prince Aurangzeb and had also 
opened his own madrasa at Ahmadabad, remained in the holy cities 
for twelve years to acquire knowledge. In India he was a student of 
Hakim Ah Gilani.^^ Similarly, the famous Gilani brothers attained their 
education in Iran before migrating to India. 

. There exists evidence suggesting that sometimes Indian 
scholars too went to these institutions in Iran for training and educa- 
tion in tibb. One such person was Ahmad Thattavi who went to Iran 



.t 



41 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

from Sindh and studied in Shiraz under the guidance of MuUa Kamal- 
uddin Husain and Mulla Mirza Jan, two noted physicians of Shiraz; on 
completion of his studies he came back to India. '^ Muhammad Akbar 
Arzani, a noted physician under Aurangzeb and a native of Delhi, also 
went to Iran for further studies in tihb}'^ 

A perusal of the Persian sources shows that medical education 
was tutor-oriented. Those desirous to learn would go to a reputed 
physician and get the education from him.^^Thus Hakim Ali Gilani 
acquired his knowledge in the company of Hakimul Mulk Sham- 
suddin Gilani and Shah Fathullah Shirazi.^^ 

II 

In Mughal India, like other professions, the physician's pro- 
fession also gained prominence. Historical sources reveal the import- 
ant position held by physicians. Abul Fazl, Nizamuddin Ahmad and 
Lahori, while listing ulema (scholars) and poets, duly included the phy- 
sicians of the period. Considerable interest appears to have been taken 
in patronizing them. In ethnic terms, the tabihs of Mughal India were 
a predominantly Irani group (see Table 1 ). This is borne out by the list 
of physicians mentioned in the Mughal chronicles as well as the 
observations of the European travellers. ^^ But at Akbar's court the 
situation was slightly different in so far as there were also present a 
considerable number of Hindu tabibs, who are mentioned by Abul 
Fazl and Nizamuddin in their Hst of Atibba?^ These 'Hindu' tabtbs 
were probably brahmins by caste,^'* and experts of Ayurvedic rather 
than Unani tibb. 



Table I 



Reign 


Persians 


Indians 


Others 


Total 


Akbar 


5 


14 


13 


42 


Jahangir 


11 


07 


01 


19 


Shahjahan 





08 


05 


24 


Aurangzeb 


04 


7 


01 


7 



We find that a sizeable number of tabibs joined Mughal 
service in various capacities and were sometimes also assigned man- 
sabs. These were physicians who would be recruited directly to the 
service of the emperor; others would join the estabhshment of nobles. 



42 



Physicians as Professionals 

Before a physician or a surgeon could join a service he had to 
pass certain tests, to the satisfaction of the employer. Extreme care was 
taken to select or appoint only the most accomplished and experienced 
physician.^5 Thus, at the time of Hakim Ali Gilani's employment, 
Akbar ordered several bottles containing the urine of sick and healthy 
persons, as also that of cattle and asses, to be brought before the Hakim 
for detection. The Hakim is reported to have diagnosed each one of 
them correctly and passed the test From that time his reputation and 
influence increased and he became a close confidant {muqarrab) of 
Akbar,^^ Manucci recounts a similar incident that happened to him 
while in the retinue of Prince Shah Alam.^^ 

From a stray remark of Manucci it appears that, as in the case 
of those in imperial service, there was a hierarchical division in the 
estabhshment of a prince. There used to be a chief physician under 
whose charge were placed a number of subordinate physicians and 
surgeons who were bound to obey his orders.^^ This chief physician 
was, in Mughal terminology, known as saramad-t atihha or saramad-i 
hukamaP This hierarchy is also discernible, at least in the imperial 
household, by the reference to the title of Hakimul Mulk (the chief of 
the physicians), which was quite independent of the mansab he was 
holding. Although the most visible of the state physicians and the hold- 
er of the highest mansab under Akbar was Hakim Abul Path, the title 
(or office?) ofHafcimw/Mu/fcwas held by Hakim ShamsuddinGilani.^'^ 

In 1627, on the accession of Shahjahan, the title was bestowed upon 
Hakim Abu'l Qasim, the son of Hakimul Mulk Shamsuddin Gilani.'^ 
In 1662 the recipient of this honour was Hakim Mir Muhammad 
Mahdi Ardistani,^^ followed by Hakim Sadiq Khan, who was awarded 
the title in the forty-ninth regnal year of Aurangzeb (1704-05).^^ 

Mughal miniatures also confirm the hierarchical division 
amongst the physicians serving kings, princes and nobles. In three or 
four miniatures, a chief physician {saramad-i atibba) is depicted tend- 
ing the patient along with his subordinate colleagues^'* {see Plate 1). 
The growing prosperity of the medical profession can be discerned 
through the depiction of the physician-bureaucrats. Muqarrub Khan 
(identifiable from an inscription, 'Shabih-i Muqarrub Khan'), in all 
his portraits, is shown wearing a white silken dastar with a golden 
design and standing amongst the nobles close to the emperor.^^This 
attire is typical of a Mughal noble, with the exception that he is always 
wearing sober colours. ^^ Unlike him, Masihuz Zaman is shown in a 



43 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 
















^-.^ ^r' ^ 



^ 

£■- 



Plate 1 



44 



Physicians as Professionals 

dress that was typical of the attire of the scholars and ulema?'^ Physi- 
cians who joined impeiial service or that of a noble, but had not been 
assigned a mansab, were recruited on a daily [yautniya) or annual {saii- 
yana) salary. ^^ Even after the grant of mansab, they received 'pocket- 
money' (zar-ijeb) to maintain a medicine box (kharita) comprising 
essential medicines.^^ From our sources it appears that the personal 
salary of a physician could vary between Rs 300 per month, i.e. Rs 3,600 
per annum, and Rs 100,000 per annum.'*'' According to Manucci, the 
salary of a blood-letter (surgeon) varied between Rs 2 per day and 
Rs 700.'*' Apart from remunerating a physician for his services through 
grant of mansab or cash allowances and salaries, they could also be 
given grants of bureaucratic offices or madad-i ma'ash grants. 

Sometimes we find that the Mughal bureaucracy also includ- 
ed persons who were basically military or civil officers but had some 
knowledge of tifct which they used for treating people off and on. Such 
cases would include persons like Shaikh Faizi, AmanuUah Khan Firuz 
Jang and Danishmand Khan. Khwaja Khawind, a noble under Huma- 
yun, is also said to have been a physician of some renown.*^ 

Our sources also throw some light on the patron-client rela- 
tionship between employer and employee. For example, Manucci 
observes that before being conducted into the royal haram or into the 
harem of a noble, the physician was covered from head to waist with a 
cloth and was accompanied by eunuchs.'*^ Generally, a set of rooms, 
styled bimarkhana, was assigned for the ailing lady in the haram.^^ 
Manucci further informs us that in the case of a patient being of royal 
blood, prior permission had to be taken trom the emperor in order to 
start the treatment.^^ Another piece of interesting information which 
hints at a patron-client relationship is provided by Manucci when he 
says that it was not the practice among the princes, and nobles to talk 
or have any sort of relations with the servants of other nobles or prin- 
ces, for fear of treason. This appUed to physicians particularly. When, 
in 1683, Diler Khan, an enemy of Prince Shah Alam, fell ill and with 
fair promises summoned Manucci to treat him, the prince strictly 
refiasedhim permission to do so."*^ 

There also exists evidence indicating the extent to which the 
ruler or nobles used to depend on the services offered to them by the 
physicians in their employment. This, for example, comes out very 
well from what we know about Jahangir's relationship with some of 
his physicians. On the one hand, he always had high expectations of 



45 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

their service and skilful treatment; at the same time he tended to de- 
nounce and denigrade them whenever they failed to come up to his 
expectations. He would, at the same time, criticize a tabibfov not being 
able to give him relief from a disease and resent the tabib leaving his 
company on one pretext or the other. ^^ 

The dependence of the patron on his client is clearly brought 
out by a story narrated by Tavernier. In December 1 665, when Taver- 
nier passed through Allahabad, he was told that the chief of the Persian 
physicians in the governor's pay had tried to kill his wife by throwing 
her from the top of a terrace. The woman survived the fall The gov- 
ernor dismissed the chief physician and the physician departed with 
his family. But soon after the governor fell ill and recalled the physi- 
cian. On getting his message, the physician stabbed his wife, children 
and thirteen slave-girls, and returned to the governor at Allahabad. 
The governor said nothing to him and accepted him back in his ser- 
vice/^ Similarly, Taqarrub Khan was retired and his son dismissed by 
Aurangzeb after the hakim had cured the imprisoned Shahjahan. But 
after some time when Aurangzeb himself fell ill, the hakim was restored 
to favour and the dismissal of his son was revoked."*^ 

Further> it appears that a physician joining the service of the 
state or a noble was not bound to his patron. He could, like a true pro- 
fessional, change his employer as and when he willed. This becomes 
apparent by the way the author of Ma'asir-i Rahimi mentions approv- 
ingly that after joining the service of Khan-i Khanan, Hakim Muham- 
mad Baqir remained attached to him throughout his life.^*^ We also 
have the evidence of Hakim Muhammad Husain Gilani who, on mig- 
rating to India, initially joined the service of Mahabat Khan. After some 
time we find him in the service of Khana-i Zaman Bahadur, From there 
again he went to the court of Adil Shah at Bijapur, where he remained 
employed for a period often years. Later he joined the service of Khan- 
i Dauran,^^ A similar example is that of Hakim Momena Shirazi who, 
on coming to India, joined the service of Mahabat Khan. ^^ In 1662 we 
find him employed with Bahadur Khan, the 5w/;flt/(3r of Allah abad.^^In 
1665 he joined the imperial service and became the chief physician 
treating an aiUng Shahjahan. ^"^ 

From the foregoing discussion it becomes apparent that the 
patronage extended to physicians after Akbar weakened under Jahan- 
gir but then rose again under Shahjahan, if we go by the number of 
physicians listed by various chroniclers (see Table 2), Secondly, the 



46 



Physicians as Professionals 



Table 2 



Reign Those holding Others Total 

Mansabs 



Akbar 


8 


34 


42 


Jahangir 


7 


12 


19 


Shahjahan 


15 


9 


24 


Aurangzeb 


5 


? 


> 


Tota nicinsabho dcTs: 


35 







Iranian element remained dominant from the reign of Akbar to that 
of Shahjahan. Thirdly, those who joined service came after formal and 
proper training. Lastly, the recruitment and promotion of a physi- 
cian was linked with his expertise in medical practice. It was more a 
demand-related relationship rather than a fixed relationship of the 
feudal type. 

HI 

Darush'Shifa or shifakhanas (hospitals) were also run by the 
government, which employed physicians for the purpose. According 
to Bahar-i Ajam, these places were buildings [makan] established by 
the rulers and nobles for the treatment of the poor and needy {ghuraba 
wa masakin).^^ The tradition of building hospitals in India appears to 
have been established much before the advent of the Mughals. For 
example, in 1442-43 orders were issued by Sultan Mahmud Shah 
Khalji of Malwa to establish a darush-shifa as well as a darukhana (dis- 
pensary or pharmacy) at Mandu, where those who had knowledge of 
the drugs (adwiya shinas) used in the systems of medicine followed by 
the Muslim physicians and Indians {hrahman-i hindi) and 'accom- 
plished physicians' were to be appointed, to look after the patients visi- 
ting the hospital.^^ 

For the Mughal period, information about the establishment 
of state hospitals starts from the reign of Jahangir. In his twelve edicts 
of the first regnal year, Jahangir ordained the establishment of hospitals 
in all the great cities of the empire> where physicians were to be appoin- 
ted for healing the sick. The expenses of these hospitals were to be met 
from the khaiisa sharifar'^ Sometimes, especially during Aurangzeb's 
reign, hospitals were also established in small places that were within 
the altamgha assignments of the biggar mansabdars and umara}^ 



47 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

It appears that in these hospitals, the state recruited a number 
of physicians and surgeons who were under the charge of a chief physi- 
cian, who acted as the superintendent (darogha) of the hospital. To 
assist them in the general administration of the hospital, a number of 
clerks (mutasaddis) and a kotwalwere also appointed. ^"^ From a refer- 
ence to a madrasa being attached to a shifakhana, it appears that these 
hospitals sometimes served as medical colleges of sorts. ^^ During the 
reign of Shahjahan, a government hospital was constructed at Delhi 
near Chowri Bazar, 'for the treatment of the travellers and the students 
{talib-i Hlman) who cured the sick'.*^^ A reference to a 'school of medi- 
cine' at Sirhind has already been given, from where, according to Fr 
Monserrate, 'doctors are sent out all over the empire'. Monserrate was 
probably referring to a medical college. Another government hospital 
that flourished was the darush-shifa of Ahmadabad, where Shahjahan 
appointed Hakim Mir Muhammad Hashim as the head/^ This 
hospital was meant for treating the poor^^ and Unani as well as Ayur- 
vedic (tibb-i hindi) physicians and surgeons were appointed here. We 
hear of two more government hospitals, the iitjru^/i-s/iiffi at Auranga- 
bad and the darush-shifa at Surat.^'^ 

The physicians appointed in these hospitals were generally 
paid on a daily basis {yaumiya) from the treasury (bait-ul nial),^^ 
through the mutasaddis oi dar-uz zarb (officials of the royal mint}.^^ 
The superintendent and chief physicians (darogha wa hakim-i darush- 
shifa) of the government hospital at Aurangabad drew a salary, after 
usual deductions, of Rs 136 {i.e, Rs 6 per day),^^ 

The physicians serving the government hospitals had to sub- 
mit an attendance certificate (tasdiq-i hazari) before their salary was 
released. Sometimes, the darogha-i darush-shifa could be exempted 
from attendance.^^To be appointed to the post of a physician, recom- 
mendations had to be made by the bakhshi or some other responsible 
person.^"' However, Aurangzeb did not like too much interference in 
the matter of appointment from ordinary people.™ 

Apart from government hospitals, hospitals could also be 
established by nobles. During Jahangir's reign, Saif Khan built a hos- 
pital complex at Jeetalpur comprising a mosque, a madrasa and a shifa- 
khana which treated the poor.'" During the same reign, Hakim Ali- 
muddin Wazir Khan constructed a madrasa and a darush-shifa along 
with other buildings at his native town of Chiniot in the Punjab, and 



48 



Physicians as Professionals 

dedicated them to the residents of that town.^^ A certain Hakim 
Muhammad Rafi opened a hawaij kadah (cUnic) for the treatment of 

the poor." 

Interestingly, Careri remarks that European soldiers were 

hesitant to be recruited into the Mughal army as they had no hospital 

for the wounded men*.''* However, we have repeated information that 

the Mughal forces were always accompanied by physicians/^ and it 

appears that the physicians thus employed in the retinue of the rhan- 

sabdars enjoyed attractive perquisites. Many tabibs clamoured to be 

appointed to such positions.^^ But apparently these physicians, in spite 

of their perquisites, were an overworked and harassed lot.^^ 

Another means of partronizing the profession of physicians 
in the Mughal empire was the system of rewarding expertise and 
service to the commonality through gifts and grants. Thus, when Nur- 
jahan Begum was successfully treated by Hakim RuhuUah in 1618, the 
hakim was granted three villages in his native place as madad-i ma'nsh, 
which were to be considered his milkiyat {private property).''^The pur- 
pose of such madad'i ma'ash grants to the tabibsis clearly brought out 
by a number of Persian documents and chronicles. Hodivola has 
reproduced a number of documents relating to land and cash allow- 
ances granted to a family of Parsi physicians of Navsari, Gujarat, issued 
between 1517 and 1 67 1 7^ According to these documents, these Parsi 
physicians received the madad-i ma'ash since they treated 'the poor 
and the diligent' of the locality.^" A parwana quoted in Muruqqat-i 
Hasan, 1678, a compilation of letters v^nritten on behalf of Tarbiyat 
Khan, governor of Orissa, says that as a large number of ailing persons 
were being successfully treated by Hakim Muhammad Rafi, and as the 
people were greatly benefited by his medical knowledge, two parganas 
in sarkar Cuttack were given to him as madad-i ma'ash, from the 
income of which he was expected to meet the expenses of the sharbat- 
khana and the clinic {hawaij kadah) that he was running for the treat- 
ment of the poor.^' 

Importantly, this 'aid' was not confined to a particular reli- 
gious or ethnic group of physicians. We have seen that apart from 
Muslim tabibs this grant was successively confirmed in favour of a 
' family of Parsi physicians from the reign of Akbar to that of Aurang- 
zeb.*^ A number of documents testify to similar madad-i ma ash grants 
to Hindu physicians.^^ 



4$ 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

IV 

A general view which has found currency is that the physi- 
cians were completely dependent on royal patronage, or on the service 
of and endowments from the aristocracy. It is also sometimes held 
that the demand for the service was very hmited.**'* This erroneous view 
seems to be based mainly on Tavernier's observation to the effect that: 
'. . . in all the countries we have just passed through, both in the King- 
dom of Carnatic and the Kingdoms of Golkonda and Bijapur, there 
are hardly any physicians except those in the service of the Kings and 
Princes.'**^ But what the statement reveals is that Golconda and Bijapur 
were different in this respect from other areas. We have already noted 
in the preceding discussion that there were numerous physicians in 
Mughal India who ran their own chnics, imparted education and treat- 
ed the poor. Apart from the evidence already cited, there are many 
more references to the private practitioners. Some of them however, 
were no more than quacks (na-tabib), a fact borne out by Badauni.'*'^ 
Manucci too, in one of his passages, refers to these unqualified bazar 
physicians. While giving an account of the caravan sarais, he mentions 
the 'endless cheating physicians' who pestered the travellers.^'' 

These bazar physicians appear to have lived mainly on private 
practice. For instance, Badauni uses the term mutatahih-Sirhindi, that 
is, a private practitioner of Sirhind, when he mentions Shaikh Hasan, 
father of Shaikh Bhina, the surgeon.^'* Banarsi Das, in his Ardha Katha- 
nak, mentions a physician {baidh) of Jaunpur who treated him when 
he was young. He also mentions a nai (literally, barber), a term applied 
to local surgeonst who treated him for syphilis at Khairabad in 1602.^^ 
When his father fell ill in 1616, he was treated by yet another private 
practitioner at Banaras.^^During Shahjahan's reign a physician called 
Hakim Basant had a flourishing practice at Lahore. Surat Singh men- 
tions a 'specialist' of dog-bite at Kalanaur, to whom hapless patients 
would be carried.'" During the reign of Aurangzeb, Hakim Muha- 
mmad Abdullah practised and taught at Agra.^^ Balkrishan Brahman, 
a petty official, in his letters written during the reign of Aurangzeb, 
mentions local medical practitioners like Balram Misr and Manka 
Tabib at Hissar Firoza. In one of his letters recommending Manka 
Tabib to a mansabdarhr employment, he certified that 'a large num- 
ber of people have benefited by associating with him'." The presence 
of Hindu bazar physicians in the south is attested to by a number of 
European travellers.^^ 



50 



Physicians as Professionals 

The practice of setting up private clinics in the bazars by 
physicians also finds place in the Mughal miniatures. A miniature attri- 
buted randomly to Abul Hasan and pertaining to the reign of Jahangir 
reminds us of Tavernier's descriptions (see Plate 2, next page). It dep- 
icts a physician sitting under a canopy [shamiana) on a platform and 
advising an old patient.^^All around the physician (or is he just a drug- 
gist?) on the platform are displayed vials, bottles, jars, cups and bags 
containing a number of drugs, viz. 5w/w/(powder), sharbats (syrups) 
and arq (medicinal liquid extracts). A number of books are at hand, as 
is a small mortar and pestle to mix the medicines. On one of the bottles 
is inscribed 'sharbat-i diq' (syrup for consumption). Every bottle and 
bag is labelled. Behind the physician stands a boy, who probably acted 

as his assistant. 

Thus we see that not only was there considerable scope for 
■private practice, in many cases physicians preferred establishing private 
tlinics to government posts or accepting patronage from a noble. Yet, 
interestingly enoughs we know on the testimony of Fryer that there 
was no dearth of physicians who coveted employment under a noble/-'^ 
Presumably this was so because employment under a noble gave them 
a feeling of security and ensured a comparatively small but steady 

97 

income. 

These medical practitioners tended to be very hostile to their 

European counterparts. Partly this might have been an outcome of the 
European physicians assuming superior airs vis-a-vis the Indian physi- 
cians. As Manucci tells us, the Europeans were often not agreeable to 
accept salaries on a par with those of Indian physicians.^*' However, 
Linschoten speaks very reverentially of the Indian physicians who, he 
says, had no scruples in treating the natives and Europeans alike.^^ 
Careri goes a step further and, in one of his very perceptive passages, 
suggests that persons suffering from particular kinds of diseases found 
in India respond more naturally to the treatment given by Indian 
physicians: 'Experience having shown', observes Careri, 'that Europ- 
ean Medicines are of no use here.' He further says: 

... the physicians that go out of Portugal into those parts, must at 
first keep company with the Indian surgeons to be fit to practice, 
otherwise if they go about to cure those Distempers, so far different 
from ours after tlie European manner, they may chance to kill more 
than they cure.™ 



51 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 







Plate 2 



52 



Physicians as Professionals 

V 

As far as the state of knowledge in the field of medicine during 
the Mughal period is concerned, many modern scholars, following the 
testimony of the European travellers of the seventeenth century, have 
expressed serious reservations. As a matter of fact, Manucci held a firm 
belief that these tabibs had no knowledge of medicine and were cer- 
tainly not in a position to cure the stone, paralysis, epilepsy, dropsy, 
anaemia, malignant fevers or other difficult complaints.'"^ 

The available evidence, however, suggests that the medical 
profession in Mughal India had achieved a considerable degree of 
specialization within the frame work of Graeco-Arab medical science. 
The hakims, tabibs and jarrahs (surgeons) appear to have had amongst 
them ophthalmologists, specialized surgeons, pharmacologists,. 
veterinarians, sexologists and anatomists. Manucci admits that the 
tabibs of the period were well- versed in the science of pharmacy. He 
says, 'In this country it is incumbent on a doctor to prepare medicines, 
ointments and distillation— infact all things that appertain to the 
Apothecary's office. Many a times it is also necessary to instruct as to 
^iie fashion of preparing the patient's food.'^''^ 

Generally, the preparation of medicines was considered the 
responsibility of the physicians who prescribed them. The prescrip- 
tions, however, were generally kept a secret by the physician from each 
other, due to rivalry among them.^^^ This was, perhaps, an important 
factor inhibiting the growth of pharmaceutical establishments. Gene- 
rally, pharmaceutical preparations consisting of su/uf (powder), 
tnahlul (suspension), majun and jawarish (electuaries), sharhat 
(syrups), arq (distilled medicinal water) and mixtures were prepared 
by the physicians themselves. Sometimes the physician possessed ex- 
pertise in more than one field. For instance, during the reigns of Babur 
and Humayun, Hakim Yusum bin Muhammad Yusufi, who migrated 
to India along with Babur, was an expert in symptomatology, thera- 
peutics, ophthalmology and general medicine. He was the author of at 
least twelve books. Two of his treatises deaUng with symptomatology 
are preserved in the Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh. ^"^ His Fawa 'id-ul 
Akhyarand //tiju/yimrazdeal with hygiene andtherapeutics.^'^^Healso 
compiled a short discourse on eye diseases and their cures. '"^ Similary, 
Hakim Muhammadbin Yusuf utTabib al-Harawi, the personal physi- 
cian of Babur, was, in addition to his other accomplishment as tabib, 
one of the most widely-read pathologists of his time.'°^ Hakim Abdur 



53 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

Razzaq, who was a contemporary of Humayun, wrote Khulasat-ut 
Tashrih, which deals with human anatomy.'*'^ 

During Akbar's reign, much stress seems to have been laid 
on surgery. Shaikh Bhina, Mulla Qutbuddin Kuhhal (eye surgeon?), 
Hakim Biarjiu, Hakim Bhairon and Chandrasen were all reputed to be 
accomphshed surgeons. '^^ Hakim Shaikh Bhina wrote a book on 
medical prescriptions which is popularly known as Mujarrabat-i 
Shaikh Bhina.^^'^ Hakim 'Ainul Mulk 'Dawwani' Shirazi excelled him- 
self in the field of opthalmology." ' He was also an expert in the use of 
collyrium and pharmacology. ' ^^ His treatise, Fawaid ul Insan, is a work 
on pharmacology in versified form.^ ^^ Muhammad Hakim Gilani had 
expertise in sexology. ^'"^ Hakim Ali Gilani, one of the most accomplish- 
ed physicians of Akbar's reign, apart from his formula of roghan-i 
deodar, had also prepared sharbat-i kaifnak, which helped in removing 
exhaustion.' '^ He also had considerable knowledge in fields like osteo- 
logy (study of bone structures), myology (study of muscles}, angiology, 
neurology and the digestive system. ' '*■ Hakim Fathullah Shirazi trans- 
lated the famous Qajmn of Abu Ah Sina (Avicenna) into Persian for 
the benefit of the people." '^ Muhammad Qasim Ferishta, the famous 
author of Tarikh-i Ferishta, wrote Dastur-i jAtibba, now popularly 
known as Tibb-i Ferishta, in order to creat^/'among the Muslims an 
interest in the Indian system of medicine.^^^ During the same reign, 
Ma'sum Bhakhari, author of Tarikh-i Sindh, compiled a treatise on 
the treatment of diseases and drugs.' '^ Similarly, in 1 556 Shaikh Tahir 
authored Fawaid-ul Fuad, dealing with general medicine.^^" 

During the reign of Jahangir, Muqarrab Khan and Hakim Ali 
Akbar were renowned surgeons.^^' Muqarrab Khan was also an expert 
bleeder and veterinarian. ^^^ Later his nephew Hakim Qasim also grew 
to become an expert bleeder. '^^ AmanuUah Firoz Jang Khanazad Khan, 
son of Mahabat Khan, famous noble under Jahangir and Shahjahan, 
had a sound understanding of medicine. His Ganj-i Bad Awurd is a 
good work on pharmacology. His second work, Ummul Ilaj, is a 
treatise on purgatives.'^* 

Under Shahjahan as well, much work was done on pharma- 
cology. Sheikh Muhammad Tahir, Hakim Ma'sum Shustari and 
Hakim Nuruddin Muhammad 'Ainul Mulk, grandson of Hakim 
Shamsuddin Ali Dawani 'Ainul Mulk (of Akbar's reign), have left 
behind books on pharmacology.'^^ Hakim Ma'sum's Qarahadin-i 
Ma'sum deals with the preparation of drugs, electuaries, pulps, pastes, 

54 



Physicians as Professionals 

syrups, tablets, collyriums, enemas, gargles and ointments, as well as 
the effects of tea and coffee. '^^ Hakim Nuruddin 'Ainul Mulk's Alfaz- 
iAdwiyya is an encyclopaedia of pharmacology/^^ while his Ilajat-i 
Vara Shukohi is a compendium of medical science basically instructing 
travellers on dietary precautions, anatomy, medicines etc.'^^ 

During the reign of Aurangzeb, Hakim Sanjak achieved much 
in the field of opthalmia.^^^ Bernier says that Danishmand Khan was 
well-versed in anatomy.^^°He even had works of William Harvey on 
the circulation of blood, and Pecquet translated these into Persian for 
him.'^^ Nurul Haq Sirhindi wrote Ainul Hayat, a rare work on 
plague.^^^ Hakim Muhammad Akbar Arzani, a renowned physician of 
this reign, apart from translating a well-known commentary of the 
popular thirteenth-century pathological treatise by NajibuddinSamar- 

qandi,'^^ wrote a commentary on Chaghmini's QanunchaP'^ Qazi 
Muhammad Arif wrote Tibb-i Qazi Arif, a general work on medicine 
containing prescriptions for diseases that are especially indigenous to 

India. '35 

It appears from the surviving manuscripts of works written 

on medicine and other sciences, now preserved in various reposito- 

ries,^^^ that in Mughal India a large number of books on medicine were 

either written or compiled, translated or commented upon {see Tables 

3 and 4) . Under the early Mughals (sixteenth to seventeenth centuries) 

and later Mughals (eighteenth century) the largest number of books 

written belonged to the field of medicine, as compared to astronomy 



Tables 





Medici 


ne 






Astro 


no my 






Mathematics 




Cen- 


Per- 


Ara-Sans- 


Total 


Per- 


Ara- 


Sans- 


Total 


Per- 


Ara- 


Sans- 


Total 


tury 


sian 


bian 


krit 




sian 


bian 


krit 




sian 


bian 


krit 




13th 


4 


33 


31 


68 


11 


2 


8 


40 


5 


30 


2 


37 


14th 


2 


5 


50 


76 


7 


6 


15 


28 


8 


29 


3 


40 


15th 


18 


1 


36 


55 


25 


32 


47 


104 


8 


22 


4 


34 


I6th 


20 





6 


191 


34 


36 


93 


163 


6 


I 


18 


35 


7th 


102 


2 


122 


126 


39 


30 


190 


259 


23 


25 


4 


62 


18th 


133 


6 


SO 


2 9 


32 


22 


37 


91 


34 


12 


10 


56 



Source: A. Rahman et aL, Science and Technology in Medieval India: A Bibliography 
of Source Materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, New Delhi, 1982. 



55 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 



Table 4: Categories of Books on Medicine (Persian) 



Century 


Total 


General 


Specia- 


Antholo- 


Diction 


- Ency- Cotnmen- 


- Trans- 








iized 


gies/Com- 
pendiums 


anes 


dopaedias taries 


lations 


i3th 


4 


1 


2 


•t 


- 


- 


1 


14th 


21 


5 




1 


1 


1 


3 


15th 


18 


4 


10 


- 


3 


_ 


— 


6th 


20 


15 


93 


5 


1 


- 


6 


17th 


102 


10 


6K 


5 


4 


3 2 


10 


18th 


133 


10 


98 


8 


1 


3 3 


10 



Source. A. Rahman et al, Science and Technology in Medieval India: A Bibliography 
of Source Materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, New Delhi, 1982. 

and mathematics, the other two popular fields of study. A sudden 
impetus to the collection and writing of books on medicine started in 
the sixteenth century, which continued down to the eighteenth cen- 
tury. This trend was confined generally to works in Persian and Sans- 
krit; books in Arabic, on the other hand, either decreased or remained 

stable numerically. 

Table 4 shows the trend of speciaUzed books on medicine 
developing during the sixteenth century. The seventeenth century saw 
some decline followed by a steep rise under the later Mughals. The 
trend of anthologies and compendia, as well as translations of previous 
works also developed from the sixteenth century onwards. 

VI 

An interesting question can be asked about the physicians of 
medieval India: were these tabibs dogmatic in their approach or were 
they open to change? Some idea in this respect can be had from the 
discussion that is reported to have taken place at Akbar's court in 1 603, 
on the use of tobacco. In this year Asad Beg Qazwini brought to the 
court from Bijapur a small sample of tobacco and a smoking pipe for 
the emperor. When Akbar showed an inclination to smoke, he was 
sought to be dissuaded by Hakim Ali Gilani, who argued that as 
nothing was mentioned regarding tobacco in our medical books', it 
would be risky to use it without making further investigations. |" 
While one may not disapprove in principle of the advice that Hakim 
Ali Gilani gave on that occasion, one cannot help noting the intrinsic 

56 



Physicians as Professionals 

cause of the hakim^s line of argument. For him nothing was permissible 
that was not sanctioned by the texts of unani tibb handed down by the 
great masters of earHer times. This obviously appHed to the new ideas 
regarding medicine that were coming at this time from the west. 

But then, did this not mean that the urge to improvize was 
absent among the Indian physicians? A stray reference by Manucci 
suggests that the surgeons, at least of the Deccan, improvized tech- 
niques that were a step forward towards the as yet unlinown field of 
plastic surgery. He says that the native surgeons of Bijapur could 
fashion a crude nose for those who had this organ severed. They wo uld 
cut the skin of the forehead above the eyebrows and make it fall down 
over the wounds on the nose. Then, giving it a twist, so that the hve 
flesh might meet the other surface, and by healing applications, they 
fashioned for them a nose, though imperfect.'^^ Manucci says he saw 
many persons with such noses. '^^ 

Thus we see that the physicians of Mughal India were mem- 
bers of a highly developed and skilled profession. It was only after pro- 
per training and schooling that they were allowed to become members 
of this profession. Although it cannot be denied that many of them 
were physicians by hereditary occupation, ''^'^ a large number of them 
also became physicians due to training and interest. It further becomes 
apparent that these physicians could be classified into a number of 
categories. There were some who joined the service of the king or 
nobles, amongst them those who rose to high positions as mansabdars. 
Others joined service but were appointed to mediocre offices. From a 
number of Mughal miniatures, where physicians of these two groups 
are depicted, it is apparent that in spite of their affinity to the ruling 
classes, they were perceived to be different. Their attire resembles that 
of the religious classes. They are seen wearing heavy and circular das- 
tars (headgear); the jamas they wore were shorter than those of the 
mullas, coming down only up to the knee, and had tight sleeves, quite 
unlike those of the religious classes. They are also frequently depicted 
wearing a shawl. 

The third category of physicians receiving state patronage 
were those who, instead of being given mansahs, were awarded cash 
salaries. Then there were those who were only patronized through 
^nams and grants. All these physicians were recruited and promoted 
on the basis of an assessment of their medical knowledge and expe- 
rience. Further, they could leave their employers at will. 

57 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

Largest in number were those who, for convenience &ake> we 
may designate 'bazar physicians'. These physicians had their own 
clinics and conducted private practice in conditions where the demand 
for their services was considerable. In general, physicians in Mughal 
India formed a distinct, non- theological professional class, held in high 
repute and able, as we have seen, to penetrate the ranks of the ruling 
classes. They thus formed a kind of primitive 'middle class' for their 
profession. The Mughal physicians* whether in government service or 
outside it» were much in demand and enjoyed a respected position in 
the society as well as at the court. 



Notes and References 

^ For this emerging class see, for example, Iqtidar Alam Khan, 'The Middle 
Classes in the Mughal Empire', Presidential Address, Medieval Indian 
Section, Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 36th session, Aligarh, 
1975 (revised version, 'The Professional Middle Classes', being published 
in J.S, Grewal (ed-), Social History of MedievaUndia, Vol. VIll). See also 
W.C, Smith, "The Mughal Empire and the Middle Classes', Islamic Culture, 
Vol- XVII, No. 4, 1994; S. Ali Nadeem Rezavi, 'The Empire and Bureau- 
cracy: The Case of the Mughal Empire', Proceedings of the Indian History 
Cungrcij, Patiala, 1998. 

^ A.J. Qaisar, 'Recruitment of Merchants in the Mughal Feudal Bureaucracy' 
(unpublished, mimeographed) ; S. Ali Nadeem Rezavi, 'The Mutasaddis of 
the Port of Sural in the Seventeenth-Cenlury\ Proceedings of the Indian 
History Congress, Burdwan, 1983, and 'An Aristocratic Physician of the 
Mughal Empire: HuqamhKh^n", Medieval India i, edited by Irfan Habib, 
1992, pp. 154-67. For a contrary view, see W.H, Moreland, India at the 
Death ofAkbar, Delhi, 1962, pp. 73-77, 78. 

' John Fryer, A New Account of East India and Persia in Eight Letters being 
Nine Years Travels Begun 1672 and Finished 1681, DgM^ 1985, p. 114, 

^ Ibid., pp. 114^15, 

^ Careri. Indian Travels ofThevenot and Careri, edited by Suiendranath Sen, 
New Delhi. 1949, p, 247. 

^ Niccolao Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, translated with Introduction and 
Notes by William Irvine, Vol. Ill, Pt iii, Calcutta, 1966, p. 214. 

^ The Commentary of Father Monserrate, SJ (on his Journey to the Court of 
Akbar), translated by ),S. Hoyland, annotated by S.N. Banerjee, Calcutta, 
1922, p, 103. 

* Abdul Baqi Nahawandi, Ma'dsir-i Rahimi, edited by Hidayat Husain, Vol. 

II, Calcutta. 1931, p. 274, 

* Shah Nawaz Khan, Ma'asir-ul Umara, edited by Maulvi Abdur Rahim, Vol. 

III, Calcutta, 1888-90, pp. 280-8L 



58 



V 



Physicians as Professionals 

^'^ Abdu] Hamid Lahori, Padshahnama, edited by Kabiruddin Ahmad and 

AbduT Rahman, I, ii, Calcutta, 1867> p. 345. 
^^ Ma'asirul Umara, III, p. 936. 

*^ Abul FazI, Ain-i Akbari, translated and edited by Blochman. Vol. I, Calcutta, 
1927, p. 279. 

^^ Cf. Abdul lalil, 'The Evolution and Development of Graeco-Arab Medical 
Educational Studies in History of Medicine, Vol. IL No. 3, September 1978; 
see also Hakim Kausar Chandpuri, Atibba-i 'Ahad-i Mughaliya, Karachi, 
1960. 

^^ Ibid. For state aid to dispensaries, see, for example, Maulana Abul Hasan, 
Muraqq'at-i Hasan, MS., Rampur Raza Library (transcript of MS. in 
Department of History, AHgarh Muslim University), pp. 330-31. 

^^ See for example Ma'asir-i Rahimi, III, p. 46. Hakim Jibrail, a famous 
physician, who later joined the service of Abdur Rahim Khan-i Khanan, 
while teaching at a madrasa known as Darul Irsbad at Ardcbil, heard people 
say that 'Iran was the Maktab Khana of Hindustan'. 

^^ See Ma'asir-i Rahimi, III, pp. 44, 46. 51, 52, 745-55, etc. For example. 
Hakim Fathullah Shirazi attained his knowledge at the madrasa of Mir 
Ghiyasuddin Shirazi, the reknowned hakim of Shiraz, and Khwaja Jamal- 
uddin Mahmud and Maulana Kamaluddin at Shiraz. Ma'asir-ul Umara, I, 
pp. lOO-OL For other such examples, see Muhammad Sadiq, Tabaqat-i 
Shahjahani MS., Department of History Library, Ahgarh Muslim Univer- 
sity, p. 466, Saqi Must'ad Khan, Ma'asir-i Alamgiri, III, Calcutta, 1870-73, 
pp. 17,50,45-46. 

^^ Lahori, Padskahnama, I, ii, pp. 345-46. 

'^ Ma'asir-ul Umara, III, p. 263, 

^^ Yadgar-i Bahaduri, BM.MS-OR. 1652, f. 96, as cited in Catalogue of the 
Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum, Charles Rieu, Vol. II, 1881, 
p- 479- 

^^ For details on medical education, see Abdul Jalil, 'Evolution and Develop- 
ment of Graeco-Arab Medical Education^; and A.H. Israili, ^Education of 
Unani Medicine during Mughal period', SIMM, Vol. IV, No, 3, September 
1980. 

^* Badauni, Muntakhab-ut TawarikK edited by Molvi Ahmad Ali, Vol. Ill, 
Calcutta, 1869, p. 166. For other such examples see Khwaja Nizamuddin 
Ahmad, Tabaqat-i Akhari, edited by B, De, Vol. II, Calcutta, 1931, p. 483; 
Ma'asir-i Rahimi III, pp. 51-52; Lahori, Padshahnama, I, p. 346. 

^^ See, for example, in this regard, Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, II, iii, pp. 332- 
33, wherein the author says that the physicians in the Mughal court were 
basically Persians. 

A'in-i Akbari. I pp. 542^4; Tabaqat-i Akbari. pp. 481-84. 
See, for esfample, the testimony of FryerMN^wylccowm,p, 115, also p, 27; 
also see Pyrard, The Voyage of Francois Pyrard of Laval, translated and edit- 
ed by Albert Gray and H.C.P. Bell, Vol. I, Haklyut Society, London, n.d., 
p. 373. 



25 
24 



59 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

^^ Manucci, Slona Do Mogor, II, iii, p. 332. 

26 Ma'asir-u! Umara, i, p. 569; Farid Bhakkari, Zakhiratul Khawanin, edited 

by Moinul Haque, Vol, I, Karachi, 1961-74, pp. 243-45. 
^^ Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, pp. 373-74. 

28 Ibid., p. 215. 

2^ Khwaja Kamgar Husaini, Ma'asir-i Jahangir, edited by Azra Alavi, Centre 

of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh iMuslim University, 1978, pp. 50- 

32; Maasirul Umara, I, p. 577; Miratu'lAlam, I, p. 332. 
'" A'tti'iAkbari, Vol. I, p. 542; Tabaqat-i Shahjahani, P- 465. 
3' Amin Qazwini, MS.BM.OR. L73, Add. 20734 (transcript of MS.; Raza 

Library, Rampur, in Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University), 

II, p. 281. 
32 Muhammad Bakhtawar Khan, Miratu'l Alam, edited by Sajida Alavi, I, 

Lahore, 1979, p. 297. 
" Khafi Khan, Muntakhabu'l Lubab, edited by Kabiruddin Ahmad and W. 

Haig, VoL II, Bib, Ind.. Calcutta. 1905-25, p. 539, 
^* See "Babur stricken by illness in Samarqand', signed by Nama, Baburnamn, 
BM.OR, 3714, f. 79{a), cf. Miniatures of Baburnama. Samarqand, 1969, p. 
18; 'Doctors and Patient', signed by Miiza Ghulain, Diwm-i Hasan Dehlavi, 
Walters Art Gallery, W. 650, f. 127, cf, Amina Okada, Imperial Mughal 
Painters, Indian Miniatures from 1 6th and 17th Centuries, translated by Deke 
Dusinberre, Flammarion, Paris, 1992, pL 120; 'One Physician KilHng 
Another', signed by Miskina, Khatnia-i Nizami, BM.OR. 12208 (Dyson- 
Perrins Collection) f. 23(b), cf Amina Okada, Imperial Mughal Painters, 
pi, 143. For details, see S, Ali Nadeem Rezavj, 'Depiction of Middle-Class 
Professions and Professionals in Mughal Miniatures', Mfldhya Kalin 
Bharat, 7, edited by Irfan Habib, New Delhi, 20OO [Hindi translation of the 
paper presented at the Indian History Congress, Aligarh session, 1994). 
^5 'Jahangir amongst his Courtiers', Victoria and Albert Museum, IM. 9-1925, 
cf. Ivan Stchoukine, La Peinture Indimm a I'Epoque des (brands MoghoU, 
Paris, 1929,pl. XXVIIL 
^^ 'Jahangir being offered food by Dervishes', Jahangimama, Edward Binney 
3rd collection, San Diego, cf A,K, Das, Splendour of Mughal Painting, 
Bombay, 1986, pi. V; 'Jahangir holding his court in a garden". State Library, 
Rampur, cf. Percy Brown, Indian Painting under the Mughals, ad 1550 to ad 
1750, Oxford, 1924. pi. xlix; "Jahangir celebrates Ab-pashi', attributed to 
Govardhan, State Library, Rampur, No. 1/5, cf. P. Brown, ibid,, frontis- 
piece. 
^^ 'Portrait of Hakim Sadra, Masihuz Zaman', signed by Mir Hashim, folio of 

an Album, BM, Add. 18801 , No. 30, cf P. Brown, ibid., pi. 65. 
*^ Discussing the salary of the state physicians, Manucci comments that 'those 

bearing the title of Khan— that is "noble", have a gross allowance of from 
twenty, thirty, fifty, one hundred to two thousand rupees a year'; Manucci, 
Storia Do Mogor, p. 332. See also Lahori, Padshahnama. II, p, 422; Muha- 
mmad Waris, Badshahnama, MS, 10 Ethe 329 (transcript of MS,. Raza 



60 



Physicians as Professionals 

Library, Rampur, at Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University), 
II, p. 255. 
^' Waris, II. p. 306. 

''^ For example see, Manucci, Storia DoMogor, IV, pp. 205, 210. MiratulAlam, 
I, p. 332; Lahori, Padshahnama, II, pp. 8, 11-12, 184, 234, 301, 334, and 
also I, p. 177; Qazwini, MS.BM.OR. 173, Add. 20734. II, p. 277; Ma'asirul 
Umara, I, p. 589. 

■*' Manuccif Storia Do Mogor, IV, p. 205. 

"^ Ma'asir^i Rahimi. I. pp. 516, 585. Science and Techmlogy in Medieval India: 
A Bibliography of Source Materials in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, edited by 
A. Rahman, M.A. Alvi et al.. New Delhi, 1982, p. 21. Francois Bernier, 
Travels in the Mogul Empire, 1656-68, Constable. 1968, p. 4. 

*^ Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, 11, iii, pp. 328-29, 332, 374-75; see also ibid., p. 
195. 

''^ Ibid., II, iii, p. 319. In the royal harem, sometimes a woman having a sound 
knowledge of tibb could also be attached. Lahori (Padshahnama, II, i, p. 
629) refers to sati-un Nisa Begum, the wife of Nasira, the brother of Hakim 
Rukna, who was attached to the household of Mumlaz Mahal. 

■^^ Ibid.,II,iii,pp. 193-94, 195. 

^^ Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, II, iii, pp. 383-84. 

^' See in this regard Jahangir, Tuzuk-i fahangiri, edited by Saiyid Ahmad 
Khan, Vol. II, Ghazipur, 1S63, p. 334; also see ibid., II, p. 336. 
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India, transkted by V. Ball, Vol. 1. New 
Delhi, 1977, p. 96. 

**' Ma'asir-ul Umara, I, p. 493; Ma'asir-i Alamgir, p. 42. 

^° Ma'asir-i Rahimi, III, p. 45. 

^' Zakhiratul Khawanin, III, pp. 336-38. 

Lahori, Padshahnama, I, ii, p. 349; Ma'asir-i jahangirt, p. 345. 

" Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, II, p. 76. 

^^ Mira/w'/A/flm, I, p. 332. 

^* Munshi Tek Chand 'Bahar', Bahar-iAjam, 1739-40, litho. Nawal Kishore, 
Lucknow, 1336/1916, Vol. II, p. 166. 

^* Ma'asir-i Mahmud Shahi, p. 64. 

^^ Tuzuk-i}ahangiri,l,p. 4. *"' ^ 

58 Alt Muhammad Khan, Mirat-i Ahmadi, edited by Nawab Ali, Vol. 1^ 
Baroda, 1972-78, p. 376. 

^^ For a reference to the mutasaddis and kotwal in a government hospital, see 
Gopai Rai Surdaj. Durrul Ulum, MS., Bodleian Library, Oxford, Ms Walker 
104, f. 45(b) {Rotograph in Department of History, Aligarh Muslim Univ- 
ersity). 

^*' Mirat-i Ahmadi, I, p. 209. 

^' Sairu'l ManaziU p, 8. This Danish Shifa is probably the same which is 
referred to by Gopal Rai Surdaj (Durul Ulum. f. 45(b)). 

^■^ Lahori, Padshahnama, 1, ii, p. 345. 

^' Miraf-M/imtJdi (supplement), pp. 186-87. 



48 



52 



61 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

^^ For the hospital at Surat. see Ruqijat-i Alamgiri, Nizami Press, Kanpur, 1273 
AH, Letter No. 125, See also Sural Documents, ff. 174(5), 175(a). 

*^ Mirat-i Ahmadi (supplement), p. 187; Selected Documents of Aurangzeb's 
i^erg/j, edited by YusufHusain, Hyderabad, 1958, pp. 122-23. 

^^ Surat Documents, Blochet, Suppl. Pers. 482, ff. 174(a), 174(b), 

^^ Selected Documents ofAurangzeb's Reign, pp, 122^23. The total salary was 
Rs 180 p.m. which, after the deduction of usual dues, came to Rs 136 p.m. 
For salaries and daily allowances in government hospitals at Surat and 

AhjnadabadseeSum£Dptume;ifs,ff. 174(a)-175(b)Jf 81(a)-82(b); Wflga'z 
Ajmer wa Ranthambhar, MS., Asafiya Library, Hyderabad (transcript in 
Department of History, AHgarh Muslim University) Vol. I, p. 9; Mirat 
(supplement), pp. 160-61, 1S6-S7, Compare this with the salaries of local 
officials like qanungo, muharrir, nawisanda, etc., which ranged ^somewhere 
between Rs lOtoRs 17 per month'. See S. Ah Nadeem Rezavi, 'The Empire 
and Bureaucracy'. 

^^ Selected Documents of Shahjaban's Reign, edited hyY .H.Y^hy a, HydcYdb^d, 
1950, pp, 211-12; Daftar-i Diwani-o-Mal-o-Muihi-i Sarkar-i A'la, Hydera- 
bad (State Archives), 1939, p, 161, 

*^ Selected Documents of Aurangzeb's Reign, pp. 120, 122-23, 

^^ Ruqqat-iAlamgir,l2tiei No. 125. 

'^^ Mira£-iAhmadi,Up.l(i9 

^^ Ma'asirul Unmra, ill, p. 936, 

^^ Muraqq'at-i Hasan, Abul Hasan, MS., Riza Library. Rampur (Microfilm in 
Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University). 

'''* Indian Travels ofThevenot and Careri, p. 218. 

^^ See^ioi ^y.^mp\^,S€iected Documents of Aurangzeb's Reign, p. 120;Manucci, 
Storia Do Mogor, II, pp. 95-96, 225, etc.; Bernier, Travels in the Mogul 
Empire, pp. 489, etc. \ 

^^ Letter of Balkrishan Brahman, MS., Riell, 83, Add.16895 (Rotagraph in 
Department of History, AHgarh Muslim University), f. 31(b). 

^^ See for example Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, III, iv, p, 459. These physi:cians 
were probably quite unskilled. See Mirza Nama of Mirza Kamran, cited in 
Iqtidar Alam Khan, 'The Middle Classes in the Mughal £mpire\ p. 19, n.68- 

^^ Tuzuk-i ]ahangiriA^>P-15i\Ni^han oiUd.TY^mZd.mzm\i\ Edicts from the 
Mughal Haram, pp. 50-52. See abo Tuzuk-i Jahangiri, L p- 91, 

^^ Hodivala, Studies in Parsi History, Bombay, 1929, pp. 167-88. See also Irfan 
Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India, I556-1 707, 2iid edn, Oxford, 
1999, p. 353. 1 am thankful to Professor Irfan Habib, for having brought 
this set of documents to my knowledge. 

^° Ibid. Of special interest in this regard is the public testimony explicitly 
mentioning this reason for the grant contained in a document ofAurang- 
zeb's reign (Hodivala, Sti4dies in Parsi History, pp. 185-86, 188); Irfan 
Habib, Agrarian System, p. 353. 

^^ Muraqqat-i Hasan, pp. 330-31. 

^^ Parwana, dd.ted 1 Ramzan i li6AH/48thRY/28 December 1704, preserved 



62 



Physicians as Professionals 

in National Archives, New Delhi, no. NAI, AD.2444; see also NAl. AD. 2446 
(dated 25 Ziqada il27/3RY of Farukh Siyar/22 November 1715). 
"^ See for example NAI, AD.2445 and NAI, AD.2447; Some Firmans. Sanads 
and Parwams (1578-1802 ad), edited by K.K. Datta, Patna, 1962, pp. 30, 
■ 45, 68. 

^^ Amongst others this view is strongly endorsed by Moreland, India at the 
: Death ofAkbar, Delhi, 1962, p. 79. and B.B. Misra. The Indian Middle 
Classes, London, 1961, p. 59. 
^^ Tavernier, Travels in India, I, p. 240 

*^ Badauni, Muntakhab-ut Tawarikh, III, pp. 163, 170, 315. 

^'' Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, I, p. 115. 

^^ Badauni, Muntakhab-ut Tawarikh, III, p. 169. 

*^ Banarsi Das, Ardha Kathanak, translated and annotated by Mukund Lath, 

Jaipur, p. 14, text, verse 15 and pp. 31-32, text, verses 185-92. 
^° Ibid., p, 70, text, verse 488. 
^' Surat Singh, Tazkira-i PirHassu Taili, MS., Department of History, Aligarh 

Muslim University, ff. 48(b), 17i(a). i25Cb)-126(a). 
^^ Abdul Hayy, Nuzhat-ul Khawatir, edited by Sharifuddin Ahmad, Vol. V, 

Hyderabad, 1962-79, p. 357. For another such example see Anonymous. 

Iqbal Nama, translated by S. Hasan Askari, Patna, 1883. p. 213. 

" LetterofBalkrishan Brahman,MS.,Riell, 83, Add.l6895,ff. 125(a), 319(a}- 
31(b). 

^* See for example Francois Pyrard, The Voyage of Francois Pyrard of Laval to 
the East Indies, the Maldives, the Moluccas and Brazil, translated and edited 
by Albert Gray and H.C.P. Bell, Vol. I, Haklyut Society, London, n.d., p. 
373; Manucci, Stona Do Mogor, III, iii, p. 129; J. Fryer, A New Account of 
East India and Persia, p. 27; Carre, The Travels of the Abbe Carre in India 
and the Near East, 1672 to 1674, Vol. I, translated by Lady Fawcet, edited by 
C. Fawcet and R. Burn, New Delhi. 1990, pp. 268-69. 
" 'An old man consults a doctor', Bustan-i Sa'adi, Aboulala Soudavar Collec- 
tion, f. 176r, cf. S.C, Welch, Annemarie Schimmel et al.. The Emperor's 
Album: Images of Mughal India, New York, 1987, fig. 25. 
^'' Fryer, A New Account of East India and Persia, p. 115. 
^^ As a private practitioner. Manucci was offered Rs 4,000 by a patient 
(Manucci. Storia Do Mogor, III. iii, p, 132); in the service of Shah Alam he 
received Rs 300 p.m. (ibid., 11, p. 215) apart from occasional gifts ranging 
from Rs 400 to Rs 200 for individual treatment of the members of the 
princes' harem (ibid., II, p. 331). The government physicians on ;he oiher 
hand had a salary of Rs 2 per day (i.e. Rs 60 p.m.). See supra. 
^^ Manucci, time and again, laments over this hostility; see Storia Do Mogor, 
n,p. 381; IV, pp. 205-10. 

^^ John Huighen Van Linschoten, Voyages to East Indies, Vol. I, Hakluyt 
Society, 1885, p. 230. 

'™ Careri, Indian Travels of Thevenot and Careri, pp. 161-62. Compare this 
view regarding Indian surgeons with that of Tavernier (Travels in India, I, 



63 



DISEASE AND MEDICINE IN INDIA 

p- 241) thai the people of this country understand nothing about it. See 

also Manucci, Storia Do Mogor, II, pp, 89-90, regarding limitations of Mus- 
lim surgeons at Agra. 
^^^ Manucci,ibid.,II.p. 333, 
1^2 Ibid. Ill, iii.p, 187. 
'**^ See for example, ibid, III, iii, p. 129, 
^^^ See Dala'il ui Bui MS.> Sir Sulaiman Collection, 493/14; Subhanullah 

Collection, 616/22; and Dala'il un Nabz, MS. Sir Sulainnan Collection, 492/ 

12, Subhanullah^ 616/22. 
^^^ MS., Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh, University Farsiyya Funun> No. 56. 
'0* MS., Bodlein, Persian MSS, Catalogue, 3/76, 2757/3, cf A. Rahman et al. 

Bibliography of Source Materiak, pp. 266-69. 
^^^ Bahrul Jawahir, MS., Mautana Azad Libery. University Farsiya Funun, 4, 

pub. Calcutta, edited by Abdul Majid, 1830- Cf A. Rahman et aL, Biblio- 
graphy of Source Materials, -p. 113, 
^^ MSm Bankipur Library, Patna, 1 1-40; 1013> cf ibid,, p. 4 
'^^ Badauni, Muntakhab-ut Tawarikk HI. pp. 169-70; Tabaqat-i Akbari, II> 

pp. 483-84. 
^ '^ MS., Central State Library, Hyderabad, Tibb, 254; Asiatic Society of Bengal, 

Persian MSS Catalogue. Soc. 722, cf A. Rahman et al. Bibliography of 

Source Materials, p. 41. 
'" Badanuni, Muntakhab-ut Tawarikh, III, p. 230 
^'^ Ibid., Ill, p. 164; Tabaqat-i Akbari, II, p. 481. 
'^^ MS., Salarjung, Mashriqi Kitabkhana, Hyderabad, cf A. Rahman et al., A 

Bibliography of Source Materiahy p. 16. 
^'Mbid,> pp. 144-45- 
1^^ Tuzuk'i}ahangiri,hpA52. 
'■^ See R.L. Verma and V. Bijlani, 'Hakim Ali GilanE: Assessment of his Place 

in Greco-Medicine', Studies in History of Medicine^ VoL IV^ No. 2, ]une 

1980, pp. 98-99. 
''^ Tarjuma-i Kitab-ul Qanun, MS., Riza Library, Rampur, No. 1272. 
*'^ Tibb-i Ferishta^ MS,, Maulana Azad Library, SubhanuHah Collection, No. 

616/17, ff 1-7. 
^'^ Mufradat-i Sahih, MS., Maulana Azad Library, SubhanuHah Collection, 

Na 616/37. 
^^^ Cf A. Rahman et al., A Bibliography of Source Materials, p. 203, 
'2" See Tuzuk-s Jahatigiri, I, p. 347, II, pp. 344. 364; Lahori, Padshahnama, I, p. 

350, 
^^^ Tuzuk-i}ahangiri,p.M7. 
^^^ Lahori, Padshahnama^ II, pp. 350-51. 
*^^ Cf A. Rahman et al., Bibliography of Source Materials^ p. 2 1. 
^25 Ibid., pp. 202,134,164- 

^^^ MS., Maulana Azad Library, SubhanuHah Collection, No. 615/4. 
*^^ MS.. Maulana Azad Library, Farsiya Funun (Suppl), Tibb, 9. 
'^* MS., Maulana Azad Library, SubhanuHah CoHection, No. 610, 3/9. 
'^^ Ma'asir-iAlamgiri^p. 84. 



64 



Physicians as Professionals 

'^'^ Bernier, Trave/s in the Mogul Empire, pp. 353-54. 

>3' Ibid., pp. 324-25. 

^'^ Cf. A. Rahman et a!., Bibliography of Source Material, p. 165. 

1" Tibb'i Akbari, MSS., Maulana Azad Library, Subhanullah Collection, Nos. 
616/15, 616/6 cr. 

"* Mufarrihul Qulub, MSS., Maulana Azad Library, University Farsiya Funun. 
58; Subhanuitah Collection, 616/2; Sir Sulaiman Collection, 5S0/5. 

'^5 MS., Maulana Azad Library, Subhanullah Collection, 616/16. 

''^ Tables 3 and 4 have been prepared on the basis of the information con- 
tained in A. Rahman et al.. Bibliography of Source Materials. 

'^^ Asad Beg, Ahwal-i Asad Beg Qazwini, MS, BM, OR. 1996 {Rotograph in 
Department of History, Ahgarh Muslim University}, ff, 35-37. 

'^* Manucci, Storia Da Mogor, II, p. 282 

'''' Ibid. 

''"' See in this regard the statement of Bernier, Travels in the Mogul Empire, 

p. 259. 



/ 



65