Invited Paper

Importance of inscriptions and waqf registrations of dar al-shifas (hospitals) from Anatolian Seljuks era in respect of history of medicine

  • Ahmet Acıduman

Received Date: 18.06.2010 Accepted Date: 25.10.2010 J Ankara Univ Fac Med 2010;63(1):9-15

Dar al-shifas (hospitals) were one of the eminent social aid foundations in Turkish-Islamic waqf culture. These foundations with their characteristic architectures for medical applications were established for health needs of society protected and survived their existence with their waqfs. Dar al-shifas that were particularly founded by Seljuks in Anatolia are important for Turkish history of medicine. Dar al-shifa of Sivas founded by Izz al-din Kaykavus in 1217 is an important example for architecture, history of art and history of medicine because of its unique deed of trust, so important knowledge was achieved by many researches. Written documents such as deeds of trust, notebooks of registration and assignment firmans let us know dar al-shifas and medressehs that their places are not known or their buildings do not exist any longer. Kutahya hospital is an example. Inscriptions of some dar al-shifas from Anatolian Seljuks inform us their founders, dates of constructions and architects. Sivas Izz al-din Kaykavus Dar al-shifa is an important example with its deed of trust and also its inscription. Inscriptions prove existence of dar al-shifas that their buildings are not at present, for example Cankırı Camal al-din Ferruh Dar al-shifa. Importance of documents in Directorate of Waqfs seems to be indisputable for history of medicine, so registra-tion of waqfs should be carefully reviewed, present findings and knowledge should be evaluated in the light of new discoveries and reinterpreted when needed and should be presented to the world of science in scientific environments. Multidisciplinary researches by experts of waqf, his-torians of art, architects, historians and medical historians make us reach more precise results.

Keywords: Dar al-shifa, Hospital, Waqf, Inscription, Anatolian Seljuks, History of Medicine