Ali ibn Sahl - a Jewish convert to Islam
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi (866-925)
After the death of Jabir, nearly a century elapsed before Islam produced a worthy successor. History records a few alchemists in the interval, but it is only with the Persian chemist and physician Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi (known to the West as Rhazes) that Jabir's great example is successfully followed. According to one of his biographers, Razi was born in A.D. 866 at Ray, an ancient town on the southern slopes of the Elburz Range that skirts the south of the Caspian Sea. In his early youth he devoted himself to the study of music, literature, philosophy, manichaeism, magic and alchemy. After his first visit to Baghdad, when he was at least 30 years of age, that he seriously took up the study of medicine under the well-known doctor Ali ibn Sahl (a Jewish convert to Islam, belonging to the famous medical school of Tabaristan or Hyrcania). Razi showed such skill in the subject that he quickly surpassed his master, and wrote no fewer than a hundred medical books. He also composed 33 treatises on natural science (exclusive of alchemy), on mathematics and astronomy, and more than 45 on philosophy, logic and theology. On alchemy, in addition to his Compendium of Tweltne Treatises and Book of Secrets, he wrote about a dozen other books, two of which were refutations of works by other authors in which the possibility of alchemy had been attacked.