Friday, November 12, 2010


One of the greatest scholars of the past, Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah used to write very fast. He used to finish writing one whole(!) book in just one sitting, usually after Asr prayer until Maghrib

As a natural consequence of fast writing, his handwriting is generally not the best legible handwriting.

So illegible that after a few days, when he wanted to review his writing or notes, he could not even understand it!

So much he even needed to get his students who are used to his "style" of writing to decipher what exactly he wrote!

"A sample of Sh. alIslam Ibn Taymiyyah's handwriting"

It is said that one of the many contributing factors that his works initially were not well read and spread was due to handwriting!

Going back to my present reality as a doctor, it goes without saying how important communication is, because most of our work is centred around getting and giving the "right" information be it verbally or written in the "right" way

Many a time, we often get misled or turned off by people not giving or getting the right information. Once, we had a patient who we were told had left sideness weakness with preliminary diagnosis of TIA/stroke and eventually had CT Brain (which was normal) but if you take proper history, you would know that she actually had classic "sciatica"!

Similarly with handwriting, some handwriting can make your head spinning and some is so scrumptiously good, so good that it makes you read to the last letter.

Especially with handover, although I think myself as a very good handwriting reader, there were many instances where I was scracthing my head to understand poor handwriting,.

Sometimes with poor handwritten notes, people tend to overlook illegible parts which may or may not contain vital information, which in real life, can be the deciding point between life and death.

Fortunately, most of the time, the system usually provides layers of " protective walls" in place to prevent adverse events!

And some handwriting may give a different impression from what it is originally intended for..

"Probably colonising....."
I leave it your imagination.
(Apologies for my wife. I took it from her site)

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