Hakim Ajmal Khan undertook in 1911 a tour of Europe where he studied the latest researches made in the field of medicine and surgery. He visited all the important medical centres and hospitals in the west and met physicians of repute. It was here that he met Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari for the first time and developed a life-long companionship with him.

Dr. Ansari was the House Surgeon at Charing Cross Hospital under Dr. Stanley Boyd who was one of the most reputed surgeons of England and was also the honorary surgeon to the King. One morning Dr. Ansari introduced Hakim Ajmal Khan to Dr. Boyd who was examining a patient. Dr. Boyd invited Hakim Saheb also to help him in examination of the patient to which Hakim Saheb diagnosed that he was suffering from an old wound in the upper portion of intestines.

The gentleman sitting on the left is Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari and the person sitting beside him is Hakeem Ajmal khan, one of the top most expertise in the field of Unani medicine of his time.
The gentleman sitting on the left is Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari and the person sitting beside him is Hakeem Ajmal khan, one of the top most expertise in the field of Unani medicine of his time.

Dr. Boyd differed from this diagnosis, and invited him the next day to be present at the operation that he was going to perform on the patient. In the words of Dr. Ansari it was, in fact, “a test between the Unani system and the English system of medicine. The operation was going to reveal as to which of the two was in the right.”

Dr. Ansari remained much concerned about the whole affair as he was afraid that if Dr. Boyd’s findings came out true, the Unani system would receive a set-back in the eyes of the British. However, next day when the patient’s abdomen was opened for operation, it was found that the diagnosis made by Hakim Ajmal Khan was correct.

Dr. Boyd was much impressed and he congratulated Hakim Saheb on his correct diagnosis. He arranged a dinner in Hakim Saheb’s honour and introduced him to Mrs. Boyd as “one who had defeated him in the surgical duel.”

Source :- Hakim Ajmal Khan (1988), by Zafar Ahmad Nizami