Famous Iranian Intellectuals & Academics

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 1 
Avicenna
(Persian polymath the most significant physiciansand writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of early modern medicine.)
Avicenna
6
Birthdate: 0980 AD
Birthplace: Afshona, Uzbekistan
Died: May 31, 1037
Renowned as father of early modern medicine, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of medicine and Aristotelian philisophy. He is best-known for his works namely, The Canon of Medicine and The Book of Healing. The corpus of his writings also include alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.
 2 
Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
(Iranian Scholar, Scientist and Polymath)
Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī
4
Birthdate: 0973 AD
Birthplace: Beruni, Uzbekistan
Died: 1050 AD

Apart from being a pioneer of Indology and geodesy, Persian scholar Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī also worked on subjects such as anthropology, math, and ethnography. It is believed he didn’t know his father. He had penned many works, such as the encyclopaedic volume The Chronology of Ancient Nations.

 3 
Omar Khayyam
(Mathematician)
Omar Khayyam
4
Birthdate: May 18, 1048
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nishapur, Khorasan, Iran
Died: December 4, 1131

Omar Khayyam was a Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and poet. In the field of mathematics, he is best known for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations. As an astronomer, he designed a solar calendar known as the Jalali calendar. His philosophical attitude towards life had elements of pessimism, nihilism, Epicureanism, and fatalism. 

 4 
Al-Ghazālī
(Persian Polymath Considered as One of the Most Prominent and Influential Philosophers, Theologians, Jurists, Logicians and Mystics)
Al-Ghazālī
5
Birthdate: 1058 AD
Birthplace: Ṭūs, Iran
Died: December 19, 1111

Al-Ghazālī was a Persian Muslim polymath best remembered for his work in the fields of philosophy, theology, logic, and Sufism. Such was his popularity that al-Ghazali was awarded the honorific title Hujjat al-Islām during his lifetime itself. Among his other works, the Incoherence of the Philosophers is considered a landmark in the history of philosophy.

 5 
Jabir Ibn Hayyan
(Iran Philosopher and Author)
Jabir Ibn Hayyan
4
Birthdate: 0721 AD
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: 0813 AD

Eighth-century alchemist and physician Jabir Ibn Hayyan has been credited with too many written works. Experts believe his vast works may not have been written by a single person. The Jabirian corpus, a collection of his works, is known for its "method of the balance" and its focus on chemistry.

 6 
Zoroaster
(Founder of Zoroastrianism)
Zoroaster
6
Birthdate: 0628 BC
Birthplace: Ray, Iran
Died: 0551 BC
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an Iranian spiritual leader who founded the religion Zoroastrianism, which challenged the traditional religious ideas of Ancient Persia. There is no record that states the exact period of his existence with certainty. He is said to have authored the Gathas and the Yasna Haptanghaiti.
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1201
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tous, Iran
Died: June 26, 1274

Persian polymath Nasir al-Din al-Tusi lost his jurist father in childhood and then went around as a scholar, learning subjects such as math and philosophy. He made invaluable contribution to astronomy and later served as a scientific advisor of the Mongols. One of his notable written works was Akhlaq-i Nasiri.

 8 
Al-Tabari
(Iranian Historian and Educator)
Al-Tabari
3
Birthdate: 0839 AD
Birthplace: Āmol, Iran
Died: February 17, 0923

Al-Tabari was a historian, scholar, and commentator on the Quran. He is best remembered for his expertise in historiography and Qur'anic exegesis. A polymath, Al-Tabari wrote on a variety of topics like world history, poetry, mathematics, grammar, ethics, lexicography, and medicine. He is credited with founding a school of thought called madhhab which flourished among Sunni Muslims for two centuries.

 9 
Mazdak
3

Mazdak was an Iranian priest, reformer, and prophet who achieved immense popularity during the reign of Kavadh I. Such was his popularity that even King Kavadh I converted to Mazdakism. A self-proclaimed prophet, Mazdak instituted social welfare programs and his teachings acquired many followers.

 10 
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
(Iranian Philosopher and Theologian)
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
3
Birthdate: 1150 AD
Birthplace: Shahr-e-Rey, Iran
Died: April 5, 1210

Fakhr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī was a Persian polymath and Islamic scholar. He wrote influential works in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, physics, medicine, chemistry, theology, ontology, literature, history, philosophy, and jurisprudence. A person way ahead of his time, Fakhr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī was one of the earliest champions of the concept of Multiverse and argued about the actuality of the outer space.

 11 
Mohammad Khatami
(Philosopher, Politician, Librarian, Writer)
Mohammad Khatami
6
Birthdate: September 29, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ardakan

Mohammad Khatami is an Iranian politician who served as the President of Iran from 1997 to 2005. A respected and influential politician, Khatami advocated tolerance, freedom of expression, and civil society during his presidency. He  also served as the Minister of Culture of Iran from 1982 to 1992.

 12 
Mulla Sadra
(philosopher, writer)
Mulla Sadra
3
Birthdate: 1571 AD
Birthplace: Shiraz
Died: 1636 AD

Mulla Sadra was a Persian Twelver Shi'i Islamic mystic and philosopher. He was also an Alim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. He is considered one of the most influential philosophers in the Muslim world in the last four hundred years. He tried to prove the idea of Unity of Existence through his works.

 13 
Ali Shariati
(Iranian Revolutionary, Sociologist and One of the Most Influential Iranian Intellectuals of the 20th century)
Ali Shariati
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kahak, Iran
Died: June 18, 1977

Ali Shariati was an Iranian sociologist and revolutionary whose work was inspired by the study of sociology of religion. Regarded as one of the 20th century's most influential Iranian intellectuals, Shariati was also a prolific writer who wrote more than 100 books such as Hubut in Kavir, Kavir, and The Philosophy of Supplication.

 14 
Haji Bektash Veli
(Philosopher)
Haji Bektash Veli
3
Birthdate: 1209 AD
Birthplace: Nishapur
Died: 1271 AD

Haji Bektash Veli was a Muslim saint, mystic, Sayyid, and philosopher whose teachings had a major impact on the Turkish itinerants of Asia Minor. In 2015, a Turkish TV series titled Yunus Emre: Aşkın Yolculuğu showcased the life and career of Haji Bektash Veli where he was played by Turkish actor Ahmet Mekin. 

Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi
4
Birthdate: 1154 AD
Birthplace: Sohrevard, Iran
Died: 1191 AD

Shahab al-Din Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardi was a Persian philosopher who founded the Iranian school of Illuminationism, an important school of thought in Islamic philosophy. He thought of himself as a reviver or resuscitator of the ancient tradition of Persian wisdom and produced his magnum opus, The Philosophy of Illumination at the age of 32.    

 16 
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
(Philosopher and University Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University)
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 17 
Sibawayh
(Persian Grammarian and Linguist)
Sibawayh
2
Birthdate: 0760 AD
Birthplace: Beyza, Iran
Died: 0796 AD

Sibawayh was a Persian grammarian of Basra. He was the author of the earliest book on Arabic grammar and linguistics, an unnamed work simply referred to as Al-Kitāb, or "The Book." Modern scholars call him the greatest of all Arabic linguists and one of the greatest linguists of all time in any language. 

 18 
Nasir Khusraw
(Iranian Philosopher and Poet)
Nasir Khusraw
2
Birthdate: 1004 AD
Birthplace: Qubādiyān, Iran
Died: 1077 AD

Nāṣer-e Khusraw was a Persian poet, Isma'ili scholar, philosopher, and traveler. He was also widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the history of Persian literature. Among his most famous works is the Safarnama, which is widely read even today in Iran.

 19 
Shahram Amiri
(Scientist)
Shahram Amiri
0
Birthdate: November 8, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kermanshah, Iran
Died: August 3, 2016

Shahram Amiri was an Iranian nuclear scientist who conducted research on particle physics. Amiri, who worked at the Malek-Ashtar University of Technology, disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 2009. It was later claimed that he worked as a double agent alongside the CIA. Shahram Amiri was subsequently executed by hanging by the Iranian government in 2016.

 20 
Firishta
(Iranian Historian)
Firishta
3
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: Gorgan, Iran
Died: 1620 AD

Firishta was a Persian historian who served as the court historian for the Deccan Sultans in India. He is best remembered for his work Tarikh-i Firishta, a history of India with emphasis on Deccan dynasties' history. Firishta is often credited with throwing light on the history of the Deccan sultanates.

 21 
Hussein-Ali Montazeri
(Iranian Shia Islamic Writer and Former Deputy Supreme Leader of Iran (1985 - 1989))
Hussein-Ali Montazeri
5
Birthdate: September 24, 1922
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Najafabad, Iran
Died: December 19, 2009

Hussein-Ali Montazeri was an Iranian Shia Islamic democracy advocate, theologian, human rights activist, and writer. An influential leader of the Iranian Revolution, Montazeri was expected to succeed the revolution's Supreme Leader Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini before having a fall out with the latter which cost him the position of the supreme leader. Hussein-Ali Montazeri is still revered in Iran.

Rashid-al-Din Hamadani
1
Birthdate: 1247 AD
Birthplace: Hamedan, Iran
Died: July 18, 1318

Rashid-al-Din Hamadani was a statesman, historian, and physician in 13th-century Iran. He was born into a Persian Jewish family and converted to Islam as a young man. He became the powerful vizier of the Ilkhan, Ghazan, and began his career as a historian as well. He was later arrested and executed on charges of poisoning the Ilkhanid king Öljaitü. 

 23 
Morteza Motahhari
(Philosopher, Writer, Akhoond, Theologian)
Morteza Motahhari
2
Birthdate: January 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fariman
Died: May 1, 1979

Morteza Motahhari was an Iranian Twelver Shia philosopher, scholar, and lecturer. A co-founder of the Combatant Clergy Association and Hosseiniye Ershad, Motahhari had a prominent influence on the principles of the Islamic Republic. Morteza Motahhari wrote more than 50 books that dealt with philosophy and theology. In 1965, he was honored with the UNESCO Award.

 24 
Abdolkarim Soroush
(Thinker and Reformer)
Abdolkarim Soroush
3
Birthdate: December 16, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tehran

Iranian philosopher Abdolkarim Soroush, a former professor of the University of Tehran and the Imam Khomeini International University, has also taught at top-notch institutes such as Harvard and Princeton. Named to Time 100, he believes in a reformist version of Islam, with its core values intact.

 25 
Mohammad Beheshti
(Chief Justice of Iran Head of Supreme Court of Iran (1980 – 1981), Philosopher, Cleric and Politician)
Mohammad Beheshti
2
Birthdate: October 24, 1928
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Isfahan, Iran
Died: June 28, 1981

Mohammad Beheshti was an Iranian philosopher, jurist, politician, and cleric. He is credited with shaping Islamic republic's administrative structure as well as Iran's post-revolution constitution. Beheshti is also credited with training many politicians in the Islamic Republic, including Mohammad Khatami, Hassan Rouhani, and Ali Akbar Velayati. Mohammad Beheshti also served as the Chief Justice of Iran from 1980 to 1981. 

 26 
ʿAṭā Malek Joveynī
2
Birthdate: 1226 AD
Birthplace: Greater Khorasan, Iran
Died: March 5, 1283

Aṭā Malek Joveynī was a Persian historian. He is best known for writing an account of the Mongol Empire titled Tarīkh-i Jahān-gushā (History of the World Conqueror). Like his grandfather and father before him, he served as an important state official in the Mongol court, becoming privy to confidential information unavailable to other historians. 

 27 
Al-Zamakhshari
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1075
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Khwarazm
Died: June 12, 1144

Al-Zamakhshari was a medieval Muslim scholar of Iranian descent. A Mu'tazilite theologian, linguist, and poet, he was an interpreter of the Quran and the author of many books. In his best-known book, AlKashshaf, he interprets and linguistically analyzes Quranic expressions. He was an acclaimed teacher and students came to him from far and near.

Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi
2

Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi was a 13th-century Persian polymath and poet. As a polymath, he made important contributions to astronomy, mathematics, physics, medicine, music theory, philosophy, and Sufism. He was also known for his commentary on Hikmat al-ishraq of Suhrawardi. He practiced ophthalmology at the Mozaffari hospital in Shiraz while simultaneously pursuing his other interests. 

 29 
Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
(Former 48th Prime Minister of Iran (4 August 1981 – 30August 1981))
Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kerman, Iran
Died: August 30, 1981

Mohammad Javad Bahonar was a Shia Iranian politician and theologian who served as the 48th Prime Minister of Iran from 4 August 1981 until his assassination on 30 August 1981. Bahonar and other prominent members of the Mohammad-Ali Rajai government were killed by the political-militant organization, Mujahideen-e Khalq. Bahonar also served as the Minister of Education from 1980 to 1981.

 30 
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani
2
Birthdate: 0897 AD
Birthplace: Isfahan, Iran
Died: December 31, 0967
Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani was a genealogist, poet, litterateur, and musicologist in the 10th century. He was of Arab-Quraysh origin. He authored the Kitab al-Aghani ("The Book of Songs"), a book that has information about the earliest attested periods of Arabic music and the lives of ancient poets and musicians. He was also a scribe and a teacher. 
 31 
Mohammad-Taqi Bahar
(Iranian Poet, Politician, Journalist and Historian)
Mohammad-Taqi Bahar
1
Birthdate: December 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mashhad, Iran
Died: April 22, 1951

Mohammad-Taqi Bahar was a renowned Iranian scholar, poet, historian, journalist, politician, and Professor of Literature. Counted among the most influential cultural icons of modern Iran, Bahar had a strong impact on the progression of modern Persian poetry and literature through his literary magazine Majaleh-ye Dāneshkadeh. Bahar is also known as the father of another great historian and mythologist Mehrdad Bahar. 

 32 
Baha' al-din al-'Amili
(Iranian Mathematician, Theologian, Philosopher and Astronomers)
Baha' al-din al-'Amili
2
Birthdate: February 18, 1547
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Baalbek, Lebanon
Died: September 1, 1621

Baha' al-din al-'Amili was an Arab Iranian Shia philosopher, Islamic scholar, architect, astronomer, mathematician, and poet who flourished in Safavid Iran during the late 16th and early 17th century. Baha' al-din al-'Amili was one of the first astronomers in the Islamic world to advocate the possibility of the Earth's movement before the outspread of the Copernican theory.

 33 
Miskawayh
(Iranian Philosopher and Historian)
Miskawayh
2
Birthdate: 0932 AD
Birthplace: Shahr-e-Rey, Iran
Died: 1030 AD

Miskawayh was a Persian chancery official, historian, and philosopher who lived during the Buyid era. As a Neoplatonist, Miskawayh had a significant influence on Islamic philosophy, especially in the area of moral philosophy. He is credited with authoring the first major Islamic book on moral philosophy entitled Tahdhīb al-Akhlāq or The Refinement of Character.

 34 
Abu Hanifa Dinawari
(Persian Polymath and Founder of Arabic Botany)
Abu Hanifa Dinawari
1
Birthdate: 0828 AD
Birthplace: Dinavar District, Iran
Died: 0896 AD

Abu Hanifa Dinawari was a Persian Islamic Golden Age astronomer, agriculturist, geographer, botanist, metallurgist, historian and mathematician. Thanks to his most famous work Book of Plants, Dinawari is regarded as the founder of Arabic botany.

 35 
Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi
1
Birthdate: June 10, 1213
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arak, Iran
Died: 1289 AD

Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi was a Persian Sufi master, writer, and poet. He is best remembered for authoring a collection of lyric poetry. Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi’s best known work Lama’at or Divine Flashes has been translated into Swedish, French, and English. 

 36 
Fairuzabadi
(Lexicographer)
Fairuzabadi
1
Birthdate: 1329 AD
Birthplace: Kazerun, Iran
Died: 1414 AD

Fairuzabadi was a 14th-century lexicographer. He was the compiler of al-Qamous, a comprehensive Arabic dictionary. It was one of the most widely used Arabic dictionaries for nearly five centuries. He was a wide traveler and had been to Jerusalem, Western Asia, and Egypt. In his later years, he converted his house into a school of Maliki law.   

 37 
Hafiz-i Abru
(Historian)
Hafiz-i Abru
1
Birthplace: Greater Khorasan
Died: May 31, 1430
 38 
Fariborz Raisdana
(Well-Known Leftwing Economist, Author, and Member of the Iranian Writer’s Association)
Fariborz Raisdana
1
Birthdate: January 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Died: March 16, 2020

Fariborz Raisdana was an Iranian economist, socialist, and activist. He was also a professor and a member of the Iranian Writers' Association. After graduating from The London School of Economics, he embarked on an academic career. He criticized the Iranian subsidy reform plan in an interview with BBC Persian and was arrested because of this. 

 39 
Al-Sharif al-Jurjani
1
Birthdate: 1339 AD
Birthplace: Gorgan, Iran
Died: 1414 AD

Al-Sharif al-Jurjani was a Persian traditionalist theologian and encyclopedic writer. He is credited with authoring over 50 books, 31 of which are extant. One of his best-known works, Al Taʿrīfāt, contains about 2100 definitions of Arabic terms in a glossary style. The book was edited by G Flügel and published in Cairo and St Petersburg in 1866 and 1897 respectively.

 40 
Jalal al-Din al-Dawani
1
Birthdate: 1426 AD
Birthplace: Dawan, Iran
Died: October 12, 1502

Jalal al-Din al-Dawani was a Persian poet, theologian, philosopher, and jurist. He was considered one of the leading scholars in late 15th-century Iran. After completing his education, he began his military career and was appointed by the Aq Qoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan. He dedicated his later life to composing poetry and led a comfortable life, thanks to his wealthy patrons. 

Alexander Kasimovich Kazembek
0
Birthdate: June 22, 1802
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rasht, Iran
Died: November 27, 1870
 42 
Parvin Ardalan
(Women's rights activist)
Parvin Ardalan
0
Birthdate: 1967 AD
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Parvin Ardalan is an Iranian writer, journalist, and leading women's rights activist. Her efforts and struggles for gender equality in Iran earned her the prestigious Olof Palme Prize in 2007. In 2012, Parvin Ardalan was granted permanent residency by the Swedish Migration Board.

 43 
Hadi Sabzavari
(Philosopher)
Hadi Sabzavari
1
Birthdate: 1797 AD
Birthplace: Sabzevar, Iran
Died: 1873 AD

Hadi Sabzavari was an Iranian poet, philosopher, and mystic theologian. He lived during an era of intellectual and spiritual turmoil in the Qajar period. He received his education at the Hajj Hasan madrasa near the mausoleum of Imam Reza and began a teaching career. He wrote several works of prose and poetry in both Arabic and Persian. 

 44 
Al-Tha'alibi
(Writer, Philologist)
Al-Tha'alibi
0
Birthdate: 0961 AD
Birthplace: Neyshabur, Iran
Died: 1038 AD
 45 
Mīr-Khvānd
(Historian)
Mīr-Khvānd
0
Birthdate: 1433 AD
Birthplace: Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Died: 1498 AD
 46 
Al-Hamadānī
(Mystic)
Al-Hamadānī
0
Birthdate: October 22, 1314
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hamadan, Iran
Died: January 18, 1385

Al-Hamadānī was an Iranian mystic and theologian responsible for teaching and mentoring several Sufis of the Kubrawiyah order in present-day Kashmir. He traveled extensively and documented his experiences of different places. Al-Hamadānī's best known work is titled Dhakhirat al-muluk.