Famous Iranian Philosophers

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Find out more about the greatest Iranian Philosophers, including Avicenna, Zoroaster, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, Hossein Nasr and Mazdak.
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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
9
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 
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. 

 3 
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.

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 4 
Zoroaster
(Founder of Zoroastrianism)
Zoroaster
6
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.

 6 
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.

 7 
Mohammad Khatami
(Philosopher, Politician, Librarian, Writer)
Mohammad Khatami
10
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.

 8 
Fakhr ad-Dīn ar-Rāzī
3
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Rayy, 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.

 9 
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.

 10 
Haji Bektash Veli
(Philosopher)
Haji Bektash Veli
2
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
3
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.    

 12 
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
 13 
Nāṣer-e Khusraw
(Persian author)
Nāṣer-e Khusraw
2
Birthdate: 1004 AD
Birthplace: Qubādiyān, Iran
Died: 1088 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.

 14 
Morteza Motahhari
(Philosopher, Writer, Akhoond, Theologian)
Morteza Motahhari
3
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.

 15 
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.

 16 
Mohammad Beheshti
(Chief Justice of Iran Head of Supreme Court of Iran (1980 – 1981), Philosopher, Cleric and Politician)
Mohammad Beheshti
3
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. 

Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi
1

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. 

 18 
Baha' al-din al-'Amili
(islamic Scholar)
Baha' al-din al-'Amili
1
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.

 19 
Miskawayh
(Official)
Miskawayh
1
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.

 20 
Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi
2
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. 

 21 
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. 

 22 
Hadi Sabzavari
(Philosopher)
Hadi Sabzavari
2
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.