The Iran Project

Iran marks National Day of Nasir al-Din Tusi

Today is the National Commemoration Day of the outstanding Iranian philosopher, scientist, and mathematician Nasir al-Din Tusi.

Tusi was born in Tus in 1201 and died in Baghdad in 1274. Very little is known about his childhood and early education, apart from what he writes in his autobiography, Contemplation and Action (Sayr wa suluk).

As a young boy, Nasir al-Din was encouraged by his father to study all “the branches of knowledge and to listen to the opinions of the followers of various sects and doctrines”; as such, Tusi travelled widely to study with teachers of his choice.

Tusi studied mathematics with Kamal al-Diin Hasib about whom we have no authentic knowledge. In Nishabur he met Farid al-Din ‘Attar, the legendary Sufi master who was later killed in the hand of Mongol invaders and attended the lectures of Qutb al-Din Misri and Farid al-Din Damad. In Mawsil he studied mathematics and astronomy with Kamal al-Din Yunus (d. 1242).

At the age of twenty-two or a while later, Tusi joined the court of Nasir al-Din Muhtashim, the Ismaili governor of Quhistan, Northeast Iran, where he was accepted into the Ismaili community as a novice.

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