THE PHILOSOPHICAL CIRCLE OF NA~IR AL-niN Scholarly research of the past few decades has gradually revealed the great importance of the circle of Khwajah Na~Ir aI-Din Tusl in postMongol Persia for the revival of the Islamic sciences especially in the fields of mathematics and astronomy! although much remains to be discovered in this fecund but until recently neglected period in the history of the Islamic sciences. Strangely enough, however, much less attention has been paid to the remarkable philosophical revival in the 7th/13th century in whose bosom various forms of scientific activity took place. The Akhliiq-i nii~irl ofNa~Ir aI-DIn himself is well-known in the West2 as are some of his Isma 'TIl tratises3 and a few articles and essays have been devoted to his various philosophical views4, while his theological and religious importance has at least been recognized. 5 But even this colossal figure of Islamic thought and one of the greatest of Islamic philosophers has hardly been studied thoroughly as far as his numerous works of an intellectual character, which range from logic to pure metaphysics, are concerned. This neglect is to be seen even more in the case of other important intellectual figures who were his contemporaries such as his

190 The Islamic Intellectual Tradition in Persia

associate, Qu!b aI-Din Shirazi, himself one of the foremost among Muslim philosopher-scientists, who has received little attention among Western scholars as far as his monumental philosophical works like the Durrat al-taj are concerned.