The intellectual activity revived in Persia during the Safavid period, some features of which we have discussed in the previous chapter, "The School of Ispahan", found its culmination in ~adr aI-Din ShIraZI known to his compatriots as Akhiind Mulla ~adra and to his disciples as simply Akhiind or as ~adr al-Muta' allihIn, i.e., the foremost among the theosophers. This figure, about whom nearly by the whole intellectual life of Persia has revolved in the past three centuries and a half and who is one of the major expositors of Islamic intellectual doctrines in the Shi 'ah world, has remained until today almost completely unknwon outside Persia, even in other Muslim countries. Many have heard of his name, and nearly all travellers to Persia since the Safavid period, who have been interested in the intellectual life of the country, have recognized his importance and have been impressed by his fame;2 yet no one outside a group of his disciples in Persia, who have kept his school alive until today, has done justice to his doctrines in presenting them to the world at large.