While many personalities in Islamic history are respected as “polymaths” for their contributions to many different fields of knowledge and culture, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is one of the very few Muslims to be described as such today. Dr. Nasr was born in Tehran, Iran in 1933 into a prestigious family of physicians and scholars. After completing his elementary education in Iran, he moved to the United States in 1945 at the age of twelve and five years later, became the first Iranian to be admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the undergraduate level.
Dr. Nasr initially chose to study physics, but soon realized that the questions about life that he had wanted to explore since his childhood were more metaphysical in nature. As a result, he soon chose to pursue a career in philosophy instead.
Today, Dr. Nasr is professor emeritus of Islamic Studies at George Washington University and widely recognized as an outstanding Islamic philosopher and intellectual of our time. He is the author of over 50 books and several hundred journal articles on a variety of topics. As a professor, he has trained three generations of students of philosophy and other subjects.
Dr. Nasr is the only Muslim to have a volume dedicated to his work in the Library of Living Philosophers, and the only Muslim and only non-Western scholar to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures. He is recognized by the Amman-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre as the 40th most influential Muslim in the world in 2016 (out of the 500 individuals that were ranked). Now in his 80s, Dr. Nasr continues to publish and to speak at conferences around the world, inspiring all people to question and reflect in pursuit of the truth.