Pedagogical Theory Of “The Country Of Science’ Shah” - Nasir Ad-Din Tusi


The aim of the article is to identify the pedagogical core, analysis and comprehensive presentation of the scientific heritage of one of the prominent Islamic thinkers of the medieval East – Nasir ad-Din Tusi. Scientist, on the one hand, known as a researcher of many different areas of human knowledge, on the other – his pedagogical theory has not been the subject of special study. The pedagogical theory of the thinker is a central component of his ethical system. The teacher built a fairly rational theory of education and training, the purpose of which was to achieve the subjects of the educational process of comprehensive and harmonious development. And the "top" of this development, he defines the "moral perfection" of man. It offers a hole system of personal education, in which education is one of its main components. The author distinguished his own age periodization of education and training, consisting of five interrelated stages: infancy, education, teaching religion and morality, additional training and the period of employment. One of the components of scientific theory was the problem of organizing the educational process in Islamic schools, which was pronounced practically oriented. So they were offered a rational combination of content, methods, forms and means, as well as a humanistically oriented system of principles of education and upbringing. In General, Nasir ad-Din Tusi offered a coherent pedagogical system, the ideas of which were widely used in the education of the Middle East during the next centuries, which today have not lost their enduring importance..

Keywords: HumanismNasir ad-Din Tusipedagogical theoryrationality


The rise of Muslim culture of IX – XII centuries, called the era of "Eastern Renaissance", became the fundamental force of the progressive development of mankind of the following centuries. The Eastern Renaissance gave rise to the Western European Revival and largely led to the birth of the culture of The enlightenment. One of the important components of Islamic culture, of course, is its pedagogical system. Significant for the whole of civilization leap and the further development of educational theory and practice gives (Aminov, Magsumov, & Sayakhov, 2018), by analogy, at least at the level of hypothesis, called this time period "Islamic pedagogical Renaissance". Of course, to substantiate the formulated problem it is necessary to study the pedagogical theory of all representatives of Islamic pedagogy.

Problem Statement

In this regard, it is necessary to note two positions. First, the chronological framework of the Islamic Pedagogical Renaissance, in our opinion, is wider. We would define the upper limit of the XIV century, as it is in this time frame (IX – XIV centuries) was created a huge number of pedagogical masterpieces, the ideas of which were continued in subsequent eras, as well as relevant today (Magsumov, 2016). Secondly, most thinkers of the Eastern Renaissance, being followers of the philosophers of Antiquity (Epicurus, Plato, especially Aristotle, etc.), were the same scientists-encyclopaedists, holistically engaged and developing a wide range of Sciences. The latter complicates the separation from their theoretical studies of the pedagogical core.

Research Questions

One of such brilliant thinkers was Nasir ad-Din Tusi, who was called "the eleventh mind" and "the fatigue of mankind" during his lifetime for his deep giftedness and invaluable services (Akmanov, 2018, p. 46). The man who "knew and penetrated" into everything, he is a philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, logician, physicist, mechanic and poet (Ibragim, 2010). In addition, the author of works on geography, music, optics, medicine, Mineralogy (Behram, 1999, p. 250). He was a great connoisseur of Greek science, commented on the works of many ancient authors. In various sources called different number of works of this scientist – from 150 to 250. Some of his works are written in Persian, and most of them in Arabic. As you can see, Tusi was quite versatile thinker, not accidentally referred to as one of the encyclopaedists of the East (Rzaev, 1983, p. 27). Sufficient food for thought and gives the epitaph of his tombstone: "Assistant to religion and the people, the Shah of the land of science! The mother of times did not give birth to such sons!"(Ibragim, 2010, p. 122)

Purpose of the Study

But among his accomplishments pedagogical theory of this thinker is studied poorly. In search of pedagogical core, the analysis and the integrated presentation of its features is the goal of our work.

Research Methods

Historical-typological and comparative methods were used in the research. As private methods were archival bibliography: bibliography, abstracting, reviewing, citation, thesis; theoretical: analysis, synthesis, comparison, abstraction, restriction, generalization, systematization, classification and others (Magsumov, Aminov, Aminova, Khasanova, & Akhmetova, 2018).


The full name of this thinker is Nasir ad-Din Abu Jafar Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Tusi. He was born in 1201 in TUS, northeastern Iran, died and was buried in 1274 in Marag. The city of TUS in this period was one of the centres of Central Asian culture, there lived and worked brilliant poet Ferdowsi, as well as many thinkers – the students of Abu Ali Ibn Sina. It is noteworthy that the city of Marag, in turn, becomes a real scientific centre thanks to the efforts of Nasir ad-Din Tusi, who built one of the world's most famous astronomical observatories of the middle ages (Shodzhai, Shodzhai & Shodzhai, 2014, p. 342). In the Observatory was opened madrasah, which became the centre of attraction of talented youth. The school studied subjects in all areas of human knowledge: religion, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, physics, logic, pedagogy and more (Dzhurinskij, 2014). There was also a huge library for those times, numbering more than 400 thousand books.

But the main merit of Tusi was that he attracted to this centre hundreds of scientists engaged in various Sciences. Thanks to the efforts of a talented organizer, more than 100 scientists working in the Observatory received a lifetime salary. The scientific heritage of Tusi has not yet been fully studied. However, some recognized his achievements as follows: long before Columbus Tusi announced the existence of the continent, which later received the name America. His mathematical, in particular geometric findings influenced the work of many European scientists, including the study of N. I. Lobachevsky (Behram, 1999).

Ethical and pedagogical studies of Nasir ad-Din Tusi, of course, had a huge impact on the Outlook of the peoples of the East and then the West. In this vein, he wrote two major works: "Akhlagi Nasiri" ("Nasir's ethics") and "Adab-ul-mutualities"("learner"). In these works Tusi, a follower of Plato and Aristotle, built a rational theory of education and training, the purpose of which is to achieve the subjects of the pedagogical process "the top of moral perfection".

In the first book, the author reflects on the General ethical principles of social structure (Gasanova, 2009). One of the main ideas of the work is the section, which reveals the features of the human psyche, various psychological processes, as well as ways to improve them, i.e. the problems of education and training. The work consists of three sections: "purification of morality", "prudence at home" and "rules of management".

The treatise "Adab-ul-reciprocity" is more practically oriented and completely devoted to the problem of education (Grigoryan & Sagadeev, 1961). The author reveals the necessity and advantages of studying various Sciences, the efforts spent by students and teachers to acquire knowledge. One of the important sections of the book is the problem of the educational process in the mektebs and madrassas.

Tusi attached great importance to education in the formation of the individual and society as a whole. Education begins with the birth of a child and continues throughout his life. The foundations of the future personality are laid from birth. So he wrote: "After the child will take away from a breast, without giving the chance to spoil its ethics, it is necessary to be engaged in its education, training. Since in the nature of the child there are inherent shortcomings, in order to avoid the appearance of his tendency to bad habits, it is necessary, given its nature, to improve its morality, that is, first you need to improve the pure force that will manifest itself before" (Magsumov, 2016, p. 247).

The thinker distinguished his own age periodization of education and training, consisting of five interrelated stages: infancy, education, teaching religion and morality, additional training and employment period. The period of infancy lasts up to two years. From the age of two, the period begins when education should become an obligatory attribute of a child's life. This period can be called the time of preschool family education. The next stage is the beginning of systematic teaching of religious and ethical disciplines. At the next stage of additional training, there is a certain specialization in training, depending on the abilities of the student. In the same period, the gradual adaptation to any crafts. The last, fifth, period is associated with the beginning of independent life and work of the student.

The thinker distinguished two main ways to improve a person: the acquisition of knowledge and practical activities (Mirzoev, 2016). Tusi emphasized that "as matter cannot exist without properties, and property without matter, so science without practice will be destroyed, and practice without science cannot exist. It means science (knowledge) – beginning, practice, end of science-mind, practice, result. Since the perfection achieved by the organic Union of these two refers to man, we consider him to be the goal, in other words, the goal of the development of the human soul" (Salimova, 1988, p. 340).

The formation of basic moral, mental, labor and physical abilities should take place in the family. During this period, the task of raising children is primarily entrusted to the mother. In the process of education, you cannot lose sight of any detail of the child's life, stimulating good and suppressing his negative actions. Children need to develop such qualities as honesty, thirst for knowledge, goodwill, desire to help others. It is necessary to pay attention to the accuracy of the child in everything, in the performance of the function, in relations with friends and peers, and even in clothes. Never lose their attractiveness as a person, according to Tusi, sincere love, mutual respect, Faith, goodwill, good treatment, honesty, generosity, politeness, mercy, humanity and will (Magerramova, 2011). It is interesting that the formation of moral qualities of a person occurs in his active practice. That's how morality works. According to the ideas of the teacher, good or humanism cannot exist in the abstract, and both must find a real embodiment in the life of a particular person. The result of this activity is the attainment of spiritual and physical happiness.

The meaning of human life the thinker found in work, so the formation of hard work was an important task of family and social education. A brilliant teacher promotes work, efficiency and activity, justifying the possibility of happiness only as a result of conscious work, and accidental bliss is not real happiness. Work in the ethics of Tusi is socially useful, so in labor education great importance is attached to the introduction of the student to the profession.

Children need to develop a sense of hatred for laziness, deception, slander, gloating, indifference, self-respect and selfishness. The scientist criticized the formation of greed or inclination of children to money and material values. Therefore, he advised, "you have to kill his interest in gold and silver. The grief brought by silver and gold is comparable to the poison of a boa constrictor" (Mirzoev, 2016, p. 25).

One of the first manifestations of moral qualities in a child, according to the scientist, is a sense of shame, so first of all it is necessary to deal with the development of this. In the book "Akhlagi Nasiri", the author wrote (Mirzoev, 2016):

...if a child has a sense of shame, in most cases he lowers his head and does not dare, it speaks of his generosity, then he has this talent. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to such a child, not to limit it, not to give the opportunity to the extinction of talent (p. 30).

Here is how the scientist reflected on the values that are formed in the process of education: "It is useful to study professions, gaining knowledge, and to refrain from laziness. They say that laziness is harmful to the body. If your body does not obey you, do not let this happen, you must make your body obey and obey you. And as soon as you make him obey you, having studied art, you will be able to become the owner of peace benefits. Peaceful goods are in art, science and education as keys to all kinds of art. It is especially good to be humble, to cultivate willpower, to be truthful, honest, not to disturb others and to have a sense of shame. Or: "Teach your body to study science and art. Try to explore the unknown. From this you will get two benefits: either you will experience the known, or you will learn the unknown" (Magerramova, 2011, p. 21).

The formation of will is an internal force that contributes to the process of education and harmony. Responsibility for the development of this and other qualities in a person are parents, teachers, educators and other persons involved in education. Speaking about responsibility, Tusi also talked about the importance of the teaching profession: "The most honorable profession of the real reality of the world, which is aimed at bringing a person to perfection, should be the most honorable among the professions of the world" (Magerramova, 2011, p. 22).

Interesting reflections of the thinker about the relationship of the teacher and the student. Therefore, he believed that the student should rely on the teacher, because the teacher has a lot of experience in obtaining knowledge that tells him who and what knowledge should be transferred. In teaching and education requires joint efforts of the student and the teacher. The student must make an effort to understand and remember the materials studied, so he must be diligent and persistent (Aminov, Magsumov, & Sayakhov, 2018).

In addition, Tusi offered many tips on the correct behavior of children at home and in school, how to behave with adults, where to be silent, and where to speak. And the teacher takes the responsibility to influence the minds of the students, for which he needs to win the sympathy and their faith. The teacher should be able to conduct a fruitful discussion using convincing arguments, have good skills of speech culture, logical presentation of the subject, the breadth of the scientific Outlook. Thus, the scientist concluded: "It is unacceptable that the teacher's speech would be evil or cruel. Lack of restraint during the lesson can damage the case" (Gasanova, 2009,94). In addition, the personal positive example of the teacher is a mandatory principle of education. The teacher should be intellectually and spiritually prepared for the organization of the educational process.

The basic principles of teaching, highlighted in the pedagogical theory of the scientist, are the principle of naturalness, following the innate sense of God-seeking, accessibility, consistency, consciousness, taking into account the age and individual characteristics of the child, as well as humanity. Learning must go from easy to complex, from sensual to rational, from axiom to theorem. Thus, reflecting on the organization of the educational process in the Mekteb, Tusi recommended that the teacher conduct lessons in an understandable volume and content. "The teacher should often repeat the lesson, explain the difficult places of books"(Gasanova, 2009,95).

It is not necessary to force the child to do what he is unable to understand, as this will lead to a weakening of his interest in learning. According to the thinker, knowledge is a medicine that is used by a person throughout his life. In order to get such a drug, you need to understand the purpose and ways to achieve knowledge. One of the main means of education of moral and other qualities of man is fiction. In the curriculum, priority should be given to ancient, fundamental knowledge. Fundamental knowledge among scientist first and foremost gives a preference to religious Sciences (Ibragimov & Abdullaeva, 2009).

The scientist offers the following methods of education and training: advice, love, encouragement and punishment, exercise, repetition, spiritual exercises, or submission of the power of passion to the power of the mind, spiritual purification from vices, self-control and self-criticism. For example, speaking about exercises, the scientist argued,

...that the main factor in the emergence of unchanging moral qualities in a person is the continuous performance of actions consonant with these qualities. Therefore, a person who aspires to virtues and perfection must constantly perform those actions that correspond to these virtues (Magsumov, 2016, p. 247).

Tusi appreciates three ethical phenomena: friendship, happiness and work. They are interrelated and interdependent, the first is what needs to be revived and cultivated, the second is what we should strive for, and work is the foundation of this figuratively majestic building. In the works of the thinker there are many references to the ideas of well-known ancient philosophers and contemporary authors, reflecting on happiness, friendship and work. Therefore, very instructive are the advice of the scientist on how to choose friends, how to be friends with peers and adults, talking about the friendship of people of different classes.


In general, the pedagogical theory of Tusi, based on the principles of the Koran and Sharia, had a humanistic and practice-oriented character, as the thinker himself emphasized in the book "Ahlagi Nasiri", that its main idea is "practical wisdom". Therefore, his theory was based on the idea of common sense. Most of his ideas are relevant today, in this series can be called its ethical component, the psychological basis of educational activity, the author's age periodization, decoding all components of the educational process, from the goal to the evaluation of the result of education. Valuable of his ideas is about the subjects and their interaction in the pedagogical process, teacher and students. It is no coincidence that for more than 700 years, the thoughts and practical advice of the thinker were used in schools in the Middle and Middle East, the works of Nasir ad-Din Tusi were desktop textbooks not only moral, but labor and mental education of the younger generation.


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Aminov, T., Aminova, L., Salihov, T., & Nafikova, L. (2020). Pedagogical Theory Of “The Country Of Science’ Shah” - Nasir Ad-Din Tusi. In I. Murzina (Ed.), Humanistic Practice in Education in a Postmodern Age, vol 93. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 45-51). European Publisher.