Hossein Ziai was one of the foremost authorities on Shihāb al-Din Sohravardi—Suhrawardī in Arabic—the 12th century Persian founder of Illuminationist Philosophy حکمت اشراق—Ḥikmat al-Ishrāq—and a professor of Islamic philosophy and Iranian studies from 1976-1980 in Iran, and since 1983 in the U.S. His thinking was well-known through his publications and his charismatic presence in the classroom and publicly, but he was also a very private man who shared little of his inner-self with anyone. His primal attachment to his homeland, his predilection for mathematics, philosophy, and logic, his interest in literature, arts and crafts, his sense of honor, humor, and humanity, his rich voice and resonant laughter, all left their mark on people with whom he crossed paths and are the markers that along with his scholarly and artistic output help, to a degree, trace his profile.

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