Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, a renowned Shiʿi Muslim scholar of the thirteenth century, produced a wide range of writings in different fields of learning under Ismaili patronage and later under the Mongols. His work brought him great acclaim and, as a result of his changing affiliations in the course of a brilliant scholastic career, he is claimed by both the Twelver Shiʿi and Ismaili traditions.

Contemplation and Action is Ṭūsī’s spiritual autobiography, in which he recounts details of his early education, search for knowledge and eventual conversion to the Ismaili faith. It is also a clear and vivid elaboration of the Ismaili doctrine of taʿlim, the need for an authoritative teacher in spiritual knowledge. Translated for the first time into English, it is published here with the full Persian text and an introductory essay on Ṭūsī’s life, his relations with the Ismailis and the significance of his work.