Top of page

Book/Printed Material Refinement of Character.

About this Item


  • Refinement of Character.


  • Tahdhib al-akhlaq (Refinement of character) is a guide to practical conduct by the famous Iranian polymath Ibn Miskawayh (died 1030). It is considered a primary contribution to the field of ethics. Its origins are firmly rooted in Greek philosophy rather than in Islamic texts and traditions. In his philosophical writings, Ibn Miskawayh presents rational rather than scriptural arguments. Often associated by scholars with Neo-Platonist methods, the author makes frequent reference to Aristotle in discussing human nature, requirements for happiness, and the virtuous life. Ibn Miskawayh is sometimes categorized with Shia medieval philosophers, but he is universally heralded throughout the Muslim world, as exemplified by this rendering of the work by Egyptian editor 'Abd al-'Alim Salih, who dedicates the work to Ottoman sultan 'Abd al-Hamid II and to Egyptian ruler 'Abbas Hilmi Basha (1874-1944). The edition also includes a preface by a prominent jurist of al-Azhar, a further testament to the widespread appeal of Ibn Miskawayh's writings in the Islamic world. The work was published in Cairo at al-Taraqqi Press. It is not a critical edition of the original. Rather, it gives the appearance of being a private endeavor, perhaps published to win favor at the Egyptian court. Ibn Miskawayh (also seen as Ibn Miskawah or Ibn Meskavayh) was a person of many accomplishments -- a librarian, court official, associate of princes, historian, physician, and philosopher. He was the correspondent or intellectual companion of many of the great thinkers of his time, such as Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi (died 1023). Depending on the vicissitudes of politics or career opportunities, he lived in Abbasid Baghdad and at other times at courts in Persian cities. Tahdhib al-akhlaq is also known by its subtitle Tathir al-'irq (Purity of disposition). Ibn Miskawayh's historical and philosophical writings have received much attention from modern scholars.


  • Ibn Miskawayh, Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad, died 1030 Author.

Created / Published

  • Cairo : Al-Taraqqi Press, 1899.


  • -  Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • -  1000 to 1030
  • -  Aristotle
  • -  Conduct of life
  • -  Ethics
  • -  Neoplatonism
  • -  Philosophy, Ancient
  • -  Philosophy, Medieval
  • -  Shīʻah


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 187 pages ; 25 centimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: C. Edmund Bosworth, "Meskavayh, Abu 'Ali Ahmad," in Encyclopaedia Iranica, External
  • -  Original resource at: Qatar National Library.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666282

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Ibn Miskawayh, Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad, Died 1030 Author. Refinement of Character. Cairo: Al-Taraqqi Press, 1899. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Ibn Miskawayh, A. I. M. (1899) Refinement of Character. Cairo: Al-Taraqqi Press. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Ibn Miskawayh, Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad, Died 1030 Author. Refinement of Character. Cairo: Al-Taraqqi Press, 1899. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.