Muhammad Sayfidinovich Osimi was born on August 25, 1920 in Khujand city, Republic of Tajikistan. He studied at the workers’ faculty of the Khujand Agricultural Institute (1934-1937), the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the Uzbek State University named after A. Navoi (1937-1941, Samarkand) and received the qualification of a physicist. He taught physics and mathematics at Samarkand secondary school No. 5, participated in the World War II, was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree, medals “For the Defense of Leningrad” (1944), “For Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945” (1945), joined the CPSU (1945), was awarded commemorative jubilee medals: “Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945” (1965), “50 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR” (1967), “30 Years of Victory in Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 “(1975). “60 Years of the Armed Forces of the USSR” (1978), the Order of the Patriotic War of the First Degree (1985), “50 Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945” (1995).
Upon return to his home country he held the position of the head of the Department of Physics, deputy director for studies at the Leninabad State Pedagogical Institute (1946-1952), later he studied the postgraduate course at the Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of CPSU and defended Ph.D. thesis on “Space and Time as the Basic Forms of Matter Existence”(1952-1955), afterwards he returned to his native LSPUand took over the position of senior teacher (1955-1956).
In 1956 M.S. Osimi was appointed the first rector of the Tajik State Polytechnic Institute in Dushanbe, where he put much spirit and tremendous organizational efforts, knowledge and pedagogical experience into creation of this first Technical institute of Tajikistan composed of three faculties, numerous laboratories and workshops. Muhammad Osimi and his associates, great scientists, teachers and specialists paved the way for good traditions of the current renamed Tajik Technical University named after M.S. Osimi. Osimi’s pleiad of the Technical university made a great contribution to personnel growth of the scientific and technical intelligentsia as the main basis of the scientific and technical revolution of Tajikistan in the second half of the 20th century (for more details, please, see the book: “Tajik Technical University”. Dushanbe: Sharki Ozod, 1996).
In early 1962, following the successful establishment of the Tajik Polytechnic Institute and the first graduation of students, M.S. Osimi was appointed the Minister of Public Education of the Tajik SSR. Holding this position, he participated in the UNESCO International Conference on Education in Geneva, organized the First Republican Meeting of the Workers of Higher and Secondary Specialized Educational Institutions of the Tajik SSR. But shortly thereafter, in the same year, MS. Osimi was elected and appointed simultaneously to the three-place party and state position of Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Tajikistan, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Tajik SSR and Chairman of the Party and State Control Committee of Tajikistan (1962-1965). M.S. Osimi was elected deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR of the 6th convocation (1963-1967). Such a joint supervisory authority with large party-state powers was the brainchild of Khrushchev’s thaw, conceived as a tool for combatting mass violations in state and public structures of authority and society at the stage of overcoming the consequences of the totalitarian system of Stalinism in the country. The choice of a civilly and politically competent, highly intelligent M.S. Osimi to such a difficultand multifaceted leadership position was an undeniable success of the state authorities of the Tajik SSR. M.S. Osimi established this structure in the republic and achieved a lot; in 1964 he was awarded the Medal “For Labor Valor”, and a year later the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1965).
In 1965, upon the decision of the government authorities M.S. Osimi had been transferred to the Academy of Sciences and elected as a full member (academician) of Academy and, at the same time, he had been appointed to the position of the President of the Academy of Sciences, to the vacancy of the outstanding Tajik scientist-physicist and mechanic Sultan Umarovich Umarov.
Academician Muhammad Saifiddinovich Osimi came to science long ago. It is symbolic that holding the position of the deputy director of the Leninabad State Pedagogical University as far back as in 1948, he published an article in local newspaper in Leninabadskaya Pravda entitled “For the flourishing of Soviet scientific thought” (May 17), and “Research work: in the Leninabad Pedagogical Institute” (July 4), in 1949 he published the article “Radio inventor” (about the famous Russian inventor Popov) in “HakikatiLeninobod” (March 16). In 1950, M.S. Osimi published three articles “For strong knowledge”, “Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov” and “Forge of teaching staff” (about LSPI)in the same newspaper “Leninabadskaya Pravda” (January 8, January 15, August 12). We should note here that in the same 1948, M.S. Osimi at the request of B.G. Gafurov send two young graduates of the history faculty of Leningrad State Pedagogical University N.Negmatov and A.Jalilov to the Leningrad Institute of the History of Material Culture of the USSR Academy of Sciences to A.Y. Yakubovsky, the upcoming official opponent of the doctor’s defense of B.G.Gafurov in 1951. Here is the tangle of the then peripeteia of training personnel and the Gafurov-Osimi principle of mutual cooperation. We suppose that it was in those years that the then political and scientific leader of Tajikistan B.G.Gafurov paid his attention to the growing personality of M.S. Osimi. In that period B.G.Gafurov established Tajik State University (1948), the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan (1951) and began to prepare for establishment of the Tajik Polytechnic Institute. In early 1956he also managed to establish this important object of the general social, economic, cadre and cultural-intellectual growth of the republic, before he moved to work in Moscow as director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He entrusted the management of the mentioned Institute to Osimi, who just passed his postgraduate studies and defended his Ph.D. thesis on the physical and philosophical topic “Space and Time as the Basic Forms of Being of Matter” at the Academy of Social Sciences under the CPSU Central Committee (1952-1955). Gafurov’s patronage which then turned into a close friendship, brought to Tajikistan lots of benefits, in particular, in the scientific process and organizational alliance of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan during the period of B.G.Gafurov’s management and M.S. Osimi’s presidency in the Academy of Sciences.
M.S. Osimi got higher education (1941), pedagogical activity (assistant professor and physicist since 1957) and academic specialization – Ph.D. (1955) and doctoral (1970) theses of physicist-philosopher and reached very deep subtleties of physical and philosophical sciences, especially in the field of conceptual philosophical definitions of material existence. It is enough to mention the theses defended by him: “Space and time as the basic forms of being of matter” and “The concept of matter and the problem of physical reality.” Profound knowledge of the basic forms of material existence in space and time, the issues of physical reality, first led M.S. Osimi to dialectical materialism, and then his researches of the cultural heritage of many peoples, especially outstanding classics of Persian-Tajik science and culture brought him to historical materialism and he was awarded the title of the Professor of Philosophy (1971). At the second stage of his scientific and presidential activity, he became one of the outstanding scientists-organizers of science and great intellectuals and erudite people of the Republic of Tajikistan and the foreign East.
M.S. Osimi was a scientist-materialist, culturologist, historian of science, who especially contributed to the research and propaganda of the national philosophical and scientific heritage of the Tajik people. Scientific activity and many-sided interests of M.S. Osimi are inseparably linked with the achievements of all natural, social sciences and the humanities of Tajikistan. He was a great expert mostly in the sciences related to the study of the historical and cultural heritage of our nation and the Motherland: from archaeography to archeology, from folklore to ethnography, from cultural science to ethnology and these sciences served as a starting point to common modern cultural anthropology. He needed objective knowledge of the past to create a modern, higher and harmonious society on Earth.
As a prominent scientist M.S. Osimi represented Soviet science abroad, he headed the delegation of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR many times. He participated in the organization of a number of important international symposiums devoted to the study of the contemporary and past cultures of the peoples of Central Asia, the Middle East. Among them there were forums dedicated to the jubilees of the classics of Persian-Tajik literature: Abdurahman Jami, Hafiz Sherazi, Ahmad Donish, Sadriddin Aini, Indo-Tajik classical poets Khusrav Dehlavi, Mirzo Golib, Muhammad Iqbal and others. He was the first deputy Chairman of the All-Union and republican committees for holding events dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of Abu-aliibn Sino (Moscow, Dushanbe, 1980). He was the head of the authors’ team to prepare for the publication of “Selected Works of Ibn Sino” in Tajik and Russian languages (each in 10 volumes). M.S. Osimi exerted a great influence on the development of scientific cooperation with scientists and scientific centers of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the USSR itself.