By Arzina R. Lalani
Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi (996-1021) lived on the top of Fatimid rule in Egypt. the most wonderful students of his time, numerous very important works are authorized to him. even though, it truly is his significant treatise - the Kitab Ithbat al-imama - that is of seminal significance within the philosophical improvement of medieval Muslim inspiration. it really is during this paintings - that's right here offered in a totally clean version and a brand new translation - that al-Naysaburi daringly makes use of rational instruments to provide an explanation for and expound his theology, instead of base his assertions completely at the authority of the Qur'an and Hadith. trying to confirm the imamate from a philosophical point of view, he makes use of a variety of units to reinforce his thesis, starting from the so-called ten different types of the philosophers to a number of organic metaphors from crops and timber to animals and minerals. His leading equipment is the speculation of 'degrees of excellence'. Accepting that there are adjustments and disparities inside each one genus and species, he supplies paradigms of ideal examples in every one style, and demonstrates in a parallel demeanour that it's the Imam who stands on the apex of humanity.
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Additional info for Degrees of Excellence: A Fatimid Treatise on Leadership in Islam (Ismaili Texts and Translations)
Makarem, as Political Doctrine, pp. 22–25 of English trans. and pp. 2–7 of Arabic text. 15 Whoever wants salvation and guidance must lay aside his inclinations and desires and comprehend the deficiency in every false pretender to this designation [imām], his lack of knowledge, gnosis or cognition, piety and all other merits and conditions of the imamate. When he [who wants salvation] realizes [the pretender’s] lack of knowledge and the triviality of his piety, modesty and his inability to fulfil [any of] the conditions of the imamate, he will [then] deny his imamate until such time that he attains recognition of the true imam (maʿrifat imām al-ḥaqq).
Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm al-Naysābūrī Kitāb ithbāt al-imāma Book on Affirming the Imamate In the Name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful, From Whom we seek help in all matters Section One  Praise be to God, who sent messengers and prophets and appointed imams and caliphs as a blessing for His friends (awliyāʾ), a punishment to enemies, a benefit for religion and the world, as well as [being] an edifice (ʿimāra) for this present world and the world to come. I praise Him with the eulogy of one who is aware of the immense value of the bounty brought through them, and who is grateful for it and who fares his way for the sake of God, hastening towards it.
This manuscript is designated as jīm. All these manuscripts are quite recent in date, yet retain an archaic form of spellings, which have been modernized in this edition. The pious benedictions after the names of the prophets and the imams, such as ṣalla Allāh ʿalayhi wa ālihi and ʿalayhi al-salām, that are abbreviated in the manuscripts have been written out in full in the Arabic edition. Notes on the Translation The translation seeks to follow the original text as far as possible, even literally most of the time, except for the benedictions, which have been omitted at times in order to maintain the flow of the account.