By Arzina R. Lalani
Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi (996-1021) lived on the top of Fatimid rule in Egypt. some of the most distinctive students of his time, numerous very important works are authorised to him. despite the fact that, it truly is his significant treatise - the Kitab Ithbat al-imama - that's of seminal significance within the philosophical improvement of medieval Muslim proposal. it truly is during this paintings - that's the following awarded in a totally clean version and a brand new translation - that al-Naysaburi daringly makes use of rational instruments to give an explanation for and expound his theology, instead of base his assertions solely at the authority of the Qur'an and Hadith. trying to verify the imamate from a philosophical viewpoint, he makes use of a variety of units to strengthen his thesis, starting from the so-called ten different types of the philosophers to numerous organic metaphors from vegetation and timber to animals and minerals. His most popular machine is the idea of 'degrees of excellence'. Accepting that there are ameliorations and disparities inside of each one genus and species, he offers paradigms of ideal examples in each one type, and demonstrates in a parallel demeanour that it's the Imam who stands on the apex of humanity.
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Extra info for Degrees of Excellence: A Fatimid Treatise on Leadership in Islam (Ismaili Texts and Translations)
The ultimate and the noblest among them is heat, from which arises luminosity, light, motion, movement and elevation while the other three are established through it. Heat thus has precedence in origin and in existence.
And tr. Makarem as Political Doctrine, p. 24 of English trans. and p. 5 of the Arabic text), also mentions the encounter of the two lights whereby exalted knowledge from prophets and imams enters the soul to realize its potentiality into actuality. 59. See paragraph  of the text and translation. 22 degrees of excellence A number of reasons could have inspired al-Naysābūrī to write on the subject of the imamate. ’60 He was certainly not the only one perplexed by the circumstances of the day, for we have two other Ismaili authors, al-Kirmānī and Abu’l-Fawāris, also writing on the subject of imamate.
Although he mentions nine ‘accidents’, in the text he speaks only of seven as proofs (ḥujaj), adjuncts (lawāḥiq), the summoner (dāʿī), the wing (janāḥ), licensee (maʾdhūn) and motivator (mukallib) in relation to the imam who is the jawhar or substance See paragraph  below. 42 degrees of excellence need of any created thing; it draws benefit from nothing or no one in the world, but rather, everything benefits from it and is in need of it. That is the imam, peace be upon him, and all other ranks in the same manner are below him as the nine ‘accidents’ are in respect to the ‘substance’.