Degrees of Excellence is a bilingual work of decisive importance to the philosophical curriculum of medieval Muslim thought. It introduces the first book-length study of Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi, a hitherto unknown scholar of the early fifth/eleventh century, who writes the most elaborate and erudite philosophical justification of the Imamate. He writes in a manner that is both logical and structured yet comparatively less complex and intricate than other such texts of the period. A distinguished scholar from the Fatimid period, al-Naysaburi came from Nishapur, noted particularly for its erudition and use of rationalistic philosophy. Although he has several works to his credit, it is the Kitab Ithbat al-Imama that allows us to capture and understand not only the significance of his own thought, but also the beliefs of his age.
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