Publication

  • Degrés d’Excellence: un Traité Fatimide sur le Leadership en Islam

    I.B. Tauris en association The Institute of Ismaili Studies de Londres

    ISBN HardBack:
    9781845111458
  • « Degrés d’excellence » est un travail bilingue d’une grande importance pour le corpus de la pensée médiévale musulmane. Il s’agit de la première étude conséquente de Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Naysaburi, un érudit du début du 5e/11e inconnu jusqu’à présent, qui produit la justification philosophique la plus élaborée et la plus documentée du concept d’imamat. Il construit sa justification de manière tant logique que structurée et pour autant moins complexe que d’autres textes de la même période. Éminent érudit de la période fatimide al-Naysaburi était originaire de Nishapur, et fut particulièrement remarqué pour son érudition et son usage du principes philosophiques du rationalisme. Bien qu’ayant plusieurs ouvrages à son actif, c’est le « Kitab Ithbat al-Imamainfo-icon » qui lui permit de saisir et de comprendre non seulement l’importance de sa propre pensée mais également celle des croyances de son époque.

    Al-Naysaburi utilise, au-delà des principes classiques contenus dans le saint Coran et les traditions prophétiques, des principes intellectuels pour expliquer et exposer sa théologie en présentant une série d’arguments, le plus important étant la théorie des « degrés d’excellence ». Il avance ainsi que Dieu dota chaque genre et espèce d’une aptitude unique et d’un avantage distinct dont les autres genres et espèces ne sont pas dotés. Ainsi, même si chaque catégorie présente ses différences et disparités, il existe dans le même temps des paradigmes d’exemples parfaits dans chaque variété. Utilisant des exemples tirés des dix catégories aristotéliciennes et autres métaphores naturelles relatives aux minéraux, à la flore et à la faune, il révèle par correspondance la position de l’imaminfo-icon qui est au zénith de l’humanité.

    Le « Kitab Ithbat al-Imama » fournit ainsi une perspective inédite de la complexité du règne de l’Imam-calife al- Hakim (386-411/996-1021), non seulement en enrichissant considérablement notre compréhension de cette période, mais également en corrigeant les accusations erronées formulées à son encontre. Au-delà des annotations et de l’effort de contextualisation, l’étude comprend une introduction fluide et accessible dans laquelle le Dr Lalani introduit l’auteur et ses travaux, décrit le sommaire de l’étude, et met en exergue plusieurs thèmes du texte. Il existe en outre une section spécifique sur le thème des « degrés d’excellence » et, pour les initiés, une description des manuscrits arabes utilisés ainsi que des notes de traduction.
     

    L’étude comprend également une explication de la raison pour laquelle le leadership est aujourd’hui considéré partout dans le monde et de la manière dont, dans le but de guider l’humanité, l’imam doit toujours être présent en ce monde, décrivant ainsi ce qui est unique à l’Imam et la raison pour laquelle il est une nécessité innée et intellectuelle. Un exemple de cela est donné au paragraphe [45]:
    « De plus, nous disons qu’il existe des disparités (tafawut) et des différences de degrés d’excellence (tafadul) entre les organes du corps humain ; le premier et le plus important est la tête. C’est sur la tête que le visage [est placé] par lequel chaque être humain est reconnu et distingué des autres. Parmi les organes internes, le plus important est le cerveau, qui étant leur maître, est la source de l’intellect. De la même manière, l’Imam occupe une position dans le monde similaire à celle de la tête et dans sa relation avec les organes, similaire au cerveau. Toutes les créations sont axées autour de lui de la même manière que toutes les actions du corps humain émanent du cerveau. Parmi les facultés de l’homme, la première d’entre elles est l’intellect et l’Imam est l’Intellect Universel (aqlinfo-icon al-kulli) dans le monde, duquel et en lequel les êtres du monde sont unis ».

    « Degrés d’excellence » est une source inestimable de la pensée classique fatimide et est sans aucun doute un ouvrage essentiel pour les étudiants en histoire, philosophie et théologie islamiques, au-delà d’être une référence utile pour les communautés shiites modernes de toutes obédiences. 

  • Préface et avant-propos xiii
       
    Introduction 1
       
    L’auteur et ses travaux 4
    Le sommaire de « Kitab ithbat al-imamainfo-icon » 9
       
    Thèmes dans le texte 12
    Degrés d’excellence 17
    Description des manuscrits arabes 26
       
    Notes sur la traduction 27
    Traduction du « Kitab ithbat al-imama:  
       
    le livre de l’affirmation de l’imamatinfo-icon» 29
       
    Bibliographie sélective 96
    Index anglais 108
       
    Index arabe  
    Texte arabe  
  • Primary Sources: Manuscripts of al-Naysaburi

     

    al-Naysaburi, Ahmad b. Ibrahim. Kitab ithbat al-imamainfo-icon. Fyzee collection.

    Ms. (R) 56 C.1. Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies.

    The following variants of al-Naysaburi’s above work used in this study are also housed at the Institute’s Library:

    —— The Ismaili Society of Bombay, Ms. 91 (Ar.)

    —— Zahid ‘Ali Collection, Ms. 11 23 (Ar I, ZA)

    —— Zahid ‘Ali Collection, Ms. 1212 (Ar I, ZA)

    —— Ms 92 (Ar.), [copied in 1317/1899]

    —— Ms 93 (Ar), [copied in 1313/1895]

    —— Ms 94 (Ar.), [no date]

    —— Ms 911 (Supp.Ar.), [copied in 1355/1936]

    —— Ms 946 (Supp.Ar.), [copied in 1310/1892]

    —— Ms 1047 (Ar I), [no date]

    —— Kitab istitar al-imaminfo-icon wa tafarruq al-du’at fi’l-jaza’ir li-talabi-hi (with Muhammad al-Yamani’s Sirat al-hajib), Ms 1008 (Ar I). Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, ed. W. Ivanow in Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, Egyptian University, vol. 4, 1936, Cairo, 1939), pp. 89–133; English tr. W. Ivanow, in his Ismaili Tradition Concerning the Rise of the Fatimidsinfo-icon. London, etc., 1942, pp. 157–183.

    —— Risala al-mujaza al-kafiya fi adabinfo-icon al-du’at in Hasan al-Bharuchi’s Kitab al-azhar, II, 100–162, cited in Poonawala’s Biobibliography, pp. 91–92 .Ms. 705 (Ar I). Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies. This risala is also available in Hatim al-Hamidi’s Tuhfat al-qulub and cited in Poonawala, p. 405.

    —— Kitab al-tawhid, preserved in a collection of manuscripts from Syria, Ms. 154/994, p. 1. See Delia Cortese, Ismaili and Other Arabic Manuscripts: A Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies. London, 2000, pp. 94 and 96.

     

    Other Manuscripts

     

    al-Mu’ayyad fi’l-Dininfo-icon al-Shirazi [attr.]. al-Ibtida’ wa al-intiha’, copied in 14th/20th century. Ms 1250 (Ar1, ZA). Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies.

    Ja’far b. Mansur al-Yaman, Abu’l-Qasim. Kitab al-shawahid wa’l-bayan fi ithbat amir al-mu’minininfo-icon wa’l-a’imma. Ms.734. Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies. See Adam Gacek, Catalogue of Arabic Manuscripts in the Library of The Institute of Ismaili Studies (London, 1984), vol. 1,

    pp. 11 8–11 9.

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