The Tathbit al-imama attributed to the Fatimid
Caliph-imam al-Manur (334-341/946-953) is an
important early ismaili treatise on the legitimacy of the
imamate of Ali b. Abi Talib and that of the ismaili
imams from among his progeny. As one of the earliest
ismaili works on this crucial and fundamental Shi'i
subject it can thus be considered a major treatise on
the doctrine of the imamate.
The Tathbit al-imama does not deal with the metaphysical
significance of the imamate. rather, it
concentrates on its legal and historical aspects, using
proofs derived from the Quran, Hadith and logical
arguments. in this regard, it is directed at the islamic
public in all its different religious affiliations.
in the way it discusses the necessity of the imamate
itself, the right of the imams to the vicegerency of the
Prophet, and the validity of divine designation in
contrast to election by the umma, it is likely that the
Tathbi al-imama could have also meant to serve as a
guide book for the ismailis in legitimising the Alid
state ruled by the Fatimid Caliph-imams.
This edition has been compiled from two manuscripts
of the Tathb?t, both of which are now in the collections
of the library of The institute of ismaili Studies, with
the Arabic text carefully translated into idiomatic
English to retain the character and flavour of the
original text as much as possible.
Professor Sami Makarem (1931-2012) obtained a BA in Literature and Philosophy in 1954 and an MA in Arabic Literature in 1957, both from the American University of Beirut (AUB), followed by a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1963. Twice Chair of the Department of Arabic Literature and Near Eastern Languages at AUB, he also served as director of its Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (1975-1978). He wrote over 20 books and numerous academic papers, including The Doctrine of the Ismailis (1972) and The Druze Faith (1974). He also edited and translated Abu'l-Fawaris A?mad's al-Risala bi'l-imama under the title of The Political Doctrine of the Ismailis ( The Imamate ), published in 1977.
An Editorial Note xi Acknowledgements xiii Introduction 1 Translation of the Thabit al-imama 13 Select Bibliography 121 Engliah Index 125 Arabic Text