The book is a fully annotated translation of al-Shayzari's Nihayat al-Rutba fi Talab al-Hisba (The Utmost Degree in the Pursuit of Hisba), a manual written in the 12th century AD for the practical use of the Islamic inspector of markets. It is the earliest extant book of its kind to appear in the Islamic East. Dr Buckley's introduction deals with the historical development of the Islamic market inspector, the author of the manual and the text itself. A useful Appendix contains translations of official diplomas of investiture, along with an abbreviated translation of al-Ghazali's treatise of isba. Within the main text, individual chapters deal with such as confectioners, perfumers, money-changers, slave traders and physicians. The book therefore provides a thorough examination of the market inspector and his role, and an unparalleled insight into the inhabitants of a medieval Muslim market.