I would like to know regarding the stages of Iman in reference to a narration i heard that said Hazrat Salman Farsi was on the 10th stage of Iman while Hazrat Aba dharr was on the 9th. Also, I would like to know if sinners like myself can aim to acheive those stages of Iman like the above mentioned companions or the stage of irfan? what are the early steps to be taken in order to purify one's soul with the aim of higher station of iman in the eyes of Ahlulbait (as)? I have recently started getting into Ilm al Kalaam with one of the main sole purpose of refutation of my belief amongst my atheist and pagan freinds. Can you please also recommend few books and literature for the beginners on the topics of kalam?

Yes we can reach high levels of piety by following the examples and advice of the Ahl ul Bayt (as). We must avoid sins as much as possible, seek forgiveness, fulfill our obligations and also try to add more supererogatory acts of worship.

As far as books of Theology, i would recommend Principles of Faith (Usul e Deen) by Ayatollah Wahid Khorasani and also Faith of Shia Islam (Aqaed Imamiyya) by Allama Muhammad Ridha Muzaffer. A good YouTube series to watch would be: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF83513F53A767BA