Born631 AH/1233Nawa, present Syria OccupationHistoriographer, bibliographer, scholar, jurist. ParentsSharaf Ibn Marie an-Nawawi BooksImam Nawawi's Forty Hadith Similar PeopleAhmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Taymiyyah, Al‑Ghazali, Ibn Qayyim al‑Jawziyya, Ahmad Sirhindi
Biography of imam al nawawi by sheikh navaid aziz
Abu Zakaria Muhiy ad-Din Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (1233–1277) (Arabic: أبو زكريا يحيى بن شرف النووي), popularly known as al-Nawawi, an-Nawawi or Imam Nawawi (631–676 A.H./1234–1277), was an influential Sunni Shafi'ite jurist and hadith scholar. He authored numerous and lengthy works ranging from hadith, to theology, biography, and jurisprudence.
The biography of al imam al nawawi may allah shower him with mercy
His complete name is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya ibn Sharaf ibn Marri ibn Hassan ibn Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Juma ibn Hazm An-Nawawi.
He was born at Nawa near Damascus, Syria. As with many Arabic and Semitic names, the last part of his name refers to his hometown.
Shaikh Yasin bin Yusuf Marakashi, says: "I saw Imam Nawawi at Nawa when he was a youth of ten years of age. Other boys of his age used to force him to play with them, but Imam Nawawi would always avoid the play and would remain busy with the recitation of the Noble Qur'an. When they tried to domineer and insisted on his joining their games, he bewailed and expressed his no concern over their foolish action. On observing his sagacity and profundity, a special love and affection developed in my heart for young Nawawi. I approached his teacher and urged him to take exceptional care of this lad as he was to become a great religious scholar. His teacher asked whether I was a soothsayer or an astrologer. I told him I am neither soothsayer nor an astrologer but Allah caused me to utter these words." His teacher conveyed this incident to Imam's father and he keeping in view the learning quest of his son, decided to dedicate the life of his son for the service and promotion of the cause of Islam.
He had no academic or scholarly atmosphere and there were no religious academies or institutes where one could earn excellence in religious learning, so his father took him to Damascus, which was considered the center of learning and scholarship, and the students from far and wide gathered there for schooling. During that period, there were more than three hundred institutes, colleges and universities in Damascus. Imam Nawawi joined Madrasah Rawahiyah which was affiliated with the Ummvi University. The founder and patron of this Madrasah was a trader named Zakiuddin Abul-Qassim who was known as Ibn Rawahah. Madrasah was named after him. Noted and eminent teachers of the period taught in that Madrasah. Imam Nawawi says, "I studied in this institution for two years. During my stay in Madrasah Rawahiyah, I never had complete rest and lived on the limited food supplied by the institution." As a routine he used to sleep very little at night. When it became irresistible as a human being, he would lean and slumber for a while against the support of books. After a short duration he would again be hard at his scholastic pursuits.
Life as a scholar
He studied in Damascus from the age of 18 and after making the pilgrimage in 1253 he settled there as a private scholar. From a young age he showed signs of great intelligence, and so his father paid for a good education. As a judge, he was much sought after for advice and adjudication of disputes.
During his stay at Damascus, he studied from more than twenty celebrated teachers. These teachers were regarded as masters and authority of their subject field and disciplines they taught. Imam studied Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, its principles, syntax and Etymology fromgreat scholars of his time. Abu Ibrahim Ishaq bin Ahmad AI-Maghribi, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim Al-Fazari, Radiyuddin Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Abu Hafs Umar bin Mudar Al-Mudari, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Isa Al-Muradi, Abul-Baqa Khalid bin Yusuf An-Nablusi, Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Salim Al-Misri, Abu Abdullah Al-Jiyani, Abul-Fath Umar bin Bandar, Abu Muhammad At-Tanukhi, Sharafuddin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad Al-Ansari, Abul-Faraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Maqdisi, Abul-Fada'il Sallar bin Al-Hasan Al Arbali.
Alauddin bin Attar,
Ibn Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim,
Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Farah,
Rashid Ismail bin Mu'allim Al-Hanafi,
Abu Abdullah Al-Hanbali,
Jamaluddin Sulaiman bin Omar Az-Zar'i,
AbulFaraj Abdur-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Abdul-Hamid AlMaqdisi,
Badr Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Shamsuddin Muhammad bin Abu Bakr,
Ash-Shihab Muhammad bin Abdul-Khaliq,
Abul-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Az-Zaki.
Imam Nawawi had endless thirst for knowledge, and it can be guessed from his daily practice of studies. He used to read daily twelve lessons and write explanation and commentary of every lesson and also made important additions. Whatever the book he read, he put down the marginal notes and explanations on that book. His intelligence, hard work, love, devotion and absorption in his-studies amazed his teachers and they became fond of him and began to praise and admire him.
Relationship with the Mamluk Sultanate
Imam Nawawi drew the ire of Mamluk Sultan Rukn al-Din Baybars, when he petitioned on behalf of residents of Damascus who sought relief from heavy tax burdens during a drought that lasted many years. This prompted Baybars threatened to expel him from Damascus. To this, he responded:
"As for myself, threats do not harm me or mean anything to me. They will not keep me from advising the ruler, for I believe that this is obligatory upon me and others."
Death and legacy
He died at Nawa at a relatively young age, having never married.
An-Nawawi's lasting legacy is his contribution to hadith literature through his momentous works Forty Hadiths and Riyadh as-Saaliheen. This made him respected in all madhabs, despite of him being of Shafi'i jurisprudence. Despite being Asharite in aqidah, he is respected among Salafis and Atharis. According to Al-Dhahabi, Imam Nawawi's concentration and absorption in academic love gained proverbial fame. He had devoted all his time for learning and scholarship. Other than reading and writing, he spent his time contemplating on the interacted and complex issues and in finding their solutions. Sheikh Mohiuddin expresses his impression about Imam Nawawi as thus:
Imaam an-Nawawi had three distinctive commendable qualities in his person. If anybody has only one out of these three, people turn to him in abundance for guidance. First, having knowledge and its dissemination. Second, to evade completely from the worldly inclinations, and the third, inviting to all that is good (Islam) enjoining virtue and forbidding vice. Imaam an-Nawawi had all three in him.
Destruction of tomb
In 2015, during the ongoing Syrian Civil War, his tomb was demolished by rebels linked to Al Nusra.
During his life of 45 years he wrote many books on Islamic studies and other topics. These include:
Al Minhaj bi Sharh Sahih Muslim شرح صحيح مسلم, making use of others before him, and is considered one of the best commentaries on Sahih Muslim. It is available online.
Riyadh as-Saaliheen رياض الصالحين, is a collection of hadith on ethics, manners, conduct, and is very popular in the Muslim world today.
al-Majmu' sharh al-Muhadhdhab المجموع شرح المهذب, is a comprehensive manual of Islamic law according to the Shafi'i school has been edited with French translation by van den Bergh, 2 vols., Batavia (1882–1884), and published at Cairo (1888).
Minhaj al-Talibin منهاج الطالبين وعمدة المفتين في فقه الإمام الشافعي, a classical manual on Islamic Law according to Shafi'i fiqh.
Tahdhib al-Asma wal-Lughat تهذيب الأسماء, has been edited as the Biographical Dictionary of Illustrious Men chiefly at the Beginning of Islam by F. Wustenfeld (Gottingen, 1842–1847).
Taqrib al-Taisir التقريب والتيسير لمعرفة سنن البشير النذير, an introduction to the study of hadith, it is an extension of Ibn al-Salah's Muqaddimah, was published at Cairo, 1890, with Suyuti's commentary "Tadrib al-Rawi". It has been in part translated into French by W. Marcais in the Journal asiatique, series ix., vols. 16–18 (1900–1901).
Forty Hadiths (al-arbaʿin al-nawawiyya) الأربعون النووية, collection of forty (actually forty-two) fundamental traditions, frequently published along with numerous commentaries.
Ma Tamas ilayhi hajat al-Qari li Saheeh al-Bukhaari ما تمس إليه حاجة القاري لصـحيح البـخاري,
Tahrir al-Tanbih تحرير التنبيه,
Kitab al-Adhkar الأذكار المنتخبة من كلام سيد الأبرار, is a collection of supplications of prophet Muhammad.
al-Tibyan fi adab Hamalat al-Quran التبيان في آداب حملة القرآن,
Adab al-fatwa wa al-Mufti wa al-Mustafti آداب الفتوى والمفتي والمستفتي,
al-Tarkhis fi al-Qiyam الترخيص بالقيام لذوي الفضل والمزية من أهل الإسلام,
Manasik متن الإيضاح في المناسك, on Hajj rituals.
Sharh Sunan Abu Dawood
Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari
Recent English Language Editions
Bustan al-ʿarifin (The Garden of Gnostics), Translated by Aisha Bewley
Minhaj et talibin: A Manual of Muhammadan Law ; According To The School of Shafi, Law Publishing Co (1977) ASIN B0006D2W9I
Minhaj et talibin: A Manual of Muhammadan Law ; According To The School of Shafi, Navrang (1992) ISBN 81-7013-097-2
Minhaj Et Talibin: A Manual of Muhammadan Law, Adam Publishers (2005) ISBN 81-7435-249-X
The Forty Hadith
The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom; Translation of Jami' Uloom wal-Hikam by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali translated by Abdassamad Clarke, Turath Publishing (2007) ISBN 0-9547380-2-0
Al-Nawawi Forty Hadiths and Commentary; Translated by Arabic Virtual Translation Center; (2010) ISBN 978-1-4563-6735-0
Ibn-Daqiq’s Commentary on the Nawawi Forty Hadiths; Translated by Arabic Virtual Translation Center; (2011) ISBN 1-4565-8325-5
Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith, Translated by Ezzeddin Ibrahim, Islamic Texts Society; New edition (1997) ISBN 0-946621-65-9
The Forty Hadith of al-Imam al-Nawawi, Abul-Qasim Publishing House (1999) ISBN 9960-792-76-5
The Complete Forty Hadith, Ta-Ha Publishers (2000) ISBN 1-84200-013-6
The Arba'een 40 Ahadith of Imam Nawawi with Commentary, Darul Ishaat
Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi (3 Vols.), by Jamaal Al-Din M. Zarabozo, Al-Basheer (1999) ISBN 1-891540-04-1
Gardens of the righteous: Riyadh as-Salihin of Imam Nawawi, Rowman and Littlefield (1975) ISBN 0-87471-650-0
Riyad-us-Salihin: Garden of the Righteous, Dar Al-Kotob Al-Ilmiyah
Riyadh-us-Saliheen (Vol. 1&2 in One Book) (Arabic-English) Dar Ahya Us-Sunnah Al Nabawiya