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Abu Zakaria Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī (1233–1277) (Arabic: أبو زكريا يحيى بن شرف النووي‎‎), popularly known as al-Nawawī or Imam Nawawī (631–676 A.H./1234–1277), was an influential Sunni Shafi'ite jurist and hadith scholar.[5] He authored numerous and lengthy works ranging from hadith, to theology, biography, and jurisprudence.[6] Throughout his lifetime, Al-Nawawi never got married.[7]

Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawī
يحيى بن شرف النووي.PNG
Title Imam
Born Muharram 631 AH/ October 1233
Nawa, present Syria
Died 24 Rajab 676 AH [1]/ 21 December 1277 (age 45)
Nawa, present Syria
Resting place Nawa, present Syria
Occupation Historiographer, bibliographer, scholar, jurist.
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni
Jurisprudence Shafi'i[2]
Creed Ashari[3][4]
Main interest(s) Hadith studies, Islamic jurisprudence.
Arabic name
Personal (Ism) Yahyah
Patronymic (Nasab) Ibn Sharaf ibn Marri ibn Hassan ibn Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Juma ibn Hazm
Teknonymic (Kunya) Abu Zakaria
Toponymic (Nisba) al-Nawawī

Contents

NameEdit

His complete name is Abu Zakaria Yahya ibn Sharaf ibn Marri ibn Hassan ibn Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Juma ibn Hazm An-Nawawi.

CreedEdit

Imam Nawawi adhered to the orthodox Sunni Ash'ari creed.[3][4] In line with this school, he did not interpret the mutashabihat, or 'unapparent in meaning' verses and hadiths in a literal anthropomorphic way. He states in his commentary of a hadith that:

This is one of the "hadiths of the attributes," about which scholars have two positions. The first is to have faith in it without discussing its meaning, while believing of Allah Most High that "there is nothing whatsoever like unto Him" (Qur'an 42:11), and that He is exalted above having any of the attributes of His creatures. The second is to figuratively explain it in a fitting way, scholars who hold this position adducing that the point of the hadith was to test the slave girl: Was she a monotheist, who affirmed that the Creator, the Disposer, the Doer, is Allah alone and that He is the one called upon when a person making supplication (du'a) faces the sky--just as those performing the prayer (salat) face the Kaaba, since the sky is the qibla of those who supplicate, as the Kaaba is the qibla of those who perform the prayer--or was she a worshipper of the idols which they placed in front of themselves? So when she said, In the sky, it was plain that she was not an idol worshiper.[8]

Early yearsEdit

BackgroundEdit

He was born at Nawa near Damascus, Syria.[5] 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.

EducationEdit

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 scholarEdit

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.

Notable teachersEdit

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 from great 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.[9]

Notable studentsEdit

  • Alauddin bin Attar,
  • Ibn Abbas Ahmad bin Ibrahim,
  • Abul-Abbas Al-Ja'fari,
  • Abul-Abbas Ahmad bin Farah,
  • Rashid Ismail bin Mu'allim Al-Hanafi,
  • Abu Abdullah Al-Hanbali,
  • AbulAbbas Al-Wasti,
  • 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,
  • Hibatullah Al-Barizi,
  • Abul-Hajjaj Yusuf bin Az-Zaki.[citation needed]

Scholarly behaviorEdit

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 SultanateEdit

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.[10] This prompted Baybars threatened to expel him from Damascus.[11] 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."[12]

Death and legacyEdit

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.[13] This made him respected in all madhabs, despite of him being of Shafi'i jurisprudence.[14] Despite adhering to the Sunni Asharite school in aqidah, he is respected by followers of the Salafi sect.[14] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Destruction of tombEdit

In 2015, during the ongoing Syrian Civil War, his tomb was demolished by rebels linked to Al Nusra.[15]

WorksEdit

During his life of 45 years[16] 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.[17]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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. Wüstenfeld (Göttingen, 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. Marçais in the Journal asiatique, series ix., vols. 16–18 (1900–1901).
  • Forty Hadiths (al-arbaʿīn 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
  • Mukhtasar at-Tirmidhi
  • Tabaqat ash-Shafi'iyah
  • Rawdhat al-Talibeen
  • Bustan al-`arifin

Recent English Language EditionsEdit

  • Bustan al-ʿarifin (The Garden of Gnostics), Translated by Aisha Bewley

Minhaj al-TalibinEdit

  • 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 HadithEdit

  • 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

Riyad al-SalihinEdit

  • 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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "kitaabun-Classical and Contemporary Muslim and Islamic Books". Kitaabun.com. 2003-01-23. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Was Ibn Kathīr the ‘Spokesperson’ for Ibn Taymiyya? Jonah as a Prophet of Obedience". Journal of Qur'anic Studies. 16 (1): 4. 2014-02-01. ISSN 1465-3591. doi:10.3366/jqs.2014.0130. 
  3. ^ a b Spevack, Aaron (2014). The Archetypal Sunni Scholar: Law, Theology, and Mysticism in the Synthesis of Al-Bajuri. State University of New York Press. p. 76. ISBN 143845371X. 
  4. ^ a b Halverson, Jeffry R. (2010). Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash'arism, and Political Sunnism. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 89. ISBN 0230102794. 
  5. ^ a b c Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, pp.238-239. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  6. ^ Fachrizal A. Halim (2014), Legal Authority in Premodern Islam: Yahya B Sharaf Al-Nawawi in the Shafi'i School of Law, p. 1. Routledge. ISBN 041574962X.
  7. ^ Abou Al-Fadl, Khaled (2005). The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 174. ISBN 978-0742550940. Retrieved 2016-02-20. 
  8. ^ Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi. 18 vols. Cairo 1349/1930. Reprint (18 vols. in 9). Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1401/1981, 5.24
  9. ^ "40hadithnawawi.com". 40hadithnawawi.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  10. ^ "Amon our perrenial faculty". Zaytuna College. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Dekmejian, R. Hrair (1995). Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab World Contemporary issues in the Middle East (illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0815626355. 
  12. ^ Zarabozo, Jamaal al-Din M. (2008). Commentary on the Forty Hadith of al-Nawawi (2-Volume Set). Denver: Al-Basheer Company. p. 37. 
  13. ^ "40 Hadiths of Imam Nawawi". 40HadithNawawi. Muslim American Society. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Who Was Imam Al Nawawi (R)". Youtube. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Syrian fighters destroy historic Muslim tomb". Al Jazeera English. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  16. ^ "A Short Biography of Imaam an-Nawawi". Islaam.net. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  17. ^ "الرئيسة - الحديث - موقع الإسلام". Hadith.al-islam.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 

External linksEdit