Yahya Ibn Sharaf Al-Nawawi
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Yahya Ibn Sharaf Al-Nawawi
Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawaw?
?   .svg
TitleImam
Personal
BornMuharram 631 AH/ October 1233
Nawa, present Syria
Died24 Rajab 676 AH [2]/ 21 December 1277 (age 45)
Nawa, present Syria
Resting placeNawa, present Syria
ReligionIslam
DenominationSunni
JurisprudenceShafi'i[1]
CreedDisputed 1Athari 2Ashari
Main interest(s)Hadith studies, Islamic jurisprudence.
OccupationHistoriographer, bibliographer, scholar, jurist.
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-Nawaw?

Abu Zakaria Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawaw? (Arabic: ? ‎;‎ 1233-1277), popularly known as al-Nawaw? or Imam Nawaw? (631-676 A.H./1234-1277), was a Sunni Shafi'ite jurist and hadith scholar.[3] He authored numerous and lengthy works ranging from hadith, to theology, biography, and jurisprudence.[4] Al-Nawawi never married.[5]

Creed

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.[6]

Early years

Background

He was born at Nawa near Damascus, Syria.[3] As with Arabic and other Semitic languages, the last part of his name refers to his hometown.

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.[][7]

Education

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.[8] 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 teachers

During his stay at Damascus, he studied from more than twenty 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. 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]

Relationship with the Mamluk Sultanate

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 legacy

He died at Nawa at the relatively young age of 44, 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] 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.[15]

Works

During his life of 45 years[16] he wrote "at least fifty books"[17] on Islamic studies and other topics. These include:

Recent English language editions

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

Minhaj al-Talibin

  • 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

Riyad al-Salihin

  • 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 also

References

  1. ^ "Was Ibn Kath?r the 'Spokesperson' for Ibn Taymiyya? Jonah as a Prophet of Obedience". Journal of Qur'anic Studies. 16 (1): 4. 2014-02-01. doi:10.3366/jqs.2014.0130. ISSN 1465-3591.
  2. ^ "kitaabun-Classical and Contemporary Muslim and Islamic Books". Kitaabun.com. 2003-01-23. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b c Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, pp.238-239. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Abou Al-Fadl, Khaled (2005). The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 174. ISBN 978-0742550940. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Sahih Muslim bi Sharh al-Nawawi. 18 vols. Cairo 1349/1930. Reprint (18 vols. in 9). Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 1401/1981, 5.24
  7. ^ Mubarakpuri, Safi Ur Rahman. Collection from Riyad us Saliheen. Darussalam. p. 5.
  8. ^ a b c d e Thatcher, Griffithes Wheeler (1911). "Naw?w?" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 318.
  9. ^ "40hadithnawawi.com". 40hadithnawawi.com. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Amon our perennial faculty". Zaytuna College. Retrieved 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 2015.
  14. ^ "Who Was Imam Al Nawawi (R)". Youtube. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "Syrian fighters destroy historic Muslim tomb". Al Jazeera English. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "A Short Biography of Imaam an-Nawawi". Islaam.net. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved .
  17. ^ Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi, Volume 1, Al-Basheer Publication & Translation (1999), p. 33
  18. ^ "? - - ? ?". Hadith.al-islam.com. Archived from the original on 2006-03-03. Retrieved .

External links


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