Imām an Nawawī (b. 631 AH – d. 676 AH)
Imām an Nawawī (rahīmahullāhu ta’ālā – d. 676 AH) was without doubt one of the greatest scholars this Ummah has been blessed with. His works have had a tremendous benefit and influence for the Muslims throughout history, and from amongst his works is his collection of 42 ahādīth of the Prophet, sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam which together form a comprehensive explanation of this Great Dīn of Islām. This work is commonly referred to as “an Nawawī‘s Forty Hadīth” and without doubt it contains immense benefit and guidance.
The complete name of Imām an Nawawī is Abu Zakaria Mohiuddīn Yahya, son of Sharaf An Nawawī. Nawawī refers to Nawā, a place near Damascus, in the suburb of the city of Howran. Imām an Nawawī was born at Nawā in the year 631 A.H.(about 1255 CE) His father, a virtuous and pious man, resolved to arrange for proper and befitting education as he had discovered the symptoms of heavenly intelligence and wisdom in his promising child at an early stage.
The Imām’s Simplicity and Good Manners:
The learned persons, elite of the society and the public greatly respected the Imām on account of his piety, learning and excellent character. He used simple dress and ate simple food. Devout scholars do not care about worldly chattels, they give preference to religious and academic pursuits, and the propagation of Faith. They experience more heavenly delight and joy in such activities than those who seek satisfaction in luxurious foods, precious clothes and other worldly things. Imām an Nawawī had a prominent place among the erudite notables of his age. He was a God-fearing person having illustrious and glorious aims regarding the propagation of Faith. The celebrated Shaykh Mohiuddīn expresses his impression about Imām an Nawawī thus:
“Imām an Nawawī 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 (Islām) enjoining Al-Ma’ruf [i.e., Islāmic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do] and forbidding Al-Munkar [polytheism and disbelief and all that Islām has forbidden]. Imām an Nawawī had all three in him.”
His works and his death:
The learned Imām had a very short life but even during this short period, he had written a large number of books on different subjects. Every work of the Imām is a masterpiece and a treasure of knowledge. Hundreds and thousands of people benefit from these works. Some of his works :
- al Minhaj fi Sharh Sahīh Muslim – A Commentary on Sahīh Muslim
- al Arba’īn (ie The Forty Hadīth)
- Riyād us Salihīn
- Kitāb ur Raudah
- Tahdhīb ul Asmā was Sifāt
- Kitāb ul Adhkār
- at Taqrīb fī Ilmul Hadīth wal Irshād fīhi
- Sharh Sunan Abī Dawūd (Incomplete)
- Tabaqāt Ash Shāfi’īyyah
- Muhimmatul Ahkām
- Bustān ul ‘Aarifīn
- Al Khulāsatu fil Hadīth
At about the age of 45, Imām an Nawawī returned to his hometown. Soon after his arrival at Nawā, he fell ill and died. However, Imām an Nawawī is still living in the hearts of Muslims. His works are of everlasting value. May Allāh have Mercy upon him.
(Alternate Spelling: Nawawee)
Taken From: Islaam.net
May the Peace and Blessings of Allāh be upon the Prophet, his family, and Companions.