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Muslim scholar
Name: Abu Suhail an-Nāfi' ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abī Na'īm
Title: Abu Suhail an-Nafi
Death: 117 AH
Influences: Ibn Umar
Influenced: Malik ibn Anas
Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri
Abd-al-Rahman al-Awzai

Note: This article mixes info about two different people:

  1. Nafi` Mawla ibn `Umar, d. 117 H in Madina, the great Muhaddith and key person in the Golden chain of Madina.
  2. Nafi` ibn `Abd al-Rahman, d. 169 H in Madina, the qari' from who the two recitations of Warsh and Qalun branched off. He is not generally considered a muhaddith.

Reference:"Tahdhib al-Asma wa al-Lughat" by Imam al-Nawawi (encyclopedia of Muslim scholars)

Abu Suhail an-Nāfi' ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abī Na'īm or An-Nāfi' (d. 785 CE(d. 169 H)) was a scholar among the first generation of Muslims who came after the Companions of the Prophet. An-Nāfi' was the freed servant of 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar, whom he served for thirty years.

Contributions to Islamic Learning

The style of recitation or qiraa'ah which an-Nāfi' transmitted, is considered by many scholars to be the best example of the recitation of the Qur'an. An-Nāfi' recited to seventy of the tabi'een, the most notable being Abu Ja'far Al-Qa'qaa'.

The recitation of an-Nāfi' is divided into two branches - the first branch is known as Qāloon. This is named after an-Nāfi's student 'Eesaa bin Meenaa, who was nicknamed 'Qāloon' by an-Nāfi' himself because of Qāloon's pleasant and smooth recitation. The word 'qāloon' means 'good' or 'pleasant'. The second branch of an-Nāfi' is known as Warsh. This is named after another of an-Nāfi's students, Abu Sa'eed 'Uthman bin Sa'eed Al-Misri. Qāloon nicknamed him 'Warsh' because of his strong white colour.

As well as learning ahādith from Ibn 'Umar, he also learned ahādith from the wives of the Muhammad\: 'Ā'ishah and Umm Salamah, (ra) and other prominent Companions of the Prophet, such as Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa'īd al-Khudrī. He was also the teacher of imams of ahādith, including az-Zuhri, al-Awza'i, Ayyub Sikhtiāni and Ibn Jarir.

He was an uncle and the first teacher of Imām Mālik. Imām Mālik was barely in his teens when he began learning from an-Nāfi'. This was probably around 105 A.H. (723 C.E.) Imām Mālik had so much trust and confidence in his teacher that he used to say that whenever he heard an-Nāfi' narrate a hadith on the authority of Ibn 'Umar, he never bothered to verify it with anyone else. The chain of narration of Imām Mālik from an-Nāfi', as passed on by Ibn 'Umar, is so strong and reliable that it is famously known as The Golden Chain. An-Nāfi' taught Imām Mālik for twelve years and died in 117 A.H. (735 C.E.).


Ali, Syed Bashir. Scholars of Hadith. Skokie, Illinois: IQRA' International Educational Foundation; 2000

External links

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