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Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi
Full name Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi
Born 631 AH/1234 CE
Died 676 AH [1]/1278 CE
Era Medieval era
Region Damascus
School Shafi'i

Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (1234 – 1278) (Arabic: أبو زكريا يحيى بن شرف النووي‎), popularly known as al-Nawawi, an-Nawawi or Imam Nawawi (631 - 676 A.H. / 1234 - 1278 CE), was a Sunni Muslim author on Fiqh and hadith.[2] His position on legal matters is considered the authoritative one in the Shafi'i Madhhab. 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.



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 short life of only 45 years [3] he wrote many books on Islamic studies and other topics. He collected and sourced 40 hadith of the Prophet Mohammed back to one of his companions [4], which was no small task.

In 1267 he succeeded Abu Shama as professor of hadith at the Ashrafiyya school in the city. He died at Nawa at a relatively young age, having never married.


Shaykh Mohiuddin expresses his impression of Imaam an-Nawawi 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.

Shi'a Muslims have a sympathetic view of him. They regard some of his works favourably and have translated some into Farsi.


  • 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 [1].
  • 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. 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 الأربعون النووية collection of the forty (actually forty-two) chief traditions has been frequently published along with numerous commentaries. For other works see C. Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, vol. i. (Weimar, 1898), pp. 395-397.
  • Ma Tamas ilayhi hajat al-Qari 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.
  • al-Maqasid, Presents the basic teachings of Islam from a traditional perspective.
  • Sharh Sunan Abu Dawood
  • Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari
  • Mukhtasar at-Tirmidhi
  • Tabaqat ash-Shafi'iyah
  • Rawdhat al-Talibeen
  • Bustan al-`arifin

Recent English Language Editions

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

Minhaj Et-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 8170130972
  • Minhaj Et Talibin: A Manual of Muhammadan Law, Adam Publishers (2005) ISBN 817435249X


  • Al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi's Manual of Islam, Sunna Books (1994) ISBN 0-9638342-1-5
  • Al-Maqasid: Nawawi's Manual of Islam, edited by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana Publications; 2nd edition (2003) ISBN 1-59008-011-4

The Forty Hadith

  • 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

Riyadh As-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


  1. ^ Kitaabun - Classical and Contemporary Muslim and Islamic Books: What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam: Esposito, John L[OXFORD
  2. ^ A Short Biography of Imaam an-Nawawi, The Islamic Network
  3. ^ an-Nawawi and his works - The Islamic Network
  4. ^ An-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths -Translation of Imam An-Nawawi's Book

External links


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