Abu Nu`aym

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Abu Nu`aym al-Isfahani
Born 336AH
Died 430AH
School Shafi'i

Full name[edit]

He was Abû Nu`aym, Ahmad ibn `Abd Allâh ibn Ahmad ibn Ishâq ibn Mûsâ ibn Mahrân al-Mihrânî al-Asbahânî or al-Asfahânî al-Ahwal al-Ash`arî al-Shâfi`î


Abu Nu`aym al-Isfahani ( أبـو نـعـيـم الأصـفـهـانـي; full name Ahmad ibn `Abd Allāh ibn Ahmad ibn Ishāq ibn Mūsā ibn Mahrān al-Mihrānī al-Asbahānī (or al-Asfahānī) al-Ahwal al-Ash`arī al-Shāfi`ī, d. 1038 / AH 430) was a medieval Muslim scholar. Born in Buwayhid era Isfahan, he travelled widely, visiting Nishapur, Basra, Kufa, Baghdad, Mecca and Andalusia. He is the presumed author of Hilyat al-awliya' , one of the most important sources for the early development of Sufism, and a transmitter of Shafi'i hadith.


Abû Nu`aym authored over a hundred works Among them:

  • The Hilyat al-awliya' is a substantial work in ten volumes, comprising a total of 650 biographies, amounting to about 4,000 pages in the printed edition. The work includes many biographies of early Islam. Most biographies of individuals that are directly involved with the development of Sufi mysticism are found in the tenth volume.
  • Al-Arba`în `alâ Madhhab al-Mutahaqqiqîn min al-Sûfiyya, in print
  • Dalâ'il al-Nubuwwa ("The Signs and Proofs of Prophethood"), devoted entirely to the person of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) , this large work - partly in print - was expanded by al-Bayhaqî to seven volumes in a like-titled work.
  • Dhikr Akhbâr Asbahân ("Memorial of the Chronicles of Ispahan"), in print
  • Al-Du`afâ', in print
  • Fadâ'il al-Khulafâ' al-Arba`a wa Ghayrihim, in print
  • Fadîlat al-`Adilîn min al-Wulât, a collection of over forty narrations on just government and the duties of the governed towards the rulers. Al-Sakhâwî documented each narration in detail and both the work and its documentation were published.
  • Juz` fî Turuq Hadîth Inna Lillâhi Tis`atun wa Tis`îna Isman, in print
  • Al-Mahdî.
  • Ma`rifat al-Sahâba wa Fadâ'ilihim ("Knowing the Companions and Their Merits"), in print. This book was the basis of subsequent similar works by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn al-Athîr, and Ibn Hajar.
  • Musnad al-Imâm Abî Hanîfa, in print
  • Al-Mustakhraj `alâ al-Bukhârî ("Additional Narrations Meeting al-Bukhârî's Criterion"), in print
  • Al-Mustakhraj `alâ Muslim ("Additional Narrations Meeting Muslim's Criterion"), in print
  • Riyâdat al-Abdân, in print
  • Al-Shu`arâ' ("The Poets").
  • Al-Sifât. Al-Suyûtî mentioned it in his commentary on Sûrat al-Nâs in his book al-Iklîl fî Istinbât al-Tanzîl.
  • Sifat al-Janna ("Description of Paradise"), in print
  • Tabaqât al-Muhaddithîn wal-Ruwât ("Biography-Layers of the Hadîth Scholars and Narrators").
  • Tasmiyatu mâ Intahâ ilaynâ min al-Ruwât `an al-Fadl ibn Dukayn `Aliyan, in print
  • Tasmiyatu mâ Intahâ ilaynâ min al-Ruwât `an Sa`îd ibn Mansûr `Aliyan, in print
  • Tathbît al-Imâma wa Tartîb al-Khilâfa, in print, a refutation of Shî`ism.
  • Al-Tibb al-Nabawî ("Prophetic Medicine").


  • Norman Calder, Jawid Ahmad Mojaddedi, Andrew Rippin, Classical Islam: a sourcebook of religious literature, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 978-0-415-24032-1, p. 237.