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Born214 AH (c. 829 CE)
Nasā, (Khorasan) present-day Turkmenistan[1]
Died303 AH (915 CE)
EraIslamic golden age
RegionAbbasid Caliphate
Main interest(s)Hadith and fiqh
Notable work(s)Al-Sunan al-Sughra

Al-Nasāʾī (214 – 303 AH; c. 829 – 915 CE), full name Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Aḥmad ibn Shuʿayb ibn ʿAlī ibn Sinān ibn Baḥr ibn Dīnar al-Khurasānī al-Nasāʾī, was a noted collector of hadith (sayings of Muhammad),[3] from the city of Nasa (early Khorasan and present day Turkmenistan),[4] and the author of "As-Sunan", one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims.[5] From his "As-Sunan al-Kubra (The Large Sunan)" he wrote an abridged version, "Al-Mujtaba" or Sunan al-Sughra (The Concise Sunan). Of the fifteen books he is known to have written, six treat the science of hadīth.


Of Persian origin,[6] Al-Nasa'i himself states he was born in the year 830 (215 h.) - although some say it was in 829 or 869 (214 or 255 h.) - in the city of Nasa in present-day Turkmenistan - part of Khorasan, a region in Western Asia and Central Asia known for its many centres of Islamic learning. There he attended the gatherings and circles of knowledge, known as "halaqat". At about 15 years old, he began his travels with his first journey to Qutaibah. He covered the whole Arabian Peninsula seeking knowledge from scholars in Iraq, Kufa, the Hijaz, Syria and Egypt, where he eventually settled. A habit of his was to fast every other day, as this was a habit of Dawud.[7]


In 302 AH/915 AD, he stopped by in the city of Damascus in between his long journey from Cairo to Mecca just as a stopping point. Near the time of his death, he had become a renowned scholar in the Islamic world and decided to give a speech in the Umayyad Mosque as a scholar of his repute tends to do. The lecture he did was on the virtues of the companions of Muhammad, specifically throughout the lecture he recited the virtues of Ali that he had heard of throughout his life. His narrating the virtues of Ali railed up the crowd due to the anti-Alid sentiments in Damascus. In opposition, the crowd felt that there was nothing about Mu'awiya I in the lecture and asked him to narrate something related to the Umayyad caliph. He responded back by saying the only narration that he had heard about him about Mu'awiya by Muhammed was when Muhammed prayed to Allah saying "May Allah not fill his stomach". The crowd took this narration as a demerit from Muhammad leading the crowd to beat him. Those anti-Alid Syrians crushed Imam an-Nasa'i's testicles and cut open his stomach because of which Imam got martyred.[8][9]


According to the hafiz Ibn Hajr Alaih, al-Nasa'i's teachers were too numerous to name, but included:

Hafiz ibn Hajr and others claimed that Imam Bukhari was among his teachers. However Al-Mizzi, refutes that the Imam ever met him. As-Sakhawi gives the reasons in great detail for al-Mizzi's claim that they never met, but argues these must apply also to his claim that An-Nasa'i heard from Abu Dawud. Moreover, Ibn Mundah narrates the following: We were informed by Hamzah, that an-Nasa'i, Abu Abd-ur-Rahman informed us saying, 'I heard Muhammad Ibn Isma'il Al-Bukhari...[10]' Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub al-Juzajani was also an influence.[11]

In Egypt an-Nasa'i began to lecture, mostly narrating ahadith (hadith plural) to the extent that he became known by the title "Hafizul Hadeeth". His lectures were well attended and among his many students were the scholars:

  • Imam Abul Qasim Tabrani
  • Imam Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn Muhammad, also known as Allamah ibn Sunni
  • Sheikh Ali, the son of the Muhaddith, Imam Tahawi.

School of Thought[edit]

Imam Izzakie was a follower of the Shafi'i fiqh (jurisprudence) according to Allamah as-Subki, Shah Waliullah, Shah Abdulaziz and many other scholars. The renowned scholars, Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Ibn Taymiyyah consider him a Hanbali.


Imam an-Nasa'i had four wives but historians mention only one son, Abdul Kareem, a narrator of the Sunan of his father.


Selected works:[12]


  1. ^ "Hadith and the Prophet Muhammad". Archived from the original on 2011-10-28. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  2. ^ Ṭabaqāt aš-Šāfiʿiyya al-kubrā. Vol. 3, p. 14–16 (Kairo 1965)
  3. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.138. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  4. ^ Frye, R.N., ed. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6. Retrieved from [1]
  5. ^ Jonathan A.C. Brown (2007), The Canonization of al-Bukhārī and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunnī Ḥadīth Canon, p.9. Brill Publishers. ISBN 978-9004158399. Quote: "We can discern three strata of the Sunni hadith canon. The perennial core has been the Sahihayn. Beyond these two foundational classics, some fourth/tenth-century scholars refer to a four-book selection that adds the two Sunans of Abu Dawud (d. 275/889) and al-Nasa'i (d. 303/915). The Five Book canon, which is first noted in the sixth/twelfth century, incorporates the Jami' of al-Tirmidhi (d. 279/892). Finally the Six Book canon, which hails from the same period, adds either the Sunan of Ibn Majah (d. 273/887), the Sunan of al-Daraqutni (d. 385/995) or the Muwatta' of Malik b. Anas (d. 179/796). Later hadith compendia often included other collections as well.' None of these books, however, has enjoyed the esteem of al-Bukhari's and Muslim's works."
  6. ^ Frye, R.N., ed. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6. Retrieved from [2]
  7. ^ "Biography of Imam An-Nasai". IslamicFinder.
  8. ^ ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī al-Kināni, Shihābud-Dīn Abul-Faḍl Aḥmad ibn Nūrud-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad (8 September 2015). Fatḥ al-Bārī fī Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (PDF). Vol. 7 (1st ed.). Dar al Rayan. p. 104.
  9. ^ "Michael Dann, Contested Boundaries: The Reception of Shīʿite Narratorsin the Sunnī Hadith Tradition,2015, page 2" (PDF).
  10. ^ "هل سمع الإمام النسائي من الإمام البخاري" (in Arabic).
  11. ^ Al-Bastawī, ʻAbd al-ʻAlīm ʻAbd al-ʻAẓīm (1990). Al-Imām al-Jūzajānī wa-manhajuhu fi al-jarḥ wa-al-taʻdīl. Maktabat Dār al-Ṭaḥāwī. p. 9.
  12. ^ For a list of ten of his works see Fuat Sezgin, GAS (Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums), i, 167-9.

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