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Born214 AH (c. 829 CE)
Nasā, present-day Turkmenistan[1]
Died303 AH (915 CE)
Main interest(s)Hadith
Notable work(s)Al-Sunan al-Sughra

Al-Nasā'ī (214 – 303 AH; c. 829 – 915 CE), full name Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān al-Nasā'ī, ( variant: Abu Abdel-rahman Ahmed ibn Shua'ib ibn Ali ibn Sinan ibn Bahr ibn Dinar Al-Khurasani); he was a noted collector of hadith (sayings of Muhammad),[2] of Persian origin,[3] and the author of "As-Sunan" one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims.[4] 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.


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 known for its many centres of Islamic learning. There he attended the gatherings and circles of knowledge, known as "halqas". 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.


According to Sunni sources, he was beaten or tortured to death by a mob upon refusal to praise Muawiyah I.[5][6] Abu Abdullah Al-Hafiz said[7]:

“I heard Ali ibn Umar saying, ‘Abu Abd-ur-Rahman An-Nasai was the most knowledgeable among the Sheikhs (teachers) of Egypt in terms of Fiqh, and authenticity and narrators of Hadiths, during his time. Being the best among them, they felt envy towards him. Thus, he moved to Ar-Ramlah (a town in Palestine) where he was asked about Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. He did not reply in a good thing, and thus people beat him badly. He asked to be moved to Makkah, in spite of his illness, where he passed away.”

Abu Abdullah also said: “In addition to his multiple merits, he was given martyrdom at the end of his life.”


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...[8]' Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub al-Juzajani was also an influence.[9]

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 leader of the Ulama'a Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Ibn Taymiyyah consider him a Hanbali, but the truth is that he was a Mujtahid more inclined towards the Hanbali Fiqh but many a time would differ from the Hanbali scholars.


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:[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec (2009), Historical Dictionary of Islam, p.138. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861615.
  3. ^ Frye, ed. by R.N. (1975). The Cambridge history of Iran (Repr. ed.). London: Cambridge U.P. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-521-20093-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ 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."
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "هل سمع الإمام النسائي من الإمام البخاري" (in Arabic).
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ For a list of ten of his works see Fuat Sezgin, GAS (Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums), i, 167-9.

External Links[edit]

  • Biodata at
  • Biography at