IMAM NASAI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)
Imam Nasai (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one the great critic and a key figure in Muslim Hadith scholarship. His book Sunan an-Nasai (Sunan as-Sughra) is among the six major books of Ahadith in Islamic literature. A brief description of his life and works is provided below.
Imam Abu Abdur Raḥman Aḥmad ibn Shuayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnan an-Nasa'i (امام عبد الرحمن احمد ابنِ شعيب ابن علي سنان النسائي), 303-214 AH / 829-905 AD (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) was born in the town of Nasa, Khurasan, an Abbasid province those days. Nasa (presently known as Nisa) is located 18 km southwest of Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. His date of birth is not known. And there are differences of opinions in the year of his birth. However, a majority of Ulema consider that he was born in 214 AH (829 AD).EDUCATIONVery little is known about the early life or about the parents of Imam Nasai, except that he was from Persian origin. Khurasan was the center of learning during his time where many Hadith scholars lived those days. Imam Nasai had the opportunity to learn in their company.Right from his childhood Imam Nasai was famous for his exceptional memory. He started learning at a very young age. It is reported that when he was 15 years old, he started traveling to other places of learning in pursuit of collecting Ahadith. He first reached Baghlan (currently in Afghanistan) and spent more than a year learning Ahadith in the company of Hadith scholar Qutaybah Ibn Said. Later he traveled to Hijaz, Iraq, Syria Egypt, and other places. In Egypt he stayed for a long time.Among his prominent teachers were (i) Qutaybah ibn Sa`id, (ii) Is-haq ibn Ibrahim, (iii) Is-haq ibn Rahuwayih, (iv) Imam Abu Dawood, (v) Imam Bukhari, (vi) Shaikh Ali ibn Tahawi, (vii) Imam Abu Ja'afar Ahmad at-Tahawi, (viii) Abu Bakr Bindar, (ix) Hisham ibn Ammar, (x) Muhammad ibn An-Nadr, (xi) Suwaid ibn Nasr, (xii) Ziyad ibn Ayyub, (xiii) Sawwar ibn Abdullah Al-Anbari, (xiv) Utbah ibn Abdullah Al-Marwazi, (xv) Muhammad ibn Muthanna, (xvi) Ali ibn Hujr, (xvii) Muhammad ibn Bishar, (xviii) Hisham ibn Amar, (xix) Isa ibn Zaghbah, (xx) Mohammad ibn Nasr al-Marwazi, (xxi) Abu Karayyab, (xxii) Suwaid ibn Nasr Shahdhan, (xxiii) Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Mohammad, etc.Imam Nasai was a trustworthy among scholars; well-established in Hadith scrutiny and its narrators and was fully aware of the juristic rulings and explanation of the Ahadiths. Imam Al-Hakim wrote, 'the sayings of Imam An-Nasai relating Ahadith in issues of fiqh are many, and one is astonished about the perfection of his statements.'Among notable students who took Ahadiths from him were (i) Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah Al-Azdi, (ii) Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Hashimi, (iii) Sulaiman ibn Matir Al-Lakhmi at-Tabarani, (iv) Abu Uthman Nisaburi, (v) Hamzah ibn Muhammad Al-Kinani (vi) Abu Bishr ad-Dulabi, (vii) Ibn Adi, (viii) Ibn Jausaa, (ix) Abu Younus, (x) Imam Uqaili, (xi) Ibn al-Akhram, (xii) Abu Awanah, (xiii) Mohammad ibn Muawiyah Andalusi, etc.Imam Nasai is reported to be the follower of Shafii school of thought. Some scholars have claimed that he followed Hanbali school of thought. Some others have regarded him as a Mujhtahid (Jurist).WORKSImam Nasai wrote many books like (i) Sunan al-Kubra, (ii) Sunan al-Sughra (Sunan an-Nasai), (iii) Amal Yawmi wa al-laylah, (iv) Kitab Dufai wa al-Matrukin, (v) Khasais Hadhrat Aliؓ, (vi) Musnad Hadhrat Aliؓ , (vii) Al-Jarh wa at-ta'dil, (viii) Musnad Imam Malik, (ix) Fadha'il-e-Sahabah, (x) Kitab at-Tameez, (xi) Kitab al-Ikhwat, (xii) Musnad Mansoor ibn Dharaan, (xiii) Mashaikh an-Nasai, (xiv) Ma Aghrab Shubah ala Sufyaan wa Sufyan al Shubah, (xv) Asma ar-Rawaah, (xvi) Manasik al-Hajj, (xvii) Tasmiyyah fuqaha al-Amsar Minas-Sahabah fiman Ba'duhum at-Tabaqaat, (xviii) Tasmiyyah min lam Yaru Anhu Ghair Rajul Wahid, etc.Most famous among his works is 'Sunan as-Sughra' popularly known as Sunan an-Nasai. It is one of the six major books of Ahadith taught around the world. In compilation of this book, he followed the criteria of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim. It contains about 5700 Ahadith. spread over 52 Chapters
There are many commentaries on an-Nasa’i. Most famous among them is written by Imam Suyuti titled 'Zahr ar-Raba alal-Mujtaba'.
Many scholars have praised Imam Nasai, as follows.
(i) Imam Suyuti said, ' he was Qadhi, Imam, Hafidh, Shaikh al-Islam and a famous scholar.
(ii) Imam Darqutni said, 'Abu Bakr ibn Haddad Shaf’ii was a scholar of Hadith and he would never narrate a Hadith from anyone except from Imam Nasa’i, and say, ‘I have made him evidence between myself and Allah'.
(iii) Hafidh Muhammad bin Muzaffar said, 'I heard from my teachers testifying that to Imam Nasai’s prayed excessively in day and night'.
(iv) Ad-Dahabi said, 'he was the greatest Jurist than all the Shuyookh of Egypt and was more knowledgeable about Ahadith and their narrators.
(vi) Imam Hakim said, 'Imam Nasa’i was more Faqih than the Shuyukh of Egypt of his time. He was well acquainted with authentic Ahadith and their narrators and I refer to his book as Sahih.(vii) Abu Abdullah bin Mandah said, there are four scholars who extracted the authentic Ahadith from the faulty and the errors from the correct ones Bukhari, Muslim, and after them Abu Daawood and Nasa’i'.
It is reported that when Imam Nasai was 88 years old, he went to Damascus, Syria and he read his book Khasais-e-Hadhrat Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه), which is the collection of Ahadith in praise of Hadhrat Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) in Umayyad Mosque. On hearing these Ahadith, the Muawiyeen demanded him to read Ahadith in praise of Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). On this the Imam informed them that there is not a single authentic Hadith in praise of Muawiya (رضئ الله تعالی عنه). On hearing this from the Imam, Muawiyeen mobbed and leached him. He was fatally injured in the attack. It is reported that he asked his students to take him to Makka al-Mukarrama as he may not survive the attack. He died in Makka on Tuesday, Safar 13, 303 AH (August 27, 1915 AD). He was buried in Makka by his students.
(i) Books of Ahadith