Who was Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah)?
Imam Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Sharaf An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) was an extremely prominent Shafi’i scholar of the seventh century of Islam. He was born in Nawa, a Syrian city, in the year 631 A.H, and also passed away there in the year 676 A.H; it is through his affiliation with this city that he was known and referred to as An-Nawawi.
Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) studied and acquired ‘ilm from various great Aimmah such as Imams: Abu Ibrahim Ishaq ibn Ahmad, Abul Hasan Sallar ibnul Hasan, Zaynud Din ibn ‘Abdid Da-im, Khalid ibn Yusuf, Ibrahim ibn ‘Isa Al-Muradi, and many others (rahimahumullah).
Amongst his students were ‘Allamahs: ‘Ala-uddin ibnul ‘Attar, Mizzi, Ibn Abil Fath, Sulayman Al-Ja’fari, and many others (rahimahumullah).
He never married and remained dedicated to knowledge throughout his life.
Despite living a short life of forty five years, Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) wrote several books spanning the various branches of ‘Ilm, especially Fiqh and Hadith. He authored: Riyadus Salihin, Al-Minhaj Sharhu Sahihi Muslim Ibnil Hajjaj, Minhajut Talibin, Rawdatut Talibin, Hilyatul Abrar (aka Kitabul Adhkar), At-Tibyan Fi Adabi Hamalatil Quran, Al-Majmu’ Fi Sharhil Muhadthab and much more.
The ‘Ulama have lauded him (rahimahullah) with such praises that would best be understood and appreciated in their original form (i.e. in the Arabic language).
Several dedicated books have been written on his biography.
(References for all of the above: Tadhkiratul Huffaz vol. 4 pg. 1470, Number: 1162, Tabaqatush Shafi’iyyatil Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 395 onwards, Al-Manhalul ‘Adhbir Rawi Fi Tarjamati Qutbil Awliya An-Nawawi, Al-Minhajus Sawiyy Fi Tarjamatil Imam An-Nawawi, and Al-A’alam, vol. 8 pg. 149)
For more on Imam Nawawi’s (rahimahullah) life, refer to the aforementioned sources.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar