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[Biography] – Imam Ahmad bin Shuayb an-Nasa’i [303H]

Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari

First Published 2000

His Birth And Lineage
Shaykh-ul-Islaam, al-Haafidh, al-Imaam. He is Ahmad bin Shu’ayb bin Alee bin Sinaan bin Bahr bin Deenaar and his kunyah is Abu Abdur-Rahmaan. He was a resident of Khurasaan and a memoriser of hadeeth, the author of the famous book Sunan an-Nasaa’ee.

He was born in 215H in Nisaa, a city of Khurasaan, hence he is known as an-Nasaa’ee or Naswee.

His Search For Knowledge
He travelled to Khurasaan, A’raaq, Hijaaz, Egypt and the Arab peninsula and other far and distance countries to seek the knowledge of hadeeth. He settled in Egypt most of his life. In later life he moved to Dimashq and from there he moved for one last time time to Falasteen.

His Teachers And Those He Narrated From

Imaam Bukhaaree

Imaam Abu Daawood

Qutaibah bin Sa’eed

Ishaaq ibn Rahawaihah

Alee bin Hujr

Muhammad bin Bishaar

Hishaam bin A’maar

Eesaa bin Zagbah

Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazee

Abu Karayyab

Suwaid bin Nasr Shahdhaan

And he learnt ahaadeeth from other such pillars of knowledge…

He mentions himself that in 230H when he was 15 years old he travelled to Imaam Qutaibah and remained with him for 1 year and 2 months.

His Students And Those Who Narrated From Him

Abu Bishr ad-Daulaabee

Abu Alee Hussain bin Muhammad Neesaabooree Hamzah Kinaanee

Imaam Abu Abdullah bin Ahmad bin Hanbal

Ibn Adiyy

Hasan bin Hadhrah Suyootee

Abu Sa’eed bin al-A’raabee

Ibn Jausaa

Abu Bakr ibn as-Sunnee

Abu Yoonus

Imaam Uqailee

Abul-Qaasim Tabaraanee

Ibn al-Akhram

Abu Awaanah

Muhammad bin Mu’awiyyah bin Ahmar Andaloosee

Hasan bin Rasheeq

Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Haywiyyah


And many more…

The Scholars Praise Of Imaam an-Nasaa’ee
Haafidh Ibn Hajr said,

“al-Haafidh (The preserver/memoriser).”

Imaam as-Suyootee said,

“al-Qadhee (the Judge), al-Imaam, al-Haafidh, Shaykh ul-Islaam, the strong preserver, a famous scholar.”

Imaam Daarqutnee said,

“Abu Bakr ibn al-Haddaad Shaaf’iee was a scholar of hadeeth and he would never narrate a hadeeth from anyone except from Imaam an-Nasaa’ee, he would say, ‘I have made him evidence between myself and Allaah.’”

Haafidh adh-Dhahabee mentions he was very handsome and even in old age and the colour of his face was red. He was very well dressed. He had four wives and he would visit each one at their times. He would eat a lot of big chickens which he would look after himself in his house and it is mentioned he was a very elegant eater.

Ahmad bin Nasr said,

“The things upon which Imaam an-Nasaa’ee had patience, who else other than him could have had patience….”

Haafidh adh-Dhahabee said,

“He was alone in knowledge, in piety and in knowing the chains.”

Haafidh Muhammad bin Muzaffar said,

“I heard from my teachers of Egypt, they would testify to Imaam an-Nasaa’ee’s worship of Allaah day and night.”

The Haafidh of Khurasaan Abu Alee Neesaabooree said,

“The Imaam of hadeeth without any competition, Imaam Abu Abdur-Rahmaan narrated ahaadeeth to us.”

Haafidh adh-Dhahabee said,

“He was a greater jurist than all the Shaykhs of Egypt and he had more knowledge concerning hadeeth and their narrators.”

Imaam adh-Dhahabee also said,

“He was more of a memoriser than Muslim bin al-Hajjaaj.”

Imaam Haakim said,

“Imaam an-Nasaa’ee was more Faqeeh than the Shaykhs of Egypt of his time. He was well acquainted with the authentic and established narrations and the narrators and he would refer to his book as ‘as-Saheeh’”

Abu Abdullah bin Mandah said,

“There are four who extracted the authentic from the faulty and the errors from the correct ones (ie Ahaadeeth):- al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and after them Abu Daawood and an-Nasaa’ee.”

Abu Alee,

“I saw four Imaams of hadeeth in the countries I visited, the two in Neesaaboor, Muhammad bin Ishaaq and Ibraaheem bin Abee Taalib, Abu Abdur-Rahmaan an-Nasaa’ee in Egypt and Abdaan in al-Ahwaaz.”

Abu Alee also said,

“He was the Imaam of the Muslim.” He also said, “He was the Imaam of Hadeeth without competition.”

Abu Sa’eed bin Yoonus writes in his at-Taareekh,

“Nasaa’ee, the Imaam of hadeeth, preserver of hadeeth, trustworthy (thiqah) and firm. He left Egypt in 302H and died in Falsateen in 303H.” In the city of Ramalah.

Imaam Daarqutnee said,

“Imaam an-Nasaa’ee was greater than all the notable scholars of hadeeth of his time.”

Ibn Adiyy said,

“I heard both Mansoor Faqeehah and Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Salamah at-Tahaawee say, “Abu Abdur-Rahmaan an-Nasaa’ee was an Imaam of the Muslims from the Imaams.”

Imaam Ibn Katheer said,

“The Imaam of his time, he surpassed all the scholars and people of his time.”

Ibn Taahir said,

“I asked Sa’ad bin Alee Zinjaanee concerning a man and he authenticated and praised him. So I said, ‘Imaam an-Nasaa’ee said he is weak.’ He replied back, ‘My son, the conditions of Imaam Abu Abdur-Rahmaan (an-Nasaa’ee) were more stricter than those of Imaam’s Bukhaaree and Muslim.’”

His Works

as-Sunan al-Kubraa. This was the first work of Imaam an-Nasaa’ee in which he included mostly authentic ahaadeeth and some ahaadeeth with defects. The ruler of the time asked him if all the ahaadeeth in this book were authentic to which Imaaam an-Nasaa’ee replied, no. The Ruler then asked him to extract the authentic ahaadeeth from it. After doing so he compiled another book. (See number 2)

al-Mujtaba Min as-Sunan al-Kubraa. Also known as as-Sunan as-Sughraa or as-Sunan al-Mujtaba. It is this book that we know as Sunan an-Nasaa’ee.

Khasaa’is Alee.

Musnad Alee.

Musnad Maalik.

Fadhal as-Sahaabah.

Kitaab at-Tameez.

Kitaab adh-Dhu’afaa Wal-Matrookeen.

Kitaab al-Ikhwaat.

Musnad Mansoor bin Dharaan.

Mashaikh an-Nasaa’ee.

Maa Aghrab Shu’bah Ala Sufyaan Wa Sufyaan Ala Shu’bah.

Asmaa ar-Rawaah.

Manaasik al-Hajj.

Kitaab al-Jarh Wa-Ta’deel.

Tasmiyyah Fuqaha al-Amsaar Minas-Sahaabah Fiman Ba’duhum.


Tasmiyyah Min Lam Yaru Anhu Ghair Rajul Waahid.

His Sunan
Imaam Ibn Katheer said,

“He authored his books with great memory, firmness in comprehension, truthfulness, honesty and knowledge.”

Abu Alee Haafidh said,

“Imaam an-Nasaa’ee set more conditions for his book than what Imaam Muslim had set for his book.”

His Sunan has approximately 5761 Ahaadeeth according to the checking of Muhammad Ataaullaah Bhojiyaanee.

Explanations Of His Sunan

Sharh Sunan an-Nasaa’ee by Allaamah Siraaj-ud-Deen ibn al-Mulqin.

Sharh Sunan an-Nasaa’ee by Allaamah Sindhee.

Zaahir ar-Ribaa Alal-Mujtaba by Allaamah Jalaal-ud-Deen as-Suyootee.

Ta’leeqaat as-Salafiyyah Ala Sunan an-Nasaa’ee by Shaykh al-Allaamah, Fadheelatul-Ustaadh Muhmmad Ataaullaah Haneef Bhojiyaanee.

Ta’leeqaat Ala Sunan an-Nasaa’ee by Allaamah Shams ul-Haqq A’dheemabaadee.

Ta’leeqaat Alas-Sunan an-Nasaa’ee, by Shaykh Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Muhammad Funjaabee.

His Death
He participated in Jihaad with the Ameer of Egypt with bravery and according to the Sunnah he would offer ransom money to free the Muslim captives and such events about him were well known and open amongst the people. He would stay away from the gatherings of the ruler.

He lived a life of peace. At the end of his life he was killed by the Khawaarij in Dimaashq.

The scholars have differed as to his final burial place. Some have said he was taken to Ramalah in Falasteen and from there 18 miles away to Bait al-Maqdas and buried there. Some of have said he was buried in Makkah between Safaa and Marwah. Imaam Daarqutnee and Allaamah Mundhiree have mentioned both possibilities and concluded he was buried in Ramalah.

He died in the month of Sha’baan of the year 303H.

Sources for this biography are: Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (no.719), Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb (no.47 pg.20), Seeratal-Bukhaaree (pgs. 368-370), Tabaqaat al-Huffadh (no.694 pg.306-307), Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (11/123), Tuhfa Ahlun-Nazar Fee Mastalah Ahlul-Khabar (pgs. 301-303), Usool al-Hadeeth Uloomuhu Wa Mastalahu (pgs.213-214)., The Service To Ahaadeeth By The Ahlul-Hadeeth Scholars of Paakistaan and Hindh, by Allaamah Irshaad ul-Haqq al-Atharee.

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