جامع العلوم والحكم

About The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom (part 1)


The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom is a commentary (شرح) of the famous ahadeeth collection of Imam Nawawi رحمه الله called Al-Arba'oon (الاربعون).

Imam Nawawi رحمه الله

Imam Nawawi's full name is Imam Muhyi al-Din Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf al-Nawawi رحمه الله. He was born in a village called 'Nawaa' which is approximately 45 kilometres from Damascus.

Imam Nawawi رحمه الله was born in 631 a.h and passed away at the age of 45 in 676 a.h. However, the amount of work Imam Nawawi رحمه الله carried out was such that it could take one two/three hundred years to complete. Despite such a short span of life Imam Nawawi رحمه الله was a great scholar, being one of the very rare and unique scholars of this ummah.

Imam Nawawi رحمه الله memorised the Holy Qur'an at a very young age, giving preference to this rather than fun and games. Later at the age of eighteen/nineteen Imam Nawawi رحمه الله moved to Damascus with his father to enrol at Madrassah Rawahiyyah which was affiliated with Jaami' Umawi. Here he studied to a high degree under the greatest of 'Ulema. At one point in his life he use to attend tweleve durus a day until he excelled and manifested all. Thereafter, Imam Nawawi رحمه الله taught at Madrassah Al Ashrafiyyah which was close to Jami Al-Umawi.

Later on, nearer to the end of his life, Imam Nawawi رحمه الله moved back to Nawaa where he passed away due to falling ill. His grave is still known to all today. Imam Nawawi رحمه الله is buried in Nawaa and people visit his grave till today. He is right in the centre of the graveyard he was buried in where a tree grew right on top of is grave. May Allah shower his endless mercy on Imam Nawawi رحمه الله's grave.

Imam Nawawi رحمه الله was an authority of ahadeeth as well as a reference of Shafiee fiqh. This showed he was a master in more than one field.

He was very punctual, eating only after 'ishaa salah and drinking only once at the time of suhoor. He dedicated his time towards attaining knowledge, reading, writing and teaching. History has recorded that Imam Nawawi رحمه الله did not even marry. His sacrifices and devotion to the knowledge of Islam is what made him such a great scholar. Allah bestowed upon him the understanding of his Deen and through this he was able to write numerous books. As mentioned one book he wrote was the Arba'oon (الاربعون) which was written over a very short period of time. Other books he wrote include:

  • Commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari,
  • Al-Minhaj fi Sharh Sahih Muslim
  • Riyad-us-Saliheen
  • Al-Majmoo'
  • Raudhatus Saliheen
  • Riaydhus Saliheen
  • Kitab al-Adhkar
  • Minhaajut Talibeen (a main reference for Shafi'i fiqh)
  • Imam Nawawi رحمه الله was a student of many of the greatest scholars of his time a few are:

    • Imam Kamaalud Deen Ishaaq Maghribi رحمه الله
    • Imam Abdur Rahman bin Nuh رحمه الله
    • Allamah Qadhi Nafisi رحمه الله
    • Shaykh Ahmad Misri رحمه الله
    • Imam ibn Malik رحمه الله
    • And many more...

    Imam Nawawi رحمه الله was of such a high status that he was considered to be one of the Shaykhayn, the other being Imam Raafi' رحمه الله.

    From the books he has written the Al-Arba'oon is studied extensively across the muslim world. Imam Nawawi collected forty-two ahadeeth altogethor although his intention was to collect only forty. However, the number forty-two is near forty so he still named his book Al-Arba'oon (الاربعون) keeping in mind the special reward for memorising and gathering forty ahadeeth.

    Twenty-six of the forty ahadeeth were dictated to Imam Nawawi رحمه الله by his teacher Imam , the other sixteen ahadeeth were carefully selected and included by himself. It is said that the ahadeeth of this collection are considered to be some of the most comprehensive and important hadith for the individual Muslim. That is why many believe that if a person fully understands and implements these ahadeeth their oath to jannah will be made easy.

    Due to the comprehensiveness of this collection ahadeeth many scholars feel that these ahadeeth must be studied and understood in light of the commentary and explanations of 'Ulema. Many have written commentaries on this book. A few are listed here:

    • Mullah Ali Qari رحمه الله
    • Imam At-Taftaazani رحمه الله
    • Imam Hajm Haythami رحمه الله
    • Imam Daqeequl 'Id رحمه الله

    However, it can be said that the most renowned and best commentary is of Imam ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali رحمه الله. Insha'Allah, in the next post Imam ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali رحمه الله 's biography and book will be discussed as well as his commentary's unique features.

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 at Wednesday, March 05, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

    2 comments

    Anonymous  

    thanx for the blog

    learning a choka blok of stuff that i never knew before

    6 March 2008 at 22:00
    muslimah  

    This blog should be made a online book when it has been completed. You could put it on MUFTISAYS where more people can read it

    8 March 2008 at 10:52

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