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Hadith scholar
Name: Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb, Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī
Title: Al-Nasa'i
Birth: 214 AH (ca. 829 AD/CE)
Death: 303 AH (915 AD/CE)

Madhhab = Sunni

Main interests: Hadith
Works: Sunan al-Sughra

Al-Nasā'ī (214  – 303 AH/ ca. 829  – 915 AD/CE), full name Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī, was a noted collector of hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and wrote one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims, Sunan al-Sughra, or "Al-Mujtaba", which he selected from his "As-Sunan al-Kubra". As well as 15 other books, 6 dealing with the science of hadith.



He was born in Nasā (in Khorasan) about 829 (214 AH), and traveled extensively in order to hear traditions. He resided in Egypt for a while, and then in Damascus. He died in 915 (303 AH), murdered by supporters of the Umayyads after speaking out against them. His final burial place is unknown and it may be in Mecca or Ramalah (Palestine).


al-Nasa'i died a brutal death for praising Ali and denouncing Mu'awiya in Damascus, which was then in the grip of anti-Ali fever stoked by the Umayyads. Ibn Khallikan in his Wafayat al-ayan, records the incident that killed al-Nasa'i: "Abd al-Rahman Ahmad bin ‘Ali bin Shu’ayb bin ‘Ali bin Sinan bin Bahr al-Nasa’i, chief hadith scholar of his age and author of a Sunan, or collection of hadiths, was an inhabitant of Old Cairo, in which city his works got into circulation, and where he had also many pupils."

Muhammad b. Ishaq al-Isfahani gives the following account of his death: “I heard our elders in Old Cairo relate that Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman [al-Nasa'i] left Egypt towards the end of his life and went to Damascus, where he was asked what he thought of Mu’awiyah and what hadiths he knew respecting the merits of that prince; to which he made this reply: 'It is not then enough for Mu’awiyah to enter (into Allah's judgment) on an equal footing with others? Must he even be praised above them with exclusive merits?!'"

"But some relate that his answer was: 'I don't know any hadith "respecting" his special "merits" but this: "May God never satiate thy belly!'"

"Now this scholar was an advocate for the rights of the khalif ‘Ali: so the people began to strike him on the sides, nor did they discontinue till they thrust him out of the mosque. (In another account it is said that they struck him on the testicles and trod him under foot.) He was then borne to Ramla, where he expired.”

However, the hadith scholar included 29 narrations on authority of Mu'awiyyah in his Sunan. Thirteen of which are not found in the other Six Books.[1] This shows that he wasn't opposed to Mu'awiyyah, as some may presume. For if he was, he would have avoided the inclusion of any Hadith narrated by Mu’awiyah at all costs.

Ibn 'Asakir records that when Imâm al-Nasâ'i was asked about Mu'awiyyah, he replied: "Islam is like a house with a door. The door of Islam is the Sahabah. Whoever speaks ill of the Sahabah seeks but to harm Islam, just like one who knocks a door to enter a house. As for Mu’awiyah, whoever speaks ill of him seeks to find a way to speak ill of the Sahabah."[2]

Overall, he lived a life of peace until the day he was killed in Damascus by the Khawarij.[3]


16 books, 6 dealing with the science of hadith, from them:


  1. ^ Tuhfat al-Ashraf, vol. 8 p. 434-455
  2. ^ Tarikh Dimashq, as cited in Tahdhib al-Kamal, vol. 1 p. 339
  3. ^ "Imaam Ahmad Ibn Shu'ayb an-Nasaa'ee (biography by www.theclearpath.com)". Theclearpath.com. http://www.theclearpath.com/viewtopic.php?t=78. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
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