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The entire biography and bibliography (in Italian) of al Nawawi, one of the greatest hadith experts in history
Al Nawawi was born in 1231 in the village of Nawa, a place not far from Damascus from which he took the nickname that made him famous. From an early age he dedicated body and soul to the study of Islam, so much so that there are several anecdotes relating to how much he preferred reciting the Koran to playing with other children. Having discovered his vocation, he began to study the Holy Book with even more passion, to the point of memorizing it shortly before puberty and immediately earning some of the most prestigious teaching positions in Damascus, one of the greatest centers of Islamic studies and thought. of the time. This, however, did not save him from having serious clashes with the Mamluk sultan Baybars, with whom he had at least 2 times serious arguments regarding tax collection.
In all of this, al Nawawi managed to make the pilgrimage 3 times (2 times to Mecca and one to Jerusalem), but he never married, so much so that he died at about 45 years old still unmarried; despite this he is still considered today among the greatest hadith experts of all time. Although he belongs to the Shafi’ite school of thought (madhab), precisely by virtue of his great fame and authority he is commonly accepted by all Sunni schools of thought.
To date, only 3 texts by al Nawawi have been published in Italian:
“I Quaranta hadith” by Nawawi is without a doubt one of the most popular and famous hadith anthologies in the entire Islamic world, capable of giving a rapid but effective representation of the countless sayings of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Composed in the second half of the 1200s by the Syrian imam an-Nawawi, it collects 42 of the most famous and authentic hadiths, representing an exceptional starting point for the study of this subject and of Islam in general.
In fact, let us remember that the Sunnah (i.e. the set of sayings and actions of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) are second only to the Koran in importance in Islam and anyone who wishes to fully understand its teachings, spirit and meaning is essential to go from here. At the moment, only the bilingual version translated by Dr. is available in Italian. Mohammad Ali Sabri, published in 2002 by al Hikma in an anastatic reprint. If you want to know more, here you will find the link to the podcast series created in September 2022.
“Il Giardino dei devoti”, in Arabic Riyâdu s-sâlihîn, represents one of the most valid and widespread “synthetic collections” of prophetic hadiths. Based mainly on the Sahihs of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Riyâds conclude with these words of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ: “When the people of Paradise enter it, Allah, Blessed be He, the Most High will ask: “Do you want there to be anything else on top of that?” They will answer: “Have you not made our faces white? Haven’t you allowed us to enter Paradise and save us from the Fire?” Then He will lift the veil: and nothing will be given that they will love more than the Vision of their Lord.
This text represents a must for every Muslim and in general for anyone who wants to really get to know the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) more closely; compared to “I quaranta hadiths”, already analyzed in the past, this one presents a greater quantity and variety of hadiths, which make it perfect for those who want to take a new step in Islam and in the spirit of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). Starting from September 29, 2023, a series will begin on the Instagram page in which every Friday a particularly interesting hadith taken from “Il giardino dei devoti” will be uploaded. In Italian “Il giardino dei devoti” has at least 3 translations, but the most recent is that of the IISI (Italian Institute of Islamic Studies), which is also the one used on the Medio Oriente e Dintorni.
“Il libro delle espressioni del Dhikr”/”The Book Of Remembrances”:
In the Kitâbu l-Adhkâr, An-Nawawi, author of “Il giardino dei devoti” presents the Invocations to God and the expressions of the Remembrance of Allah (Dhikr) traditionally transmitted to be used ‘night and day’ in every situation, which be it specifically ritual occasions or normal circumstances of existence. There are countless blessings that believers can draw in their traditional life from this book, strictly based on the Sources of the Prophetic Sunnah.
This is the only text not present in my library, but later I hope to remedy this lack and bring you a new series on Medio Oriente e Dintorni, in’sh’Allah.
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