Sunan An-Nasa'i is a collection of hadith compiled by Imam Ahmad An-Nasa'i (rahimahullah).
His collection is unanimously considered to be one of the six canonical collections of hadith (Kutub as-Sittah)
of the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). It contains roughly 5700 hadith (with repetitions) in 52 books.
Ahmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn `Ali ibn Sinan Abu `Abd ar-Rahman al-Nasa'i (214 -
303 AH/ ca. 829 - 915 AD/CE), was born in the year 214 A.H in the famous city
of Nasa, situated in Western Asia known at that time as Khurasan which was a
famous centre for Islamic knowledge where many Ulama were situated and
studies in hadith and fiqh was at its peak. He primarily attended the gatherings
and circles of knowledge in his town where he specialized in his study of hadith.
When he was 20 years old, he started traveling and made his first journey to
Qutaibah. He covered the Arabian Peninsula seeking knowledge from the Ulama
and Muhadditheen of Iraq, Kufa, Hijaz, Syria and Egypt . Finally he decided to
settle in Egypt.
Memory, Piety, and other qualities:
He was a man full of taqwa and he possessed a photographic memory too.
The famous scholar and commentator of the Holy Qur'an Al-Dhahabi would say
narrating from his teachers that this Great Imam was the most knowledgeable in
The Great Imam would put on good clothing according to the Sunnah of
our beloved Prophet Muhammad pbuh and would eat poultry everyday with
nabeedh acting on the Sunnah so that he could worship Allah with ease. In
fact it is narrated that the man would fast every other day which is classified
in the hadith as the fast of Dawud (as) he would worship Allah continuously
throughout the nights and teach Hadith throughout the day. The Imam would
also perform Hajj nearly every year and would also take part in Jihad. He was a
Teachers and Students:
Imam an-Nasa'i studied from many teachers, the famous ones are: Ishaq ibn
Rahweh, Imam Abu Dawud Al-Sijistani (author of Sunan Abu Dawud) and
Qutaibah ibn Saeed.
After the Imam had decided to stay in Egypt he started to lecture, mostly
narrating ahadith to the extent that he became famous by the title Hafidhul
Many people would attend his gatherings and many famous Great Scholars
became his students and notably the most famous ones are:
- Imam Abul Qasim Tabarani
- Imam Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn Muhammad also known as Ibn as-Sunni.
- Sheikh Ali, the son of the famous Muhaddith, Imam Tahawi.
It is also narrated that Imam Tahawi personally narrated from this Imam.
Muqallid or Mujtahid
Imam an-Nasa'i was a follower of the Shafi'i Fiqh according to many scholars.
Some other scholars consider him to be a Hanbali and Sheikhul Islam ibn
Taymiyyah has also stated this. It is likely that he was a Mujtahid more
inclined towards the Hanbali Fiqh but many a time would differ from the Hanbali
The great Imam also left behind many beneficial works, many of which
unfortunately are not published but we can without any doubt conclude from what
we have understood that his knowledge and excellence is no less than that of
Imam Bukhari and ibn Hazm.
These are a few of his famous works:
- Sunan Al-Kubra
- Sunan Al-Sughra/Mujtana/Al-Mujtaba (popular today as Sunan an-Nasa'i)
- Amul Yawmi Wallaylah
- Kitaby Dufai wal Matrookeen
- Khasais Ali
- Al-Jarhu wa Ta'adeel
His famous book known as Sunan al-Nasa'i which is taught around the world in
every Islamic institute and which possesses a virtue of being one of the Kutub
Sittah (the six books generally taught in hadith).
In reality when the Imam had finished compiling Sunan Al-Kubra he presented to
the governor of Ramalah so the governor asked him “Is it all sahih?” He replied
in the negative, thus the governor suggested and requested that he compile
another book and gather in there the Sahih Hadith. So then he did this and
named his book Sunan Al-Sughra (the small Sunan) and Al-Mujtaba and
Mujtana (both mean carefully chosen) and this is the Sunan which we know as
In this book he follows the footsteps of Imam Muslim and Imam al-Bukhari (R.A).
Overall most of the ahadith are Sahih and where he narrates a weak narration
he clearly clarifies the weakness. Thus it is 3rd in number in the Kutub Sittah
after Bukhari and Muslim according to some Ulama' because of its Sahih
narrations. He clearly clarifies the hard words and brings different narrations for
particular ahadith as Imam Muslim does.
Controversies arose between the Khawarij (who cursed Ali and revered
Muawiya) and the khutbas of Imam an-Nasa'i, he was tortured and forced to move
from Palestine to Egypt. In Egypt his trials did not stop and he was persecuted
further. From Egypt he intended to go to Makkah but as he arrived in Makkah
he passed away at the age of 88 on Monday 13th of Safar 303 AH in the holy
city near the Ka'ba and he was buried between Safa and Marwa. Ibn Hajr and
adh-Dhahabi state that he passed away in Ramalah, Palestine during the journey
to Makkah and the body was sent to Makkah and buried between Safaa and