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Guarding the Tongue book cover

Guarding the Tongue

by Imam Nawawi
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Imam Muhyi al-Din Abu Zakariya Yahya bin Sharaf al-Nawawi, for short Imam Nawawi, was born  in the village of Nawa in the  vicinity of Damascus in 631 A.H.  (1233 A.D.). He grew up in  Nawa and at the age of nineteen went to study in Damascus  which was considered the center of learning and scholarship.

During his stay at Damascus, Imam Nawawi studied from more  than twenty celebrated teachers, regarded as masters and  authorities of their fields and disciplines. He studied Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence and principles, syntax and Etymology  from great scholars such as Abu Ibrahim Ishaq bin Ahmad AI- Maghribi, Abu Muhammad Abdur-Rahman bin Ibrahim Al-Fazari, Radiyuddin Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Abu Hafs Umar bin  Mudar Al-Mudari, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Isa Al-Muradi, Abul- Baqa Khalid bin Yusuf An-N ablusi, and Abul-Abbas Ahmad  bin Salim Al-Misri.

Imam Nawawi had endless thirst for knowledge. He used to read twelve lessons daily and wrote commentaries on every lesson. Whatever books he read, he would write marginal notes  and explanations on each book. His intelligence, hard work,  love, devotion and absorption in his studies amazed his teachers  and they became fond of him and began to praise and admire  him. Allah had also conferred  upon him the gift of fast  memorisation and depth of thought. Imam Nawawi made full  benefit of his God given qualities and potentialities and earned  the highest degree of honour.

Imam Nawawi led a life of singular piety, righteousness and  simplicity. After over 20 years, he returned to his hometown.  Soon after his arrival at Nawa, he fell ill and died in 676 A.H.  (1278 AD).