Nafisa bint Hasan
great-granddaughter of The Prophet

Nafisa was a great-granddaughter of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), daughter of his grandson Hasan bin Ali. She was born about 762 A.D. and grew up in Madina where she had good possibilities to acquire knowledge. She profited both from the education within her own family and from the numerous centers of scholarship that had been established in the city.

About her, we know that she had memorized the Qu'ran by heart and was familiar with its explanations and commentaries. Besides that, she had a profound knowledge of the principles of Islam Law that were, at that time, treated systematically as the foundation for jurisprudence.

After her marriage to Ishaq, son of Ja'far As-Sadiq, Nafisa moved to Cairo. The couple had a son and a daughter. Nafisa taught her knowledge in classes and other learning forums and was soon well-known as a great scholar. Even Ash-Shafi, to whom one of the Muslim School of Law is traced, was among the scholars who profited from her knowledge.

The Islamic ideal of scholarship is not restricted to technical knowledge and intellectual exchange, but includes everyday behavior and spiritual practice. In this field, Nafisa's example became famous not only where prayer, fasting and her numerous pilgrimages are concerned, but especially because of her friendly, open and gentle manner. She was respected and loved far beyond the circles of scholars and students. When she died at the age of 63 years, a huge crowd assembled from everywhere and persuaded her husband not to have her buried back home in Madina but right there among them in Cairo. Her Biography is entwined with many legends telling us about her knowledge, devotion, and Karamah.

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