Sayyida Nafisa was born in Makkah on the 11th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the same night that the Prophet Muhammad was born, in the year 145 H.
Her father had been appointed governor of Madinah al-Munawwara in the year 150 H. She accompanied her father to Madinah at the tender age of five. There she memorized the entire Quran and studied Islamic jurisprudence in depth.
Being extremely intelligent she also became adept in explaining the Quran despite her young age.
She is from the family of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about which Allah said in the Holy Quran:
Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (33: 33)
Young Nafisa frequented the grave of her grandfather the Prophet Muhammad (mulazamat qabri jaddiha al-Mustafa). The People of Madinah loved her deeply. She became renowned for her abstemiousness (zuhd) and piety (taqwa), for fasting the day, spending the nights in prayer and for her excessive devotion to worshiping Allah.
Titles of Lady of Nafisa
Lady Nafisa had many titles by which she was known among the people, derived from her many different miracles (karamat). She is known as Nafisat al-ilmi wal-ma’rifat, (the Rare Lady of Knowledge and Gnosis) because of what she achieved and accumulated from knowledge of the Family of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
She is known as Nafisat al-Tahira, the Rare Lady of Purity, and Nafisat al-`Abida, the Rare Worshipful Lady, and Nafisat al-Darayn, the “Rare one among ladies in this life and the next”, and Sahibat al-Karamat, “the Lady of Miracles”, and Sayyidat Ahl al-Fatwa, “the Leading Lady in deriving rulings and verdicts”, and Umm al-Awaajiz, “the Mother of Elderly Women”, and Nafisat al-Masriyyin, “the Rare Lady of the Egyptians”, because of the Egyptian people’s intense love for her and her love for them, and her being their recourse for their every problem – collectively and individually.
Sayyida Nafisa used to pray the five prayers regularly behind her father in Masjid an-Nabawi from the age of six. Her father used to take her by the hand and enter inside the room of the grave of the Holy Prophet, which is the house of Lady Aisha.
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