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Nawf al-Bikali

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Companion of Imam (a)
Nawf al-Bikali
Full Name Nawf b. Fudala Bikali
Companion of Imam Ali (a)
Kunya Abu Yazid
Well Known As Nawf al-Bikali
Religious Affiliation Shi'a
Lineage Bikal tribe (from Himyar)
Place(s) of Residence Kufa
Professors Abu Ayyub al-Ansari
Activities The guard and doorkeeper of Imam Ali (a) during his caliphate

Nawf b. Fuḍāla Bikālī (Arabic: نَوف بن فُضالَة البِکالي) was the guard and doorkeeper of Imam Ali (a) during his caliphate. He reported some of the sayings and sermons of Nahj al-balagha. The name of "Nawf" is not mentioned in early Shi'a sources of rijal, but some hadiths transmitted by him from Imam Ali (a) are mentioned in some Shi'a hadith sources.


Due to attribution of Nawf b. Fudala to Bikala or Bikal tribe (from Himyar), he was called Nawf al-Bikali. Some attributed him to Banu Hamdan, which Mamaqani rejected in Tanqih al-maqal. In some sources, the name of his father was mentioned as 'Abd Allah. Some considered 'Amr al-Bikali, the jurist, transmitter of hadith and companion of the Prophet (s) whose fingers were cut in the battle of Yarmuk, the brother of Nawf.

Since Nawf was from Syria, he is called al-Shami (Syrian). Ibn 'Asakir considered Nawf from the people of Damascus and mentioned his biography in Tarikh Madinat Damishq and said that some considered him from Palestine. Kunya of Nawf was Abu Yazid. Abu 'Amr and Abu Rashid too are mentioned as his kunyas.

There is not much information about Nawf's life, except that after his father passed away or divorced from his mother, she married to Ka'b al-Ahbar and Nawf grew up in the house of Ka'b. It is said that Nawf was killed in a battle between Muhammad b. Marwan and Armenians.

Relation with Imam Ali (a)

Nawf al-Bikali was the doorkeeper of Imam Ali (a). He was mentioned as the doorkeeper and special companion of Imam Ali (a). He transmitted some of Imam's (a) supplications and some of his sermons. Nawf al-Bikali also asked Imam Ali (a) to advise him, so Imam (a) advised him relating with his relatives (Silat al-rahim), not helping oppressors, friendship with the Ahl al-Bayt (a), abandoning backbiting and following other moral virtues. The address below is from Imam Ali (a) to Nawf,

"O Nawf! Blessed be upon those who abstain from this world and are eager for the next world. They are the people who regard this earth as a carpet, its dust as their bed-cloth; and its water as their perfume; they recite the Qur'an in low tones and supplicate in high tones and then they are cut off from the world like Jesus (a)."

Mamaqani considered Imam Ali's (a) advice to Nawf, a sign of his great position and strength of faith and mentioned including him among the righteous by Imam Ali (a) an evidence for this claim.


There are hadiths in Shi'a hadith sources transmitted from Nawf al-Bikali. He transmitted some of the sayings and sermons of Nahj al-balagha from Imam Ali (a). He also transmitted the sermon of Hammam (with little difference) and a hadith about characteristics of Shi'a from Imam Ali (a).

Nawf also learned hadiths from 'Abd Allah b. 'Amr al-'As and Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. Abu Ishaq al-Hamdani, Abu Tu'ma Nusayr b. Dughluq, Khalid b. Subayh, 'Abd al-Malik b. Habib, 'Umara b. Juwayn al-'Abdi, Shahr b. Hawshab al-Ash'ari, Abu 'Abd Allah al-Shami, 'Abd al-A'la, and 'Alqama b. Qays narrated from him.

His name is not mentioned in early Shi'a sources of rijal. Under his name, Ayatullah Khoei sufficed to mention a hadith from al-Shaykh al-Saduq and did not give any opinion about him. In some Sunni sources, it is mentioned that Nawf considered Moses in the Qur'anic story of Moses and Khidr as someone other than Moses (a), the prophet of Banu Israel and thus Ibn 'Abbas called him a liar and an enemy of God.


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from نوف بکالی in Farsi WikiShia.