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A Biography of al-Imam al-Bukhari

Background He is Abu Abdillaah Muhammad ibn Isma'eel ibn Ibraheem ibn al-Mugheera ibn Bardizbah alJu'fi Mawlaahum (Their lien!"#

His grea! grandfa!her al-Mugheerah was a Ma$oosi (fire worshipper - religion of people of %ersia before ad&en! of Islam"# He was !he firs! Muslim in !he lineage of al-Imam al-Bukhari' he be(ame Muslim a! !he hands of !he go&ernor of Bukhara) al-*aman al-Ju'fi# This is why al-Imam alBukhari is a!!ribu!ed !o al-Ju'fi !ribe) no! be(ause of lineage bu! be(ause his grea! grandfa!her was (on&er!ed a! !he hands of a member of !ha! !ribe#

Imam al-Bukhari's fa!her Isma'eel ibn Ibraheem ibn al-Mugheera was himself a person of hadi!h and a s!uden! of hadi!h# Al-Bukhari said abou! his fa!her !ha! he has heard from Malik ibn Anas ( Imam of Madinah+Maaliki madhab") saw Hammad ibn ,ayd ( Imam of alBasrah") and shook hands wi!h Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak wi!h bo!h of his hands# -o alBukhari was from a family !ha! ga&e grea! (on(ern !o knowledge#

Imam al-Bukhari was an orphan' his fa!her died when he was young and his mo!her raised him# He was from a weal!hy family as his fa!her engaged in business# His fa!her said) .There is no! a single dirham !ha! I ha&e !ha! is from haraam or from some!hing doub!ful#. He had righ!eous paren!s who had !he /uali!y of wara') so Allah blessed !hem in !heir weal!h# 0hen Imam al-Bukhari's fa!her died) he lef! behind a !remendous amoun! of weal!h su(h !ha! al-Bukhari ne&er had !o work for a li&ing#

Imam al-Bukhari began seeking knowledge a! a &ery young age# He began by memorizing !he 1ur'an !hen s!ar!ed memorizing hadi!h when he was in al-2u!!aab (elemen!ary s(hool" while s!ill 34 years old# He's from !he (i!y of al-Bukhara (in wha!'s known !oday as 5zbekis!an"# He used !o go !o !he s(holars of Bukhara and si! wi!h !hem# A! a young age he memorized !he books of Abdullaah ibn al-Mubarak and 0akee' ibnul Jarrah ) and he learned !he fi/h of !he s(holars of ra'ee (opinion"# In his mid !eens) Imam al-Bukhari wen! wi!h his mo!her and bro!her Ahmad !o Makkah for Ha$$# His mo!her and bro!her re!urned home af!er Ha$$ and he remained in Makkah !o s!udy hadi!h) a! whi(h !ime he was no! older !han 36#

His Care in Collection and Preservation of Hadith

His s(ribe) al-0arraa/ Muhammad ibn Abee Haa!im heard him saying7 "! #$% & %' )( $* +, - -& %' 8My wri!ing of hadi!h was no! in !he same manner of !hese people (o!her s!uden!s who wri!e hadi!h"# 0hene&er I would wri!e from a person I'd ask him for his name) kunyah) lineage) and I would ask him abou! !he defi(ien(y of !he hadi!h if he was a person of unders!anding#9

He realized !ha! a! !ha! !ime !here were some s(holars of hadi!h who were &ery profie(ien! in !he s(ien(es of hadi!h so !hey were able !o iden!ify when narra!ors would make mis!akes# He would ask !hem abou! !hese ma!!ers) and wouldn'! $us! suffi(e wi!h reading !he hadi!h) hearing !he hadi!h e!(# 5nlike !oday) people will read many of !he ma$or hadi!h books and !hey will no! gi&e a grea! impor!an(e !o learning whi(h hadi!hs are au!hen!i( and whi(h are weak: 0hene&er we s!udy !he sunnah of !he %rophe! * .) we mus! gi&e grea! impor!an(e !o wha!'s really au!hen!i( and wha!'s no!#

Al-Bukhari goes on !o say7 / .0 ( 12/% -0 $% * -3, 8If he wasn'! (a person of unders!anding ; be(ause !hose who would ga!her hadi!hs and narra!e !hem !o ge! !he reward of !hose who help pass on !he sunnah were no! ne(essarily of a high le&el of knowledge (on(erning hadi!h" - !hen I would ask him !o pull ou! his asl (a(!ual book where !he narra!or had wri!!en !he hadi!h" and I would wri!e or (opy !he hadi!h from !here#9

The reason for !ha! is !ha! a person may make a mis!ake in !heir narra!ion) be(ause no! e&ery!hing !hey had wri!!en down was organized by !opi() so if !hey wan! !o narra!e (er!ain hadi!hs in !heir ga!hering !hey would of!en $us! go ahead and narra!e from memory (ins!ead of digging in!o !heir no!ebooks") and would only use !heir asl as a referen(e poin! !o whi(h !hey (ould go ba(k if !hey need !o (he(k some!hing#

Also) i! was (ommon !ha! before a(!ually lis!ening !o !he hadi!h from !he narra!or) a s!uden! would (opy !he hadi!h from his book and !hen lis!en !o i! being narra!ed) in order !o obser&e !he (orre(! pronun(ia!ion and reading of !he hadi!h# As many of !he alphabe!s in Arabi( are similar in appearan(e e<(ep! for !he presen(e of do!s) i! is easy !o fall in!o mis!akes while (opying or reading a hadi!h# -o i! was impor!an! !o hear !he hadi!h from !he shaykh dire(!ly#

And i! was also impor!an! for s(holars of hadi!h !o e<amine !he books of !he narra!ors in order !o

see whe!her !he narra!or !ook grea! (are in preser&ing his book or was (areless in doing so) as some narra!ors would make mis!akes e&en if reading ou! of !heir books be(ause !hey were (areless in !he wri!ing down of !he hadi!hs# And !herefore) !here was a grea! rela!ionship be!ween !he pre(ision of a narra!or in his narra!ing and !he pre(ision of his book# Many !imes) errors would o((ur in narra!ion be(ause !he narra!or had made an error in wri!ing !he hadi!h) and no! be(ause he was relying merely on memory# Imam al-Bukhari unders!ood !he impor!an(e of !his and !herefore would e<amine !he books of narra!ors#

He goes on !o say7 -4$% 5 -4$% 6 -4% 7, -289 60

8As for !he o!hers (o!her s!uden!s" !hey don=! (are wha! !hey wri!e down (!hey=d $us! wri!e wha! !hey heard" or how !hey wri!e down hadi!hs)9 where as al-Bukhari had a par!i(ular me!hodology he would employ in wri!ing down hadi!h as we ha&e dis(ussed abo&e#

And !his is &ery impor!an! for e&ery s!uden!# Many people !oday ; e&en many who are regarded by a&erage people as 8s(holars9 ; will read books of hadi!h and no! (are !o &erify wha! is au!hen!i( and wha! is no!#

Praised by Scholars of His Time Imam al-Bukhari was praised grea!ly by !he s(holars of hadi!h ; !he s(holars of ahl as--unnah wal-Jamaa=ah) many of !hem being from !he genera!ion of his !ea(hers#

Al-Imam Isha/ ibn >ahuyah ) who was one of !he grea! s(holars of hadi!h and fi/h) and a (ompanion of Imam Ahmad) said7 +:, & %' ),2 ; 1 6< (, - 4, = "? >4 80ri!e (hadi!hs" from !his young man) for e&en if he was presen! in !he !ime of al-Hasan (alBasree" !he people would s!ill ha&e been in need of him (al-Bukhari" due !o his grea! knowledge of hadi!h and his unders!anding of i!#9

Al-Imam Ahmad ! ) he Imam of ahl as--unnah wal-Jamaa=ah) said7 ' ) 6 @6 -28 280 6 82hurasan has no! brough! for!h anyone like Muhammad ibn Ismaeel (i#e# Imam al-Bukhari"#9

The praise of !he s(holars of al-Imam al-Bukhari=s !ime pro&es how highly he was regarded#

His Piety He was also a righ!eous person and a grea! 'abid (worshipper"# He used !o re(i!e !he 1ur=an a grea! deal and pray a lo! during !he nigh!) and espe(ially in >amadan when he used !o re(i!e !he whole 1ur=an e&eryday#

A s!ory has been rela!ed !ha! shows his grea! khushoo' ((on(en!ra!ion"# 0hile in salah one day) a s(orpion s!ung him 3? !imes# Al-Bukhari remained in salah un!il he finished i!# 5pon being asked why he did no! lea&e !he salah when he firs! go! s!ung) he answered) +0 -0 , A4( , 8I was in !he middle of re(i!ing a surah so I wan!ed !o finish i!#9

This shows you !he grea! (on(ern !ha! !hese s(holars from !he -alaf had for worshipping Allah # This is wha! made !hem rea(h !his le&el of knowledge) as Allah says7 F / D FE G D J F % H H B %G I H @ F F I F F DJ HKHL F I > F I H B 4C J 6 H F 8###I! is only !hose who ha&e knowledge among His ser&an!s !ha! fear Allah# Aerily) Allah is AllMigh!y) Bf!-Corgi&ing#9 (1ur'aan -urah Caa!ir Ayah DE"

This is why !hese grea! imams weren'! $us! busy wi!h wri!ing books or gi&ing fa!aawa' !heir hear!s were (onne(!ed !o Allah and !hey used !o worship Him by day and nigh!# This is wha! (aused !hem !o rea(h !ha! le&el of unders!anding of !he deen and !he le&el of Imamah !ha! !hey rea(hed#

The person who !ruly ge!s knowledge and benefi!s from i! is !he one whose knowledge (auses him !o fear Allah #

His Death There is a long s!ory (on(erning !he fi!nah !ha! Imam al-Bukhari fell in!o a! !he end of his life

where he was a((used of some !hings and was dri&en from (i!y !o (i!y un!il finally he had nowhere lef! !o go# He made !he du=aa7 M( NO, ) PQ ( OR 'O * + 8B Allah) !he Far!h has be(ome (ons!ri(!ed for me e&en !hough i! is spa(ious) so !ake me up !o you# 0i!hin a mon!h of making !ha! du=aa he died and Allah ! ook him#9

There's a long s!ory surrounding !his) whi(h we will no! ge! in!o in shaa= Allah#

Important Works Af!er his dea!h) al-Imam al-Bukhari lef! behind se&eral impor!an! works (some of his works were los!"#

! "l#$ami% as#Sahih &commonly kno'n as Sahih al#Bukhari( Before we unders!and why al-Jami= as--ahih was wri!!en) we ha&e !o e<amine !he si!ua!ion in his !ime in !erms of !he books of hadi!h !ha! ha&e been wri!!en before#

"( The Ga!hering of !he -unnah by !he Genera!ions of al-Imam al-Bukari=s Tea(hers The shuyookh of al-Imam al-Bukhari=s genera!ion wro!e wha! are known as 8Musnads9# A Musnad is a book of hadi!h !ha! is organized by !he ompanion !ha! narra!ed !he hadi!h (e#g# Musnad of al-Imam Ahmad s!ar!s wi!h !he musnad of Abu Bakr) !hen 5mar) !hen 5!hman) !hen Ali (*+ -4R "all !he way !ill !he &ery end) in(luding &ir!ually all !he hadi!hs !ha! ha&e been re(orded from !he ompanions"# The Musnad of al-Imam Ahmad is !he grea!es! of all Musnads of !ha! !ime# There were o!hers su(h as7

al-Musnad of Abul-0aleed a!-Tayalisi ( (( S al-Musnad of Isha/ ibn Ibrahim al-Handhali (aka# Isha/ ibn >ahuyah" al-Musnad of Abu Bakr ibn Abee -haybah al-Musnad of 5!hman ibn Abee -haybah

Mos! of !hese are people from whom al-Imam al-Bukhari has heard hadi!hs# The s(holars of hadi!h wro!e !heir books when !hey had reasons and ob$e(!i&es !o wri!e !heir books' whene&er a

new (hallenge would arise fa(ing !he hadi!h li!era!ure and !hrea!en !he preser&a!ion of !he -unnah) !he s(holars would address i! a((ordingly# A! !he !ime of Imam Ahmad) !his !ype of book (Musnad" de&eloped be(ause !he s(holars wan!ed !o ga!her !oge!her AHH of !he -unnah (any!hing !ha! was narra!ed from !he %rophe! ( * .""# This was !heir ob$e(!i&e#

Crom !he (on!emporaries of Imam Ahmad) !here=s hardly a grea! s(holar of hadi!h e<(ep! !ha! he wro!e a Musnad ; e&en al-Imam al-Bukhari himself and Imam Muslim and o!hers did as well# Howe&er !hese Musnads (ame la!er and weren=! passed down !o us) mos! likely be(ause !here were already many Musnads in (ir(ula!ion#

A! !ha! !ime) !he reason Musnads were Ipopular= is !ha! i! was !he firs! age in whi(h i! was really possible for a person !o (laim !ha! he has ga!hered !oge!her all of !he -unnah# 0e ha&e dis(ussed in !he pre&ious (lass !ha! !he s(holars of !he ompanions *+ R s(a!!ered !hroughou! !he Muslim land due !o !he e<pansion of !he Muslim -!a!e) and so !hey !ook !heir knowledge wi!h !hem and narra!ed hadi!hs !here# In !he la!er genera!ions) s(holars s!ar!ed !ra&elling around !o (olle(! hadi!hs from differen! pla(es# In !he age of Imam Ahmad and his (on!emporaries) i! go! !o a poin! where al-Imam Ahmad and o!her grea! s(holars of his !ime had spen! years and years !ra&elling !o Muslim lands and ga!hering hadi!hs) so mu(h so !ha! none of !he -unnah has missed !hem# Take !he (ase of Abul-0aleed a!-Tayalisi7 he offered a (ash reward !o anyone who would narra!e !o him an au!hen!i( hadi!h !ha! he had ne&er heard of) in order !o see if he has missed any au!hen!i( hadi!hs# Many narra!ors (ame !o him) among !hem was Abu Ha!im ar->azi ' howe&er) no one was able !o narra!e an au!hen!i( hadi!h !ha! Abul-0aleed hadn=! heard of# This is indi(a!i&e of !he s!a!e of hadi!h li!era!ure and !he s(holars of hadi!h) and !ha! i! was possible for one !o (hallenge o!hers !o bring au!hen!i( hadi!hs !ha! one hasn=! heard of# If mos! of !he -unnah and !he hadi!hs of !he %rophe! * . were no! ga!hered already) i! would no! ha&e been possible !o make !ha! s!a!emen! as many people (ould (ome for!h wi!h au!hen!i( hadi!hs !ha! are new# -o Abul-0aleed=s s!a!emen! is indi(a!i&e of !ha! fa(! !ha! ; a! !he !ime) mos! of !he -unnah had been already ga!hered by !he ma$or s(holars#

If !ha! was !he (ase wi!h Abul-0aleed a!-Tayalisi) !hen !here were s(holars who had e&en grea!er knowledge in Hadi!h !han him su(h as Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal * ) ahya ibn Ma'een ) and Abu Ha!im ar->azi # If one were !o si! wi!h Abu Ha!im and learn all his hadi!hs and !hen !o si! wi!h a!-Tayalisi and learn all his hadi!hs) !hen one (ould safely say !ha! he has ga!hered all of !he -unnah#

-o by !he !ime of al-Imam al-Bukhari) !he -unnah had been ga!hered as !he s(holars of hadi!h had wri!!en down and ga!hered hadi!hs in !heir Musnads#

I! was under !hese (ir(ums!an(es !ha! al-Imam al-Bukhari wro!e his book al-Jami= as--ahih#

B( 0hy Jo Books Ke&o!ed !o Au!hen!i( Hadi!hs 0ere 0ri!!en Before

I! appears !ha! !he reason why no one had wri!!en a book like !ha! before was !he fa(! !ha! one mus! know all !he rou!es before one (an be (er!ain if !he hadi!h is au!hen!i( or no!# I! is no! enough !o know all of !he hadi!hs of !ha! -ahaabi ( ompanion"# He!=s say you go !o a Musnad) and pi(k a hadi!h of Abdullah ibn I5mar + R! ha! appears !o be au!hen!i(' !hen you look !hrough all of !he hadi!hs in !he musnad of Abdullah ibn I5mar + R and find no (on!radi(!ory narra!ions# This is JBT enough !o $udge !he au!hen!i(i!y of !he hadi!h# I! may be !ha! !he hadi!h appears !o be au!hen!i( from Abdullah ibn 5mar + R wi!h a sound (hain of narra!ion) whereas !he real (hain of narra!ion migh! be a weak (hain from Abdullah ibn IAmr + R or from someone else#

-o only af!er !ha! genera!ion !ha! (ame and !ook on !he !ask of ga!hering !oge!her all !he -unnah and making re(ords i! (ould someone (ome along !o make a book !ha!=s de&o!ed only !o au!hen!i( hadi!hs# And !his is no! !o say s(holars before al-Bukhari were no! aware of wha! is au!hen!i( and wha! is no!) bu! in !heir genera!ion) books had no! ye! been de&o!ed !o !ha! !opi(#

C( The Inspira!ion of al-Jami= as--ahih and 1ualifi(a!ions of al-Bukhari

In ligh! of !he las! poin!) (onsider who i! was !ha! sugges!ed !he wri!ing of a book de&o!ed !o sahih hadi!hs) i! was none o!her !han al-Bukhari=s shaikh al-Imam Isha/ ibn >ahuyah (also pronoun(ed >ahawayh"# Isha/ ibn >ahuyah had worked on wri!ing his musnad ; !hus fulfilling his !ask in !erms of (hallenges !o s(holars of hadi!h in his !ime# In one of his ga!herings of knowledge where Imam al-Bukhari was presen! he said7 * . T4 UV W 2V/6 W * )4 8If only you would ga!her a (on(ise book for !he au!hen!i( -unnah of Allah=s Messenger ( . *" #9

And so Imam al-Bukhari said7 UV M XY) Z?8, (O (, M XO4,

8Tha! idea (ame in!o my hear! (i#e# i! (ap!ured my imagina!ion") so !hen I began !o (ompile !oge!her !ha! -ahih (olle(!ion9

-o we (an see !ha! !his was !he ne<! logi(al s!age in wri!ing a book of hadi!h7 !ha! someone wri!es a book on au!hen!i( hadi!hs af!er !he -unnah had been ga!hered) and (er!ainly al-Imam al-Bukhari was one of !he s(holars who were /ualified !o do !ha!#

There are !wo /uo!es from Imam al-Bukhari himself !ha! indi(a!e !ha! he was /ualified !o do !ha!7

3# al-Imam al-Bukhari said7

2 M )?2, ,20 :, &%'; )7C ) ( 2= .0 (2 &%'' ) [ )6 ,2% &%' 7T:, K28,

Al-Imam al-Bukhari said !ha! he engaged in a dis(ussion of hadi!hs wi!h !he (ompanions of IAmr ibn Ali al-Callaas - one of !he grea! s(holars of hadi!h ; where !hey men!ioned a hadi!h !o him so he said 8I don=! know i! (!his hadi!h"9# They go! e<(i!ed !ha! !hey had a hadi!h !ha! alBukhari didn'! know of) and !hey wen! !o IAmr !o !ell him !ha!) so he replied7 8A hadi!h !ha! is no! known !o Muhammad ibn Isma=il (i#e# Imam al-Bukhari" is no! a Hadi!h (i#e# an au!hen!i( one":9

This goes !o show !ha! al-Callaas re(ognized !ha! grea! knowledge and le&el of Imamah !ha! Imam al-Bukhari had rea(hed in !he Iilm of hadi!h#

D# Imam al-Bukhari also said7 ( , 0 =$( , 4" 1Y% D W * ]\0 There's no!hing !ha! I know of !ha! is needed e<(ep! !ha! i! (an be found in !he 1ur=aan and -unnah# -omeone said !o him) 8Is i! possible !o know all of !ha!L9 ^ M ,26 $% He said) 8*es#9

-o here) al-Imam al-Bukhari !es!ifies !ha! i!'s possible !o know AHH of !he 1ur=an and !he -unnah# This is an indi(a!or !ha! he had rea(hed !ha! le&el himself) o!herwise he would no! ha&e been able !o make a $udgemen! !ha! i!'s possible !o know all of !he -unnah#

B!her books in(lude7

)! at#Tareekh al#*abeer+ at#Tareekh al#"'sat+ and at#Tareekh as#Sagheer

,! al#"dab al#-ufrad &the Book of Islamic -orals and -anners(

.! /af%ul 0adayn fis#Salaah &/aising the Hands in the Salah(

This book was wri!!en as a refu!a!ion of !hose who say !ha! !he hands are only !o be raised in !he salah in !he firs! !akbeerah# This is opinion of Hanafis and some of people of 2ufah# -o al-Imam al-Bukhari ga!hered !oge!her all of !he au!hen!i( hadi!hs from !he %rophe! * .) and au!hen!i( narra!ions from !he ompanions *+ R( abou! !hem raising !he hands in salah no! only in !he firs! !akbeerah"' he !hen brough! !oge!her !he hadi!hs !ha! are used !o suppor! !he o!her opinions and (larified !heir weakness# This book is a grea! !es!imony !o !he knowledge of al-Imam al-Bukhari' he e<plained !he fi/h of !his issue wi!h !he mos! s(holarly manner possible#

1! "l#2iraa3ah *half al#Imam 4 &/eciting Behind the Imam( In par!i(ular) !his book dis(usses re(i!ing al-Caa!iha behind !he Imam# There are !hree opinions among !he s(holars wi!h regards !o !his issue7

3# I! is obliga!ory !o re(i!e al-Caa!iha whe!her !he Imam is re(i!ing ou!loud or silen!ly# D# I! is obliga!ory only if !he Imam is re(i!ing silen!ly during !he salah# M# I! is no! obliga!ory !o re(i!e al-Caa!iha a! all behind !he Imam#

In his books) al-Imam al-Bukhari shows firs!ly !ha! !he opinion of ompanions *+ R was di&ided be!ween !he firs! and se(ond &iews) and !ha! none of !hem held !he !hird &iew# Al-Bukhari goes on !o e<plain why he holds !he firs! opinion !o be !he s!ronges! opinion# This book is ano!her !es!imony !o !he le&el of his fi/h and knowledge of hadi!h# I! also shows his me!hodology of referring e&ery!hing ba(k !o !he 1ur=aan and -unnah) based upon !he unders!anding of !he -alaf (!he ompanions in par!i(ular") as !hey had !aken !heir religion dire(!ly

from !he %rophe! * . and !hus !heir unders!anding is !he s!ronges!#

Jo!e7 I! is no! possible !o say !ha! !hey misunders!and a ma!!er and !ha! we (ome along and figure i! ou! and 8realize9 !ha! !hey were all wrong: Their !ea(her was !he %rophe! * . himself and he !ook (are !o !ea(h !hem !he religion properly# 0hoe&er disregards !he unders!anding of !he ompanions *+ R insinua!es !ha! !he %rophe! . * did no! !ea(h !hem !heir religion properly#

5! 2adaayaa as#Companions 'at#Taabi3een &The /ulings of the Companions and Taabi%een( This book was wri!!en by al-Imam al-Bukhari when he was in his early !wen!ies# In i!) he ga!hered !oge!her !he fi/h rulings and $udgemen!s of ompanions and !aabi'een# This is an ano!her indi(a!ion of !he grea! impor!an(e !ha! he ga&e !o !he fi/h of !he -alaf# This book is now los!#

-unday Ke(# 3D!h D44N by Muslim Bro!her7 Abu Bakr b# Jasir from h!!p7++www#ahlalhdee!h#(om+&be+show!hread#phpL!OPD

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