Imam al-Bukhari: Myths & Misconceptions

Updated: Sep 9, 2018

Popular myths and misconceptions about Imam al-Bukhari and his Sahih... -He only learned Arabic as an adult. False. He grew up in an Arabized city and it was his main language. -He only started studying at age 30. False. He had written his first book at 20. He was in classes from age 7. -He was the first person to write a book of hadith. False. There were *hundreds* before him. -He mission with the Sahih was together all the sound hadiths. False. His book was meant as a *summary* and only utilizes 2,000+ hadiths divided into 7,000+ entries. The word summary is in the full title. -Sahih Bukhari was not actually written until a century after Imam Bukhari’s death. Completely false. He taught the book to over 1,000 students in his lifetime in over ten cities. The most authoritative narration was Firabri of Bukhara who read it under Bukhari multiple times. -Ibn Hajar Asqalani filled in gaps of missing hadith. Way off. Ibn Hajar wrote one of the best *commentaries* on the Sahih. Nothing to do with anything inside the text itself. After the Messenger himself peace be upon him, no Muslim has been attacked and maligned as much as Imam al-Bukhari himself, because he is the central pillar of hadith, which is the clearest manifestation of the Sunna and the inheritance of the Prophet peace be upon him. Orientalists, reformers, modernists and munafiqs of various stripes have spent thousands of hours trying to tear down the mountain that is Imam al-Bukhari and his Sahih. That alone is enough of an honor. One time, a scholar was thinking about which book to study. He prayed two rakas istikhara and slept. That night, he saw the Messenger peace be upon him, who said, “Why don’t you study my book?” And he pointed. It was Sahih al-Bukhari. Imam al-Bukhari used to keep a hair of the Prophet peace be upon him with him at all times (Dhahabi). Not all of the madhhabs rule by Sahih Bukhari, but all of them honor it is as “the most authentic book after the Book of Allah.” It has been explained over 300 times, more than any other book in Islamic scholarship, after tafsir. In his final days, he was welcomed into his city of birth with gold and silver coins tossed on him. Fitna broke out and short while later, he was forced to flee. A man asked him, “How do you compare this day with the day gold and silver were tossed on you?” Imam Bukhari replied, “So long as my deen is sound, I have no problem.” May Allah reward Imam al-Bukhari for what he did in guarding this knowledge for the umma, and let us benefit by it and study it well.

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