Full name : Abu Abdullah, Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin Al-Mughira bin Bardizbah Al-Ju'fi Al-Bukhari.
Born: in Bukhara
(what is now Uzbekistan) during the month of Shawaal, year 194 Hijra.
It has been unanimously
agreed that Imaam Bukhari's work is the most authentic of Hadith.
Birth and Lineage
Born on Friday (after Jumuah) 13 Shawwal 194 A.H. Passed away on Friday 1 Shawwal 256 A.H. (the night before Eid-ul-Fitr) (Hadyus Saari - pg.477).
Bardizba was a fire worshipper. His son Mugira accepted Islam on the hands of Juífi the governor of Bukhara. That is why the name Juífi appears at the end of his name. There is not much mention about Imam Bukhariís grandfather, Ebrahim. However his father, Ismail, was a muhaddith and Ibn Hibban has rated him in the 4th category of reliable muhadditheen. He has narrated from Hammad ibn Zaid and Imam Malik. Abu Hafs Kabir says that he was present at the time of Ismails death when he heard him say: "I do not have a single dirham of doubt in my earnings."
Abilities (Remarkable Memory)
When Imam Bukhari was 11 years old, he was once at the lesson of Imaam Daakli and Imaam Daakhli narrated the following sanad: Sufyan from Abu Zubair from Ebrahim. Imaam Bukhari said that this sanad is incorrect because Abu Zubair did not narrate from Ebrahim. When it was checked up, Imaam Bukhari was correct. (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Hashid bin Ismail mentions that Imam Bukhari (R.A.) in his youth use to come to the Mashaaikh of Basra but he never used to write. After 16 days, we rebuked him for not writing down the notes (Ahadith). After a while he said: "You have rebuked me enough - bring your kitaabs." Haashid says: "We brought our kitaabs and Imam Saheb mentioned each and every hadith with their sanads and also corrected our kitaabs and said: "You think Iím wasting my time!" (At that time there were over 15 000 Ahadith taken from those Mashaaikh of Basra) (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Once Ishaaq bin Raah-weih mentioned that I know the 70 000 Ahadith mentioned in my book like Iím looking at them. When this was mentioned to Imam Bukhari (R.A.), he replied: "You are astonished at that, perhaps in this time and age, there are such people who know 200 000 Ahadith as mentioned in the kitaab (by this Imam Saheb was referring to himself) (Hadyus Saari pg.487).
Once when Imam Bukhari went to Baghdad, the muhadditheen got together and took 100 Ahadith and mixed up their sanads (chain of narrators) and matan (text). Thereafter 10 muhadditheen were appointed to present ten of these Ahadith each to him incorrectly. When each Hadith was presented, he replied each time with these words: "I donít know this Hadith." After all the Ahadith were presented to him, he mentioned each Hadith as it was narrated by those ten muhadditheen and then mentioned the correct version of each one (Hadyus Saari pg.486).
Abu Azhar (R.A.) says; "Once when Imam Bukhari (R.A.) came to Samarkand, 400 muhadditheen got together and mixed up the sanads of Iraq with Yemeni sanads and the sanads of the Haram with the Yemeni sanads in trying to make Imam Saheb commit a mistake, but not one mistake was taken out by anyone of the 400 muhadditheen.
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) said he has more than 1000 Teachers. He knows the chain of narrators of every Hadith from every teacher. Ibn Hajar has categorized Bukhariís Teachers into 5 groups:
Contemporaries of Tabi'een but did not narrate.
Heard from elderly Tabi'een.
Narrates from his colleagues who were his seniors.
Narrates from his juniors.
90 000 people have heard the Bukhari Shareef directly from Imam Bukhari (Hadyus Saari pg.491).
Imam Bukhari (rahmatullahi alaih) invested his money of inheritance from his fathers estate and he should receive 500 dirhams monthly. All this used to be spent in attaining knowledge.
When he went to Aadam ibn Abi Ayas there was a delay in receiving money - he ate grass, after 3 days somebody gave a bag of coins.
He got sick, his container of food was shown to doctors, they said this is like the Raahibs. Imam Bukhaari did not eat curry for 40 years. When people insisted, he accepted to have bread and sugar as curry.
Piety and Character
Imam Bukhari said: "From the time I knew backbiting is haraam I never spoke ill about anyone."
Abu Hafs Kabir sent goods to him which he promised to sell to somebody at a certain price. Others offered a higher price. He refused.
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) mentioned: "I did not write any Hadith in this book before taking a bath and performing 2 rakaats and I deduced this kitaab from 600 000 Ahadith in 16 years.
Imam Bukhariís Madhab
According to ibn Taimiyyah (R.A.), Imam Bukhari was a mujtahid and an independent Imam.
Ibn Qayyim (R.A.) says Imam Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawood were strong followers of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal.
After studying and closely looking at Imam Bukhari one will realise that Imam Bukhari did not follow any one Imam, he has his independant views on many issues, therefore Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) and Sheikh Zakaria (R.A.) have the same view as that of Allama Taimiyya that Imam Bukhari is a mujtahid.
Imam Bukhari very frequently became a victim of differences and disputes and he breathed his last in that condition. He was expelled from Bukhara 4 times.
Concerning the dispute with Imam Zuhli in Nishapur - When Imam Bukhari came to Nishapur he was very warmly welcomed and Imam zuhli, who was also the Ustaad of Imam Bukhari, encouraged the people to benefit and listen to ahadith from Imam Bukhari. Once someody asked the question whether Qalamullah is makhlook or not. Imam tried to evade the question but upon insisting he answered that Qalamullah is not makhlook but our reciting the kalamullah is maqluk. People did not fully understand this and made an issue that Imam Bukhari says that "lafzi bilquran maklook." Imam Zuhli said, He (Imam Bukhari) is a bidíati and no one should go to him. People left Imam Bukhari (R.A.) except Imam Muslim and Ahmad ibn Salama. Zuhli did not allow any person who subscribe to Imam Bukhariís view or associated with him to sit in his lesson. Imam Muslim and Ahmad ibn Salama chose to be with Imam Bukhari. A few days later Imam Bukhari left Nishapur and went to Bukhara and was expelled from there. This was the third time he was expelled from Bukhara. There is some speculation that when Imam Bukhari began having discourses in Nishapur, Zuhliís discourses were not largely attended hence Zuhli initiated Imam Bukhariís removal from Bukhara. And Allah Taíala knows best
Imam Bukhari was called to Bukhara and he received a very large reception. Ameer of Bukhara, Khalid Zuhli asked him to come to his place and teach his children Bukhari Shareef. Imam Bukhari refused and Khalid then used people to make objections on Imam Bukhariís beliefs and thus he was finally expelled from Bukhara. Imam Bukhari cursed Khalid and within a month Khalid was dismissed and imprisoned.
After Imam Bukhari was removed for the fourth time by Khalid. He went to Khatang (today Khaja Abad) by his relatives. Abdul Quddus (R.A.) says that I heard Imam Bukhari making dua in tahajjud: "O Allah, the earth has become narrow for me despite its spaciousness, therefore call me to you."
Gaalib ibn Jibraeel says
- I was in Khartang when people of Samarqand sent a messenger to propose
and invite Imam Bukhari to Samarqand. Imam Bukhari got ready to go and
after walking about 20 steps he felt weak and lied down and breathed his
last. This was on the night of Eid - 256 A.H.