Imam al-Bukhaari

Posted on June 16, 2010


A Brief Outlook about Imam al-Bukhaari

His full name was Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel ibn Ibraaheem ibn al-Mugheerah ibn Bardizbah al-Ja’fi al-Bukhaari. His grandfather al-Mugheerah was a freed slave of al-Yamaan al-Ja’fi, the governor of Bukhaarah, so he took his name after he became Muslim.
Imam al-Bukhaari was born in Bukhaara in 194 AH. He grew up an orphan and started to memorize ahaadeeth before he was ten years old. When he was a young man he set out to travel to Makkah and perform the obligation of Hajj. He stayed in Makkah for a while, studying under the imams of fiqh, usool and hadeeth. Then he began to travel around, going from one Islamic region to another, for sixteen years in all. He visited many centers of knowledge where he collected ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) until he had compiled more than 600,000 ahaadeeth. He referred to one thousand scholars of hadeeth and discussed these reports with them. These scholars were people who were known for their sincerity, piety and sound belief. From this huge number of ahaadeeth he compiled his book al-Saheeh, following the most precise scientific guidelines in his research as to their authenticity and in distinguishing the saheeh (sound) from the weak, and in finding out about the narrators, until he recorded in his book the most sound of the sound, although it does not contain all the saheeh ahaadeeth. The book’s full title is al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh al-Musnad min Hadeeth Rasool-Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wa Sunanihi wa Ayaamihi.

The governor of Bukhaara wanted al-Bukhaari to come to his house to teach his children and read ahaadeeth to them. But al-Bukhaari refused and wrote to him: “Knowledge is to be sought in its own house,” meaning that knowledge is to be sought not summoned. Whoever wanted to learn from the scholars should go to them in the mosque or in their houses. So the governor bore a grudge against him and ordered that he be expelled from Bukhaara. So he went to the village of Khartank which is near Samarqand, where he had relatives, and he settled there until he died in 256 AH at the age of 62. May Allaah have mercy upon him.

Al-Bukhaari was a Shaykh of Islam, and the leading scholar of hadeeth, Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn Ismaa’eel ibn Ibraaheem, the author of al-Saheeh and other books. He was born in Shawwaal 194 AH, and he first started to study hadeeth in 205. He memorized the works of Ibn al-Mubaarak when he was a child, and he grew up an orphan.

He compiled books and narrated hadeeth when there was still no hair on his face. He was very intelligent, knowledgeable, pious and devoted to worship.

He was slim, neither tall nor short, somewhat dark skinned.

He used to say: When I reached the age of eighteen, I started to compile cases judged by the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and their views during the days of ‘Ubayd-Allaah ibn Moosa, and at that time I compiled al-Tareekh by the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on moonlit nights.

And he used to say: I memorized one hundred thousand saheeh ahaadeeth, and I memorized two hundred non-saheeh ahaadeeth.

Ibn Khuzaymah said: There is no one beneath the canopy of heaven who is more knowledgeable of hadeeth than al-Bukhaari.

He died on the night of Eid al-Fitr 256 AH. End quote.

Summarized from Tadhkirat al-Huffaaz by al-Dhahabi (2/555).