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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Sahih Al-Bukhari and the efforts of Deoband’s scholars.

First of all, a brief biography of Imam Bukhari is presented.

 

Name and Genealogy:

His name was Mohammed bin Ismail and his kunya (pet name) was Abu Abdullah.

 

Birth and Demise:

He was born on the Friday, 13th of Shawwal (10th month of the Islamic Calendar), 194 Hijri and passed away at the age of 62 in the night before Eid-ul-Fitr between the Maghrib and Isha Salaah, in 256 Hijri. His funeral prayer was offered after Zohar Salaah on the day of Eid and he was buried near Samarkand at a place called Khurtang.

 

Education and Training:

He lost his father (Ismail) in his childhood. His education and upbringing was done solely by his mother. By the age of 12, he read most of the texts on Hadith and had memorised nearly seventy thousand hadiths.

He also lost his sight as a child. Once his mother had a dream in which she saw Prophet Ibrahim calling out to her and telling her that “Almighty Allah has given your son his sight back because of your supplication”. The next morning Imam Bukhari’ssight was found to be restored and he could see again.

His father,while on his deathbed, had said that not a single Dirham in his wealth was acquired by means of haram or mushtaba (a doubtful source). By this, we come to know that his upbringing was done entirely from halal money and to the end of his life, he followed in his father’s footsteps and never had a morsel of haram.

 

Acquiring the Knowledge of Hadith:

He started learning Hadith from the scholars who were nearby, in his town and its surroundings. He left for Makkah with his mother and brother on hajj. As his family returned home, he decided to stay. After finishing his hajj he started learning from the Sheikh’s of Makkah and Medina. Following this, to acquire the knowledge of Hadith, he travelled to Egypt, Syria and Iraq and studied under the scholars of different countries and had become an Imam at a very young age.

Memory Prowess:

Almighty Allah bestowed Imam Bukhari with an amazing memory power so that he could recollect anything after listening to it, only once. His teacher Imam Mohammed bin Bashar used to say that in this age, only four people from all over the globe have special memory: Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Abu Zar Razi and Imam Abdullah bin Abdur Rahman Samarkhandi and among them Imam Bukhari was the most privileged.

 

His Teachers:

Allama Ibn Hajar Asqalani states that the number of teachers that Imam Bukhari learnt from can never be estimated. Imam Bukahri himself states that “I have narrations from eighty thousand people who are all highly esteemed scholars of Hadith”.

His Students:

The number of students that he had can only be guessed from what Allama Farbari says “when I decided to become a student after coming to know of his popularity and presented myself as a pupil, nearly ninety thousand people had already been his students”. Famous among his students are also Imam Tirmidhi and Allama Daarmi.

 

Imam Bukhari’s Writings:

Among his works, eight are very popular:

Al-Adab Al-Mufrad,    Al-Tareekh Al-Sageer- Al-Awsat, Al-Tareekh Al-Kabeer, Al-Dhu’afaa Al-Sageer, Qurrat Al-Ain Biraf’ilaydainFisSalaath, Khalq ‘Af’aalul ‘Ibaad Al-Qiraa’ahKhalfalImaam,  and the most popular book is Al-AbwabWat-Tarajimlil-Bukhari.

 

Name of Sahih Al-Bukhari:

The full name of his book Sahih Al-Bukhari is:

Al-Jami’ Al-Musnad Al-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar min ‘UmooriRasulillahi (PBUH) WaSunanihiWaAyyamihi.

Some scholars have stated it with a minor difference in words as

Al-Jami’ Al-Musnad Al-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar min ‘Umoori Rasulillahi (PBUH) WaSunanihi WaAyyamihi.

 

Reasons for writing Sahih Al-Bukhari:

Imam Bukhari on his third visit to Hejaz, adjoining the Prophet’s Mosque saw in a dream that in his hand is a very beautiful fan and he is slowly fanning it. The next morning after Salaah, he enquired the scholars about the interpretation of his dream. They explained to him that he is going to separate the strong (i.e. sahih) hadith from weak(i.e.da’eef and mau’dhu) hadith narrations. This interpretation put in Imam Bukhari’s heart, an inclination towards the compilation of the strong hadith’s into one complete book.  In addition to this, his resolve was strengthened when his teacher Sheikh Ishaq bin Rahwiah once said: how excellent it would be that you would write a book, which would be a compilation of sahih hadiths. After finding out the interpretation of the dream and the advice from his teacher, Imam Bukhari completely dedicated himself to writing Sahih Al-Bukhari. Up to the writing of Sahih Al-Bukhari, the hadith texts contained strong (sahih), hasan (reliable) and da’eef(weak) i.e. all types of narrations. As there was no collection of hadith knowledge, before Sahih Al-Bukhari, there were no rules to differentiate and identify the strong and weak hadith and were not formulated. Even after the writing of Sahih Al-Bukhari, most of the books on hadith still contained strong, reliable and weak narrations.

 

Time taken to compile Sahih Al-Bukhari:

Imam Bukhari started by drafting six hundred thousand narrations in an order, which took many years. On completion of this, he started to investigate these hadiths and from this treasure, he selected gems and put them in his Sahih Al-Bukhari. He had stated that before writing each and every hadith in his book, he would take ghusl (bath) and offer two raka’(units) of prayers. Whenever he was not convinced of the chain of the narration then he would offer two rakah of Istikhara at Masjid al-haram or at the Masjid-e-nabawi and only when his heart was at ease and content regarding some hadith, then he would write the narration in his book. It took him 16 years of hard work to put together this book.

                                                          

Number of Hadiths in Sahih Al-Bukhari

Sahih Al-Bukhari contains a few more than seven thousand narrations, all of which are all strong (Sahih).Though some scholars of hadith had commented on the chain of narration of 7 or 8 hadith’s but the reality is that all the hadiths compiled are Sahih. Several hadiths have been mentioned in different chapters. For example the narration (Indeed every action is based on its intention) in different chapters is mentioned several times. Nearly three thousand hadiths in this book are unrepeated (Gair-Mukarrarah). But this does not mean that all of the Sahih hadiths are put together only in this book moreover Imam Bukhari himself admitted that there are a large number of Sahih hadith which are collected by other scholars of hadiths in their books.

Muallaqaath Sahih Al-Bukhari:

In his book, Imam Bukhari has put together few hadiths, which do not have a chain or does not mention one or more of the earlier narrators, these are called Muallaqaath Bukhari. The first person to put the definition of muallaqath before was the ummah was Imam Abul Hasan Darqathni (death 385 hijri).

Imam Bukhari stated few Mu’allaqaath confidently, and the Ummah agreed upon these to be “Sahih”. While some Mu’allaqaath have been stated with doubt, on these, some scholars have commented.

Imam Bukhari has included these Muallaqaath, for one of the following two reasons:

  1. These hadiths might not conform to the conditions that he had for inclusion in his book but he included it as it had some distinct benefit.
  2. He did not include the chain or mention the narrators, only for the purpose of brevity.

 

Number of Muallaqaath in Sahih Al-Bukhari:

AllamaIbneHajar has written in his book Fatah Al-Bary that the number of muallaqaath in Bukhari are 1341, of which many have been mentioned several times, but some scholars of hadith have counted these to be more than this. For this reason some scholars of hadith had preferred Muslim to Bukhari.

Tarjumatul Alabwab:

Imam Bukhari divided his book in different chapters and in each chapter includes several hadiths. The hadiths mentioned in each chapter are difficult to connect with the subject matter, because of which scholars of hadith have discussed this at length and this in itself, has become a special subject of study and is called Tarjumatul Alabwab.

Importance of Book:

Imam Bukahri was the first person to write a book that only restricted itself to the Sahih hadiths. The books that were written earlier included Sahih, Hasan and Dha’eef hadiths. After Imam Bukhar,i some scholars like Imam Muslim continued their efforts in this field but universally, scholars of the ummah give a preferential status to Bukhari among all the books on hadith. Even after Sahih Al-Bukhari most of the popular books on hadith (Tirmidhi, IbneMaaja, Nasaai, Abu Dawood etc) included all types (Sahih, Hasan, Dha’eefetc) of hadiths.

               

Sulasiaath Imam Bukhari:

There are 22 hadiths that are considered Sulasiaath in Sahih Al-Bukhari. Sulasiaath are hadith which only have three narrators in its chain (e.g. Sahabi, Tabayeen and Tabe-Tabayeen) and then the muhaddis (compiler of hadiths) transcribes it. “Salaasi” hadiths are considered to have chain of narrators, superior in credibility, this means that there are no hadiths recorded with less than three narratorsin its chain. Of these 22, Imam Bukhari has narrated 20 from the students of Imam Abu Hanifa. He narrated 11 hadiths from Sheikh Al-Makki bin Ibraheem and 16 hadiths from Imam Abu Asim, who were both students of Imam Abu Hanifa and furthermore he narrated 3 hadiths from Imam Mohammed bin Abdullah Ansari who was a student of Imam Zafar, a student of Imam Abu Hanifa.

 This brings to notice that Imam Bukhari(194-256 H) was a student of Imam Abu Hanifa’s(80-150H) students.

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Commentaries on Sahih Al-Bukhari:

Scholars and compilers of hadith have written commentaries on Sahih Al-Bukhari, in which hadiths are clarified along with the connection with the subject of the chapter and also there is a discussion at length on the narrators and rules are established. But among these Allama Ibne Hajar Al-Asqalani As-Shafi’s (Death 852H) book Fatah Al-Bari Basharh Sahih Al-Bukhari is the most popular, which contains 14 volumes.

 

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari and the efforts of Deoband’s scholars:

The seed of, teaching and learning of hadith with its meanings and efforts to do research in this field, which was planted by Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlvi in the sub-continent, was looked after by the scholars of Deoband and grew into a strong tree. As a result, students from all over the sub-continent, over a period of 150 years attended Darululoom and thousands of schools were established following it, where hundreds of thousands of students studied hadith and spread their knowledge to different corners of the world. The scholars of the Arab world have recognised the admirable efforts of the Deoband’s scholars in the study of hadith so much, that a minister “Yousuf Syed Hashim Al-Rafy” has stated that scholars of Hafiz Dhahabi and Hafiz IbneHajar’s calibre are present in Darululoom Deoband.

Scholars from the sub-continent, especially from deoband have written several commentaries on Sahih Al-Bukhari. Among these Allama Mohammed Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s Sharh Faizul Bari Al Sahih Al-Bukhari is very popular.

 

Some Important Commentaries of the Scholars of Deoband on Sahih Al-Bukhari

Faizul Bary Ala Sahih Al-Bukhari: These are lectures of MuhaddisKabeer Sheikh Mohammed Anwar Shah Kashmiri, which were recorded by his student Syed Sheikh Badr Alam Meerathi Muhajir Madani in Arabic. This commentary was first published in Egypt, and then hundreds of thousands were published in several countries and today it is considered as one of the important commentaries on Sahih Al-Bukahri all over the world. Among Arab and Non-Arab scholars, Allama Mohammed Anwar Shah Kashmiri is considered as a respectable and reliable Muhaddis. Among the scholarly circles of the east as well as west Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri is recognised for his merits.

Taaleeqaath Jamiat Ala Sahih Al-Bukhari (Arabic): Sheik ul Hadith Ahmed Ali Saharanpuri has done Taaleeqaath on 125 parts of Bukhari and the rest five were done by his student Sheikh Mohammed Qasim Nanatwi .

Alabwab Waltarjuma Al-Bukahri: This book gives an explanation about the chapters of Sahih Al-Bukhari. The collection of hadith under one title in Sahih Al-Bukhari in itself is considered a specialist study, which is called Tarjumatul Abwab. In this book, Sheikul Hadith Moulana Mohammed Zakariya, has included the views of scholars like Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlvi and AllamIbne Hajar Asqalani and went on to add his own research on the chapters of Bukhari. This book is in Arabic and it is in 6 volumes.

Al-AbwabWat-Tarajimlil-Bukhari:  This compilation is recorded in Urdu by Sheikh Mohammed Khandelwi’s father Sheikh Mohammed Yahya from the lectures of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi. Sheikul Hadith Moulana Mohammed Zakariyya translated this work in Arabic and with some minor changes, he published it. This work took 12 years of hardwork to take a form. The foreword of Sheikhul hadith on this book is full of benefits. This book is in Arabic and it contains 10 volumes.

Anwarul Bary Fee Sharhi Sahihil Bukhari: These are the lectures of grand muhaddis Anwar Shah Kasmiri, which Ahmed Raza Bijnori has transcribed in Urdu.

Eedha’hul Bukhari: These are Sheikh Faqruddin Ahmed Muradbadi’s lectures of Bukhari, which were compiled by Sheikh Riyasath Ali Bijnori in Urdu. This book is in four volumes.

SharhaTarajeemul Bukhari:Sheikhul Hind MoulanaMahmoodul Hasan Deobandi

SharhaTarajeemul Bukhari: Sheikh Moulana Mohammed IdreesKandhelvi.

At-Taqreer Ala Sahih Al-Bukhari: Sheikh Mohammed ZakariyyaKandhelvi and Sheikh Mohammed Younus.

Irshadul KhaariIla Sahihil Bukahri: Sheikh Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Ludhainvi.

Talkheesul Bukhari Shahrha Sahihil Bukhari: Sheikh Shamsuzzuha Mazhahiri.

Tohafatul Qari Fee Halli Mushkilatil Bukhari: Sheikh Mohammed Idrees Khaldelvi.

Imdadul Bary Fee Sharhil Bukhari: Sheikh Abdul Jabbar Azmi.

Jami-ud-Durari Fee Sharhil Bukhari: Sheikh Abdul Jabbar Azmi.

Ath-Tasweebaath Lima Fee Hawashil Bukhari MinathTasheefaath: Sheikh Abdul Jabbar Azmi.

Al-KhairulJaari Ala Sahihil Bukahri: Sheikh Khair Mohammed Muzaffergadi.

An-Noorus Saari Ala Sahihil Bukahri: Sheikh Khair Mohammed Muzaffergadi.

Ihsaanul Bary Lifamil Bukahri: Sheikh Mohammed Sarfaraaz khan Safder.

Jawahirul Bukahri Ala Athrafil Bukahri: Shaik Qazizahid Husaini.

Inamul Bukhari fi Sahrhi Ash’aril Bukhari: Sheikh AashiqI lahi Bulandshari Wa Muhajir Madani.

Duroos –e – Bukhari:  These are lectures of Sheikh Husain Ahmed Madani, and it is being compiled by Sheikh Neymathullah Azami, and few of its volumes are already in print.

Tarjumah Sahih Bukahri: Sheikh Sahbber Ahmad Uthmani.

Fadhulul Bari sahrh Sahihul Bukahri: Sheik Shabber Ahmad Uthmani.

Al-Nibrasus Sari fee Atrafil Bukahri: This is a commentary of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Gujranwala in Arabic, and it is printed in two volumes. And his footnotes “Miqyasulwarialan Nibrasis Sari” are invaluable.

TahqeeqwaTaleeqlam’iddurari ala jami’el Bukhari: Sheik Mohammad Zakriya Kandhelvi.

Inaamul Bari Sharh Bukhari: Sheik Mohammad Ameen Chatgami.

Nasrul Bari Sharhil Bukhari: This Commentary was written by Sheikh Uthman Ghani, and it contains 14 volumes.

Tafheemul Bukhari: This is a translation of Sahih Al-Bukhari in Urdu, which was done by Shiekh Zuhurul Bari Aazmi Qasmi, and it contains the source and the translated texts in 3 volumes.

Hamdul Mut’aali ala tarajim Sahihil Bukhari: This is a book  byShiekh Syed Badsah Gul, who was a student of Shiekh Hussain Ahmad Madani.

Fadhlul Bukhari Fi Fiqhil Bukhari: This is a book by Sheikh Abdul Rawoof Hazaarwi, who was a student of Sheikh Muhammad Anwar Shah kashmiri.

Tasheelul Bari fee Hall Sahihil Bukhari: Sheik Siddiq Ahmad Bandwi.

Kashful Bari, Tajreedul Bukhari: Sheik Muhammad Hayaat Sanbhali, who was a Teacher of Mufti AashiqI lahi.

Inaamul Bari Duroos Bukhari Shareef: These are lectures of Moulana Mufti Taqi Uthmani, which was transcribed in Urdu by Mufti Muhammad Anwar Hussain. This has in 16 volumes, of which 7 are printed and the rest are to be published.

 

Few Names of the Scholars of Deoband:

 After the establishment of Darululoom, Deoband and Mazhahirul Uloom, Saharanpur in 1866, a network of Islamic schools was spread in the sub-continent, which not only provided suitable system for the education and training of millions of Muslims but also the faculty and students of these Islamic schools have put in so much service towards the Qur’anic and Hadith studies that Arab and Non-Arab countries have acknowledged it, so much that a famous educational publication’s editor and a popular scholar Sheikh Syed Rasheed Raza wrote “ if the scholars of India have not concentrated on the study of hadith, then this knowledge would have become extinct from eastern countries, because this knowledge had reached its lowest ebb”.

In the sub-continent, came such able scholars of hadith, from these Islamic schools, who spent of most their lives acquiring the knowledge of hadith, especially Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, learning and teaching and writing commentaries. Some famous names of these scholars are given below:

Moulana Mohammed Qasim Nanatwi, Sheikhul Hind Moulana Mahmoodul Hasan, Moulana Mohammed Anwer Shah Kashmiri, Moulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi, Moulana Hussain Ahmed Madani, Moulana Khaleel Ahmed Sharanpuri, Moulana Shabbir Ahmed Uthmani, Moulana Fakhruddin Ahmed Muradabadi, Moulana Mohammed IdreesKhandlevi, Moulana Mohammed Zakariyya Khadelvi, Moulana Habibur Rahman Azami, Moulana Mohammed Ismail Sambhali (who is the grandfather of this writer), Moulana Abdul JabbarAzmi, Moulana Naseer Ahmed Khan, Moulana Uthman Ghani, Moulana Khursheed Alam, Moulana Mohammed Younus Azmi, Moulana Mohammed Taqi Uthmani, Moulana Neymathullah Azmi, Moulana Riyasath ali Bijnoori and Moulana Sayeed Ahmed Palanpuri.

We ask Allah to protect Islamic schools and make us able to understand and study the Quran and hadith, and follow and propagate it. Ameen.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)