Fatwa No : 86198
Who is al-Bukhari?
Fatwa Date : Rajab 15, 1424 / 11-9-2003
Who is Imam Bukhari?
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Muhammad Ibn Ismail al-Bukhari was born in Bukhara. Bukhari 's grandfather Mughira was the first in his family to have converted to Islam from Zoroastrianism. Bukhari 's father died when Bukhari was still an infant. After the father's death, Bukhari 's mother brought him to Makkah from Bukhara. Bukhari , although physically weak, was endowed by God with great intelligence and sharp, retentive memory. He was very fond of acquiring knowledge. Being a very devout and religious person, he began to study the Hadith at the early age of eleven. He had very soon gathered all the traditions available in Hijaz (in Saudi Arabia). Then he undertook journeys for the collection of Hadith. He continued to travel for about forty years throughout the Muslim world in the pursuit of knowledge. He went to the most narrarors of Hadith to gather the traditions from them. After having gathered a large number of Hadith, he returned to Nishapur. By this time, his fame as a traditionist had spread far and wide. He was therefore given a grand reception by the local residents. Imam Bukhari began teaching the traditions to the people. He wanted to settle down there. But he could not do so, as he had incurred the displeasure of the governor, who wanted Imam Bukhari to come to his palace to give lessons to his sons. Imam Bukhari refused to do so, for he considered this a degradation of Hadith knowledge. Then the governor told him that his children could go to him, but only if there were no other students present at that time. But Imam Bukhari did not accept even this condition. This enraged the governor, so he gave orders for his extradition from the city. Then Imam Bukhari went to Khartank, a village at Samarkand. There he settled down and died in the year 256 A.H./870 C.E. Throughout his life Imam Bukhari was strictly pious, honest and generous to the poor and to students. He did not bear any ill-will towards anybody, not even his enemies. His entire life and all of his wealth were devoted to the collection of Hadith. The greater part of his life was spent in traveling for this purpose. Bukhari began writing very early. He had compiled his first book at the age of 18 when he was in Madina. Afterwards he wrote a number of books. But the most famous and important of all of his books is Saheeh Bukhari. It is considered by almost all the traditionists to be the most authentic book in Hadith literature. The author himself read it out to 90,000 students. It made his name immortal. Because of many positive features, the Saheeh Al-Bukhari has been rightly considered to be an authority next only to the Qur'an. Many commentaries have appeared in which every aspect of the book has been thoroughly discussed. Allah knows best.