A brief introduction to Sahih Bukhari and Fat-h Al-bari


Imam Al-Bukhari

  • His name is  أبو عبدالله محمد بن إسماعيل بن إبراهيم بن المغيرة البخاري
  • He was born on Friday in the month of Shawwal in 194 AH, and grew up as an orphan
  • He began studying hadith before he was 10, and had memorised the books of عبدالله بن المبارك and وكيع when he was 13
  • At the age of 11, he corrected a teacher when he said the chain of narration incorrectly
  • He had more than 1000 teachers
  • He said that he never met someone except that the benefit they take from him is more than the benefit he takes from them
  • نجم بن فضيل saw in a dream Bukhari following the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and he was placing his feet in the exact same spot that the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم placed his feet
  • When he was young and studying hadith in Basrah, his teachers were concerned that he was not writing anything down, so the confronted him, and after 16 days he asked them to bring out everything they taught him, so they did and it was 15,000 ahadith. He then recited to them all 15,000 ahadith from memory
  • Thousands of people used to attend his classes in Basrah
  • Abu Hatim said that he was the most knowledgeable to enter Iraq
  • He died on the night of Eid-ul-fitr in 256 AH, aged 62
  • It is said that his grave smelled of musk when he was being buried, and many people took some of the sand with them due to the sweet smell it was giving away
Sahih Bukhari
  • He compiled the collection when إسحاق بن راهويه encouraged him to do so
  • He named the book, الجامع الصحيح المسند من حديث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و سننه وأيامه
  • He summarised the book from 600,000 ahadith he had memorised
  • He did not include a hadith in his collection except that he did wudhu and prayed two rak’ah before doing so
  • He compiled most of his collection in khurasan, and he completed the compilation between the prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم grave and pulpit i.e. in الروضة (Jannah)
  • Some of the conditions for a hadith to be included in his collection are:
    • Complete unbroken chain of narration leading to the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
    • No irregularities in the wording and meaning of the hadith
    • No ambiguities/reasons for doubt in the chain of narration and wording of the hadith
    • Every person in the chain of narration must be a trustworthy and upright person which fulfils many strict conditions
    • Must have proof that every two people composing of a connecting link in the chain of narration have met in their lifetime. (Many scholars stipulate that they must have been alive at the same time, and don’t look for evidence that they met but this is a more stricter, hence accurate approach)
  • It is a comprehensive book that contains everything and doesn’t deal with rulings only, hence it doesn’t start with the chapter of purification, but starts with the chapter of revelation
  • Scholars say studying the chapter names and order only from Sahih Bukhari is a wealth of knowledge in its own and is like a miracle
  • It contains 7397 ahadith with repetitions, and 2602 without repetitions
  • If a hadith is repeated, it is repeated with a totally different chain of narration
  • We take benefit from repeated ahadith in that we see which chapter they have been placed in, so we know how this hadith relates to that specific topic, as well as knowing more of the narrators of the ahadith from the chain of narration, along with many other benefits
  • There have been over 71 written explanations of Sahih Bukhari
Ibn Hajr Al-Asqalani
  • His name is شهاب الدين أبو الفضل أحمد بن علي بن محمد بن محمد بن حجر العسقلاني
  • He was born in the month of Sha’ban in 773 AH
  • He completed memorising the Qur’an at the age of 9
  • He travelled to seek knowledge in over 50 countries
  • He has written over 273 books
  • He married آنس خاتون who was a scholar of hadith and used to give lectures in the presence of her husband
  • He died on the 18th of Dhul Hijjah, in 852 AH and over 50,000 people attended his funeral
Fat-h Al-Bari
  • Not the first book to have this name, as Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali had an explanation of Sahih Bukhari named Fat-h Al-bari, but was unable to complete it
  • He began writing it in 815 AH, and completed it in 842 AH
  • He had a big celebration after completing the writing of Fat-h Al-bari which was the biggest celebration in Egypt in that time period
  • The celebration was witnessed by everyone, including judges, leaders, and scholars from all four schools of thought
  • His explanation follows the following format:
    • Mention the relationship between the hadith and the chapter it is placed in
    • Mention the benefits to be taken from the chain of narration
    • Explains the correct way of saying and pronouncing the hadith
    • Mentions the many benefits to be taken from the text of the hadith i.e. manners, rulings, matters of belief etc

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