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Biography of Imam Bukhari - Brief Facts About the Life of Great Tranditionist in the Islamic History

Updated on April 5, 2015

Imam Bukhari - A Great Traditionist in the History of Islam

Bukhari means a person who belongs to Bukhara. Actual name of Imam Bukahri is Hafiz Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma’il. He belonged to the tribe of Ju’fi surnamed. Imam Al-Bukhari, was the great Imam (leader) in the science of Tradition and the author of the work titled as “Al-Jami’ul Sahih” also known as Sahih Bukhari and considered as the most authentic book on the subject of Traditions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Animated with the desire of collecting Traditions he went to see most of the tranditionists in all the great cities, and he wrote down in Khurasan, in the mountains and cities of Iraq, in Hijaz, in Syria, and in Egypt. On his visiting Baghdad, the habitants thereof gathered round him, and acknowledged his merit, declared him to be the first Man of the Age of his learning in the Traditions, and for his talent in delivering them to others.

Imam Al-Bukhari a great Muhadis – Work of Imam Bukhari

It is related by Abu Abdullah Al-Humaidi in his Jadhwatua’l Muqtabis and by Khatib in his History of Baghdad, that when Imam Al-Bukhari arrived at that city, the Traditionists, hearing of his arrival, assembled and having selected one hundred Traditions, they applied to the text of each a wrong Isnaad (claim of narrators), and gave them by tens of different person whom they directed to attend the conference held by Imam Al-Bukhari and submit to him these traditions. When the appointed day came, a great number of tranditionists from Khurasan proceeded with those of Baghdad to the meeting. The assembly having taken their places, one of the men came forward and questioned Imam Al-Bukhari on one of these traditions. This doctor i.e. Imam Al-Bukhari, answered that he was not acquainted with it, and the other proceeded to ask his opinion on the remaining nine, which he submitted to him, successively. As Imam Al-Bukhari continued to answer, “I am not acquainted with it.” The jurist consults who were present at the meeting began to turn from one to another and say: “The man knows what he is about.” But those who opposed this view were led to conclude that he was a man of great incapacity and slight information and low understanding. Another of the ten men then came forward and having proposed in a similar manner his ten altered traditions, he obtained the same answer as his predecessor. The eight others advanced successively, but the result was always the same. When Imam Al-Bukhari perceived that they had done, he turned to the first man and said, “Thy first Tradition should be so and so; the second so and so,” repeating them till he came to the last and prefixing to the text of each the Isnaad (references to the persons who quoted the traditions) which belonged to it. He then commenced with the second man, answering him to the same way, and he continued till he ended by the tenth.

The whole assembly then acknowledged ability of Imam Al-Bukhari as a Hafiz (who memorizes the Quran), and admitted his superior merit. When Ibn Said spoke of Al-Bukahri he called him the butting-ram (whom none could withstand). Muhammad ibn Yusuf relates that he heard Imam Al-Bukhari say: “I never inserted a tradition in my Al-Sahih till after I have made an ablution and offered up a prayer.

It is also stated that Imam Al-Bukhari said: “It took me sixteen years to draw up the Kitabu’l Sahih. I selected the matter which forms its content from a mass of six hundred thousand Traditions, and I have offered it up to God as a title to His favor.

Al-Farabi mentioned that ninety thousand persons had learned the Al-Sahih from Imam Al-Bukhari and those of all who taught it on the authority of the author, he himself was the sole survivor. Abu Isa Tirmadhi also taught Traditions on the authority of Imam Al-Bukhari.

Birth of Imam Al-Bukhari:-

The birth of Imam Al-Bukhari took place after the public prayer of Friday, 13th of Shawwal 194 A.H. (After Hijrah) (July 810 A.D.). But Al-Khatib states in his Kitabul Irshad that it happened on the 12th of the above mentioned month.

Death of Imam Bukhari

He died at Khartank on the even of Saturday, the first of Shawwal 256 A.H. September 870 A.C. after the evening prayer and he was buried the following day on the termination of the afternoon prayer Ibn Yunus mentions, in his History of foreigners, that Imam Al-Bukhari came to Egypt and died there. The grave (Mazar) of Imam Bukhari is located in Bukhara.

Arrival of Imam Bukhari from Khurasan to Khartank

The governor of Khurasan, banished Imam Al-Bukhari from Bakhara and sent him to Khartank; Khalid then made the pilgrimage, and on arriving Baghdad, he was imprisoned by Al-Muwaffaq, the brother of the Caliph Al-Mu’tamid and died in his imprisonment.

Physic of Imam Bukhari

Imam Al-Bukhari was a lean bodied man and of the middle stature.

Ancestors of Imam Bukhari

Difference opinions are held respecting the true name of his ancestors (surnamed Al-Ahnaf); ibn Makula says in his Ikmal, that his name was Yazdibah. Another said that his ancestor was Magian and died on that religion.

The first of ancestors of Imam Bukhari who embraced Islam was Al-Mughira. In another work, it is stated that former of Imam Al-Bukhari’s ancestors called Al-Ahnaf, it is therefore, possible that Yazdibah was really Ahnaf or club-footed.


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    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 4 years ago

      ASA, A very nice hub thank you so much for sharing.