Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari

Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari (Persian: محمد بن اسماعيل بن ابراهيم بن مغيره بن بردزبه بخاری), popularly known as Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, (196-256AH / 810-870AD), was a Sunni Islamic scholar of Persia.[4][5] He authored the hadith collection namedSahih Bukhari, a collection which Sunni Muslims regard as the most authentic of all hadith compilations.

 

Biography

Early life

He was born in 810/194 in the city of Bukhara in Khorasan (now in Uzbekistan). His father, Ismail Ibn Ibrahim, was a known hadith scholar who died while he was young

The historian al-Dhahabi described his early academic life:

He began studying hadith in the year 205 (A.H.). He memorized the works of [‘Abdullah] ibn al-Mubaarak while still a child. He was raised by his mother because his father died when he was an infant. He traveled with his mother and brother in the year 210 after having heard the narrations of his region. He began authoring books and narrating hadith while still an adolescent. He said, “When I turned eighteen years old, I began writing about the Companions and the Followers and their statements. This was during the time of ‘Ubaid Allah ibn Musa (one of his teachers). At that time I also authored a book of history at the grave of the Prophet at night during a full moon.

Travels

At age of sixteen, he, together with his brother and widowed mother made the pilgrimage to Makkah. From there he made a series of travels in order to increase his knowledge of hadith. He went through all the important centres of Islamic learning of his time, talked to scholars and exchanged information on hadith. It is said that he heard from over 1,000 men, and learned over 700,000 traditions.

After sixteen years' absence he returned to Bukhara, and there drew up his al-Jami' as-Sahih, a collection of 7,275 tested traditions, arranged in chapters so as to afford bases for a complete system of jurisprudence without the use of speculative law.

His book is highly regarded among Sunni Muslims, and considered the most authentic collection of hadith (a minority of Sunni scholars consider Sahih Muslim, compiled by Bukhari's studentImam Muslim, more authentic). Most Sunni scholars consider it second only to the Qur'an in terms of authenticity. He also composed other books, including al-Adab al-Mufrad, which is a collection of hadiths on ethics and manners, as well as two books containing biographies of hadith narrators.

Muhammad al-Bukhari mausoleum near Samarkand, 

Last years

In the year 864/250, he settled in Nishapur. It was in Neyshābūr that he met Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. He would be considered his student, and eventually collector and organiser of hadith collection Sahih Muslim which is considered second only to that of al-Bukhari. Political problems led him to move to Khartank, a village near Samarkand where he died in the year 870/256

Writings

Below is a summary of the discussion of Bukhari's available works in Fihrist Muṣannafāt al-Bukhāri by Umm 'Abdullāh bint Maḥrūs, Muḥammad ibn Ḥamza and Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad.

Works describing narrators of hadith

Bukhari wrote three works discussing narrators of hadith with respect to their ability in conveying their material: the "brief compendium of hadith narrators," "the medium compendium" and the "large compendium" (al-Tarikh al-Kabīr, al-Tarīkh al-Ṣaghīr, and al-Tarīkh al-Awsaţ). The large compendium is published and well-identified. The medium compendium was thought to be the brief collection and was published as such. The brief compendium has yet to be found. Another work, al-Kunā, is on patronymics: identifying people who are commonly known as "Father of so-and-so". Then there is a brief work on weak narrators: al-Ḍu'afā al-Ṣaghīr.

Hadith Works

Two of Bukhari's hadith works have reached us: al-Adab al-mufrad ("the book devoted to matters of respect and propriety") and al-Jāmi’ al-Musnad al-Sahīh al-Mukhtaṣar min umūr Rasûl Allāh wa sunnanihi wa ayyāmihi – The abridged collection of sound reports with chains of narration going back all the way to the Prophet regarding matters pertaining to the Prophet, his practices and his times. – also known as Sahih Bukhari

School of thought

Bukhari was claimed by followers of the Shafi'i school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence as being from the Shafi school of thought, though members of both the Hanbali and Zahiri schools both levy this claim as well. Imam Bukhari (Rahimullah) said: “I don’t see any difference between praying Salah behind a Jahmi or a (Shia) Rafidhi and a Christian or a Jew. They (Jahmis/Rafidhis) are not to be greeted, nor are they to be visited, nor are they to be married, nor is their testimony to be accepted, nor are their sacrifices to be eaten.” (Khalq Af’aalul-’Ibaad)