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Bardizba was a fire worshipper. His son Mugira accepted Islam on the hands of Ju\u2019fi the
governor of Bukhara. That is why the name Ju\u2019fi appears at the end of his name. There is
not much mention about Imam Bukhari\u2019s grandfather, Ebrahim. However his father,
Ismail, was a muhaddith and Ibn Hibban has rated him in the 4th category of reliable
muhadditheen. He has narrated from Hammad ibn Zaid and Imam Malik. Abu Hafs Kabir
says that he was present at the time of Ismails death when he heard him say: "I do not
have a single dirham of doubt in my earnings."
When Imam Saheb was 11 years old, he was once at the lesson of Imaam Daakli and
Imaam Daakhli narrated the following sanad: Sufyan from Abu Zubair from Ebrahim.
Imaam Saheb said that this sanad is incorrect because Abu Zubair did not narrate from
Ebrahim. When it was checked up, Imaam saheb was correct. (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Hashid bin Ismail mentions that Imam Bukhari (R.A.) in his youth use to come to the
Mashaaikh of Basra but he never used to write. After 16 days, we rebuked him for not
writing down the notes (Ahadith). After a while he said: "You have rebuked me enough -
bring your kitaabs." Haashid says: "We brought our kitaabs and Imam Saheb mentioned
each and every hadith with their sanads and also corrected our kitaabs and said: "You
think I\u2019m wasting my time!" (At that time there were over 15 000 Ahadith taken from those
Mashaaikh of Basra) (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Once Ishaaq bin Raah-weih mentioned that I know the 70 000 Ahadith mentioned in my
book like I\u2019m looking at them. When this was mentioned to Imam Bukhari (R.A.), he replied:
"You are astonished at that, perhaps in this time and age, there are such people who know
200 000 Ahadith as mentioned in the kitaab (by this Imam Saheb was referring to himself)
(Hadyus Saari pg.487).
Once when Imam Bukhari went to Baghdad, the muhadditheen got together and took 100
Ahadith and mixed up their sanads (chain of narrators) and matan (text). Thereafter 10
muhadditheen were appointed to present ten of these Ahadith each to him incorrectly.
When each Hadith was presented, he replied each time with these words: "I don\u2019t know this
Hadith." After all the Ahadith were presented to him, he mentioned each Hadith as it was
narrated by those ten muhadditheen and then mentioned the correct version of each one
(Hadyus Saari pg.486).
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) said he has more than 1000 Ustaads. He knows the chain of narrators
of every Hadith from every Ustaad. Ibn Hajar has categorized Bukhari\u2019s Ustaads into 5
1. Contemporaries of Tabi'een but did not narrate.
2. Heard from elderly Tabi'een.
3. Narrates from his colleagues who were his seniors.
4. Narrates from his juniors.
Imam Bukhari (rahmatullahi alaih) invested his money of inheritance from his fathers
estate and he should receive 500 dirhams monthly. All this used to be spent in attaining
He got sick, his container of food was shown to doctors, they said this is like the Raahibs. Imam Bukhaari did not eat curry for 40 years. When people insisted, he accepted to have bread and sugar as curry.
Imam Bukhari said: "From the time I knew backbiting is haraam I never spoke ill about
anyone." The need once arose for Imam bukhari (R.A.) to travel by sea. He had with him
1000 ashrafis (gold coins). While on the ship, he met a person who became very close to
Imam Saheb. One day (whhile on the ship) that person began shouting, when asked the
reason for the shouting he mentioned that he had a thousand Ashrafis that were missing.
While every passenger on the ship was being searched, Imam Bukhari (R.A.) threw his 1000
Ashrafis into the sea. After all the passengers on board were searched and the money not
found, the people began rebuking that person. When the journey ended that person came
to Imam Bukhari (R.A.) and enquired as to what he had done with the money. Imam
Bukhari (R.A.) replied that he had thrown it into the sea. That person asked why he had
borne such a huge loss. He replied: "Are you not aware that my entire life has been devoted
to the Ahadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and my authenticity is very
renowned. I was not prepared to loose what I had earned my entire life because of a few
gold coins." (Zafrul Muhassileen - pg.103)
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) mentioned: "I did not write any Hadith in this book before taking a
bath and performing 2 rakaats and I deduced this kitaab from 600 000 Ahadith in 16
1. According to ibn Taimiyyah (R.A.), Imam Bukhari was a mujtahid and an independent
Imam. 2. Allama Taqi\u2019uddeen Subki has regarded him as a Shafi because he was the
student of Humaidi, who was a Shafi. This conclusion is not correct because then Imam
Bukhari should be regarded as a Hanafi in view of Ishaaq ibn Raahwa - Imam Bukhari\u2019s
Ustaad being a student of Abdullah ibn Mubarak and Abdullah ibn Mubarak was a Hanafi.
After studying and closely looking at Imam Bukhari one will realise that Imam Bukhari did
not follow any one Imam, he has his independant views on many issues, therefore Allama
Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R.A.) and Sheikh Zakaria (R.A.) have the same view as that of
Allama Taimiyya that Imam Bukhari is a mujtahid.
Hazrath Moulana Fazlur Rahman is of the opinion that Imam Bukhari\u2019s Usools
(fundamental principles) are not known, it is difficult to regard him as an independant
Imam and Mujtahid.
My humble view is that not knowing the Usool of any Imam is not a criteria to disqualify
him from being a mujtahid, just as there were many other mujtahids other than the famous
and commonly known 4 Imams. Their usools are not known, but they were mujtahids or
else it would mean that their were only 4 mujtahids in this Ummat. Yes, one may say that
since the usools of Imam Bukhari are not known, he cannot be followed, just as we cannot
follow for eg. Sufyan Sawri, Sufyan Uyaina, etc. etc.
1st - When he issued a ruling that foster relationships are effective even by drinking goat and sheep milk. This was in his early days. There is speculation whether this incident is true or not.
Concerning the dispute with Imam Zuhli in Nishapur - When Imam Bukhari came to
Nishapur he was very warmly welcomed and Imam zuhli, who was also the Ustaad of Imam
Bukhari, encouraged the people to benefit and listen to ahadith from Imam Bukhari. Once
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