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A L - H I D A Y A H S E R I E S

______________________________________________________________________________

IMAM BUKHARI
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and the Love of the


PROPHET ‫ع‬
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V O L U M E 1
n

Compiled from the lectures of


SHAYKH-UL-ISLAM

Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

M IN H A J - UL- QUR A N I NT ER NA T IO NA L
5
‫ﺍ‬‫ﺑﺪ‬‫ﺎ ﹶﺃ‬‫ﺋﻤ‬‫ﺍ‬‫ﻢ ﺩ‬ ‫ﺳﱢﻠ‬ ‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﺻ ﱢﻞ‬
 ‫ﻱ‬  ‫ﻮ ﹶﻻ‬ ‫ﻣ‬
‫ﺨ ﹾﻠ ﹺﻖ ﹸﻛﱢﻠ ﹺﻬ ﹺﻢ‬
 ‫ﻴ ﹺﺮ ﺍﹾﻟ‬‫ﺧ‬ ‫ﻚ‬ ‫ﻴﹺﺒ‬‫ﺣﹺﺒ‬ ‫ﻋﻠﹶﻰ‬
‫ﻴ ﹺﻦ‬‫ﺍﻟﱠﺜ ﹶﻘﹶﻠ‬‫ﻴ ﹺﻦ ﻭ‬‫ﻧ‬‫ﻮ‬ ‫ﺪ ﺍﹾﻟ ﹶﻜ‬ ‫ﻴ‬‫ﺳ‬ ‫ﺪ‬ ‫ﻤ‬ ‫ﺤ‬
 ‫ﻣ‬
‫ﺠ ﹺﻢ‬ ‫ﻋ‬ ‫ﻦ‬ ‫ﻣ‬ ‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﺏ‬ ‫ﺮ ﹴ‬ ‫ﻋ‬ ‫ﻦ‬ ‫ﻣ‬ ‫ﻴ ﹺﻦ‬‫ﻳ ﹶﻘ‬‫ﺍﹾﻟ ﹶﻔ ﹺﺮ‬‫ﻭ‬

O Lord send endless blessings & peace,


Upon your beloved, the best of creation...
Muhammad, Master of both Worlds, and Both Species [human & sprite]
and both Assemblages - Arabs and all others
EXCERPT FROM IMAM BUSIRI’S RENOWNED ‘POEM OF THE CLOAK’
1268 C.E

%‫ﻢ‬ ‫ﺳﱠﻠ‬ ‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﻙ‬ ‫ﺭ‬ ‫ﺎ‬‫ﻭﺑ‬ ‫ﻪ‬ ‫ﺤﹺﺒ‬


‫ﺻ‬ ‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﻪ‬ ‫ﻟ‬‫ﻋﻠﹶﻰ ﺁ‬ ‫ﻭ‬ ‫ﻪ‬ ‫ﻴ‬‫ﹶﻠ‬‫ﺎﻟﹶﻰ ﻋ‬‫ﺗﻌ‬ ‫ﺻﻠﱠﻰ ﺍﷲ‬
^
Abundant Peace and blessings of Allah the Exalted be upon the Prophet,
his Family, and his Companions
TRANSLITERATION KEY

‫ﺍ‬ alif a ‫ﻁ‬ ṭā ṭ


ā (long vowel) ‫ﻅ‬ ẓā ẓ
‫ﺏ‬ bā b ‫ﻉ‬ ‘ayn ‘
‫ﺕ‬ tā t ‫ﻍ‬ ghayn gh
‫ﺙ‬ thā th ‫ﻑ‬ fā f
‫ﺝ‬ jīm j ‫ﻕ‬ qāf q
‫ﺡ‬ ḥā ḥ ‫ﻙ‬ kāf k
‫ﺥ‬ khā kh ‫ﻝ‬ lām l
‫ﺩ‬ dāl d ‫ﻡ‬ mīm m
‫ﺫ‬ dhāl dh ‫ﻥ‬ nūn n
‫ﺭ‬ rā r ‫ﻫـ‬ hā h
‫ﺯ‬ zāy z ‫ﻭ‬ wāw w (consonantal)
‫ﺱ‬ sīn s ū (long vowel)
‫ﺵ‬ shīn sh ‫ﻱ‬ yā y (consonantal)
‫ﺹ‬ ṣād ṣ ī (long vowel)
‫ﺽ‬ ḍād ḍ ‫ﺀ‬ hamza ’

Short vowels:
CCP KEY (CLASSICAL َ--- (fatḥa) = a
COMMENTRY PARADIGM)

H = Hadith ---ِ--- (kasra) = i


C = Commentary
---ُ--- (ḍamma) = u
E.g., C1 = Commentry 1
CONTENTS
o

INTRODUCTION 8

PART 1a
The Life and Travels of Imam al-Bukhari
__________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction: The Early Life of Sayyidunā Imām Bukhārī 20


2. Imām Bukhārī was a Student of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa
through his Father’s Chains of Authority 22
3. The Sublime Status of the Holy Prophet (Blessings & Peace be upon him) 24
4. The Hadithic link between Imam Bukhari and Imam Abu Hanifa 27
5. Imām Bukhārī received his Thulāthiyāt through the Students
of Imam Abū Hanīfa 30
6. Imām Bukhārī’s Journeying in Pursuit of Hadīth 33
7. Imām Bukhārī completed his collection at the Blessed Grave of the Prophet
(Blessings & Peace be upon him) 38
8. Lessons From the Life of the Noble Imām 40
9. The Number of Narrators in Sahih al-Bukhārī 43
10. The Students of Imām Bukhārī 45
11. Two of the Five Main Transmitters of Sahīh al-Bukhārī were Hanafi 46
12. Imām Bukhārī Studied the Works of the Hanafis 50
13. The Necessity of Combining Exoteric and Esoteric knowledge 54
14. Imām Bukhārī Sought Blessings from the Prophet’s Blessed Hair 58

PART 1b
1. The First Chapter of Sahih Bukhari 58
H1. THE HADĪTH OF INTENTION 60
COMMENTARY 61
C1. Imam Bukhari was an Ocean of Adab 63
C2. The Link between the Hadīth of Intention and the Beginning of Revelation 65
C3. The Secrets of Jalwa (unveiling) & Khalwa (seclusion) 66
C4. The Stages of Spiritual Migration (hijra) 69
C5. Allah Always Conjunctions His Name with the Holy Prophet’s Name 72
C6. Actions Have an Apparent Form (zāhir) and a Hidden Meaning (bātin) 74

PART 2
Imam al-Bukhari and the Ahadith on Love
__________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction 78

H2 & H3. LOVE OF THE MESSENGER IS FROM FAITH 79


COMMENTARY 80
C1. True Faith Rests Upon Loving the Prophet More Than Everything Else 80
C2. Faith Springs From Love Not Action 88

H4. EXPERIENCING SWEETNESS OF FAITH 99


COMMENTARY 100
C1. The Station of the Holy Prophet in the Sight of Allah 100
C2. Love for Allah, the Prophet, and the Awliya 103

H5. TO LOVE THE MADINAN HELPERS 110


COMMENTARY 110

CONCLUSION 112
BIBLIOGRAPHY 113
IMAM BUKHARI & THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

INTRODUCTION

The fabric of our civilisation is woven


out of the example set by our Prophet
(Blessings and Peace be upon him).
MARTIN LINGS

T
HE RECORDING OF HISTORY is often maligned by the
opinions and prejudices of its recorders. People have a
natural tendency to relate what they would like to have
happened, rather than objectively stating what actually took
place. However, the giants of the Islamic scholastic tradition,
uniquely freed humanity from the egoistic shackles of
chauvinism and prejudice. Imam al-Qastallānī narrates in his al-
Mawāhib that Imam Abū Ḥātim Muḥammad ibn Idrīs ar-Rāzi
said, ‘since the beginning of creation, no nation has preserved
the traditions of their Prophet like the community of the
Prophet Muḥammad (blessings and peace be upon him).’ The
Ulema of Ḥadīth and its ancillary sciences stipulated rigorous
criteria to accept or reject a narration, regardless of personal
preferences. This is one of the reasons why even the six
canonical Ḥadīth collections are replete with apparently
‘contradictory’ accounts of a single event.

8
INTRODUCTION

The early Ḥadīth scholars — may Allah be pleased with


them all— established a sophisticated science for ascertaining
the authenticity of narrations based primarily upon the
uprightness, retentiveness and piety of its narrators. The science
of Ḥadīth methodology and classification is extremely
meticulous and has successfully preserved the purity and
transparency of the Prophetic Sunna. Due to the vast and
complex nature of the science it is impossible for us to delve
into any of its intricacies here.
In light of the principles and criteria alluded to above, well
over a 100 Ḥadīth collections had been compiled before Imam
al-Bukhārī, initiating in the time of the Prophet (blessings and
peace be upon him) himself. Bukhārī’s work however, is unique
in the extensive history of Ḥadīth compilation because it
consists of narrations that accomplish the highest level of
authenticity in human history. Thus his work was accepted in
all corners of the Muslim world, as the most authentic source of
legal, moral and spiritual guidance after the Book of Allah
(Exalted be He) - the Quran.

IMAM AL-BUKHĀRĪ AND HIS COMPENDIUM


Imam Abu Abdullah Muḥammad bin Ismaʿīl bin Ibrahīm al-
Bukhārī (194 - 256 AH) was undoubtedly one of the greatest
and most ingenious Ḥadīth scholars to have ever walked the face
of the Earth. His status as both a scholar and a saint is

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IMAM BUKHARI & THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

profoundly attested to by a multitude of major Ḥadīth masters.


One of his most eminent students, Imam Muḥammad ibn
Yūsuf al-Farabrī narrated that Imam al-Bukhārī began to attend
the circles of the Ḥadīth masters at the age of 10, and whilst still
in his adolescence, the Imam had memorised over 70,000
narrations.
The Imam was gifted with natural intelligence and a
photographic memory such that one of his fellow students,
Imam Hāshid ibn Ismaʿīl states that during the transmission of
Ḥadīth, Imam al-Bukhārī would not write anything down. He
continued this practise for a substantial period and our
concerns about the Imam continued to grow. On one occasion,
the students advised the Imam that he should write down the
narrations that he hears, so that his knowledge is preserved and
his time is not squandered. Imam al-Bukhārī requested the
scribes to check their notebooks as he recited over 15,000
narrations that he had memorised but not noted.
Imam ibn Abī Ḥātim narrates that he saw Imam al-Bukhārī
in a dream. He was walking behind the Prophet (blessings and
peace be upon him) placing his feet exactly in the Prophet’s
footsteps.
Imam al-Bukhārī’s compendium, the Jāmiʿ Ṣaḥīḥ is widely
regarded as the most authentic source of religious teachings
after the Quran. Imam al-Qastallānī stated that the work of
Imam al-Bukhārī is the most authentic compilation in Ḥadīth

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INTRODUCTION

literature; it is widely accepted and referred to by the Scholastic


community (Ulema) of every age and it surpasses all Ḥadīth
collections that precede or follow it.
Imam Abu Zayd al-Marwazi relates that he saw the Prophet
(blessings and peace be upon him) in a dream; who said to him,
‘for how long will you recite the book of ash-Shāfiʿī and not
recite my book?’ Abu Zayd asked the Prophet (blessings and
peace be upon him), ‘o Messenger of Allah, what is your book?’
The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) replied, ‘the
compendium of al-Bukhārī (is my book).’
Imam ibn al-Ḥajar records in his Fatḥ al-Bārī that Imam al-
Bukhārī would make Ghusl (ritual bath) and pray two cycles of
voluntary prayer before including any Ḥadīth in his collection.
He led a life of scrupulousness and renunciation, oblivious to
food and drink, surviving only on a few almonds and some
water a day. The Imam travelled far and wide in pursuit of
knowledge, from the deserts of the Ḥjāz to the civilisation of
Baghdad and Kufa.
Another manifestation of the acceptance of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
among the scholars is the multitude of commentaries,
summarisations and marginal notes written on it by Scholars
from a wide array of scholastic fields. The total number of such
works amounts to well over a 100. Imam Zakariyyah al-
Khandelwi, in his preamble to Lāmiʿ ud-Durārī provides a list
of over a 100 hundred scholars and their works on the Ṣaḥīḥ of
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IMAM BUKHARI & THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

Imam al-Bukhārī. Some of the most extensive works and their


famous authors include:
Z Imam ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (Fatḥ al-Bārī)
Z Imam Badr ad-Dīn al-ʿAynī (ʿUmdat al-Qārī)
Z Imam Aḥmad bin Muḥammad al-Qastallānī (al-Irshād
as-Sārī)
Z Imam Shams ad-Dīn al-Kirmānī (al-Kawākib ad-Darāri)
Z Imam an-Nawawī (he was unable to complete his
commentary)
Z Imam Abu Muḥammad ibn Ḥazam
Z Imam ʿAli bin Mulaqqin
Z ʿAllāmah Shams ad-Dīn al-Barmāwi
Z Imam ibn Kathīr (He was unable to complete his
commentary)
Z Imam ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī
Z Imam Sirāj al-Bulqīnī
Z Imam Majd ad-Dīn al-Firozabādī
Z Al-ʿĀrif al-Imam ʿAbdullah bin Saʿad bin Abī Jamrah
(Bahjat an-Nufūs)
Z Imam Aḥmad bin Ismaʿīl bin Muḥammad al-Kawrānī al-
Ḥanafī
Z Imam Fakhr al-Islam al-Bazdawi
Z Imam Najm ad-Din Abu Ḥafs ʿUmar bin Muḥammad
an-Nasafī al-Ḥanafī
Z Fatḥ al-Bārī and ʿUmdat al-Qārī

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IMAM BUKHARI AND THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

P A R T 1 a
_______________________________________

THE LIFE AND TRAVELS OF


IMĀM BUKHĀRĪ
(may Allāh be well pleased with him)

D
EAR TRAVELLERS ON THE PATH TO ALLĀH and the
Holy Prophet Muḥammad (blessings and peace be
upon him)! Riding on the steed of love and hoping
for some divine drops of His gnosis (ma‘rifa) and nearness, I
hope Allāh Almighty, providing that you remain firm, steadfast
and continuously attached to this Prophetic mission — with
piety and purity, serenity and God weariness — will lead you,
by His grace and blessings, to your destination in this life and
the hereafter.

1. INTRODUCTION: THE EARLY LIFE OF


SAYYIDUNĀ IMĀM BUKHĀRĪ

To begin with we will concentrate on the life of Imām al-


Bukhārī; presenting some important aspects and significant
events of his life, which shall, God willing, assist us in properly

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THE LIFE & TRAVELS OF IMAM BUKHARI

appreciating the reality of his personality and works.


Unfortunately, he is amongst those great authorities of the
Muslim Umma who have been both misunderstood and
misrepresented in some circles of the Umma.
Imām Abū ‘Abdu’llāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm
ibn Mughīra was born in the famous city of Bukhārā on the
13th of Shawwāl 194 AH (20th July 810 CE), following the
Friday prayer. He died on the night of ‘Īdu’l-Fiṭr, in a village
known as Khartank, near the city of Samarqand (present-day
Uzbekistan) and was buried the following day, after Dhuhr
prayer.1
Imām al-Bukhārī’s academic and spiritual development
began as the result of a miraculous event. During his infancy he
lost his eyesight. His mother who a great saint of her time
prayed intensely that Almighty Allāh restore her son’s eyesight.
One night, she saw the Prophet Ibrāhīm (peace be upon him)
in a dream who brought her glad tidings of the restoration of
her son’s eyesight. When she awoke in the morning, she saw
that the Imam’s eyesight had indeed been restored. 2 An
important note here (in light of this event) is that there are
many people who claim to know Imām Bukhārī, yet they mock
dreams, rejecting their reality and meaningfulness. They do not

1
an-Nawawī, Tahdhīb al-Asmā’ wa’l-Lughāt, vol. 1, p. 86; Ibn al-Athīr, al-Kamil
fi’t-Tārīkh, vol. 6, p. 228.
2
adh-Dhahabī, Siyar A‘lām an-Nubalā’, vol. 12, p. 393.

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IMAM BUKHARI AND THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

believe that blessings can be attained through dreams. Whether


or not such a notion is correct will be clarified through the
collection of Prophetic traditions pertaining to this topic in
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.
When he was 10-11 years of age he began going to his
shuyūkh (teachers) to study classical Islamic sciences.3 n

2. IMĀM BUKHĀRĪ WAS A STUDENT OF IMĀM


ABŪ Ḥ ANĪFA THROUGH HIS FATHER’S CHAINS
OF AUTHORITY

Imām al-A‘ẓam Abū Ḥanīfa (may Allāh be well pleased with


him) was born in 80 AH and passed away in the year 150 AH,
44 years before Imām Bukhārī’s birth.4 This meant that Imām
al-Bukhārī could not have personally received knowledge from
Imām Abū Ḥanīfa; although he studied with at least 40 of his
students and the total number of Imām al-Bukhārī’s teachers
was 1080.5
In those days, studying under someone meant that the
person received knowledge of ḥadīth through authentic chains
of transmission, from person to person. In this way the

3
adh-Dhahabī, Siyar A‘lām an-Nubalā’, vol. 12, p. 393.
4
al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, Tarīkh Baghdād, vol. 13, p. 326; adh-Dhahabī, Siyar
A‘lām an-Nubalā’, vol. 6, p. 395; Abū Isḥāq Shīrāzī, Ṭabaqātu’l-Fuqahā’, vol. 1,
p. 87.
5
al-‘Asqalānī, Muqaddima Fatḥu’l-Bārī, p. 479.

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THE LIFE & TRAVELS OF IMAM BUKHARI

transmitter(s) of the ḥadīth become the shuyūkh (pl. of shaykh)


of the students. From the 1080 teachers of Imām al-Bukhārī,
40 were the direct students of Imām Abū Ḥanīfa as well as the
students of his senior most students, namely Imām Abū Yūsuf
and Imām Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan ash-Shaybānī and many
others, thus making him the grand-student of Imām Abū
Ḥanīfa.
Imām al-Bukhārī’s father, Imām Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm al-
Bukhārī (may Allāh be well pleased with him) died when Imām
al-Bukhārī was still young and so he was unable to receive
knowledge directly from his father. However, Imām Ismā‘īl left
behind collections of aḥādīth (pl. of ḥadīth) in the form of
books and manuscripts and a compendium of knowledge that
he had received from his own teachers. Imām al-Bukhārī
inherited this material from his father and was thus able to
acquire the knowledge of his father and his teachers.
In the science of ḥadīth (uṣūl al-ḥadīth) this is known as al-
wijāda (discovery/finding) and is considered an established and
sound method of transmission. The scholars have stipulated
eight methods for the transmission and reception of Hadith, of
which direct listening (as-samā’) from the shaykh, reciting before
the shaykh (al-qirā’a) and receiving permission (al-ijāza) are but
a few examples. Amongst these methods is the aforementioned
al-wijāda, which is where either the teacher gives a narration to
the student in written form or the student finds a tradition in

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IMAM BUKHARI AND THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

the writing of a shaykh and transmits it, without ever having


met the shaykh or studied under him. n

3. THE SUBLIME STATUS OF THE HOLY


PROPHET (Blessings & Peace Be Upon Him)

A significant example of al-wijāda is found in the relationship


of the Muslim Umma to the Best of Creation (blessings and
peace be upon him). We are all students of the greatest teacher,
the Prophet Muḥammad, the Beloved, the Chosen one
(blessings and peace be upon him); for we are receiving
knowledge of his sayings that are recorded in the books of
ḥadīth and transmitted through continuous chains of narrators.
Not only are the Muslims the students of the Prophet (blessings
and peace be upon him) but also the past communities (al-
umam as-sābiqa), the Jews and the Christians, who were given
prophetic dispensations in the form of the Gospels and the
Psalms. Although this period was thousands of years before the
physical birth of the Holy Prophet (blessings and peace be upon
him), they are still considered his students because he was
spiritually present. Spiritually the Prophet Muḥammad
(blessings and peace be upon him) was created before the
creation of the whole universe, before the existence of any
nation or community and before the raising of any Messenger

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THE LIFE & TRAVELS OF IMAM BUKHARI

or Prophet. This is mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān, when Allāh


states:

…çµtΡρ߉Ågs† “Ï%©!$# ¥_ÍhΓW{$# ¢É<¨Ζ9$# tΑθß™§9$# šχθãèÎ7−Ftƒ tÏ%©!$#)

(.È≅‹ÅgΥM}$#uρ Ïπ1u‘öθ−G9$# ’Îû öΝèδy‰ΨÏã $¹/θçGõ3tΒ


Those who follow the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon
him), the Prophet who studied only under Almighty Allāh, of
whom they find written with them, in the Torah and the Gospel.6

al-Wijāda (finding/discovery), as a method of reception is


derived from the word yajidūnahū in the above-mentioned
verse7 and it is through wijāda that both the past nations and
the Muslim community became the recipients of prophetic
knowledge.
Another crucial clarification here is with regard to the
Qur’ānic term ummī. Many people translate this word as
‘ignorant’ or ‘illiterate’. This however is completely wrong! In
terms of its etymology, the word ummī in no way indicates
illiteracy or ignorance! In fact as a technical term, ummī refers

6
al-Qur’ān, al-A‘rāf (The Heights), 7:157.
7
For a detailed study of the evidences for al-wijāda from the Qur’ān and
ḥadīth, refer to Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muḥammad Ṭāhir-ul-Qādrī’s
masterpiece on the ḥadīth sciences, al-Khuṭba as-Sadīda fī Uṣūli’l-Ḥadīth wa
Furū‘il-‘Aqīda.

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IMAM BUKHARI AND THE LOVE OF THE PROPHET

to ‘one who has never studied under a teacher’ or ‘one who did
not study through the common methods prevalent in the
world.’8 This raises the following question, ‘how can one have
no teacher (amongst creation) and yet be the source of
knowledge for the whole of humanity?’ The answer is provided
in the Qur’ān, when Almighty Allāh declares Himself the
teacher of the Prophet Muḥammad (blessings and peace be
upon him). He says:

y7ø‹n=tã «!$# ã≅ôÒsù šχ%x.uρ 4 ãΝn=÷ès? ä3s? öΝs9 $tΒ šyϑ©=tãuρ)

(∩⊇⊇⊂∪ $VϑŠÏàtã
And He taught you whatever you did not know and Allāh’s grace
upon you was great.9

$oΨÏG≈tƒ#u öΝä3ø‹n=tæ (#θè=÷Gtƒ öΝà6ΖÏiΒ Zωθß™u‘ öΝà6‹Ïù $uΖù=y™ö‘r& !$yϑx.)

$¨Β Νä3ßϑÏk=yèãƒuρ sπyϑò6Ïtø:$#uρ |=≈tGÅ3ø9$# ãΝà6ßϑÏk=yèãƒuρ öΝà6ŠÏj.t“ãƒuρ

(∩⊇∈⊇∪ tβθßϑn=÷ès? (#θçΡθä3s? öΝs9


Likewise, We have sent to you (Our) Messenger from among
yourselves who recites to you Our verses and purifies you (your

8
Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān’ul-‘Arab, vol. 12, p. 34; Zabīdī, Tāju’l-‘Urūs, vol. 16, p. 29.
9
al-Qur’ān, an-Nisā’ (The Women), 4:113.

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