This is the collection of hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) that have been verified and compiled by Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismaeel bin al-Mughirah al-Bukhari (a.k.a Imam Al-Bukhari).
Who was Imam Al-Bukhari ?
He was a very noble man who was born on 13th of Shawwal 194 AH in Bukhara. He was blessed with an amazing memory and had memorised the Quran from a young age. He had also memorised many of the Prophet’s sayings.
Imam Al-Bukhari was said to have scrutinised more than 600,000 hadiths and whittled this down to a compilation of approximately 7,000 hadiths in a rendition known as Sahih Al-Bukhari
Was Imam Al-Bukhari a companion of the Prophet ?
No he wasn’t, but that doesn’t meant that his work has any less credibility. Instead he should be viewed as one of the great compilers of beneficial knowledge to the muslim world. He didn’t issue guidance from himself but instead was dedicated to gathering and filtering through sayings of the Prophet.
How accurate is Sahih Al-Bukhari ?
No man is infallible and we should remember that Imam Al-Bukhari was just a man, so yes there is potential room for slight error. However we understand that he was a man of great integrity, honesty and upright character, so any errors that would have come about would have been unintentional.
We should also understand that the way these hadiths were authenticated were by assessing the trustworthy nature of the chain of narrators. If Imam Al-Bukhari considered any of the chain of narrators to be untrustworthy then he would disregard the information.
But in saying this, we should always understand that the most complete book that the muslims have is the Holy Quran which does not have any mistakes in it as it was not revealed by men but rather by God. So we should always reference any texts against the Quran and see if the messages contradict each other. If the texts go against the Quran then we believe there to be an inaccuracy there.
What other sources of hadith are there other than Sahih Al-Bukhari ?
There are six rigorously authenticated and thus highly reputable hadith books in the Islamic world
- Sahih Bukhari
- Sahih Muslim
- Sunan Abu Dawood
- Jamí at-Tirmidhi
- Sunan Nasai
- Sunan Ibn Majah