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Biographical Information on
al-Bukhari

Category: Biography
[Biographical Notes in 'Reliance of the Traveller', Noah (Nuh) Ha Mim Keller, USA: Sunna Books, 1991 CE, x107 (pp. 1043-4) ]

Bukhari (Introduction) is Muhammad ibn Isma`il ibn Ibrahim ibn Mughira. Abu `Abdullah al-Bukhari, born in Bukhara (in present-day Uzbek S.S.R.) in 194/810. Raised as an orphan, he was a Shafi`i scholar who learned Sacred Law in Mecca from `Abdullah ibn Zubayr al-Humaydi, the disciple of Shafi`i, and he became the greatest Imam in hadith that the world has ever known. He began his long travels in search of hadith in A.H. 210, visiting Khurasan. Iraq, Egypt, the Hijaz. and Syria, hearing hadiths from nearly a thousand sheikhs, gathering some 600,000 prophetic traditions from which he selected the approximately 4,400 (not counting those repeated) that compose his Jami` al-Sahih [Rigorously authenticated collection]. Choosing them for their authenticity, he was the first scholar in Islam to compile a work on this basis, and his book is the foremost of the six great hadith collections. Ibn Khuzayma said of him, "No one under the sky is more knowledgeable in hadith", and Abu `Umar al-Khaffaf once referred to him as the "pure, godfearing scholar whom I have never seen anyone comparable to, Muhammad ibn Isma`il Bukhari, twenty times greater in knowledge of hadith than Ishaq [Rahawayh], Ahmad, or anyone else." At the end of his life some bigots attacked him for not agreeing with their misunderstanding of the uncreatedness of the Koran, and for his steadfastness in the convictions of Ahl al-Sunna they hounded him from Bukhara to Samarkand, where he died in the village of Khartan in 256/870 (al-A`lam (6.36), 6.34; Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (y128), 2.212-14; al-Targhib wa al-tarhib (y9), 1.19; N; and n).

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Created: October 1999