These two collections are of such paramount importance to the ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a that they have become, for Muslims in general, the two principal references and primary sources in every religious research work. It has become difficult for some to report the absurd [traditions], contradictions and objectionable [things] they discover, so they accept them reluctantly. They do not reveal them to their people, either out of fear of them or fear for them. In their souls is instilled respect and veneration of these two books, when, in fact, al-Bukhari and Muslim never dreamt even for a day that they would get the veneration from the scholars or the general public.
If we begin to criticize and relate some refutations against them, this is only done so as to exonerate our Prophet (S.A.W.) and to remove any scar on his infallibility. If some companions are not spared from this criticism and refutation and become targets of it, then surely al-Bukhari and Muslim are not better than those who were close to the bearer of the message.
Our goal is only the exoneration of the Arab Prophet (S.A.W.) and to try our utmost to establish his infallibility and that he was the most knowledgeable and pious of all men. We believe that Allah, Glory be to Him, chose him to be a mercy for all the worlds and sent him to both mankind and the jinn. There is no doubt that Allah requires of us that we exonerate His Prophet [from any untruth], that we sanctify him, and that we do not tolerate abuses against him.
As a result of this, we and every Muslim are obligated to refute anything opposing the exalted character which was his particular trait, and to disprove anything which contradicts his infallibility or his noble personality, regardless of whether that is from near or distant. The companions, the successors, the Imams, the hadith scholars, every Muslim, in fact all of mankind profess his superiority and outstanding qualities.
Those who criticize him oppose or those who are prejudiced will, as usual, be enraged against everything new. But the pleasure of Allah, Glory be to Him, is the goal; and the pleasure of His Prophet is our hope. That is the true dividend, treasury and our capital on the day when neither wealth nor children will be of benefit, except he who comes to Allah with a pure heart.
Despite all of this, it is upon us to please and console the true believers who realize the status of Allah and of His Prophet (P) before they know the power of the rulers, the Caliphs and the Sultans.
I recall having to endure stern objections so much so that I was accused of disbelief and having gone out of religion when I criticized al-Bukhari for his narration of the hadith of Moses slapping the angel of death and gouging out his eyes. It was said to me: "Who are you to criticize al-Bukhari?" There arose around me so much noise and commotion as if I had criticized a verse from Allah's book.
In reality, if a researcher were to free himself from the yoke of blind imitation and abject fanaticism, he would find in al-Bukhari and Muslim strange and astonishing things which reflect absolutely the outlook of the Bedouin Arab whose thinking is still stagnant, believing in some tales and legends. His thinking leans towards everything that is strange. This itself is not a fault, and we do not accuse him of mental deficiency for his early era was not the time of electronic technology, nor of television, the telephone or rocket.
However, we also do not desire that this be associated with the bearer of the message (S.A.W.), for in this there is a huge and vast difference. He is the one whom Allah sent amongst the illiterate to recite to them His verses, to purify and to teach them the book and wisdom since he is the seal of the Prophets and Apostles, Allah bestowed him with the knowledge that came before and that which was to come.
We have to draw to the respected reader's attention that not everything in al-Bukhari is attributed to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) Al-Bukhari has related hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W.), then attached the views of some companions. The reader assumes that the view or tradition is from the Prophet when, in fact, it is not his. Let me cite an example:
In "The book of Stratagems,” in "The Chapter on Marriage,” volume 8, page 62, al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih: "From Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: 'The virgin is not to be married off until her permission is sought, and the non-virgin until she has been consulted.’ It was said: 'O Prophet of Allah, how do we know of her permission?'
He replied: 'If she stays silent.’ Some of the people said: 'If the virgin's permission has not been sought, and she is not married, and a man her deceives by producing two false witnesses [to testify] that he has married her with her consent, and the Qadi rules on the validity of the marriage, then, although the man knows that the testimony is false, there is no harm if he consummates it for it is now a valid marriage.'"
Examine the narration of al-Bukhari (after the hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W.)) "and some people said". Why [do we need] the speech of some people (and they are unknown) that marriage by false testimony is legal? The reader assumes that is the view of the Prophet, which is not true.
Another example, in "The Book of The Beginning of Creation,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of the Muhajirun and their superiority" volume 4, p. 203 al-Bukhari reports in his Sahih from 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar (R) who said: "During the time of the Prophet (S.A.W.), we never took anyone to be equal to Abu Bakr, then after him 'Umar, then 'Uthman and after that we left the companions of the Prophet without according anyone superiority over the others.”
That is the view of 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar and no one is responsible for it except himself. Otherwise, how could 'Ali b. Abi Talib, who was the best of men after the Prophet of Allah, not be accorded any preference and 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar regarded him as the same as the other men? As a result, you find that 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar refused to give the pledge to the Commander of the Faithful and their master; one who did not take 'Ali as his master is not a believer.
'Ali is the one of whom the Prophet said: "'Ali is with the truth and the truth is with 'Ali.” Instead, we find him (Ibn 'Umar) pledging allegiance to the enemy of Allah, His Prophet and the believers, al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf, the corrupt and immoral one.
We do not wish to return to such topics, but we desire to make it clear to the reader the character of al-Bukhari and those of his type. He reports this hadith in the chapter on the merits of the Muhajirun, as if he is covertly implying to the readers that this is the Prophet's (S.A.W.) view, whereas it is the view of 'Abd Allah b. 'Umar who declared Imam 'Ali to be an enemy.
We will prove to the discerning reader the position of al-Bukhari on everything concerning 'Ali b. Abi Talib and how he tried his utmost to hide his merits and disseminate any faults attributed to him.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of the Beginning of Creation" in "The Chapter of al-Humaydi informed us": "Muhammad b. Kathir informed us that Sufyan informed him that Jami' b. Abi Rashid informed him that Abu Ya'la was informed by Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, who said: 'I said to my father: 'Who is the best of men after the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)?' He said: 'Abu Bakr.’ I said: 'Then who?' He said: 'Then 'Umar'. I was afraid now that he would say 'Uthman so I said: 'Then you.’ He said: 'I am nothing but a man amongst the Muslims.'"
They attributed this hadith to Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya, the son of Imam 'Ali b. Abi Talib. It is similar to that reported previously from Ibn 'Umar. The conclusion in the end is one; Ibn al-Hanafiyya feared that his father would say 'Uthman is the third [best person] but instead his father said: "I am nothing but a man from amongst the Muslims;” this means then that 'Uthman is better than him for there is none amongst the ahl al-sunna who says that 'Uthman is simply a man amongst the Muslims. Instead they say, as noted, that the best of men is Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthman and then we leave the rest of the companions of the Prophet (P) without giving preference to any of them, and all men after them are equal.
Are you not surprised at these traditions which al-Bukhari narrates? All lead to one goal, i.e., the denial of any merit to 'Ali b. Abi Talib. Is it not to be understood from this that al-Bukhari used to write everything which pleased the Banu Umayyads and the Banu 'Abbas and all the rulers who undertook to denigrate the ahl al-bayt? These are cogent arguments for whoever wishes to find the truth.
In volume four, page 149, al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of The Beginning of Creation" and in "The Chapter [entitled] 'Al-Yaman informed us'" which Muslim also reported in his Sahih, in "The Book on the Merits of the Companions" in "The Chapter On the Merits of Abu Bakr, the Truthful (R)": from Abu Hurayra, who said: "The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) prayed the morning prayer then faced the people and said: 'Once a man was leading a cow, rode on it and beat it whereupon it said: 'We were not created for this. We were created for tilling [the land].’
The people said: 'Glory be to Allah! A cow speaking?' He said: 'I believe in this, Abu Bakr and 'Umar also do.’ They were not present. 'And once there was a man amongst his flocks, a wolf raided them and took a sheep. So the man pursued him until he came close to rescuing it. The wolf said: 'You are rescuing it from me and who will rescue it on the day of hunting when there will be no shepherd for it, but me?' The people said: 'Glory be to Allah, a wolf speaking?' He said: 'I believe in this, Abu Bakr and 'Umar also do.’ The two were not present.”
This hadith is manifestly difficult [to accept]; it is amongst the forged traditions on the merits of the two Caliphs. If not, how come the people belied it even though they were the companions of the Prophet of Allah (P)? What he told them he had to say twice: "I believe in this, Abu Bakr and 'Umar and I do.”
Then observe how the reporter reaffirms the absence of Abu Bakr and 'Umar on both occasions. These "merits" are laughable and have no meaning. But the people are like those engrossed by hashish. The forgers, when they cannot find an event or important occurrence to mention the two, create images of such merits. Most of these are dreams, imaginations or interpretations. They are not based on historical, logical or scientific proofs.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of The Merits of the Companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.)", in "The Chapter on the Saying of the Prophet 'Were I to take a sincere friend....'" as did Muslim in his Sahih in "The Book of The Merits of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (R)" the following hadith: "From 'Amr b. al-'As that the Prophet sent him to the army of al-Salasil. So I ('Amr) came to him and said: 'Who is the most beloved of people to you?' He said: ''A'isha'. I said: 'Amongst the men?' He said: 'Her father'. I said: 'Then who?' he said: ''Umar b. al-Khattab, for he is a man.'"
This hadith was fabricated by forgers who realized that history has recorded that in the year 8 A.H. (i.e., two years before the death of the Prophet (S.A.W.)), the Prophet sent an army in which were Abu Bakr and 'Umar under the command of 'Amr b. al-'As to the battle of al-Salasil. To deny the claim of anyone who might advocate the superiority of 'Amr b. al-'As over Abu Bakr and 'Umar, you see them fabricating this hadith and attributing this to 'Amr himself to affirm the superiority of Abu Bakr and 'Umar. They also involved 'A'isha to dispel any doubts on the one hand, and so that they could ascribe to her absolute superiority on the other.
As a result, you find that Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Sahih Muslim, saying: "This is a clear statement regarding the overwhelming excellences of Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'A'isha (R). In it is clear proof for the ahl al-sunna on the superiority of Abu Bakr, then 'Umar over all the companions.”
This is like the rest of the absurd traditions which the swindlers did not hesitate to fabricate even attributing them to 'Ali b. Abi Talib himself; thereby negating, in their view, the argument of the Shi'as who claim the superiority of 'Ali b. Abi Talib over all the companions on the one hand, and to delude the Muslims into thinking that 'Ali was not oppressed and that he did not complain to Abu Bakr and 'Umar, on the other.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih in "The Book of The Merits of the companions of the Prophet (P)" in "The Chapter on The Virtues of 'Umar b. al-Khattab Abu Hafsa", Muslim also narrated it in "The Book of The Merits of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Umar (R)” thus: from 'Ali, from Ibn 'Abbas who said: "The body of 'Umar was put on his deathbed, the people gathered around him and invoked (Allah) and prayed for him before the body was taken away, and I was amongst them.
Suddenly I felt somebody taking hold of my shoulder; it was 'Ali. He invoked Allah's mercy for 'Umar and said: 'You have not left behind you a person whose deeds I like to imitate and meet Allah with more than I like your deeds. By Allah! I always thought that Allah would keep you with your two companions, for very often I used to hear the Prophet saying: 'I, Abu Bakr and 'Umar went [somewhere] I, Abu Bakr and 'Umar entered [somewhere], and I, Abu Bakr and 'Umar went out.'"
This is a clear fabrication which smells of politics which played a role in distancing Fatima al-Zahra and causing her not to be buried near her father even though she was the first to join him. The narrator omitted to add here after his statement: "I went, Abu Bakr, 'Umar and I" and "I entered, Abu Bakr, 'Umar and I" and "I emerged, Abu Bakr, 'Umar and I" and I will be buried, I , Abu Bakr, 'Umar.”
Don't those, who argue by such spurious traditions which are refuted by history and reality, not hesitate [to fabricate]? The books of the Muslims are replete with oppression against 'Ali and Fatima al-Zahra due to what Abu Bakr and 'Umar did during their lifetime.
Then reflect on the narration; you will observe the narrator presenting 'Ali as if he is a stranger coming to observe the funeral of a stranger and finds the people crowding around him and supplicating and praying for him. Whereupon he takes the shoulder of Ibn 'Abbas as if he wishes to whisper in his ear those words and then wishes to go away. It would be assumed that 'Ali would be in the forefront leading the people in prayers and not leaving 'Umar until he was placed in the ground.
The people during the Umayyad dynasty used to vie with one another in fabricating hadith as ordered by "the Commander of the Faithful" Mu'awiya who wanted to elevate the status of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, in contrast to the merits of 'Ali b. Abi Talib.
The hadiths of the excellences are ridiculously laughable and contradictory in some cases, depending on the wishes of the narrator. Among these were al-Taymi who would never prefer anyone over Abu Bakr and amongst them was al-'Adwi who never preferred anyone over 'Umar. The Umayyads were fascinated by the personality of Ibn al-Khattab, for he was bold in front of the Prophet and employed harsh words without exercising caution against anything and feared nothing. They often praised him and fabricated traditions which made him superior to Abu Bakr.
Here, O reader, are some examples:
Muslim in his Sahih, in "The Book of the Merits of the Companions.” in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Umar" (R), as well as al-Bukhari in his Sahih, in "The Book of Faith", in "The Chapter of the Superiority of the Believers in the Performance of Deeds,” from Abu Said al-Khudri: "The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) said: 'When I was sleeping I saw some people presented to me, they wore shirts, some of which reached up to the breast, some were shorter than that. And then 'Umar b. al-Khattab was presented to me and he was wearing a shirt which was dragging [behind].’ They said: 'How do you interpret that O Messenger of Allah?' He said: 'Religion.'"
If the interpretation of the Prophet (S.A.W.) for this dream was religion, then 'Umar b. al-Khattab is better than everyone because, their religion hardly reached their breasts and didn't go past their hearts. 'Umar, however, was filled with religion from his head to the bottom of his feet and more than that for he was dragging it behind him as a shirt is dragged. Where is Abu Bakr, the Truthful one, whose faith is better than that of the entire umma?
Likewise, al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of Knowledge" in "The Chapter on the Superiority of Knowledge" while Muslim narrated it in "The Book of Merits of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Umar":
From Ibn 'Umar, who said: "I heard the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) say: 'While I was sleeping, I was given a jug of milk from which I drank until I observed its wetness coming through my nails. I gave the remainder to 'Umar b. al-Khattab.’ The people said: 'How did you interpret that O Prophet of Allah?' He said: 'Knowledge.'"
I say, are those who know equal to those who do not know? If Ibn al-Khattab was superior to the entire umma or all the people in religion and among them was Abu Bakr; then this narration manifestly shows his elevation over them in knowledge too, for he was the most knowledgeable of men after the Prophet (P).
There remains here another virtue, which people compete with each other to acquire. It is amongst those praiseworthy traits that Allah and his Prophet love and all mankind love and strive for it, i.e., bravery. It was necessary for the narrators to invent hadiths in favor of Abu Hafs - and they most surely did it!
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of the Merits of the Companions of the Prophet" in "The Chapter on The Prophet's (P) saying 'If I were to take a sincere friend,'" and Muslim reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of The Merits of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Umar": From Abu Hurayra who said: "I heard the Prophet (S.A.W.) saying: 'While I was sleeping, I saw myself at a well, on it there was a bucket. I drew water from it as much as Allah wished.
Then Ibn Abi Quhafa (Abu Bakr) took the bucket from me and brought out one or two buckets (of water) and there was weakness in his drawing it. May Allah forgive him for his weakness. Then the bucket turned into a very big one and Ibn Al-Khattab took it over and I had never seen such a mighty person amongst the people as 'Umar in drawing water till the people drank to their satisfaction and watered their camels that knelt down there.'"
If religion is the centre of faith and Islam, piety and closeness to Allah, Glory be to Him, then 'Umar seized it until he dragged it behind him. The people did not receive their share except what reached their breasts, whilst the rest of their bodies were naked. Knowledge was restricted to 'Umar b. al-Khattab, he didn't leave anything for the rest of the people due to the grace of the Prophet (S.A.W.) since he drank all that he (the Prophet) gave him. He didn't think of his friend Abu Bakr al-Siddiq - (no doubt, it is the knowledge which 'Umar used in changing the rulings of Allah after the Prophet (P) died. His ijtihad was by the grace of that knowledge).
Strength and courage were also the traits of Ibn al-Khattab after the weakness which overcame his companion, Abu Bakr and this is correct, for did Abu Bakr not say to 'Umar once: "I told you that you are stronger in this matter than I am, but you overruled me". May Allah forgive Abu Bakr for his weakness and his preceding him to the Caliphate. The supporters of 'Umar from the Banu 'Adi and the Banu Umayya did not see any hope or benefits, or spoils of war, or conquests as they saw during his time.
All of these were the virtues of 'Umar in this world. Obviously, it was necessary for them to guarantee him [a place in] heaven in the hereafter also, with a higher and superior status than his companion Abu Bakr and they did that [also].
In "The Book on the Beginning of Creation,” in "The Chapter on the Description of Heaven and that it was Created", al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih a [hadith] which Muslim [also] related in his collection in "The Book on the Virtues of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Virtues of 'Umar": "On the authority of Abu Hurayra (R), who said: 'We were with the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) when he said: 'While I was sleeping, I saw myself in paradise, and there was a lady performing the ablutions next to a castle. I asked: 'To whom does this castle belong?' They said: 'To 'Umar b. al-Khattab'. I then recalled his jealousy so I quickly retreated'. 'Umar wept and said: 'Would I be jealous against you O Prophet of Allah?'"
Dear reader, I think you will notice the [peculiar] systematic arrangement of these false traditions. I have underlined in each one of them a single expression [that is] common to all the narrations pertaining to the merits of 'Umar b. al-Khattab, i.e., the saying of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) (Allah forbid of course) "While I was sleeping.” You will always find it in every report. "While I was sleeping, I saw people appearing before me; While I was sleeping I was given a cup of milk...; While I was sleeping I saw myself at a well...; While I was sleeping I saw myself in paradise.."
Perhaps the reporter of the hadith used to have many dreams or was in a confused state of mind, interpreting and inventing hadiths and attributing them to the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). How many lies were attributed to him while he was in their midst? So how about after his death, when the umma had deviated, fought each other and had become sects and factions, each party happy with what it had?
There remains one thing, however, which the historians as well as those companions who were 'Umar's supporters have recorded, i.e., the character which distinguished 'Umar - his harshness, crudeness and severity over the people as well as his violent nature. The people do not love one whose nature is such. Allah says: "Were you to be harsh and hard of heart, the people would certainly go away from you" (3:159).
Those fascinated by 'Umar turned the tables over, and they made his shortcomings and vices into virtues and merits. They resorted to the invention of hadith by extremely foolish, stupid and insane means [to tarnish] the nobility of the Prophet - whereas Allah, Glory be to Him, has born testimony that he was neither rude nor harsh. Rather, he was of an affable nature. "Due to Allah's mercy, you are lenient with them, and indeed, you are of the most exalted character, kind and merciful with the believers and a mercy to the entire universe.” Let us listen to these fools [to see] what they say regarding him.
In "The Book of the Beginning of Creation" in "The Chapter on the Description of Satan and his forces,” al-Bukhari reported a hadith in his Sahih that was [also] narrated by Muslim in "The Book on the Merits of the Companions,” in "The Chapter on the Merits of 'Umar,” from Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas, who said: "'Umar sought permission to visit the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) while the latter was talking to some Qurayshi women. They were crowding him and raising their voices.
When 'Umar sought permission, they stood up hastening to put on their veils. The Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) gave him permission [to enter], and began to laugh. 'Umar said: "Did Allah cause you to laugh so much, O Prophet of Allah?" He replied: 'I was surprised at these [women] who were with me. When they heard your voice, they grabbed their veils'. 'Umar said: 'But it is more proper they fear you, O Prophet of Allah.’ Then he said: 'O enemies of yourselves. Do you fear me and not the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)?'
They replied: 'Yes, you are harsher and more severe than the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.).’ The Prophet of Allah said: 'By He in whose hand is my soul! Satan will never meet you travelling on a road except that he will seek a path [different] from yours.'"
Grave indeed are the words that come out of their mouths, they utter nothing but lies. Look at the repulsive [nature of the] narration, and how the women were afraid of 'Umar and not afraid of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.). They raised their voices above the Prophet's (P), did not respect him, nor wear their veils properly in his presence. At the mere sound of 'Umar's voice, they kept quiet and hastened to put on their veils.
I am surprised, by Allah, at these fools who are not satisfied by all these [traditions], but now clearly state that he was of harsh and stern nature. These [become] meritorious attributes, as 'Umar was harsher and sterner than the Apostle of Allah (P). If they are virtues belonging to the Prophet then 'Umar is superior to him. If they are blemishes, how can the Muslims, with al-Bukhari and Muslim at the helm, accept these traditions?
They were not satisfied by all this; they made Satan play and rejoice in the presence of the Prophet (P), not fearing him. No doubt it was Satan who incited the women so that they raised their voices and abandoned their veils. Satan, however, fled and sought another path by the mere entry of 'Umar in the house of the Prophet.
Do you see, O concerned Muslim, how they value the Prophet (S.A.W.)? How they say whatever they are aware or unaware of, that 'Umar is better than him? This is exactly what is happening today. When they speak of the Prophet of Allah, they enumerate his alleged mistakes and justify [them] by stating that he was mortal, not infallible, and that 'Umar often corrected his mistakes. They [also allege] that the Qur'an was revealed to support 'Umar on several occasions.
They cite as proof Sura 'Abasa, the pollination of the date palms, and [the incident of] the prisoners of war at Badr and other instances. However, if you tell them that 'Umar erred in denying the share of those whose hearts were to be placated, or in forbidding the two mut'as, or in giving preference in the allocation of prescribed shares, you'll see them becoming furious and their eyes turning red.
They will accuse you of going out of [the fold of] religion. It will be said to you: "Who are you, O so and so, that you can criticize our master 'Umar, the differentiator, one who differentiates between truth and falsehood?" You will have no choice but to submit, you cannot attempt to speak with them again otherwise you will come to harm.
If a researcher studies the traditions of al-Bukhari, he will not understand many of them. Some appear defective or broken; he relates the same hadith with the same chains of narrators, but on every occasion, he cites different phrases in different chapters. All of this was due to his intense love for 'Umar b. al-Khattab.
Perhaps this is what attracted the ahl al-sunna to him and made them prefer it above all other books, even though Muslim is more accurate and his work is arranged according to chapters. Due to this and because he diminishes [the importance of] the virtues of 'Ali b. Abu Talib, al-Bukhari's work is deemed by them to be the most authentic book after the book of God. Al-Bukhari worked with a bias, that of disrupting a hadith and abridging it if it disparages the personality of 'Umar. He used the same method with the traditions which mention the merits of 'Ali b. Abi Talib. We will produce some examples of these presently, God willing.
Some examples of the interpolation of traditions containing realities which expose 'Umar b. al-Khattab
In "The Book of Menstruation", in "The Chapter on Tayammum,” Muslim, in his Sahih, reported: "A man came to 'Umar and said: 'I have become ritually impure and cannot find water.’ ’Umar said: 'Do not pray.’ Whereupon 'Ammar said: 'Do you not recall, O Commander of the Faithful, that you and I were on a campaign and we both became ritually impure and couldn't find water. As for you, you did not pray. But I rolled [myself] in the dust and then prayed.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) then said: 'It would have sufficed for you to have struck the ground with your hands and then blown upon them, then wiped your face and hands with them.’ 'Umar responded: 'Fear Allah, O 'Ammar.’ He said: 'If you so desire, I shall not mention [this hadith].'" This narration has been related by Abu Dawud in his Sunan, Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad, al-Nas'ai in his Sunan, and al-Bayhaqi and Ibn Maja too.
Al-Bukhari betrayed the trust given [in the] transmission of hadith. To protect the stature of 'Umar, he distorted the hadith for it did not please him [to see] that the people should know about the ignorance of the Caliph in basic Islamic laws. Here is the report as it is transmitted in al-Bukhari. In the book "Of Tayammum,” in the chapter on "One who does Tayammum, can he blow [on his hands]" al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih: "A man came to 'Umar b. al-Khattab and said: 'I am ritually impure (junub) and I have not found any water.’ ’Ammar b. Yasir said to 'Umar b. al-Khattab: 'Do you not recall that we were on a journey, you and I.....'"
The text, as you will have observed, has been edited by al-Bukhari. 'Umar said: "Do not pray" has been omitted for this is embarrassing. No doubt, al-Bukhari edited and expurgated it so that the people may not know the rulings of 'Umar which he formulated during the life of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) and that his judgments opposed the text of the Qur'an and sunna.
[He also did not want the people to know] that 'Umar maintained this opinion even after he became the Commander of the Faithful. He began to spread his view amongst the Muslims. Ibn Hajar said: "This is a famous opinion of 'Umar.” The proof that he used to strongly advocate his view is 'Ammar's address to him: "If you so desire, I shall not mention [this hadith].” So read and wonder!
2. Al-Hakim al-Nisapuri, in his al-Mustadrak, in volume 2, p. 514, reported [the hadith] which al-Dhahabi authenticated in his Talkhis: "From Anas b. Malik who said: ''Umar b. al-Khattab recited on the pulpit Allah's words: 'And we grow grain and grapes and herbs and the olives and date palms and dense gardens and fruits and herbage'.
He said: 'We know all of this, but what is herbage (al-ab)?' Then he said: 'This, by Allah, is a problem; there is no blame upon you if you don't know what “herbage” is. Follow what His guidance has made clear for you in His book and act upon it. As for that which you do not know, eat it in [the name] of your Lord.'"
The narration that we have just mentioned has been transmitted by commentators in their books, and in commentaries on the Sura "'abasa", among them are al-Suyuti in al-Dar al-Manthur, and al-Zamakhshari in al-Kashshaf, and Ibn Kathir in his commentary, also al-Razi in his tafsir and al-Khazan in his commentary.
However, al-Bukhari, as is his normal practice, deleted the hadith and never mentioned it so that the people would not realize the ignorance of the Caliph regarding the meaning of "al-ab". Instead, he related the hadith as follows:
Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, narrated in "The Book of Holding Fast to the Qur'an and the Sunna" in "The Chapter on what is Detested in [asking] many Questions, and overburdening [oneself] with what does not concern him, and Allah the most Exalted's words: 'Do not ask about things which, if they are made known to you, would trouble you.'" [On the authority of] Anas b. Malik: "We were with 'Umar and he said: 'We were forbidden from overburdening [ourselves].'"
So this is how al-Bukhari deals with every hadith in which he smells [any trace of] denigration of 'Umar. How can a reader understand from this curtailed hadith the truth about things, for it conceals 'Umar's ignorance of the meaning of al-ab as it simply states that 'Umar said: "We have been forbidden to overburden [ourselves]?"
3. Ibn Maja, in his Sunan, volume 2, p. 227, al-Hakim in volume 2, p. 59 of his Mustadrak, Abu Dawud in volume 2, p. 402 of his Sunan, al-Bayhaqi in volume 6, p. 64 of his Sunan, Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari, and other reporters relate from Ibn 'Abbas, that he said: "A mad woman who had committed adultery was brought to 'Umar. He sought counsel from the people regarding her, and then ordered that she be stoned.
'Ali b. Abu Talib passed by her and asked: 'What is the matter with her?' The people said: 'She is a mad woman of such and such a tribe and has committed adultery, and 'Umar has ordered that she be stoned'. He said: 'Take her back;’ then he went to him and said: 'Do you not know that the pen has been lifted from the mad person until he is sane, from the one asleep until he awakes, and from the child until he attains puberty?'
'Umar freed her and said: 'Had it not been for 'Ali, Umar would have perished.'" (Ibn al-Jawzi in his al-Tadhkira, p.75). But al-Bukhari was confused by this narration. How could he inform the people of 'Umar's ignorance regarding the penalties legislated in Allah's book, and which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had explained?
How could one assume the position of the head of the Caliphate if his condition was such? Furthermore, how could al-Bukhari narrate this narration, when it contains the merits of 'Ali b. Abu Talib who had resorted to teaching them what they did not know? Moreover, [how could he mention] 'Umar's admission "Had it not been for 'Ali, 'Umar would perished.” Let us see how al-Bukhari distorted and tampered with the hadith.
Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of the Disbelievers and Apostates Against whom War is Waged,” in "The Chapter on the Lunatic (male and female) are not to be Stoned,” al-Bukhari reported without mentioning any chain of transmitters: "'Ali said to 'Umar: 'Do you not know that the pen is raised from the mad person until he attains sanity, from the child until he attains maturity, and from the one sleeping until he wakes up?'"
Here is a living example of al-Bukhari's treatment of hadith, and how he abridges a hadith if it disgraces 'Umar. He also tampers with the tradition if there is a merit or virtue of Imam 'Ali [mentioned] which he cannot reject.
4. In "The Book of Penalties,” in "The Chapter on the Penalty of one who consumes Intoxicants,” Muslim reported in his Sahih on the authority of Anas b. Malik who reported that a man who had drunk alcohol was brought to the Prophet (S.A.W.). He ordered that he be whipped 40 lashes with two palm leaves. He (Anas) said: "Abu Bakr did likewise. When 'Umar was Caliph he sought the advice of the people and 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf said: 'The most lenient punishment is 80 strokes,’ so 'Umar ordered this.”
Al-Bukhari, as is his usual practice, did not wish to reveal 'Umar's ignorance of rulings on penalties and how he sought the people's advice on a well-known penalty, which the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) had acted upon, and which Abu Bakr after him had also practiced.
Al-Bukhari, in his Sahih, in "The Book of Penalties,” in "The Chapter on what was Related regarding the Whipping of one who Consumes Intoxicants" reported on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered a penalty for [consuming] intoxicants, the whipping by date palm leaves, or shoes and Abu Bakr whipped 40 lashes.
5. The hadith scholars and historians have recorded the sickness and death of the Prophet (S.A.W.), and how he asked to write for them a letter so that they would never go astray after him; this [episode] has been called the calamity of Thursday, 'Umar b. al-Khattab opposed it saying that the Prophet of Allah was hallucinating (God forbid).
Al-Bukhari, in his Sahih, in "The Book of Jihad,” in "The Chapter on is Mediation to be sought from the Ahl al-Dhimma (the people of the book under Muslim protection) and how to deal with Them" in "The Book of Bequests" in "The Chapter on Exemption from he who does not have anything to Bequeath from.” It is reported from Ibn 'Abbas that he said: "Thursday! What a Thursday!” Then he wept until the pebbles were wet with his tears.
He said: "On Thursday, the Prophet's pain became more severe. He said: 'Bring a letter, so that I may write for you an epistle [due to which] you will never go astray.’ They argued amongst themselves, it was not fitting that they argue in the Prophet's presence. They said: 'The Prophet of Allah is hallucinating.’ He said: 'Leave me alone. [The situation] I am in is better than what you invite me to.’ He bequeathed three [things] on his death: (1) Remove the polytheists from the Arab peninsula (2) To permit the delegations what I used to permit (3) I forgot the third.”
Yes! This is the calamity of Thursday wherein 'Umar played a heroic role, he opposed the Prophet (S.A.W.), prevented him from writing, using those vile words which contradict the book of Allah, i.e., when he said the Prophet was hallucinating. Al-Bukhari and Muslim transmitted it here with the proper words which 'Umar uttered, and did not change it as long as the name of 'Umar was not mentioned. The attribution of this vile saying to an unknown person did not harm [him].
However, when the name of 'Umar came up in the narration which mentions that he is the one who uttered [the words], it became difficult for al-Bukhari and Muslim to leave it as it was; for it disparages the Caliph and showed his real naked truth, uncovering the scope of his boldness with the position of the Prophet of Allah (P) and that he used to oppose him during his life in most matters.
Muslim and al-Bukhari and those like them, knew that these words alone were enough to influence the feelings of every Muslim - even the ahl al-sunna - against the Caliph, so they resorted to tampering with it. For this is their well known occupation in such matters. They therefore changed the word "hallucinate" to "overcome with pain" [so as] to do away with the evil expression. The following is what Muslim and al-Bukhari related regarding the same catastrophic incident:
"On the authority of Ibn 'Abbas who said: 'When death approached the Prophet of Allah, there were some men in [his] home, among them 'Umar b. al-Khattab. The Prophet said: 'Bring me paper so that I may write for you [so that] you will not go astray after it.’ 'Umar said: 'The Prophet has been overcome by pain, you have the Qur'an, the book of Allah is sufficient for us.’
The members of the household differed and argued. Among them were those who said: 'Bring it so that the Prophet may write for you a letter [due to which] you will never go astray.’ There were those who said as 'Umar said. When the vain talk and differences intensified in the Prophet's presence, he said to them: 'Go away!’ 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud said: 'And Ibn 'Abbas used to say: 'Indeed the catastrophe of all catastrophes was what occurred between the Prophet of Allah's [wanting to] write for them that letter and their dissension and wrangling.'"
Although Muslim took [the narration] from his teacher al-Bukhari, we say to al-Bukhari no matter how much you edited the words, and no matter how much you attempted to hide the facts, what you have reported is sufficient and a proof against you and your master 'Umar. Because the words "hallucinate" (and its meaning is delusion) or "overcome by pain" lead to the same conclusion; for he who researches carefully will observe that even today, people say "Poor fellow! He was overcome by fever until he became delirious.”
Especially if we add his words "You have the Qur'an, and the book of God is sufficient for us;” this means that the period of [dependence on] the Prophet (P) had ended and his existence had become the same as his non-existence.
We dare any scholar who has conscience to study carefully this occurrence only without any preconceived commitments or hindrances; you will find him becoming furious with the Caliph who prevented the community from [attaining] guidance, and was the immediate cause for its straying.
Why should we be afraid of speaking the truth as long as it is in the defense of the Prophet of Allah (P), and consequently the Qur'an and the complete Islamic view? Allah said: "Do not fear people but fear me! And do not trade my signs for a small price. Whosoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, these are the disbelievers" (5:44). Why then do some scholars, even in this age of knowledge and enlightenment, try to cover the truth by inventing far-fetched interpretations which are devoid of any credibility?
This is what the scholar Muhammad Fu'ad 'Abd al-Baqi conjured up in his commentary of the book "Al lu'lu' wa'l-Marjan fi ma ittafaqa 'alayhi al-Shaykhan when he mentions the hadith of the calamity of Thursday.
He said, commenting on the incident: "Bring me a paper,” i.e., bring me the instruments of writing such as a pen and ink pot, or he meant by paper what could be used for writing on, such as paper or shoulder blades (of animals). It appears the letter he wanted [to write] was for the designation of Abu Bakr for the Caliphate. However, when they disputed and his sickness increased, he changed his mind, relying instead upon having nominated him to lead the prayer. (Then he started to explain the meaning of hallucinate).
He said: "Hallucinate: Ibn Battal says it means to be confused. Ibn al-Tin says it means being delirious. But this is not in keeping with his exalted status. Perhaps it means that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W) is leaving you, from the word "al-hajar" which is the opposite of [the word] "connection" as had been divinely inspired to him. Therefore he said in "The Highest companion,” Ibn al-Athir said: 'It (the statement) is in an interrogative mode and the alif denoting the question was omitted, therefore, [the sentence means] 'Has his talk become delirious because of his sickness?'"
This is the best that can be said about it. The term should not be taken in the form of a statement. [If it is then] it will become either corrupt or hallucination. The one who uttered [the words] was 'Umar, so it cannot be imagined [he meant that].”
We, in response, O great, noble scholar, say to you that conjecture cannot avail against the truth. It is sufficient for us that you admit that he who uttered this evil talk was 'Umar. Who informed you that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) wanted to write about the Caliphate of Abu Bakr? Would 'Umar have gone against this? He was the one who constructed the pillars of the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and had coerced the people into it harshly and violently, even to the point where he threatened to burn the house of al-Zahra. Is there anyone besides you, O great, noble scholar, who advocates this explanation?
What is known to both the past and contemporary scholars is that 'Ali b. Abi Talib was designated for the Caliphate by the Prophet (P) even if they did not accept the [clear] declaration for it. It is sufficient for you [to note] what al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of Testament" in volume 3 p. 186. He said: "They mentioned to 'A'isha that 'Ali (R) was the executor of the will. She said: 'When did he appoint him as his executor? I was supporting him on my chest, and he asked for a wash basin. I [made him] lean on my lap, I did not [even] realize that he had passed away, so when did he appoint him?'"
Al-Bukhari reported this hadith because in it is 'A'isha's denial of the successor ship and this pleases al-Bukhari. We say that those who mentioned to 'A'isha that the Prophet of Allah had appointed 'Ali were truthful, for 'A'isha did not refute them and did not herself deny the successor ship but rather asked as one having no knowledge: "When was he appointed?" We respond by saying that he was designated in the presence of those noble companions and in her absence.
There is no doubt that those companions told her when he was appointed, but the ruling authorities forbade the mention of such proofs, in the same way as they proscribed the mention of the third testament and forgot it.
Politics undertook to suppress this truth even though 'Umar himself related how he prevented the Prophet of Allah (P) from writing his bequest because of his knowledge that it specifically concerned the Caliphate of 'Ali. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid reported the conversation that took place between 'Umar b. al-Khattab and 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas in which 'Umar said while questioning Ibn 'Abbas: "Is there anything in 'Ali's soul for the Caliphate?" Ibn 'Abbas said: "Yes.” 'Umar said: "The Prophet of Allah wanted, during his illness, to clearly mention his name, but I prevented him from that, out of love and care for Islam.”
Why do you, O great scholar, run away from the reality? Instead of exposing the truth, after the period of oppression passed with the Banu Umayyads and Banu 'Abbasids, here you are adding to that oppression by covering and hiding, and preventing others from reaching and attaining the truth. If what you said was done with good intention, then I ask Allah, Glory be to Him, to guide you and to open your perception.
6. Al-Bukhari also did many things so as to change, tamper or mix up the Prophet's hadiths which he perceived had any [form of] disparagement or denigration of the statures of Abu Bakr and 'Umar in them. We see him in a famous historical incident wherein the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) uttered a hadith that did not please Imam al-Bukhari, so he completely obliterated it, for it elevated the position of 'Ali at Abu Bakr's expense.
The scholars of the sunna such as al-Tirmidhi in his Sahih, al-Hakim in his al-Mustadrak, Ahmad b. Hanbal in his Musnad, Imam al-Nas'ai in his al-Khasa'is, al-Tabari in his Tafsir, Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in al-Dar al-Manthur, Ibn al-Athir in his History, and the author of Kanz al-'Ummal, and al-Zamakhshari in al-Kashshaf and numerous other scholars have reported in their Sahihs and Musnad works the following:
"The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) sent Abu Bakr (R) and ordered him to proclaim these words (i.e. Allah and His Prophet are exonerated....); then he sent 'Ali (R) and ordered him instead to proclaim it. So 'Ali (R), on the days of tashriq (the 12th, 13th and 14th day of any month), stood up and proclaimed: 'Indeed Allah and his Messenger are exonerated of the polytheists.
So go about in the land for four months, and after this year, no polytheist will be permitted to make the pilgrimage, or circumambulate the Ka'ba in a naked state.’ Abu Bakr (R) returned and said: 'O Prophet of Allah was there something revealed concerning me?' He said: 'No! But Gabriel came to me and said: 'None shall do this for you but you or a man [related] to you.'"
Al-Bukhari, as is his usual custom, related the hadith in his well known abridged way. He reported in "The book of Tafsir of the Qur'an" in "The Chapter [entitled] 'So go about in the land for four months'": "Humayd b. 'Abd al-Rahman informed me that Abu Hurayra (R) said: 'Abu Bakr sent me on that hajj with those who proclaim on the day of sacrifice to proclaim at Mina that after that year no polytheist could perform the pilgrimage nor circumambulate the Ka'ba whilst naked.’
Humayd b. 'Abd al-Rahman said: 'Then the Prophet of Allah followed it up with 'Ali b. Abi Talib and ordered him to proclaim the verses of al-bara'a (exoneration)'. Abu Hurayra said: ''Ali proclaimed with us on the day of sacrifice for the people at Mina about al-bara'a, and that after that year, no polytheist would perform the hajj, nor circumambulate the Ka'ba while naked.'"
See, O reader, how the act of distortion of the hadith and events was perfected to suit the goals and factional desires? Is there any similarity between what al-Bukhari related on this issue and what the other hadith scholars and commentators from the ahl al-sunna reported on this matter?
Al-Bukhari makes Abu Bakr the one who sent Abu Hurayra and those who proclaim to announce at Mina that no polytheist could perform the hajj after that year nor could they circumambulate the Ka'ba in a naked state. Then comes the narration of Humayd b. 'Abd al-Rahman that the Prophet of Allah followed it up with 'Ali b. Abi Talib and ordered him to proclaim the verses of renunciation. Then comes the speech of Abu Hurayra once again, that 'Ali participated with them in the proclamation on the day of sacrifice that no polytheist could perform the hajj or circumambulate in a naked state henceforth.
In this way, al-Bukhari negated the excellences of 'Ali b. Abi Talib, in that he was the one whom the Prophet of Allah chose to proclaim the verses of al-bara'a after Gabriel had come to him and commanded him, on Allah's behalf, to remove Abu Bakr from this undertaking, saying to him:
"None shall do this for you but yourself or a man from you". It was difficult for al-Bukhari [to relate] Abu Bakr's removal by a revelation from Allah and to prefer 'Ali b. Abi Talib over him. This is what al-Bukhari would never ever be pleased with, so he edited the hadith and distorted it as he did with other narrations.
How can the researcher not be aware of this distortion, this forgery, and this betrayal of academic trust especially when he reads that Abu Hurayra says: "Abu Bakr sent me for the hajj with the proclaimers whom he sent on the day of sacrifice!” Was Abu Bakr in charge of affairs, even in the time of the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.)? How did the one who was sent become the sender, [he became] one who selects the proclaimers among the companions?
Pay careful attention to the style of al-Bukhari how he changed everything around so that 'Ali b. Abi Talib, who was sent by the Prophet (P) to undertake a task for which no one but he was qualified, became the participator along with Abu Hurayra and the rest of the proclaimers; without any mention of the removal of Abu Bakr, nor of his returning to the Prophet in tears (as is reported in some narrations), nor any mention of the Prophet's words: "Gabriel came to me and said: 'None shall do this for you except yourself or a man (related) to you.'"
For this hadith is tantamount to a badge of honor that the Prophet (S.A.W.) accorded to his cousin and his successor 'Ali b. Abi Talib and to his community. Furthermore, it clearly states that this was in accordance with what Gabriel had brought, according to the Prophet's narration. After this, there is no scope for interpreters like al-Bukhari [to claim] that it was the personal opinion of Muhammad (P) who was like any other man, liable to commit error like others. It would have been better for al-Bukhari to discard and abandon this narration completely from his enumeration [of traditions] as he discarded other [hadiths].
You see him reporting in his Sahih, in "The Book of Treaty,” in "The Chapter on how it is written that this is how so and so has reconciled - the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) to 'Ali b. Abi Talib: 'You are from me, and I am from you'" during the argument of 'Ali, Ja'far and Zayd over the children of Hamza in which Ibn Maja, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nas'ai, Imam Ahmad and the author of Kanz al-'Ummal all reported that the Messenger of Allah said: "Ali is from me and I am from 'Ali, and none can deliver [it] on my behalf except myself and Ali.” He said it at the farewell pilgrimage, but al-Bukhari refused to report it.
7. I add to that Imam Muslim reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of Faith,” in "The Book of Proof that love of the Ansar and 'Ali is a sign of belief, and that Hatred of them is amongst the Signs of Hypocrisy.” 'Ali said: "By he who split the grain and created the soul, it is according to the covenant of the illiterate Prophet (S.A.W.) to me, that none but a believer will love me, and none but a hypocrite shall hate me.”
The hadith scholars and authors of the Sunans have confirmed the saying of the Prophet (S.A.W.) to 'Ali: "None shall love you except a believer, and none shall hate you except a hypocrite.” This has been reported by al-Tirmidhi in his Sahih, al-Nas'ai in his Sunan, the Musnad of Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan, al-Tabari in "al-Dhakha'ir al-Aqba,” Ibn Hajar in "Lisan al-Mizan". Al-Bukhari however, in spite of having confirmed the authenticity of this hadith, which Muslim also reported, and [despite the fact that] all the transmitters in the chain were verified as reliable, did not relate the hadith because he reflected and realized that the Muslims would perceive the hypocrisy of many companions who were close to the Prophet (P).
Due to this sign, which was clarified by he who did not say anything from his own desires, rather, from the revelation sent unto him, the hadith shows the great superiority of 'Ali alone over the rest of mankind as, because of him, truth can be separated from falsehood, and faith distinguished from hypocrisy. For he is Allah's greatest sign and His greatest proof to this umma and he is a test through which Allah examines the umma of Muhammad (S.A.W.) after it's Prophet.
Hypocrisy is of the inner secrets which no one knows except He who knows the deception of the eyes and what the hearts hide. None knows it except one who knows the unseen, for Allah, Glory be to Him, [out of His] grace and mercy to this umma, established signs for it [so that] those who are destroyed are destroyed after clear signs [come to them] and those who are saved are saved after clear signs [come to them].
I would like to point out an example of al-Bukhari's cunningness and shrewdness in this respect. I personally believe that the past [figures] amongst the ahl al-sunna preferred and promoted him for this specialty through which he is distinguished above others. He tried his best [to ensure] the hadiths did not contradict the madhab he chose and embraced.
He reported in his Sahih, in "The Book of Gifts, its Merits, and the encouragement to Give,” in "The Chapter on the Gift of a Man to his Wife, and a Wife to her Husband": He said: "'Ubayd Allah b. 'Abd Allah informed me that 'A'isha (R) said: 'When the Apostle of Allah became bedridden, and his illness increased, he sought the permission of his wives to be nursed in my home. They allowed it.
He went out assisted by two men, with his feet dragging on the ground. He was between al-'Abbas and another man'. 'Ubayd Allah said: 'I related what 'A'isha said to Ibn 'Abbas and he said to me: 'Do you know who was the other man that 'A'isha did not mention?' I said: 'No.’ He said: 'He was 'Ali b. Abi Talib.'"
Ibn Sa'd reported this hadith exactly [as above] in his Tabaqat, by an authentic chain, in volume 2, p. 29. Similarly, the author of al-Sira al-Halabiyya and other authors of the Sunan works also reported that "Certainly, 'A'isha was not happy to hear good things [ascribed] to him.”
Al-Bukhari, however, omitted this sentence through which it becomes clear that 'A'isha hated 'Ali, and that she could not mention his name. Yet in what he has reported there is sufficient and clear proof for anyone who is cognizant of the implications of [the usage of] words. Is it hidden to any researcher who reads history the special hatred the mother of the believers had towards her master and protector 'Ali b. Abi Talib even to the point where, when the news of his death reached her, she prostrated out of thanks to Allah?
In any case, may Allah have mercy upon the mother of the believers and forgive her out of honor to her husband. We do not seek to limit the scope of Allah's mercy which encompasses everything. However, we do wish that those wars, discords and calamities had not occurred for they caused our fragmentation, breaking of our unity and the destruction of our spirit to the extent that today we are prey for the hungry ones; the object for the colonialists and we are the victims of tyrants. There is neither power, nor strength but in Allah, the Highest, the most Powerful.
It is extremely regretful that Imam al-Bukhari chose his path and travelled his way amidst the schools of the Caliphs which were established by the ruling authorities or those schools chose al-Bukhari and others like him. They (the schools) constructed from them support, pillars and symbols to consolidate their power and to propagate their schools and market their views which became, during the Caliphates of the Umayyads and 'Abbasids, a circulating market and a profitable commodity for all scholars who competed and fought to assist the Caliphate by all forms of fabrications and interpolations which were in concordance with the prevalent politics.
All this was done to gain the honor and rewards from the rulers. In doing so, they sold their hereafter for this world, their commerce was not profitable, and on the Day of Judgment they will regret and will be among the losers.
People are people and time is time; and you see today the same method, the same politics. How many a great scholar has been placed under house arrest and the people do not [even] know him. How many ignorant [scholars] have mounted the pulpit to deliver sermons, to be the Imams of the congregations, to judge the fate of the Muslims?
This is because he is of the close ones who obtained the pleasure and support of the authorities. Otherwise tell me, by your Lord, how can al-Bukhari's averseness towards the Prophet's household be explained, [those from whom] Allah has removed all filth and purified them completely? How do you explain al-Bukhari's animosity towards the rightly guided Imams, some of whom were his contemporaries and lived in his time?
He related nothing from them except spurious things to denigrate their elevated nobility and to blemish their proven infallibility which was confirmed by the Qur'an and sunna. We will provide examples on this.
Then, al-Bukhari turned towards the Nasibis (those who hate the ahl al-bayt) and the Khawarij who waged war against the ahl al-bayt and killed them. You see him narrating from Mu'awiya, 'Amr b. al-'As, Abu Hurayra, Marwan b. al-Hakam, from Muqatal b. Sulayman who was known as a swindler, from Imran b. Hatan, the enemy of the Commander of the Faithful and the enemy of the ahl al-bayt, the poet of the Khawarij, and their orator who used to sing the praises of Ibn Muljam Muradi for his killing of 'Ali b. Abi Talib.
Al-Bukhari used to cite as proofs [for arguments] the hadiths of the Khawarij, the Murji'a, the Mujassima (corporealists), and some unknown [persons] whose existence history has not [even] been recorded.
In his Sahih, in addition to lies and forgery [inserted] from transmitters noted for these [traits], he has narrated some foolish and repulsive traditions. An example of this is what he related in his Sahih in "The Book of Marriage,” in "The Chapter Who is Lawful and who is Unlawful amongst the Women" and Allah's verses "Your mothers are unlawful unto you.." to the end of the verse.
At the end of the chapter he said about Allah's words: "And permitted for you is all else other than those.” Ikrima said on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas: "If a man commits adultery with his wife's sister, his wife is not forbidden for him. And it has been related from Yahya al-Kindi on the authority of al-Sha'bi and from Abu Ja'far, if someone fondles a little boy and has intercourse with him, then he cannot marry his mother.”
The commentator of al-Bukhari has commented in the footnotes: "It is more in keeping with the status of scholars to disdain from writing or speaking such speech.”
Al-Bukhari has also reported in his Sahih in "The Book of the Commentary of the Qur'an,” in "The Chapter on Your women are a tilth unto You" on the authority of Nafi' who said: "When Ibn 'Umar (R) read the Qur'an, he used to not speak until he had finished. So I went to him one day and he read Sura al-Baqara until he stopped at a spot, and he said: 'Do you know concerning what it has been revealed?' I said: 'No.’ He said: 'Concerning so and so..' Then he continued.”
And from Nafi' from Ibn 'Umar: "So approach your tilth from wherever you wish,” he said: 'He approaches her in ...'" The commentator added: "His words ... by the deletion of the preposition, it is, in fact, an adverb, i.e. [signifying] the anus.” It is said: "The author omitted this due to its repugnance; this is [how it appears] in the commentary.”
One day, I was at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, speaking about the etiquettes of the Prophet (S.A.W.), his exalted character which the Qur'an spoke about and that the Prophet (P) was famous for [the traits] even before the call to prophecy, for they called him "The truthful, trustworthy". The lecture lasted for about an hour. During the lecture, I explained that the Prophet did not initiate wars, he did not abuse human rights during the course of his life, nor [did he] impose his religion by force and coercion as some Orientalists have claimed.
During the discussion, in which a group of lecturers, doctors specialized in Islam and in Muslim history, most of who were Orientalists, were present, I emerged victorious to some extent over the adversaries who had raised some doubts. However, one of them, an Arab Christian of old age (I believe he was Lebanese), objected in a malicious and clever way, and he almost turned my victory into a shameful defeat.
This doctor said in pure Arabic that what I had mentioned in the lecture was filled with exaggeration, especially concerning the infallibility of the Prophet since the Muslims themselves do not agree upon that. Indeed, even Muhammad himself would not agree to that. For he said on innumerable occasions that he is mortal, permitted to err. The Muslims have recorded numerous mistakes which we have no need to describe here while the Muslim authentic and reliable books bear witness to it.
Then he said: "As regards to the wars specifically, all the audience of the lecture have to do is to refer to history. In fact, it is sufficient to read the books of the expeditions which Muhammad undertook during his lifetime. And then the rightly guided Caliphs continued these after his death until they arrived at Poitier, a city in Western France. In every battle, they imposed their new religion on the people by coercion and the power of the sword.”
The listeners accepted his words with applause and supported his speech. I attempted my best to convince them that what the Christian doctor had said was untrue, even if they had been recorded in the books of the Muslims. A great laughter arose in the hall deriding and mocking at me.
The Christian doctor interjected again to state that what he had related was not from any questionable books, but was from the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim. I retorted that these books were deemed authentic by the ahl al-sunna but that the Shi'as do not accord any weight to them, and that I was from them. He said: "We care not for the views of the Shi'a who are regarded as disbelievers by the majority of the Muslims.
The Sunni Muslims are ten times more numerous than the Shi'as, they do not pay any heed to the views of the Shi'as.” He added, saying: "If you Muslims understood each other and convinced each other of the infallibility of your Prophet, perhaps then you would be able to convince us" (he said this in a laughing, mocking manner).
He then turned towards me again and said: "And as regards the praiseworthy traits, I ask you to convince the listeners how come Muhammad, who had reached fifty four years of age, married 'A'isha who was only six years old?"
The mocking and laughter arose again and the people raised their necks to see what my reply would be. I tried my best to explain to them that marriage among the Arabs was performed in two stages - the first stage was the agreement and affirmation of the marriage, and the second stage was the living together and consummation. The Prophet (S.A.W.) had married A'isha when she was six, but that he did not sleep with her until she was nine. I pointed out that this is what al-Bukhari says in case my opponent tried to argue with me by citing what was in it.
I personally doubt the authenticity of the report as the people in those days were not an established city community, and did not record the dates of birth or death. And even if we are to assume the validity of the narration, then 'A'isha attained puberty in her ninth year - for how many Russian and Romanian girls have we seen on the TV screens today performing gymnastics, their bodies fully developed, and you are amazed when their ages are announced that they are not even eleven years old. No doubt the Prophet (S.A.W.) did not consummate his marriage until she had reached puberty and began to have a monthly period.
Islam does not state that maturity [is attained] at reaching eighteen years as is the rule in France; instead, Islam considers maturity by the appearance of the menstrual cycle in women, and by the secretion of sperms in a male. And all of us know today that among the males are those who produce sperms even from the age of ten and that among the females are those who menstruate from an early age, sometimes when they are not even ten.
At this point, a lady got up and said: "On the assumption that what you have said is true - and it is scientifically possible - how can we accept the marriage of an old man advanced in his twilight years with a girl who was still in her first stage of life?"
I said: "Muhammad was the Prophet of Allah and would not do anything unless it was revealed from Allah. There is no doubt that there is wisdom in everything that Allah does even if I am personally not aware of that wisdom.”
The Christian doctor said: "But the Muslims have taken that as an established practice. How many little girls have been married off by their fathers forcibly to men equal in age to him (the father)? Regrettably, this phenomenon has remained even to our present day.” I seized this opportunity to say: "As a result of this, I left the madhab of the Sunnis and followed that of the Shi'as, for it gives the woman the right to marry herself to whomsoever she pleases, not to [one] whom her guardian forces upon her.”
He said: "Let us leave aside the matter of Sunnis and Shi'as and return to the subject of Muhammad's marriage to 'A'isha.” He turned to the listeners saying with blatant mockery: "Muhammad was a Prophet and over fifty, and married to a small girl not cognizant at all of marriage. Al-Bukhari tells us that she was in her husband's house playing with dolls. This confirms the innocence of her infancy. Is this the exalted character through which the Prophet was distinguished?"
I attempted again to convince the listeners that al-Bukhari was not a proof [to be cited] against the Prophet (S.A.W.) but without success. For this Lebanese Christian had played on their minds as he wished. There was nothing for me to do but stop the debate, pointing out that we were not talking on the same wavelength, for they sought to argue with me based on al-Bukhari, when I did not believe in everything he reported.
I emerged angry at the Muslims who had provided these people and the enemies of Islam and Muhammad (P) with an effective weapon which they used to fight against us and at the head of these was al-Bukhari. I returned to my home that day, sad; and began to read through Sahih al-Bukhari to find out what he mentioned about the merits of 'A'isha and her condition when lo! I had to say: "All praise is due to Allah who opened my eyes, otherwise, I would have remained perplexed regarding the personality of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) and perhaps doubt regarding him would have entered my mind, God forbid.”
It is absolutely necessary that I relate some of the narrations that I came across during the debate so that it may be clear to the reader that the critics do not [criticize] emptily, but rather, have based their views on our own Sihah and have used them against us.
In "The Book of the Beginning of Creation", in "The Chapter on the Marriage of the Prophet to 'A'isha, and his arrival in Medina and his taking up residence with Her" al-Bukhari related: "From 'A'isha (R) who said: 'The Prophet married me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Banu al-Harith b. Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on, my hair grew (again) and my mother, Umm Ruman, came to me while I was playing on a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me.
She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said: 'Best wishes and Allah's Blessing and good luck.’ Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah's Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.'"
I leave for you, O reader, to reflect upon such narrations. Similarly, al-Bukhari reported in "The Book of Manners,” in "The Chapter of Being Happy with the People": From 'A'isha (R) who said: "I used to play with some dolls in the presence of the Prophet, and I had some companions who played with me. When the Prophet of Allah entered, they would stop themselves [from playing], but he would instruct them to come to me, and they used to come play with me.”
The commentator said: "Playing with dolls, means the images (of living things) which are called dolls: and "yusaribihinna ilayya, i.e., instruct and send them to me.” When you read narrations such as these in Sahih al-Bukhari, does there remain any objection to the criticisms of the Orientalists, if you are objective?
Tell me, by your lord! When you read the words of 'A'isha to the Prophet of Allah: "I do not perceive your Lord except that he hastens [to fulfill] your desires" does there remain in your mind any respect and veneration for a woman such as this, who doubts the Prophet's purity? Does that not make you feel that her behavior is that of an adolescent who is immature?
After this, can the enemies of Islam be rebuked, those who pose the [question of] the love of Muhammad for women, and that he was desirous [women]? If they read in al-Bukhari that Allah used to hasten [to fulfill] his desires, and they also read in al-Bukhari that he used to sleep with eleven wives in a single hour, and that he had the strength of thirty men, [can they be blamed]?
The blame is on those Muslims who accepted these legends and accepted them as being correct; in fact, they considered it like the Qur'an, which is not open to doubt. But these [Muslims] have been controlled in everything - even in their creed and there is no choice for them in anything. These books have been imposed on them from the earliest rulers. Let us relate now traditions from al-Bukhari that denigrates the ahl al-bayt.
In "The Book of Campaigns,” in "The Chapter on the Witnessing by the Angels at Badr" volume 5 p.16, al-Bukhari reported: "From 'Ali b. al-Husayn, that al-Husayn b. 'Ali informed him that 'Ali said: 'I got a she-camel in my share of the war booty on the day [of the battle] of Badr, and the Prophet had given me a she-camel from the khumus.
When I intended to marry Fatima, the daughter of Allah's Apostle, I had an appointment with a goldsmith from the tribe of Bani Qaynuqa' to go with me to bring idhkhir (i.e. grass of pleasant smell) and sell it to the goldsmiths and spend its price on my wedding party. I was collecting for my she-camels equipment of saddles, sacks and ropes while my two she-camels were kneeling down beside the room of an Ansari man.
I returned after collecting whatever I collected to see the humps of my two she-camels cut off and their flanks cut open and some portion of their livers was taken out. When I saw that state of my two she-camels, I could not help weeping. I asked: 'Who has done this?' The people replied: 'Hamza b. 'Abd al-Muttalib who is staying with some Ansari drunks in this house.’
I went away till I reached the Prophet, and Zayd b. Haritha was with him. The Prophet noticed on my face the effect of what I had suffered, he asked: 'What is wrong with you?' I replied: 'O Allah's Apostle! I have never seen such a day as today. Hamza attacked my two she-camels, cut off their humps, and ripped open their flanks, and he is sitting there in a house in the company of some drunks.’ The Prophet then asked for his covering sheet, put it on, and set out walking followed by me and Zayd b. Haritha till he came to the house where Hamza was.
He asked permission to enter, they allowed him and they were drunk. Allah's Apostle started rebuking Hamza for what he had done, but Hamza was drunk and his eyes were red. Hamza looked at Allah's Apostle and then he raised his eyes, looking at his knees, then he raised his eyes looking at his umbilicus, and again he raised his eyes and looked at his face. Hamza then said: 'Aren't you but the slaves of my father?' Allah's Apostle realized that he was drunk, so he retreated, and we went out with him.'"
Reflect, O reader, upon this transmission which is filled with lies and false charges, defaming the leader of the martyrs for he is the pride of the ahl al-bayt. How many times did Imam 'Ali (A.S.) take pride in him in his poems saying: "And Hamza, the chief of the martyrs, is my uncle" and how often the Prophet took pride in him to the point that when he was killed, he was greatly saddened and he wept intensely for him and named him "the leader of the martyrs?"
Hamza was the uncle of the Prophet (S.A.W.) through whom Allah had strengthened Islam. When some of the weak Muslims used to worship Allah in secrecy, he took his famous stand against the Quraysh and helped his nephew, declaring his Islam to the assembly of the Quraysh, not fearing anyone.
Hamza had emigrated before the Prophet and prepared for his nephew's coming on the famous day. Hamza was, with his nephew 'Ali, the hero of Badr and Uhud. Al-Bukhari himself related in his Sahih in "The Book of Tafsir of the Qur'an,” in "The Chapter of these are two opponents who disputed with their Lord" volume 5, p. 242: "[Narrated] from 'Ali b. Abi Talib (R) who said: 'I am the first of those who will kneel infront of the Merciful one for accounting on the day of judgement.'" Qays said that it is in their regard that "These were two opponents who disputed about their Lord" was revealed. He said: "They are the ones who fought on the day of Badr: 'Ali and Hamza and 'Ubayda, and Shaiba b. Rabi'a and 'Utba b. Rabi'a, and al-Walid b. 'Utba.”
Al-Bukhari is pleased to relate such blemishes that destroy the pride of the ahl al-bayt, and the chain of falsifiers who concocted such narrations is long. Al-Bukhari said: "Abdan told us that 'Abd Allah informed him from Yunus, and Ahmad b. Salih told us that Anbasatu informed him from Yunus from al-Zuhri who reported from 'Ali b. al-Husayn.
There are seven persons from whom al-Bukhari reports before the chain reaches 'Ali b. al-Husayn, i.e., Zayn al-'Abidin, and the leader of those who prostrate. Is it proper that Zayn al-'Abidin should relate such lies, to the effect that the leader of the martyrs drank intoxicants after his accepting Islam, after his emigration, and shortly before his martyrdom for, according to the narration, 'Ali b. Abi Talib was preparing the feast for his wedding with Fatima (A.S.) with whom he cohabited in 2 A.H.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) had given 'Ali his share from the booty the day of Badr. Now, is it proper for the chief of martyrs that he should have a prostitute singer singing to him and asking him to slaughter the two camels and that he did this without any concern?
Is it proper for the leader of the martyrs to eat forbidden meat without the [prescribed] slaughter, to cut open the hips and take the livers? Is it proper for the Prophet of Allah (P) to go and seek permission to see Hamza in that setting wherein there were intoxicants and immoral [things]? And for him to enter that place?
Does it behoove the leader of the martyrs to be red eyed and insult the Messenger (P): "You are nothing but slaves of my father?" Is it proper that the Apostle of Allah retreat back without any remonstration or rebuke when it is known about him that he used to get angry for Allah's sake?
I am absolutely convinced that this narration, were it (for argument's sake only, of course) to mention Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, or Mu'awiya instead of Hamza, al-Bukhari would not have reported it due to its disgraceful [nature]. Had he reported it, he would have edited and expurgated it as was his practice. But what could be done, since al-Bukhari did not love those who refused to accept the school of the Caliphs? Even after the incident of Kerbala and their murdering all of them, none remained with the exception of 'Ali b. al-Husayn, to whom they falsely attributed the narration.
Why did al-Bukhari not relate any fiqh from the ahl al-bayt nor [anything] of their knowledge, traits, asceticism, nor their virtues which have filled books and which are abundantly [found] in the collection of the ahl al-sunna before [they are found] in the collection of the Shi'as?
Let us look at another narration he recorded, slandering the ahl al-bayt, the apex in essence, since all the transmitters, among them al-Bukhari, could not find in 'Ali b. Abi Talib a single defect, nor could they record throughout his entire life a single lie, and did not know of a single wrong doing. If there was [even] one, they would have filled the earth with clamor and laments. Instead, they resorted to fabricating a hadith alleging that 'Ali would take the prayers lightly.
In "The Book of Eclipse" in "The Chapter on the Encouraging by the Prophet (S.A.W.) of the Night Prayer and the Prophet's (S.A.W.) knocking [on the door of] Fatima and 'Ali (A.S.) at Night for Prayer,” al-Bukhari reported in volume 2, p. 43 of his Sahih: Abu'l-Yaman said to us that Shu'ayb reported from al-Zuhri who said: "'Ali b. al-Husayn informed me that al-Husayn b. 'Ali informed him that 'Ali b. Abi Talib informed him that the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) knocked on the door of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.) one night and said: 'Do you not pray?'
I said: 'O Apostle of Allah, our souls are in the hands of Allah. When he wishes to awaken us, He does so.’ He went away when we said this without replying anything to me. Then I heard him when he turned away, striking his thigh saying: 'Surely man argues in most things.'"
Fear Allah, O Bukhari! This is 'Ali b. Abi Talib we are discussing, the historians record that he would observe the night prayer growling, (in the battle of Siffin) having spread a mat and praying between the lines of battle while the archers and arrows fell around him, yet he was not frightened nor did he discontinue his night prayer.
'Ali b. Abi Talib was the one who explained to the people the principles of fate and divine decree and he enjoined upon human beings the responsibility of their [own] actions. Do you perceive him, in this narration, to be a fatalist believing in predestination and arguing based on this with the Prophet of Allah [using] the words: "Our souls are in the hands of Allah, if He wishes to awaken us, we do" meaning that if Allah wanted us to pray, we would have prayed.
This is 'Ali, love for him is [a sign of] faith, and hatred for him is [a sign of] hypocrisy. Yet you describe him to be the most argumentative of creatures in most things? This is a disgraceful lie which even Ibn Muljim, the murderer of the Imam, or Mu'awiya, who used to order the people to curse him, will not agree with. It is a cheap lie but you were tagging along many behind [you] since, by this, you pleased the rulers of your time and the enemies of the ahl al-bayt.
They raised your stature in this transitory world, but you have angered your Lord by this stand against the Commander of the Faithful, the leader of those with distinctive marks of paradise, the one who will divide [people] between heaven and hell for he will stand on the day of judgement on the heights and everyone will be known by his marks and he will say to the Fire: "This one is for me, and that one is for you.”
I don't know if your book on the Day of Judgment will be like your book of today which is adorned, [classified] in volumes, embellished so as to be the most magnificent adornment which a book can be known for.
Certainly it was difficult for al-Bukhari to show that his master 'Umar b. al-Khattab did not observe the obligatory prayer when there was no water and that he espoused this view even in his Caliphate and said: "As for me, I do not pray" thereby challenging the Qur'an and the sunna.
So al-Bukhari searched among the Satans and the falsifiers and they concocted for him this hadith which accuses the Commander of the Faithful, 'Ali b. Abi Talib, that he was lazy and did not pray the supererogatory night prayer. Assuming his tradition is authentic, there is no blame nor any sin nor wrong doing on 'Ali for it concerns the optional prayers, for which one receives rewards for performing but is not punished for not doing it. There can be no comparison between the action of 'Umar in leaving the obligatory prayer and 'Ali's leaving the optional prayers, if the narration is correct. But there is no way this tradition can be correct, even if it was reported in al-Bukhari's Sahih.
Al-Bukhari is regarded by the ahl al-sunna as being authentic, and the ahl al-sunna are the ones who supported the school of the Caliphate which was built on Umayyad and 'Abbasid politics. A researcher knows this fact, which is no longer a secret to anyone. The ahl al-sunna wa'l-Jama'a, in following of the politics of the rulers who persisted on enmity and fighting the ahl al-bayt and anyone who befriended and followed them, became, without their knowledge, the enemies of the ahl al-bayt and their Shi'as as they befriended their enemies and were inimical to their friends.
As a result, they raised the status of al-Bukhari to the degree of the highest honor. You therefore do not find with them any legacy of the ahl al-bayt nor any sayings of the twelve Imams mentioned not even from the door of the city of knowledge, he who was in relation to the Prophet (S.A.W.) as Aaron was to Moses, that of a Prophet of his Lord.
The question that needs to be posed to the ahl al-sunna is: "In comparison to the other hadith scholars, what is it that al-Bukhari preserved that [made him] attain this excellence for you?" I believe that the only answer to this question is that al-Bukhari:
1. Changed the hadith that touched on the honor of [some] companions, especially Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and Mu'awiya. This is what Mu'awiya and the rulers after him wanted.
2. Propagated the hadith that spoke against the infallibility of the Prophet of Allah (P), and portrayed him as an ordinary person subject to error. This is what the rulers wished at all times.
3. He reported false hadith in praise of the three Caliphs and he preferred them over 'Ali b. Abi Talib. This is precisely what Mu'awiya wanted, to obliterate the mention of 'Ali's name, according to his [own] claim.
4. He related spurious hadith that denigrated the honor of the ahl al-bayt.
5. He related other hadith that supported fatalism, corporealism, fate and destiny regarding the Caliphate. These were what the Umayyads and 'Abbasids propagated so as to determine the fate of the community.
6. He related spurious hadith which resembled myths and fairy tales to scare the umma and cause confusion. This is what the rulers wanted in al-Bukhari's time.
To cite an example; here, O reader is a narration:-
Al-Bukhari reported in "The Book of The Beginning of Creation" in "The Chapter of the Days of Ignorance,” volume 4, p. 238: Al-Bukhari said: "Nu'aym b. Hammad informed me that Hushaym b. al-Husayn heard from Amr' b. Maymun, who said: 'I saw in the days of ignorance a monkey which had fornicated. [Other] monkeys gathered around her to stone her and I also stoned her along with them.'"
We say to al-Bukhari: "Perhaps Allah, Glory be to Him, out of mercy to the apes, abrogated the ruling of stoning which He had made obligatory upon them after their expulsion from heaven, and made fornication permissible for them during Islam after it was initially forbidden in the days of ignorance. As a result, no Muslim has ever claimed that he attended or took part in the stoning of a monkey since the prophethood of Muhammad (S.A.W.) up to our present time.”
After these tales, and others like this are abundant in al-Bukhari's [work], can the researchers, the scholars, free thinkers remain silent and not speak out?
Some will say: "Why this attack on al-Bukhari alone? There are in other hadith books more numerous [traditions] than in this [book]. This is correct, but we have analyzed al-Bukhari's work critically because this book has attained fame beyond comprehension; so much so that it has become like a holy book for the scholars of the ahl al-sunna, as if no falsehood comes from the front nor from behind it, for everything in it is [deemed to be] true, not subject to any doubt.
The fountain of this illusion and sanctity originated from the sultans and the kings, especially during the 'Abbasid dynasty, when the Persians took over the ruler ship in every part of the state and amongst them were ministers, advisers, doctors, and astronomers. Abu Faras said of that:
"Convey this message to the Banu 'Abbasid. They should not claim the ownership of this kingdom
Because the real kings are the non-Arabs,
What glorious qualities have remained in your houses
Because in it, the aliens are ruling and managing you"
The Persians tried their utmost, and used all their resources until the book of al-Bukhari occupied the highest position after the noble Qur'an and Abu Hanifa became the greatest Imam, above the other three Imams.
Had it not been for the Persian fear of Arab national agitation during the 'Abbasid caliphate, they would have raised al-Bukhari higher than the Qur'an itself, and they would have elevated Abu Hanifa above the Prophet (S.A.W.), who knows?
I have read from some of them their attempts in this regard. They have said clearly that the hadith adjudicates the Qur'an, they mean the hadith of al-Bukhari of course. Similarly, they say that if the hadith of the Prophet (S.A.W.) is at variance with the views and personal judgments of Abu Hanifa, it is necessary to give precedence to the judgments of Abu Hanifa. They justify [this by saying] that the hadith may have several meanings. This is if the hadith is of established authenticity; if however, there is doubt regarding its veracity, and then there is no problem.
The Islamic community has grown and increased gradually but its affairs have always been controlled, its fate directed by kings and sultans, by the foreigners, the Persians, the Mamlukes, the slaves, the Moghuls, the Turks, the French, the English, Italians, and Portugese colonialists.
Many scholars have persisted backing the rulers, and have sought to please them by issuing rulings, flattering them, and coveting their wealth and glory. They have always worked along the principle of "divide and rule". They did not allow ijtihad to anyone, nor to open that door which the rulers closed at the beginning of the second century, relying on the discord and war which occurred between the ahl al-sunna - which is the majority that represented the governing body, and the Shi'a who were the neglected minority representing, in their (rulers) view, a dangerous opponent that had to be destroyed.
The 'ulama' of the ahl al-sunna have busied themselves in the political games and plots, in criticizing and labelling the Shi'as as infidels, refuting their proofs by [using] all types of arguments and debates; so much so that thousands of books have been written, and thousands of innocent people have been killed for no other reason but because of their friendship to the progeny of the Prophet (S.A.W.), and because of their rejection of those who ruled over the umma by power and force.
Here we are today in the age of freedom, in the age of enlightenment, as they call it, a period of knowledge and competition of nations to conquer outer space and to control the earth. [Yet] any scholar who stands up and frees himself from the fetters of zeal and blind imitation and writes anything which smells of the following of the ahl al-bayt, they become furious and spend their efforts vilifying and labeling him as an infidel and [trying to] disgrace him.
Not because of anything except that he has opposed what has been written by them. But if he was to write a book praising al-Bukhari and glorifying him, he would be seen as the most erudite of the learned, and they would heap honor and praise on him from every side, people whose prayer and fasting do not prevent them from flattery and falsity would bow at his doorstep.
When you think of all the factors which have led most of [Allah's] servants to deviate, and the reasons which have resulted in leading most of the people astray, the noble Qur'an informs you of its hidden secret during the conversation between the Lord of Honor and Majesty and the accursed devil.
He (the Lord) said: "What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you to do so?" He (Satan ) said: "I am better than him. You created me from fire and him from clay.”
He said: "Go down from it, You cannot be arrogant here [in the garden] so begone! You are amongst the meanest of creatures.”
He said: "Give me a respite until the day when they are resurrected.”
He said: "You are amongst those who are given a respite.”
He said: "As You have expelled me, I will lay in wait for them in your straight path, then I shall come from the front and from behind, from their right and left, and you will find most of them ungrateful to You". He said: "Get out abased and expelled! If any of them follows you, I shall fill the hell with all of you" (7:12-18).
"O Children of Adam! Do not let Satan corrupt you as he led to the expulsion of your parents from paradise, stripping them of their clothes to show them their nakedness. Surely he (Satan) and his tribe see you from whence you perceive them not. We have made Satans the friends for those who do not believe.
If they commit an immoral [deed] they say we found our fathers doing it and Allah has ordered us to do it! Say to them: 'Certainly Allah never orders wrongdoing! Do you say of Allah what you do not know?' Say: 'My Lord has ordered me [to practice] justice and to fix your attention (to Him) at every place of prostration and to supplicate to Him in sincerity for, as He has brought you into being, so unto Him will you return. Some He has guided right, others have deserved to go astray, for they have taken Satans as their friends instead of Allah, they think that they are rightly guided'" (7:26-30).
I therefore say to all my Muslim brothers in general: "Curse the Satan and do not grant him any means of [approaching] you. Come together for an academic discussion which the Qur'an and the authentic sunna establish. Let us agree upon a common word between us and you that we will not use as proof except what is proven to be authentic to both you and us.
We will leave aside what we differ on. Did the Prophet of Allah (S.A.W.) not say "My umma will not unite in (committing) a mistake?" Truth and what is right lies in what we, Sunnis and Shi'as, agree upon. Falsehood lies in what we differ in. If we erect this pillar, only purity, agreement and joy would envelope us, we would be reunited; the help of Allah and victory would come. From the earth and the skies blessings would rain upon us.
For the time has come, and we do not have any more time to wait, before that day in which there is no barter and no transaction is allowed. We are all - Sunnis and Shi'as - awaiting the coming of our Imam al-Mahdi (A.S.) for our books are replete with the tidings of his coming. Is this not sufficient proof of the oneness of our path? The Shi'as are nothing but your brothers, and the ahl al-bayt are not exclusive to them.
For Muhammad (P) and the members of his household are the Imams of all Muslims. We, Sunnis and Shi'as, are in agreement on the veracity of the hadith of the two weighty things, and the saying of the Prophet (S.A.W.): "I have left with you something which, if you stick to, you will never go astray; Allah's book and my household.”
And the Mahdi is from his progeny. Is this not another proof? Now the time of tyranny and oppression during which no one was as oppressed as the ahl al-bayt, the progeny of the Prophet (S.A.W.) were, has passed. They were cursed from the pulpits, killed, their women and children taken prisoners - all this within the sight and earshot of all the Muslims.
The time has now come to remove the acts of injustices from the members of the Prophet's household, for the umma to return under their protective arms which are filled with affection and mercy to their flourishing group which is filled with knowledge and deeds. [It is time for the umma to return] to the shadows of the lofty tree which is filled with merit and honor. Allah and His angels have sent blessings to them, and [He] has ordered the Muslims to do that in every prayer just as he has ordered us to love and befriend them.
The superiority of the ahl al-bayt then, is something which no Muslim denies; the poets have sung their praises with the passage of time. Al-Farazdaq said about them:
"If the pious men were enumerated, they would be their Imams. If it was asked who are the best of the people on earth, it would be said ‘them’.
They are from that group, love for them is [true] religion. And hating them is infidelity
And closeness to them is place of refuge and stronghold. Their remembrance has precedence after the remembrance of Allah in every good deed; and the talks are sealed with their remembrance.”
And Abu Faras, the famous poet praised the ahl al-bayt and exposed the 'Abbasids in his well known ode called al-Shafi'a: We quote here a bit from it:
"O wine sellers, stop your boasting [and submit to]
those people who sell their lives in battles, leave the boasting for those who are the most knowledgeable when they are asked and the most accomplished implementers when they know
Those who do not become angry except for Allah's sake when they are angry
And do not abandon the law of the Lord when they judge .
In their houses the Qur'an is recited in the mornings and in your houses there are musical instruments and songs .
Their places are at rukn al-Yamani and the Ka'ba and its cover and Zam Zam and Safa' and the hijr Isma'il and the sanctuary .
There is no oath in the Qur'an which we know except they are, without any doubt, that oath.”
Al-Zamakhshari, al-Bayhaqi and al-Qastalani have all narrated the following verses from Imam Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Ansari al-Shatibi .
Some Christians have written numerous books on the qualities and excellences of 'Ali b. Abi Talib specifically, and of the ahl al-bayt in general. This is what al-Shatibi meant:
"I do not want to mention Banu 'Uday and Banu Taym in a derogatory manner.
But I am the lover of Banu Hashim, and when 'Ali and his family are mentioned For the sake of Allah, I do not care for the rebuke of critics. They say: 'Why do even Christians love them and also the people of intelligence whether Arabs or non-Arabs?' I say to them: 'I think that their love has penetrated into the hearts of all creatures, even the animals.'"
The author of "Kashf al-Ghumma" on page 20 of his book has quoted the sayings of some Christians in praise of the Commander of the Faithful 'Ali b. Abi Talib:
"'Ali is the Commander of the Faithful, definitely
And no other person can aspire for the Caliphate
He has the highest lineage, and he is the first in his Islam - and virtues
They all agree 'Ali is the best of the people and most pious and bravest of them all after the Prophet
If I were I to desire any religion other than my own,
I would not be anything but a Shi'a Muslim.”
The Muslims are more fitting to show love and to befriend the ahl al-bayt of the Prophet; and the reward of having accepted the message is completely dependent on [our] loving them.
Perchance my call will reach [some] attentive ears, perceptive hearts and open eyes, and I hope that I will, by that, achieve happiness in this world and in the hereafter. I beseech Him, the most Glorious and Exalted, to make my effort sincere for His noble cause, to accept my effort and to forgive me and to make me a servant for Muhammad and his progeny (S.A.W.) in this world and in the hereafter. For in service to them lies a great success. Indeed, with my Lord is the straight Path. My last prayer is that all praise is for Allah the Lord of all the worlds, and the choicest praises and blessings be for Muhammad and his progeny, the most cleansed and pure.
Muhammad Al-Tijani Al-Samawi