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Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) (19)

Allah Ta‘ala had chosen Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) for the service of Hadith. Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah), throughout his life, regarded his engagement in the service of Hadith to be a great bounty and favor of Allah Ta‘ala upon him. Hence, he dedicated all his time, energy and resources to learning, teaching, practicing and propagating the knowledge of the Mubaarak Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). He ensured that at no time would he allow anything to distract him from his main goal and purpose.

On one occasion, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) came out from the town of Firabr intending to go to an area near Bukhaara. Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) wished to build an inn for the travellers and the poor in that area. On learning of the intention of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah), a large group of people gathered and decided to assist him in building the inn.

During the construction, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) would carry bricks with his own hands and personally assist with the building. Observing this, his close student, Muhammed bin Abi Haatim (rahimahullah), said to him, “O Abu Abdillah (this was the filial title of Imaam Bukhaari [rahimahullah])! We are here to serve you. Hence, there is no need for you to undergo difficulty by assisting in the construction.” However, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) replied, “It is this work that will benefit us and assist us in the Hereafter (and hence we wish to personally take part in it).”

During his life, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) had traveled through various parts of the world to acquire the treasure of Ahaadith from the various Muhadditheen of the time.

On one occasion, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was traveling to a certain land by ship. At that time, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) had one thousand dinars with him for his travel expenses and other needs. This money was kept in a pouch, and Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) did not tell anyone about this money.

Importance Shown to the Blessed Hadith

Allah Ta‘ala crowned the kitaab of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) with such universal acceptance that over a thousand years have passed since its compilation, yet we find that the blessings of this kitaab continue to flow in the world. This kitaab is found in every library of the world and is taught in every institute of Islamic learning. It is reported that approximately ninety-thousand students studied Saheeh Bukhaari directly from Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) during his lifetime.

Allah Ta‘ala had blessed Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) with the taufeeq (ability) to author many different kitaabs relating to Hadith and the sciences of Hadith. Among the kitaabs that he authored were Tareekh Kabeer, Tareekh Awsat and Tareekh Sagheer, as well as Al-Adab-ul-Mufrad and other Hadith compilations.

Most Authentic Compilation of Hadith

The most well-known kitaab of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) is the kitaab famously known as Saheeh Bukhaari. Regarding the authenticity of Saheeh Bukhaari, Allamah Suyooti (rahimahullah) has mentioned that there is consensus of all the Ulama that this kitaab is the most authentic kitaab after the Qur’aan Majeed.

Muhammed bin Abi Haatim (rahimahullah) narrates the following:

When I would accompany Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) on a journey, then we would stay in the same room, unless it was the summer season (when the heat would be intense).

During the night, I would notice that Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) would get up approximately fifteen to twenty times. On getting up, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) would take the flint (a stone used for lighting fire) and use it to light the lamp. Thereafter, he would look at certain Ahaadith and make notes. After some time, he would place his head down and go back to sleep.

Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was once seated in his home when his slave girl arrived at the home and wished to enter. After entering the home, she walked past Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) and accidentally stumbled over an inkpot which was placed near him.

Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) addressed her saying, “Why do you not look when walking?” Hearing this, she retorted, “When there is no place to walk then how am I supposed to walk?” As soon as she said this, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) said to her, “You may go, for I have set you free.”

Muhammed bin Abu Haatim (rahimahullah) narrates:

Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) had a certain debtor who owed him a substantial amount of money and was delaying in settling his debt.

Once, while Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was in the city of Firabr, he received information that his debtor had come to the city of Aamul. Hence, we suggested to Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) that he should travel to Aamul in order to recover the money he was owed from the debtor. However, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) replied, “It does not behove us to suddenly arrive there and frighten him.”

Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) was extremely cautious in regard to gheebah (backbiting). Hence, Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) once mentioned, “From the time I learnt that gheebah is haraam, I never made the gheebah of any person.”

It was on account of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) exercising a very high level of caution in regard to gheebah that he once said, “I have hope that when I meet Allah Ta‘ala, He will not take me to task for making any person’s gheebah.”

Muhammed bin Mansoor (rahimahullah) narrates the following incident:

On one occasion, while we were in the musjid, seated in the gathering of Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah), a certain person in the musjid removed some dirt from his beard and threw it on the ground. I looked towards Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) to see whether he had noticed what the person had done. I observed that Imaam Bukhaari (rahimahullah) looked at the dirt on the floor and thereafter shifted his gaze towards the students in the gathering.

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