Sahih al-Bukhari

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Sahih al-Bukhari
AuthorMuḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī
GenreHadith collection
Original text
Sahih al-Bukhari at Arabic Wikisource

Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic: صَحِيحُ الْبُخَارِي, romanizedṢaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī) is the first hadith collection of the Six Books of Sunni Islam. It was compiled by Persian scholar al-Bukhari (d. 870) around 846. The author was born in Bukhara in today's Uzbekistan.

Alongside Sahih Muslim, it is one of the most valued books in Sunni Islam after the Quran. Both books are part of the six major Sunni collections of hadith of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It consists of an estimated 7,563 hadith narrations across its 97 chapters.

Sahih (صحيح) means "authentic". The original name of the work is Al-Jami Al-Musnad Al-Sahih Al-Mukhtasar Min Umur Rasul Allah Sallá Allah Alayhi Wa-Sallam Wa-Sunanihi Wa-Ayyamihi (الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أُمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم وسننه وأيامه), which means "The shortened authentic (sahih) collection with isnads from the affairs of the Messenger, peace be upon Him, and His traditions and His days".


Sources differ on the exact number of hadiths in Sahih al-Bukhari, with definitions of hadith varying from a prophetic tradition or sunnah, or a narration of that tradition. Experts have estimated the number of full-isnad narrations in the Sahih at 7,563, with the number reducing to around 2,600 without considerations to repetitions or different versions of the same hadith. Bukhari chose these narrations from a collection of 600,000 narrations he had collected over 16 years.[1][2] The narrations are distributed across 97 chapters covering fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), among other subjects. Each chapter contains references to relevant verses from the Quran.[3][4] It provides proper Islamic guidance in almost all aspects of Muslim life such as the method of performing prayers and other actions of worship directly from Muhammad.



It is reported that Bukhari traveled widely throughout the Abbasid Caliphate from the age of 16. Bukhari found the earlier hadith collections including both ṣaḥīḥ (authentic, sound)[5][6] and hasan narrations. He also found that many of them included daʻīf (weak) narrations. This aroused his interest in compiling hadith whose authenticity was beyond doubt.[1]

What further strengthened his resolve was something his teacher and contemporary hadith scholar Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh had told him. Bukhari narrates, "We were with Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh who said, "If only you would compile a book of only authentic narrations of the Prophet." This suggestion remained in my heart so I began compiling the Sahih." Bukhari also said, "I saw the Prophet in a dream and it was as if I was standing in front of him. In my hand was a fan with which I was protecting him. I asked some dream interpreters, who said to me, 'You will protect him from lies'. This is what compelled me to produce the Sahih."[1][7]

Bukhari imposed four conditions the narrators of a hadith must meet, in order for the narration to be included in his Sahih:[8][9]

  • being just,
  • possessing strong memory and all the scholars who possess great knowledge of hadith must agree upon the narrators' ability to learn and memorize, along with their reporting techniques,
  • complete isnad without any missing narrators,
  • consecutive narrators in the chain must meet each other.

Bukhari began organizing his book in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, before moving to the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina.[10] Bukhari completed writing the book in Bukhara around 846 (232 AH), before showing it to his teachers for examination and verification. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani quoted Abu Jaʿfar al-'Uqaili as saying, "After Bukhari had written the Sahih, he showed it to Ali ibn al-Madini, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yahya ibn Ma'in as well as others. They examined it and testified to its authenticity with the exception of four hadith." Ibn Hajar then concluded with al-'Uqaili's saying, "And those four are as Bukhari said, they are authentic."[11] Bukhari spent the last twenty-four years of his life visiting other cities and scholars, making minor revisions to his book and teaching the hadith he had collected. In every city that Bukhari visited, thousands of people would gather to listen to him recite traditions.[12]


Open book with Arabic text in Naskh style
Single volume of the Sahih al-Bukhari, from later 14th or early 15th century, in the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art

Each version of the Sahih is named by its narrator. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his book Nukat asserts the number of narrations is the same in each version. There are many books that noted differences between the different versions, the best known being Fath al-Bari. The version transmitted by Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Firabri (died 932), a trusted student of Bukhari, is the most famous version of the Sahih al-Bukhari today. All modern printed version are derived from this version. Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi quoted al-Firabri in History of Baghdad: "About seventy thousand people heard Sahih Bukhari with me." al-Firabri is not the only transmitter of Sahih al-Bukhari. Many others narrated the book, including Ibrahim ibn Ma'qal (died 907), Hammad ibn Shakir (died 923), Mansur Burduzi (died 931) and Husain Mahamili (died 941).[13]

Transmission from Bukhari to present day:[14][edit]

From later to earlier -

  1. Yemani sheikh Habib al-Jafri/Jifri
  2. Imam Ahmad bin Abd al-Rahman al-Saqqaf
  3. His sheikh Imam Ali bin Muhammad al-Habashi
  4. His sheikh Imam Aidaroos bin Omar al-Habashi
  5. Musnad of Hadhramaut
  6. Nahhat al-Fattah al-Fatir
  7. His sheikh Imam Abdullah bin Ahmad Basudan
  8. His sheikh Mr. Imam Omar bin Abdul Rahman al-Bar
  9. His sheikh Mr. Al-Baqiyya, Hamid bin Omar bin Hamid Al Abi Alawi
  10. His sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Belfaqih
  11. His sheikh Al-Musnad Al-Hasan bin Ali Al-Ujaimi and Sheikh Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Mathili
  12. His sheikh Muhammad bin Alaa Al-Din Al-Babli
  13. Abu Al-Najah Salem bin Muhammad Al-Samhouri
  14. Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Ghaiti
  15. Sheikh al-Islam Zakaria ibn Muhammad al-Ansari
  16. Hafiz Ahmad ibn Ali ibn Hajar al-Asqalani
  17. sheikh Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Tanukhi and Abd al-Rahim ibn Razin al-Hamwi
  18. Abu al-Fadl Ahmad ibn Abi Talib al-Hajjar
  19. Al-Hussein al-Mubarak al-Zubaidi
  20. Abu Al-Waqt Abdul Awal bin Issa Al-Harawi
  21. Abu Al-Hasan Abdul Rahman bin Al-Muzaffar Al-Daoudi
  22. Abu Muhammad Abdullah bin Ahmed Al-Sarkhasi
  23. Abu Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Yusuf bin Matar Al-Farbari
  24. Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail Al-Bukhari


The Orientalist Manjana said in Cambridge in 1936 that the oldest manuscript he had come across up to that point was written in 984 CE/370 AH, according to the narration of al-Mirwazi from al-Farbari.[15] The oldest full manuscript which was printed by ISAM is from 1155/550 AH.[16] As is the norm in hadith studies, Bukhari would have recited his Sahih to a large number of his students who would not only listen to it, but memorise it word for word from him and copy it in its entirety. Students would then check their own copies against Bukhari’s personal copy and would only receive permission to transmit and teach once Bukhari himself was happy with their ability to do so. This way, the isnad (chain of narration) would be traceable and also have multiple routes back to the teacher.

Derived works[edit]

The oldest full manuscript is a version on the narration of Abu Dharr al-Heravi (died 1043) written in Maghrebi script, present in the Süleymaniye Library in Istanbul is from 1155 (550 AH).[17] Another manuscript that is hand-transcribed by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Yazdan Bakhsh Bengali in Ekdala, Eastern Bengal is well preserved in Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library. The manuscript was a gift to the Sultan of Bengal Alauddin Husain Shah.[18]


Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

The number of detailed commentaries on the Sahih are numbered around 400,[19] including Fayd al-Bari ala Sahih al-Bukhari and Anwar al-Bari sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Lami al-Darari ala Jami al-Bukhari by Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, Tafsir al-Gharib ma fi al-Sahihayn by al-Humaydī (died 1095), Ibn Kathir's (died 1373) Sharh, Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani (died 852 AH),[20] Al-Tawshih by al-Suyuti (died 1505), Irshad al-Sari by al-Qastallani (died 1517),[20][21] Umdat al-Qari by Badr al-Din al-Ayni,[20] and Al-Tanqih by al-Zarkashi (died 1392), Kashf al-Bari Amma fi Sahih al-Bukhari by Saleemullah Khan. Modern commentaries are also written by Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri, Kausar Yazdani, Muhammad Taqi Usmani,[22] and Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalawi.[23]

Few scholars have commented on Bukhari's reasons behind naming the chapters in his Sahih, known as tarjumat al-bab.[24] Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani is noted to be one of them. Shah Waliullah Dehlawi had mentioned 14 reasons, later modified by Mahmud al-Hasan to make it 15. Kandhlawi is noted to have found as many as 70, even writing a book on the topic, Al-Abwab wa al-Tarajim li Sahih al-Bukhari.[23][24]


9-volume Sahih al-Bukhari in English

Sahih al-Bukhari was originally translated into English by Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan, titled The Translation of the Meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari: Arabic-English (1971),[25] derived from the Arabic text of Fath Al-Bari, published by the Egyptian Maktabat wa-Maṭba'at Muṣṭafá al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī in 1959.[26] It is published by Al Saadawi Publications and Darussalam Publishers and is included in the USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts.[27] Large numbers of hadith narrations included in Hilali and Khan's work have been translated by Muhammad Ali and Thomas Cleary. The book is also available in numerous languages, including Urdu, Bengali, Bosnian, Tamil, Malayalam, Albanian, Malay, and Hindi, among others.[28]

In 2019, the Arabic Virtual Translation Center in New York translated and published the first complete English translation of Sahih al-Bukhari titled Encyclopedia of Sahih Al-Bukhari, including explanatory notes, a glossary of every term, and biographies of all narrators in the isnad.[9]


Sunni Muslims regard Sahih al-Bukhari as one of the two most important books among the Kutub al-Sittah alongside the Sahih Muslim, written by al-Bukhari's student Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj. The two books are known as the Sahihayn (The Two Sahihs).[4][29][30] Al-Nawawi wrote about Sahih al-Bukhari, "The scholars, may God have mercy on them, have agreed that the most authentic book after the dear Quran are the two Sahihs of Bukhari and Muslim."[31] Siddiq Hasan Khan (died 1890) wrote, "All of the Salaf and Khalaf assert that the most authentic book after the book of Allah is Sahih al-Bukhari and then Sahih Muslim."[32]

In the Introduction to the Science of Hadith, Ibn al-Salah wrote: "The first to author a Sahih was Bukhari [...], followed by Abū al-Ḥusayn Muslim ibn al-Ḥajjāj an-Naysābūrī al-Qushayrī, who was his student, sharing many of the same teachers. These two books are the most authentic books after the Quran. As for the statement of al-Shafi'i, who said, "I do not know of a book containing knowledge more correct than Malik's book [Muwatta Imam Malik]", [...] he said this before the books of Bukhari and Muslim. "The book of Bukhari is the more authentic of the two and more useful."[33] Ibn al-Salah also quoted Bukhari as having said, "I have not included in the book [Sahih al-Bukhari] other than what is authentic and I did not include other authentic hadith for the sake of brevity."[33] In addition, al-Dhahabi quoted Bukhari as having said, "I have memorized one hundred thousand authentic hadith and two hundred thousand which are less than authentic."[34]


Criticism has also been directed at apparent contradictions within Bukhari regarding the ahruf of the Quran. Some narrations state the Quran was revealed only in the dialect of Muhammad's tribe, the Quraysh, while others state it was revealed in seven ahruf.[35][36][37] Certain prophetic medicine and remedies espoused in Bukhari, such as cupping, have been noted for being unscientific.[38] Sunni scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, on the basis of contrary archaeological evidence, criticised the hadith[39] which claimed that Adam's height was 60 cubits and human height has been decreasing ever since.[40]

Other hadiths contradict historical facts: e.g. hadith number 1221 implies Abu Sufyan ibn Harb died in Shām when he actually died in Medina; hadith number 5,560 says Muhammad died at 60 years old, instead of the actual 63 years old;[41] there are also serious contradictions between hadiths regarding the timing of Qadr Night.[42]

In the 2003 book The Idea of Women in Fundamentalist Islam, Lamia Shehadeh used gender theory to critique an ahaad hadith about women's leadership.[43][44] Another hadith reported by Abu Hurairah was criticized by Fatema Mernissi for being reported out of context and without any further clarification in the Sahih. The clarification is given in a hadith reported by Aisha in al-Zarkashi's (1344–1392) hadith collection. According to Charles Kurzman, this case raises the question of whether other narrations in Bukhari have been reported incompletely or lack proper context.[45] In 2017, Rachid Aylal, a Quranist, published a book criticizing the Sahih, titled Sahih Al-Bukhari: The End of a Legend. It was banned in Morocco for disturbing spiritual security, due to pressure from Islamists.[46][47]

On August 29, 2022, Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation has included Sahih al-Bukhari into the federal list of extremist materials (except containing surahs, ayahs and quotes from the Quran) after the Supreme Court of Tatarstan supported the Laishevo District Court's decision to recognize the Sahih as extremist with its appellate ruling of July 5, 2022.[48][49]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "About - Sahih al-Bukhari - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Archived from the original on 2021-10-23. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  2. ^ A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2009). Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Foundations of Islam series). Oneworld Publications. p. 32. ISBN 978-1851686636.
  3. ^ "Two most authentic books of Hadith". GulfTimes. 2021-11-04. Archived from the original on 2021-12-27. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  4. ^ a b "Introduction to Translation of Sahih Bukhari". International Islamic University Malaysia – Garden of Knowledge and Virtue. Archived from the original on 2021-06-23. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  5. ^ "Meaning of sahih". Archived from the original on February 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
  6. ^ Lang, David Marshall, ed. (1971). "Bukhārī". A Guide to Eastern Literatures. Praeger. p. 33. ISBN 9780297002741.
  7. ^ al-Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. Hady al-Sari, the introduction to Fath al-Bari. Darussalam Publications. pp. 8–9.
  8. ^ "About - Sahih al-Bukhari - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 2022-08-13.
  9. ^ a b Arabic Virtual Translation Center (2022). Encyclopedia of Sahih al-Bukhari (9th ed.). New York City: Arabic Virtual Translation Center. ISBN 9780359672653.
  10. ^ Khan, Muhammad Siddiq. Al Hittah fi Dhikr al-Sihah al-Sittah (in Arabic). Dar al-Jeel. p. 178.
  11. ^ Hady al-Sari, pg. 684.
  12. ^ al-Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. Fath al-Bari (in Arabic). Dar al-Ma'rifa. p. 489.
  13. ^ Ahmed, Hussain (2020-07-17). "Why Imam al-Firabri: The student of Imam al-Bukhari and transmitter of his Sahih was trustworthy (thiqa)". Darul Tahqiq. Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  14. ^ "سند الحبيب علي الجفري في رواية الجامع الصحيح" [The chain of transmission of Habib Ali Al-Jifri in the narration of Al-Jami’ Al-Sahih] (in Arabic).
  15. ^ See Tareekh at-Turaath by Fu’aad Sizkeen (1/228).
  17. ^ "Facsimile of the oldest Sahih al-Bukhari". Centre for Islamic Studies (in Turkish). Retrieved 2022-08-12.
  18. ^ Mawlana Nur Muhammad Azmi. "2.2 বঙ্গে এলমে হাদীছ" [2.2 Knowledge of Hadith in Bengal]. হাদীছের তত্ত্ব ও ইতিহাস [Information and history of Hadith] (in Bengali). Emdadia Library. p. 24.
  19. ^ "An Overview of Ten Manuscripts of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī". Archived from the original on 2020-08-06. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  20. ^ a b c Gibb, H.A.R.; Kramers, J.H.; Levi-Provencal, E.; Schacht, J. (1986) [1st. pub. 1960]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. I (A-B) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 1297. ISBN 9004081143.
  21. ^ Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1997) [1st. pub. 1978]. Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. IV (Iran-Kha) (New ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 736. ISBN 9004078193.
  22. ^ "Dars E Nizami Dora E Hadees 8th Year".
  23. ^ a b "Anak Pendang Sekeluarga: Kanzul Mutawari Dan Sumbangan Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalawi rah". April 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  24. ^ a b www. "Al Abwab Wat Tarajim Li Sahihul Bukhari" – via Internet Archive.
  25. ^ Bukhārī, Muḥammad ibn Ismāʻīl; بخارس، محمد بن اسماعيل. (1997). Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī : the translation of the meanings of Sahih al-Bukhari : Arabic-English. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, خان، محمد محسن. Riyadh-Saudi Arabia: Darussalam Pub. & Distr. ISBN 9960-717-31-3. OCLC 38433341.
  26. ^ al-ʻAsqalānī, Aḥmad ibn ʻAlī Ibn Ḥajar (1959). Fatḥ al-bārī bi-sharḥ al-Bukhārī. Cairo: Maktabat wa-Maṭbaʻat Muṣṭafá al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī. OCLC 7902764.
  27. ^ "Translation of Sahih Bukhari". Archived from the original on 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
  28. ^ "Sahih Bukhari - Multiple languages". Australian Islamic Library. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  29. ^ "Sahih Muslim - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 2018-06-28. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  30. ^ Koenig, Harold G. (2014). Health and well-being in Islamic societies : background, research, and applications. Saad Al Shohaib. Cham [Switzerland]. ISBN 978-3-319-05873-3. OCLC 880374211.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  31. ^ al-Nawawi, Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Sharaf (1972). Al Minhaj, Sharh Sahih Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (in Arabic) (2nd ed.). Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-Arabi. p. 14.
  32. ^ Khan, Muhammad Siddiq. Al Hittah fi Dhikr al-Sihah al-Sittah (in Arabic). Dar al-Jeel. p. 225.
  33. ^ a b Introduction to the Science of Hadith (Dar al-Ma’aarif ed.). Dar al-Ma’aarif. pp. 160–169.
  34. ^ Tadhkirat al-huffaz, vol. 2 pgs. 104-5, al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah edition.
  35. ^ Melchert 2008, p. 83.
  36. ^ "Virtues of the Qur'an. Book 61, Number 507". Sahih al-Bukhari
  37. ^ Shamoun, Sam. "The Seven Ahruf and Multiple Qiraat – A Quranic Perspective". Answering Islam.
  38. ^ Leslie, Charles Miller, ed. (1976). Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study (reprint ed.). University of California Press. pp. 57–8. ISBN 9780520035119.
  39. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 6227". Archived from the original on 2 April 2017. Retrieved 1 April 2017. Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah created Adam in His picture, sixty cubits (about 30 meters) in height. When He created him, He said (to him), "Go and greet that group of angels sitting there, and listen what they will say in reply to you, for that will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring." Adam (went and) said, 'As-Salamu alaikum (Peace be upon you).' They replied, 'AsSalamu-'Alaika wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Allah's Mercy be on you) So they increased 'Wa Rahmatullah' The Prophet added 'So whoever will enter Paradise, will be of the shape and picture of Adam Since then the creation of Adam's (offspring) (i.e. stature of human beings is being diminished continuously) to the present time."
  40. ^ Islam and the Modern Age, Volume 29. Islam and the Modern Age Society. 1998. p. 39. The hadith, reported by al-Bukhari, to the effect that Adam's height was sixty cubits, has been criticised by Ibn Hajar on the basis of archaeological measurements of the homesteads of some ancient peoples, which show that their inhabitants were not of an abnormal height.
  41. ^ Encyclopedia of Sahih Al-Bukhari. Section 17: Critique of Sahih Al-Bukhari: Arabic Virtual Translation Center. 2021. ISBN 978-0-359-67265-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  42. ^ Encyclopedia of Sahih Al-Bukhari. Section 10: Conflict resolution: Arabic Virtual Translation Center. 2021. ISBN 978-0-359-67265-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  43. ^ Lamia Rustum Shehadeh (2003). The Idea of Women in Fundamentalist Islam. University Press of Florida. p. 229. ISBN 9780813031354.
  44. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 7099". Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016. Narrated Abu Bakr: During the battle of Al-Jamal, Allah benefited me with a Word (I heard from the Prophet). When the Prophet heard the news that the people of the Persia had made the daughter of Khosrau their Queen (ruler), he said, "Never will succeed such a nation as makes a woman their ruler."
  45. ^ Charles Kurzman (1998). Kurzman, Charles (ed.). Liberal Islam: A Source Book. Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 9780195116229.
  46. ^ "Morocco Bans a Book Critical of Al-Bukhari as it Threatens Spiritual Security". 20 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2020-04-11. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  47. ^ "رضا يوسف احمودى: بين "القرآنيين" و"البخاريين" حوار أم جدل؟ - رأي اليوم". Archived from the original on 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
  48. ^ "Ban of "Sahih al-Bukhari" angers Kadyrov". 2022-09-01. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  49. ^ "search "Sahih" - Federal List of Extremist Materials :: Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation". (in Russian). 2022-08-29. Retrieved 2023-01-17.

External links[edit]