Who Wrote Sahih Bukhari, Obviously Not Imam Al-bukhari? by AlBaqir(m): 10:10am On May 16, 2016
In the Name of Allāh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Fattāḥ Sarumi, in his video titled Tani Imam Bukhari (1), gave two challenges to Shaykh Ḥabībullāh Ādam al-Ilory (28:24 mins – 29:11 mins):[ not in English ]
"You the Director of al-Markaz, whom people call Shaykh Ḥabībullāh Ādam al-Ilory, please, for God’s sake, show us the source where you found that Imām al-Bukhārī was not the one who compiled Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī. Moreover, your claim that (Ṣaḥīḥ) al-Bukhārī was compiled after one hundred years, we challenge you, tell us where this is mentioned. And also tell us the names of those who did the compilation, just as we mention the religious books and scholars that have explained Imām al-Bukhārī to us."
Even though it is not directed at us, we voluntarily take up that challenge. Shaykh Sarumi assumes that his copy of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī was published from an original manuscript of the book, handwritten by Imām Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī himself. However, in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, in the “Book of the Beginning of Revelation” (كتاب بدء الوحي), under this chapter:
باب بدء الوحي
We find this statement:
"In the Name of Allāh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Book of the Beginning of Revelation. The Chapter of the Beginning of Revelation. Shaykh, Imām, Ḥāfiẓ Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Ibrāhīm b. al-Mughīrah al-Bukhārī, raḥimahullāh ta’ālā, amīn, said:"
Did al-Bukhārī really write that?! In particular, this statement was obviously written after the death of al-Bukhārī. This was why its author added raḥimahullāh, a traditional prayer for dead people.
Moreover, in the same Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, in the “Book of Gifts” (كتاب الهبة وفضلها والتحريض عليها), under this chapter:
باب من أهدى إلى صاحبه وتحرى بعض نسائه دون بعض
Al-Bukhārī said: “The last statement is the story of Fāṭimah narrated from Hishām b. ‘Urwah, from a man, from al-Zuhrī, from Muḥammad b. ‘Abd al-Raḥman.”
We ask Shaykh Sarumi. Do you seriously believe that Imām al-Bukhārī wrote that in the Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in our hands today?
Finally, in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, in the “Book of Knowledge” (كتاب العلم), under this chapter:
باب ما جاء في العلم وقوله تعالى وقل رب زدني علما
Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al-Farabrī informed us, and Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī narrated to us, saying: ‘Ubayd Allāh b. Mūsā narrated to us, that Sufyān said: “When it (i.e. a ḥadīth) is read to a ḥadīth scholar, there is no problem if he says: ‘he narrated to me.’”
Who exactly wrote this? Was it truly al-Bukhārī? Or was it someone else? Moreover, this person narrated from al-Farabrī, the student of al-Bukhārī. Therefore, it definitely was not al-Bukhārī. So, who was this anonymous figure, the real compiler of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in our hands today? Of course, it is apparent that he had narrated the book from al-Farabrī (d. 320 H); and al-Farabrī had narrated it from al-Bukhārī (d. 256 H). Yet, there are a few problems created by this reality. If this anonymous compiler remains unidentifiable, then every chain of transmission in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī becomes majhūl (unknown), and therefore ḍa’īf (weak), due to him. Thus, we must know him, and we must find evidence that he was trustworthy and reliable.
Al-Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī, in his Fatḥ al-Bārī, vol. 1, p. 8, records a report which seems to identify this anonymous narrator:
Imām Abū al-Walīd al-Bājī al-Mālikī has explained the reason for that in the introduction to his book about the names of the narrators of al-Bukhārī:
Al-Hāfiẓ Abū Dharr ‘Abd al-Raḥīm b. Aḥmad al-Harwī – al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Aḥmad al-Mustamlī:
“I copied the book of al-Bukhārī from his original manuscript, which was with his companion, Muhammad b. Yūsuf al-Farabrī. I saw that he had not completed many things in it; there were many blank pages there, including some subchapter headings under which he had not written anything, and some aḥādīth for which he had not written any subchapter heading. So we added some of those to the others.”
He was al-Mustamlī (d. 376 H). He claimed to have seen al-Bukhārī’s own handwritten copy of his Ṣaḥīḥ with al-Farabrī. In his testimony, he confirmed that al-Bukhārī actually died without completing the book. So, al-Mustamlī clearly made changes to the text of the book while copying it, and effectively completed it. Therefore, the compiler and completer of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, as we have it today, was none other than al-Mustamlī. If others had also compiled their own copies, we do not have theirs. We have only the version of al-Mustamlī.
We believe that this sufficiently answers the challenge of Shaykh Sarumi. We have provided the “source” which proves that Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, as it is in our hands today, was NOT compiled by Imām al-Bukhārī himself. Rather, what we have is only al-Mustamlī’s recension. That “source” is Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī itself!
Meanwhile, the oldest known extant manuscript of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī was written in 370 H, according to the popular Salafī fatwā website, IslamQA:
If you want to ask about how old the manuscripts that are extant today are, the Orientalist Manjana said in Cambridge in 1936 CE that the oldest manuscript he had come across up to that point was written in 370 AH, according to the narration of al-Mirwazi from al-Farbari. See Tareekh at-Turaath by Fu’aad Sizkeen (1/228).
Please note that al-Mirwazī (d. 371 H) is better known as Abū Zayd al-Mirwazī, or simply Abū Zayd. He was different from al-Mustamlī.
Al-Bukhārī died in 256 H. So, this means that the earliest surviving manuscript – that of Abū Zayd – was written 114 years after al-Bukhārī’s death. Even then, a Salafī researcher, Shaykh Dr. Aḥmad Fāris al-Salūm, gained access to this ancient manuscript and gives this report:
"As for this manuscript – the manuscript of Abū Zayd – what exists of it are 52 pages."
Considering that Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, as we know it, is a book of nine huge volumes, this tiny manuscript of Abū Zayd is apparently of very little – if any – value. Worse still, its writer is unknown, as Dr. al-Salūm confirms:
"The writer started the volume with an explicit statement that he heard (it) from Abū Zayd … It is not clear to me who the author of the manuscript was, and there is nothing in the manuscript that gives any information concerning that."
By Abu Fatimah al-Ilory
Who Wrote Sahih Bukhari, Obviously Not Imam Al ... - Nairaland Forum