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It has been unanimously agreed that Imam Bukhari's work is the most authentic of all the other works in Hadith literature put together. The authenticity of Al Bukhari's work is such that the religious learned Scholars of Islam said concerning him: 'The most authentic book after the Book of Allah is sahih Al Bukhari.' Imam Bukhari was born on 13th Shawwal in the year 194 A.H in Bukhara in the territory of Khurasan (West Turkistan). His real name is Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari. His father died when he was still a young child and he was looked after by his mother. At the age of ten he started acquiring the knowledge of Hadith. He travelled to Makka when he was sixteen years old accompanied by his mother and elder brother. It seemed as though Imam Bukhari loved Makka and its learned religious scholars for he remained in Makka after bidding farewell to his mother and brother. He spent two years in Makka and then went to Al-Madina. After spending a total of six years in Al-Hijaz which comprises MAkka and Al-Madina, he left for Basra, Kufa and Baghdad and visited many other places including Egypt and Syria. He came to Baghdad on many occasions. He met many religious learned scholars including Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal.
Owing to his honesty and kindness and the fact that he was trustworthy he used to keep away from the princes and rulers for fear that he may incline to say things to please them.
Many a story has been told about Imam Bukhari regarding his struggles in collecting Hadith literature. He travelled to many different places gathering the precious gems that fell from the lips of the Noble Prophet Muhammad. It is said that Imam Bukhari collected over 300 000 Ahadith and he himself memorized 200 000 of which some were unreliable. He was born at a time when Hadith was being forged either to please rulers or kings or to corrupt the religion of Islam. It was a great task for him to sift the forged Ahadith from the authentic ones. He laboured day and night and although he had memorised such a large number he only chose approximately 7275 with repetition and about 2230 without repetition of which there is no doubt about their authenticity.
Before he recorded each hadith, he would make ablution and offer a two Rakat prayer and supplicate his Lord (Allah). Many religious scholars of Islam tried to find fault in the great remarkable collection, but without success. It is for this reason, they unanimously agreed that the most authentic book after the Book of Allah is Sahih Al-Bukhari.
Imam Bukhari died on first Shawwal in the year 256 A.H and was buried in Khartank, a village near Samarkand. May Allah have mercy on his soul.
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