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Traditional Scholarship & Modern Misunderstandings
Understanding The Ahle al-Sunnah -
By Abu Ammar

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20) Muslim & Bukhari are the only source of sunnah!!!

Hadith is the second source of Islam after the Qur'an. Whenever a hadith is told to a Muslim, he immediately accepts it, but there are some people, who when they are told a hadith, ask whether that hadith is written in Bukhari or Muslim. They say, if it is written in Muslim and Bukhari then it should be accepted, but if it is not, then a doubt remains as to whether the hadith is authentic or not.

Our response to this is that it is not the command of Allah or our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) that we can only believe in those ahadith which are written in Muslim or Bukhari and have doubts about the rest. People who fall into the category of people who use Bukhari and Muslim as their only sources of Sunna claim:

(A) Many scholars of Islam have said that the ahadith written in Muslim or Bukhari are authentic, but the ahadith which are not in Muslim or Bukhari can be weak, fabricated or authentic.

(B) Muslim and Bukhari do not take narrations from a weak narrator.Even if there was a weak narrator and Muslim and Bukhari took narration from the narrator, then the narrator is said to have "crossed the bridge."

Usually, when the scholars of Ahadith look at a hadith they look for narrator's authenticity (i.e. whether he was knowledgeable about Hadith or not), but if Muslim or Bukhari took narrations from that narrator, then any doubt regarding the narrator's authenticity is removed. It is said that that narrator has "crossed the bridge."

(C) The scholars of Hadith have not objected to any narration of Muslim and Bukhari.

(D) We do not need to see any other Hadith books because Muslim and Bukhari have gathered all the authentic ahadith in Muslim and Bukhari.

(E) No one has ever criticised Imams Muslim and Bukhari in regards to any mistake they may have made.

Whatever has been claimed above is not from the Qur'an or Sunna.. We will explain, with the help of Allah that these claims are false.

We say that an authentic hadith is one which meets the principals of authentication of ahadith. It does not matter whether it is written in Muslim, Bukhari, at-Tirmidhi or Abu Dawud, or al-Muwatta of Imam Malik.

"The narration of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim have not been criticised by scholars of Hadith"

Before we write about the actual narration of Imam Muslim and Imam al-Bukhari we will prove that to criticise the narrations of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim is not forbidden.

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"When you compare the narrations of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim you will notice that Imam Muslim's narrations have been criticised a lot more by the scholars of Hadith than the narrations of Imam al-Bukhari. When Imam al-Bukhari took narrations from his teachers, he was well aware of these narrations beforehand. On the other hand, when Imam Muslim took narrations from his teachers, he had no previous information about them. This is another reason why Imam al-Bukhari is said to be better than Imam Muslim. Imam al-Bukhari carries less shadhdh and mu'allal [types of weak hadith] than Imam Muslim"

[al-'Asqalani,al-Nukhba, chapter on 'Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim']

Imam Sakhawi writes:

" The status of Imam al-Bukhari is higher than Imam Muslim... This is because Imam al-Bukhari has taken narrations from 435 narrators; among these narrators there are only 80 weak narrators. Imam Muslim has taken narrations from 620 narrators. About 160 narrators are known to be weak from among these"

[Sakhawi, Fath al-Mughis, chapter on 'Imams al-Bukhari and Muslim']

Hafiz al-'Asqalani and Imam Ayni writes:

"Imam Daraqutni has written a book called Istadrikat in which he has objected to many narrations of Imam Muslim and Imam al-Bukhari"

[al-'Asqalani, Muqaddima, Fath al-Bari, Ayni, 'Umdat al-Qari]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani has attempted to answer the objection raised in the book. In the preface of Fath al-Bari, Imam al-'Asqalani has answered some questions raised [al-'Asqalani, Muqaddima Fathal-Bari, "Criticism of Imam al-Bukhari by Scholars of Hadith"]

Allama Abu Fatah writes that Hafiz Iraqi has written in his book, Al-Fayah, that he criticised only two narrations of Imam Muslim and Imam al-Bukhari.

In my other book, Sharh al-Kabir, I have gathered all the narrations of Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim, which the scholars of Hadith have criticised.

Hafiz Abu Ali Ghassani has also compiled all the narration of Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari which scholars of Hadith have criticised. Allama Abu Mas'ud has also written a similar book [al-Dimashqi, Abu Fatah., Qawa'id 'Ulum al-Hadith, page 40]

It is clear that if the criticism of Imam Muslim and Imam al-Bukhari were forbidden, then the scholars of Hadith would not have dared to criticise their narrations. Even those people who have praised Imam al-Bukhari very highly have criticised him.

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes: "Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn al-'Arabi, in his commentary on Bukhari, claims that Imam al-Bukhari has written narrations in Sahih al-Bukhari and that they have been narrated by at least two persons e.g. two Companions heard a narration from our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and then two of the Companions' students heard it from the Companions themselves, and so on. The scholars of Hadith have proved this claim to be wrong. The first narration in Bukhari is narrated by al-Qaama who heard it from 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). This proves that Qadi Abu Baqari's claim is wrong"

[al-'Asqalani, an-Nukhba, p14]

Some Narrations of Bukhari and Muslim That Have Been Criticised by the Scholars of Hadith

There are many narrations of Imam al-Bukhari, which have been criticized, the detail can be found in Fath al-Bari and 'Umdat al-Qari', which are written by Hafiz Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr and Ibn al-Jawzi respectively. Here are some examples from those books:

(1) Imams Bukhari and Muslim write that when the leader of the hypocrites, 'Abdullah ibn Ubayda,, died his son came to see our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and asked him if he would perform his father's funeral prayer (janaza). As our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood up to read the janaza, 'Umar tugged his shirt and asked him: "Are you going to perform the janaza?"'Umar said that he was a hypocrite and that Allah Most High has forbidden him to perform a hypocrite's janaza. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) then said to 'Umar that Allah Most High had given him the choice of whether or not to read the janaza of a hypocrite. According to this narration, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "Allah Most High has told me that if I ask for their forgiveness 70 times, He will not forgive them, but I will ask for their forgiveness more than 70 times." After this, our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed the janaza prayer. After the janaza, Allah Most High revealed verse 80 of Sura at-Tawba. The revelation is as follows: "O Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)! If someone dies from among them [non-believer or hypocrite] do not say their janaza or do not stand at their graves, because they have blasphemed with Allah and His Messenger"

[Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, chapters: "Janaiz, Tafsir and Fada'il 'Umar"]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani, Imam Ayni and other scholars of Hadith write that whether our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and 'Umar had this discussion is doubtful. Qadi Abu Bakr has said that it is not permissible to accept this narration, as it is not true. Hafiz al-'Asqalani has said this is a narration from those narrations that have not been authenticated. Imam al-Haramayn (Imam al-Ghazzali's teacher and Shafi'i scholar) has said that the scholars of Hadith do not accept this narration. Imam al-Ghazali and Imam Da'udi have said that it is clear that this hadith is not true.

The reason that the above scholars have not accepted this hadith is that before this event, verse 80 of Sura at-Tawba was already revealed. The meaning of that verse is "O Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)! If you ask for their forgiveness, or if you do not ask for their forgiveness, or if you ask forgiveness for them 70 times, Allah Most High will not forgive them because they disbelieve in Allah Most High and his Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)."

From the meaning of the above verse, we can establish three facts:

The first fact is that whether the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asks for their forgiveness or not, the hypocrites will not be forgiven.

The second fact is that if the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) asked for their forgiveness more than 70 times, his prayer will still not be granted. The word '70' mentioned does not actually mean 70 times; rather it means 'no matter how many times.'

The third fact is that the hypocrites have disbelieved in Allah Most High and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) so they cannot be forgiven.

With the above facts in mind, how can our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) be able to say that he has been given a choice by Allah Most High whether or not to say their janaza? Secondly, how did our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) establish that Allah Most High will not forgive them if he asks for forgiveness 70 times, but will forgive them if he asks for their forgiveness more than 70 times?

Allah Most High verified 'Umar's understanding by revealing verse 83 of Sura at-Tawba. The general meaning is: "If anyone dies from among the non-believers, do not read their janaza and do not stand at their graves." From reading the above verse, it seems as though 'Umar had a better understanding of verse 80 of Sura at-Tawba than our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). This is impossible and unacceptable.

Before this event, when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was living in Makka, his uncle Abu Talib died and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that he would make du'a' for his uncle until Allah stops him. Verses 113 and 114 of Sura at-Tawba were then revealed. These state that it is not fitting for our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) or any other Muslim to ask for forgiveness for a non-believer. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) stopped asking for forgiveness for his uncle when he learnt that he was a non-believer.

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari; Ayni, Umdat al-Qari; Dehlawi, Tasayyar al-Qari; Sharh al-Bukhari]

Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'On the Day of Judgement when Allah Most High throws the people into the hell fire, it will say, "Give me more." Then Allah Most High will create a nation and then throw them into it. The hell fire will again complain, "I want more", and again Allah Most High will create a nation and throw them into it. The hell fire will again say, "I want more" and then Allah Most High will put His feet onto the hell fire and it will be full"

[Bukhari, Kitab at-Tawhid, chapter on 'Tawhid']

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam al-Bukhari has written this hadith in tafsir of Sura Kahf. In this narration when the hell fire asks for more, Allah Most High puts His feet onto it and then it will be full. Allah Most High is never cruel and yet in Abu Hurayra's above narration it says that Allah Most High will create a nation and fill hell with it. Hafiz Ibn Qayyim, Abu Hasan Qubsi and other groups of scholars of Hadith say that the narrator of this hadith has fabricated this by saying that Allah Most High will create a nation to fill the hell fire. They say that Allah Most High created hell fire for those people who follow Satan, and that the new creation would never have sinned, so how could Allah Most High put them in the hell fire? Allah Most High also says in the Qur'an that He never does injustice to anyone (Sura al-Kahf verse 49).

The scholars also say that to fill the hell fire, Allah Most High would fill it with stones as this has no life, but humans have life. Other scholars say that Allah Most High is all powerful and could punish anyone without a sin as He wills, and is not answerable to anyone"

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Tawhid']

Hafiz ibn Taymiyya writes:

"An authentic narrator sometimes makes mistakes, but knowledgeable scholars of Hadith find these mistakes straight away. For example, Imam al-Bukhari writes in Kitab al-Tawhid that Allah Most High will create a new nation and fill the hell fire with it. A master of Hadith will find out straight away if a narrator has made a mistake. These mistakes by narrators are also found in other Hadith books. Imam Muslim writes that when the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) married his wife Maymunah, after he had taken off the ihram from himself, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not perform two rakat nafila inside the Ka'ba. A person with deep knowledge of Hadith will straight away know the narrator of this hadith has made a mistake because it is proved from another authentic hadith that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) never performed 'umra in the month of Rajab. When the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) married his wife Maymunah, he was wearing the ihram and he did perform two rakat nafila inside the Ka'ba.

"There is another narration of Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed 'umra in the month of Rajab"

[Ibn Taymiyya, Usuli Tafsir, chapter 'Ijma al-Muhaddithun']

From the above statement we can see that Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya has criticized Imam al-Bukhari's and Imam Muslim's narrations.

(3) Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"After the death of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Umm al-Mu'minin Sawda (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first to die"

[Bukhari, Chapter of Zakat]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes that this is wrong, and that Umm al-Mu'minin Zaynab died first. Imam Ibn al-Jawzi says this narration is not correct and it is very strange that Imam al-Bukhari wrote this. Imam an-Nawawi also says that Imam al-Bukhari has made mistakes [Fath al-Bari, Chapter on Zakat]

(4) Imam al-Bukhari states that the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) wife, Umm Habiba, heard that her father died in Syria [Bukhari, chapter on 'Jana'iz']

Hafiz al-'Asqalani says, "All the scholars agree that Umm Habiba's father died in Madina and that the word Syria was incorrectly used in this narration"

[Fath al-Bari, Chapter on Jana'iz]

(5) Imam al-Bukhari states: " In the Battle of Badr, Khubayb ibn Addi killed Haris" [Bukhari, Chapter of al-Maghasi, chapter 38]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani says that the majority of scholars say that Khubayb never even joined in the Battle of Badr {Fath al-Bari, Chapter on 'al-Maghasi']

(6) Imam al-Bukhari states that a man was punished with 80 lashes of a whip by 'Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) [Bukhari, Fada'il al-'Uthman]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani says this is not right as the man was whipped 40 times, as written in other narrations [Fath al-Bari, Chapter on Fada'il al-Uthman]

(7) Imam al-Bukhari states that Abu Hurayra said, "I went with the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to Banu Qaynuqa's market and he sat in Fatima's garden"

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Mazukirah fil Aswaq']

Hafiz al-'Asqalani states that in this narration certain words are missing because Fatima's (may Allah be pleased with her) house was not in Banu Qaynuqa.'The proper narration is the one that Imam Muslim records, which is: "The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to Banu Qaynuqa and then he returned and went to Fatima's house." Fatima's house was in the middle of the Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) wives' houses

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on "Fada'il Aswaq"]

(8) Imam al-Bukhari states: "After the death of 'Uthman, no one stayed alive from among the Companions of Badr. When the War of Harra happened, none of the Companions of Al-Hudaybiya were left alive"

[Bukhari, chapter on 'al-Maghasi']

Hafiz Asqalani says that this is false becaused after the death of 'Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Companions of Badr, 'Ali, Talha, Zubayr, Sa'd (may Allah be pleased with them) and other Companions were still alive. Hafiz al-Asqalani has also proved that the second part of this narration is incorrect [Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Fitan']

(9) Imam al-Bukhari states: "When Adam (peace be upon him) was created, he was 60 feet high"

[Bukhari, chapter on 'Anbiya']

Hafiz al-'Asqalani states "If this was in fact true, the houses of the previous nations [like 'Ad and Thamud] should be higher than our houses but this is not the case. This has confused me until now"

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Anbiya']

(10) Imam al-Bukhari says that Abu Musa said: "When our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was going towards Khaybar the people who were behind him were shouting, 'Allah is great!' in loud voices. Our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told them not to shout in loud voices but to recite it normally"

[Bukhari, Chapter on Khaybar]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani and Hafiz Ibn Kathir say that this cannot be right as Abu Musa al-Ash'ari came from Habsha to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) after Khaybar was won along with the Muhajirun (Immigrants). In Bukhari, it also proved that Abu Musa came to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) after the war of Khaybar was over. This means that it would not be correct to say that this event took place on the way

(Fath al-Bari, Chapter on Khaybar; Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi]

(11) Imam al-Bukhari says that 'Umar ibn Maymun said: "I saw a monkey who had just committed adultery with another one. Other monkeys then stoned them both, so I also started to throw stones as well"

[Bukhari, "Ayyam al-Jahiliya"]

Hafiz al-'Asqlani writes: "Allama Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr says: 'This narration is wrong because enforcing an Islamic law on an animal regarding any matter would be wrong.If in any way you were to say that the words of this narration were true then it would be correct to say that the monkey was in fact a Jinn.' Humaydi says that this account was not actually in the original Bukhari, but someone has added it later. Nusqi wrote the second version of Bukhari, and this narration was not written in it. If we were to say that Hafiz Humaydi and Ibn 'Abdi'l-Barr are right, then what about the 'ulema [scholars] who say that all the ahadith written in Bukhari are correct "

[Fath al-Bari, "Ayyam al-Jahiliya"]

Imam Badr ad-Din 'Ayni has said it is not true that all the ahadith contained in Bukhari are authentic. The reason he gives is that Imam al-Bukhari has taken some narration from the people who were from misled sects [Umdat al-Qari, "Al-Munaqib"]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani himself has criticised many of Imam al-Bukhari's narrations. The preface of Fath al-Bari contains a list of all the scholars who have criticised Bukhari's narrations. In some places he has tried to answer some of the objections raised.So how then can anyone claim that there is no argument concerning the narrations of both Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim? Our shaykh Shah Abul Husayn Zayd Faruqi (may Allah have mercy on him) has said that Ibn Maymun saw the monkeys before the Islamic order for stoning an adulterer was revealed. And, the monkeys were even jinnat, so how could they be punnished?

(12) Imam al-Bukhari writes that Sharik narrated from Anas concerning the incident when our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was taken on the Mi'raj. The narration states that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asleep in the Ka'ba before the first revelation came, and in his dream three angels came to him and talked about his excellency and went away. The same thing happened on the second night, but on the third night our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was taken on the Mi'raj

[al-Bukhari, Sirat an-Nabi and Kitab at-Tawhid)

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes that the narration which states that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was taken on the Mi'raj before the first revelation of the Qur'an is not acceptable. The Umma is in agreement that the Mi'raj took place after Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) obtained Prophethood and before the emigration to Madina. Imam Khatabi, Ibn Hazm, Qadi 'Iyad and Imam an-Nawawi also reject the above narration

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'At-Tawhid"]

Hafiz Ibn Qayyim writes:

"The journey to Heaven took place only once; it was after the first revelation. May Allah Most High bless Imam Muslim as he did not write this narration"

[Ibn Qayyim, Zad al-Mad, chapter on "Isra' "]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes that the content of the above narration has been altered from the original version. This is because Sharik was unable to remember the actual words of the hadith [Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Sura Bani Isra'il, Verse 1]

Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi writes that the Mi'raj occurred only once and it happened before the hijra to Madina. The scholars of Hadith have rejected Sharik's narration [Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, M., Mukhtasar Sirat ar-Rasul, chapter on "Isra' "]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes that the above narration is one of those narrations which scholars of Hadith have criticised. The scholars who have criticised this narration have deep knowledge of ahadith and had studied them from every conceivable angle

[al-'Asqalani, Muqaddima Fath al-Bari, chapter of "Ta'n Dar Qurtubi 'ala al-Bukhari"]

Imam adh-Dhahabi writes that Sharik's narration is one of those narrations which no one has verified [adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal, Biography of Sharik]

(13) Imam Muslim writes that Abu Sa'id narrated that: "the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) ordered us not to write down any of his ahadith.". He also narrated that the Prophet said, "Anyone who has written ahadith other than the Qur'an should destroy it" [Muslim, Kitab Zuhd]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam al-Bukhari and other scholars have said that this narration is not authentic. This is not our Prophet's (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) hadith but, in fact, these are the words of Abu Sa'id himself. It is clear from many other ahadith that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) has given us permission to write his ahadith"

[Fath al-Bari, Kitab al-'Ilm]

(14) Imam Muslim wrote that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) had many wives and that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) gave equal time to each wife, but there was one wife who did not have her fixed time; her name was Safiyya

[Sahih Muslim, chapter on 'Rada']

Imam an-Nawawi has written that the narrators of this hadith, Atha and Ibn Jurayj, have made a mistake in the name Safiyya, which should have been Sawda. Imam Muslim has written in the same chapter that our Prophet's (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) wife, Sawdah, had given her turn to 'A'isha [an-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Ar-Rada]

Moreover, Imam al-Bukhari, Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Ibn Sa'd, Imam Ibn Kathir and Hafiz al-'Asqalani have written that the name of the wife of the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) who gave up her turn was Sawdah (may Allah be pleased with her [Bukhari, Chapter of Nikah; Abu Dawud, Nikah; Tabaqat Ibn Sa'd, Usd al-Ghabah; Ashabah, Biography of Sawda]

(15) Imam al-Bukhari has written that Abu Hurayra said:

"The Muslims were victorious in the Battle of Khaybar and during the war there was a man who seemed to be fighting very bravely. Our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) said that he would go to hell"

[Sahih al-Bukhari, Al-Khaybar]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes in regards to the above:

"It is implied, from the above narration, that Abu Hurayra was present in the war of Khaybar. I [al-'Asqalani] feel that when writing this narration Imam al-Bukhari did not give his full attention because Abu Hurayra came to our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) to become a Muslim after the Battle of Khaybar. Imam al-Bukhari has also written, in the same chapter, that Abu Hurayra came to see our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) when he was dividing the spoils of war and that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) gave some to Abu Hurayra as well

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, chapter of 'Khaybar']

Hafiz ibn Kathir, Hafiz ibn al-Qayyim, Imam ibn al-Athir and Hafiz al-'Asqalani write:

"Abu Hurayra went to Madina to see our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace). In Madina he prayed salat. Someone else lead the salat, and after the prayers Abu Hurayra learnt that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) had gone to war at Khaybar. Abu Hurayra also travelled to Khaybar, but when he reached Khaybar the war had ended and our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) was dividing the spoils of war"

[Ibn al-Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi; Ibn al-Qayyim, Zahdual Maad, chapter on 'Khaybar'; Ibn al-Athir, Usd al- Ghabah; al-'Asqalani, As-Sabaah, Biography of Abu Hurayra]

(16) Imam Muslim writes:

"Abu Hurayra reported that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) said that Allah Most High created the earth on Saturday, the mountains on Sunday, the trees on Monday, mad things on Tuesday, light on Wednesday, animals on Thursday and on Friday, Prophet Adam was created"

[Muslim,Sahih Muslim, 'al-Munfiqi']

Hafiz ibn Kathir has said that this is an odd narration. Imam al-Bukhari and Imam ibn Madani were not satisfied with this narration. The scholars of Hadith have said that these are not the words of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), but are the words of Ka'b who was a Jew and who embraced Islam. The narrators of this hadith have mistaken the words of Ka'b to be the words of our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace). Imam al-Bayhaqi has also rejected this hadith. There is more concrete proof that this narration is not authentic because Allah has said in the Qur'an that the earth and the skies were created in six days. How can our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) say anything, which goes against the Qur'an?"

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surat sl-Baqara, verse 29 and Surat al-A'raf, verse 54; Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, volume 1, "Creation of the World"]

(17)Imam Muslim writes that Ibn 'Abbas reported that when Abu Sufiyan became a Muslim, he said to the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) "I have the most beautiful girl in the whole of Arabia. Her name is Ummay Habiba." Abu Sufiyan then said that he wished her to marry the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)

[Sahih Muslim, "Fada'il Abu Sufiyan"]

Imam an-Nawawi writes:

"The objection to this narration is that Abu Sufiyan became a Muslim in the eighth year after hijra, which was after the victorious war of Makka. At this time Ummay Habiba was already the wife of our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace). How therefore, can Abu Sufiyan ask our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to marry his daughter again? It is said that the narrator of this hadith is weak. If Abu Sufiyan did wish to marry this daughter to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) again, he would not need to mention that she was the most beautiful girl in whole of Arabia, and that her name was Ummay Habiba. If he did wish to marry his daughter again, in Abu Sufiyan's presence, all he had to do was to make a request. I think that the first answer is more authentic"

[an-Nawawi, Sharh Muslim, "Fada'il Abu Sufiyan"]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Imam Muslim has said that Abu Sufiyan made a request to our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to marry Ummay Habiba when Abu Sufiyan became a Muslim. This statement is not true. Ibn Hazm has said that this is a fabricated hadith and it is made up by 'Ikramah ibn Ammar. The other scholars of Hadith say that we should not call this a fabricated hadith but we should say that the narrator has made a mistake"

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi and Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, Nikah of Ummay Habiba]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani, Hafiz ibn Athir and Hafiz Ibn Asakir write:

"The scholars of Hadith have objected to this hadith because it has been proved that Ummay Habiba had already been married to our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) when Abu Sufyan became a Muslim. There is a famous narration that there was an agreement between the Muslims of Madina and the non-believers of Makka, but the non-believers of Makka did not abide by the agreement and so the Muslim of Madina announced that they would cancel the agreement. Abu Sufyan went to his daughter's house in Madina. As Abu Sufyan was just about to sit on a bed which was in the room, Ummay Habiba asked her father to wait. She removed the bedspread and said that it was the bedspread of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Abu Sufyan then said to his daughter, 'You changed'

[Ibn Asakir, al-'Asqalani and Ibn Athir, Asahbah Usd al-Ghabah, Biography of Ummay Habiba]

Hafiz Ibn Taymiyya writes:

"Imam Muslim has written those types of narration to which scholars of Hadith have objected e.g. Allah Most High made the skies and earth in seven days and Abu Sufiyan asking our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) to marry his daughter after becoming Muslim. Another narration in the 'Book of Salat' indicates that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) had two sons called Ibrahim [when we know that our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) had only one son called Ibrahim]

[Ibn Taymiyya, at-Tawassul, 'Ulum al-Hadith and Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya, vol.18, chapter on 'Maqam Bukhari wa Muslim']

(18) Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim have said that the War of Mustalaq happened in 4 AH as Musa ibn 'Uqba has said. Ibn Ishaq has said that it happened in 6 AH. Mustalaq was in the war when 'A'isha was falsely accused of a sin she did not commit.'A'isha has said that when she was falsely accused, the 'Verse of the Veil' was revealed. One day our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) was talking to some people and he said, "Some people have falsely accused my wife, but I can only see goodness in her." From the evidence, Sa'd ibn Mas, stood up and said, "If the person who has falsely accused your wife is from our tribe, I will kill him"

[Bukhari, Magazi; Muslim, Tawba]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam al-Bukhari has said that the war of Mustalaq happened in 4 AH. Imam al-Bukhari has made a mistake, because the War of Mustalaq happened in 5 AH.I feel that Imam al-Bukhari wanted to write down 5 but he wrote down 4, because Imam al-Bukhari also wrote a hadith in the chapter on Jihad which proves that the war of Mustalaq happened in 5 AH. Secondly, the narration where Sa'd ibn Mas has said that he would kill the slanderer is also wrong. This is because Sa'd ibn Mas was martyred in the Battle of Khandaq (which happened before the War of Mustalaq).'A'isha has said, 'When I was falsely accused, the Verse of the Veil was revealed and it was revealed after the Battle of Khandaq' "

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Magazi]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

"Sa'd ibn Mas was martyred in the Battle of Khandaq, after which our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) married Zaynab and after that the Verse of the Veil was revealed. This all happened before the War of Mustalaq and the false accusation against 'Ai'sha"

[Ibn Kathir, Sirat an-Nabi, and Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir]

Imam an-Nawawi has said that the narration where Sa'd ibn Mas has said that he would kill the slanderer is hard to believe because all the Islamic historians are in agreement that Sa'd ibn Mas was martyred before the War of Mustalaq.

Qadi 'Iyad has said that to include Sa'd ibn Mas in this hadith is a mistake of the narrators. The more likely person to have said those words could be Sa'd ibn 'Ubadah [an-Nawawi,Sharh Sahih Muslim, chapter on 'Tawba']

Imam an-Nawawi, Imam ibn Athir, Imam Tabari, Hafiz ibn Qayyim, Ibn 'abd al-Wahhab an-Najdi have written that when the false accusation was levelled at 'A'isha, Sa'd ibn Mas was not alive [at-Tabari, Ta'rikh Tabari, Ibn Athir, Usd al-Ghabah; Ibn Qayyim, Zad al-Ma'd; Ibn 'abd al-Wahhab, Muktasar Sirat ar-Rasul, "Mustalaq and Khandaq"]

(19)Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"On the Day of Judgment, when Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) will see his father, he will say to Allah, 'You made a promise to me, that you will not make me sad on the Day of Judgment.' Allah will reply, 'I have made it forbidden for the non-Believers to enter Janna"

[Bukhari, Tafsir]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Isma'ili has said that this hadith is wrong, has no origin and is doubtful. This is because this hadith goes against the Qur'an. Allah Most High says in the Qur'an 'When Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) found out that his father was the enemy of Allah , he stopped praying for him' [Sura at-Tawba, verse 120]. Secondly, when Allah Most High makes a promise, it is always fulfilled. From this narration it seems as though Allah does not fulfill his promises"

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Tafsir]

(20) Imam al-Bukhari writes:

"Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) never lied except on three occasions. On one occasion, members of his tribe asked him to accompany them to a fair; he told them that he was ill. Secondly, when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) broke the pagan idols and he was asked if he broke them, he said that the big idol had destroyed them. The third 'lie' was when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was travelling with his wife and they reached a place whose king was an oppressor. Someone went to the king and informed him that a person had arrived in his city accompanied by a very beautiful woman whom the king would like. The king then asked to see Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and asked him who the woman was. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) replied, 'She is my sister.' Ibrahim then returned and told his wife: 'I have told the king that you are my sister. You and I are the only two Muslims in the world and when you are asked about this, you must not make me out as a liar'

[Bukhari, Fada'il Ibrahim]

Sayyid Mawdudi writes:

"The above hadith, which is in Bukhari and Muslim, has authentic narrators but it is very difficult for me to believe that Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) would lie and that also our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) would say that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) had lied. In this narration there must be some misunderstanding by the narrators. The first two 'lies' mentioned in this narrations are not actually lies and the third 'lie' is fabricated by the Jews. This has been mentioned twice in the Bible.

"Let us examine these lies. The first 'lie' regarding Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is his claiming that that he was ill - this fact is verified in the Qur'an. Therefore for this to be proved a lie it must first be established that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) said that he was not ill but was healthy by some evidence better then the Qur'an [which is of course impossible as Allah is the All-Knower]

"Regarding Ibrahim's (peace be upon him) alleged second lie, where he was asked if he broke the idols, [we must remember that] he replied: 'No; it was this great one of them that did it. Question them, if they are able to speak!' From this statement it can be established that it was not actually a lie, but rather an attempt to demonstrate that these idols, which the pagans worshipped as gods, were actually rock and nothing else. If an ordinary person cannot call this a lie then how can our Prophet Muhammad (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) say so?

"The third lie is one of those lies which has been made up by the Jews and it was their aim to disgrace Ibrahim (peace be upon him). In the Bible, Book of Genesis chapters twelve and twenty, it is mentioned that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) went to a kingdom whose king was an oppressor. It is mentioned in this book that Ibrahim's (peace be upon him) wife was 60 years old on one occasion and 90 years old on another. It thus does not make sense why a king would be attracted to someone as advanced in age as 60 or 90.

"Therefore, it is clearly understood that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) did not lie and that our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not say that Ibrahim (peace be upon him) lied. Some people think that the narrators of this narration are authentic, but to accept this narration for this reason would not be acceptable because I feel that we would then be accepting that our Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) has lied. Imam Razi has said that when a narration attributes a lie to a Prophet it is better to attribute the lie to a narrator. However, I feel that it is sufficient to say that the narrators have made a mistake in understanding the narration"

[Mawdudi, S., Rasa'il al-Masa'il, chapter 1; Tafsir Tafhim al-Qur'an, Sura as-Saffat, verse 23]

Criticism of Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim

The claim that the scholars of Hadith have not objected to any narrators of Muslim and al-Bukhari is false. Not only did the scholars of Hadith criticise Imam al-Bukhari's and Muslim's narrators - they also criticised Bukhari and Muslim themselves.

Criticism of Imam al-Bukhari

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes:

"Hafiz Salih said: 'One day, Hafiz Abu Zur'a said to me, "I have read Imam al-Bukhari's Ta'rikh and in it I have found many mistakes." I informed him, "When a person of Bukhara [al-Bukhari's home town] goes to Iraq and comes back with new information, Imam al-Bukhari always reads it. The writing style of these people was quite unusual. This meant that Imam al-Bukhari had difficulty in reading the narration. This is why Imam al-Bukhari made mistakes. Otherwise, he is the best from among all the scholars of Khurasan"

[al-'Asqalani, Tahzib al-Tahzib, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

Imam Muslim writes:

"In our time some people think that they are scholars of Hadith. They have made up false conditions in order to accept ahadith. One of them says, 'When you take a narration of hadith from a narrator, you must make sure that the narrator and his narrator have met. It is not enough that they were simply alive at the same time.' This is an innovation because none of the previous great scholars of Hadith have mentioned this condition. This condition is very wrong, and I refute this condition in case people who are less knowledgeable might accept this"

[Sahih Muslim, Chapter Mu'an'an]

Imam an-Nawawi said that the condition which Imam Muslim has discussed above, had been introduced by Imam al-Bukhari and his teacher, Imam 'Ali ibn Madini [Sharh Muslim, Chapter Mu'an'an]

Imam al-Bukhari wrote that Malik was a companion of the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace), and that Buhayna was his mother [Bukhari, chapter on 'Salat']. Regarding this, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani writes: "Imam al-Bukhari has made two mistakes. Malik was not a companion of the Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace) and that Bohayna was not Malik's mother" [Fath al-Bari, Kitab as-Salat, chapter 38]

Hafiz adh-Dhahabi and Hafiz Ibn Kathir write that when Imam al-Bukhari took narrations from the Syrians, he made mistakes [adh-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Huffaz; and Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam Muslim]

Hafiz al-'Iraqi writes:

"Imam Ibn Abi Hatim [the famous scholar of Al-Jarhu Ta'dil] compiled all of the mistakes that were apparent in Imam al-Bukhari's Ta'rikh into one book entitled 'Khata' al-Bukhari'[Mistakes of al-Bukhari]"

[al-'Iraqi, Muqaddima Ibn as-Salat]

Imam Ibn Abi Hatim wrote: "When Imam Abu Hatim and Imam Abu Zur'ah heard that Imam al-Bukhari said that the Qur'an is creation, they stopped taking any narrations of hadith from him" [Ibn Abi Hatim, Al-Jarhu Ta'dil, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"In 250 AH al-Bukhari went to Nishapur. The people of Nishapur rolled out a red carpet for him. Imam Zuhli [who was Imam al-Bukhari's teacher] also came to embrace him. Prior to Imam al-Bukhari's reception, Imam Zuhli announced that Imam al-Bukhari was to make a speech and that no-one should ask him whether the Qur'an was created. He feared that if Imam al-Bukhari's answer contradicted Imam Zuhli's belief then a difficult situation could arise and expose both scholars to ridicule by other sects. Everything went well for the first two days but on the third day someone in the audience asked the question, 'Are the words of Qur'an a creation of Allah?' Imam al-Bukhari replied: 'Our actions are creation and the words which we recite are part of our actions.' Some of the audience perceived that Imam al-Bukhari had called the Qur'anic word a creation. This misunderstanding resulted in commotion, which prompted the house-owner to ask everyone to leave. When Imam Zuhli [who was not present at the speech] heard of Imam al-Bukhari's public statement about the Qur'anic words he announced: 'The Qur'an is not a creation. Anyone claiming otherwise is an innovator and everyone must avoid him at all times.' He also added, 'Anyone who attends Imam al-Bukhari's meetings will be considered an innovator too.'

"With the exception of Ahmad ibn Salmah and Imam Muslim, Imam al-Bukhari was outcast by everyone. Imam Muslim played a neutral part in this debate. After this incident, Imam Muslim did not include any hadith narrated by either Imam al-Bukhari or Imam Zuhli in Sahih Muslim. I think that Imam Muslim acted justly in this matter. A few days later, Imam Zuhli declared that it was not possible for him to live in the same city as Imam al-Bukhari. Imam al-Bukhari then left Nishapur for his hometown Bukhara. Also Imam Zuhli, through his supporters, publicised in Bukhara that Imam al-Bukhari held controversial beliefs. After arriving in Bukhara, Imam al-Bukhari faced much hostility. His adversaries made it difficult for him to live in Bukhara. This provoked him to leave for Samarkand.

"On his way he was informed that the people of Samarkand were also split concerning his views. Imam al-Bukhari then prayed, 'Oh Allah! If your vast earth is being reduced on me, I ask to be freed from this life.' History records that Imam al-Bukhari died on the 1st ofShawwaal, 256 AH - one month after his prayer"

[al-'Asqalani, Muqaddima Fath al-Bari,Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

NOTE: Scholars of Hadith have been divided into two groups. In the first group are those who believe that the revelation is not creation, but do not comment on the words recited from the Qur'an. The second group are those who agree that the revelation is not creation but say that the recited words of the Qur'an are creation. Imam al-Bukhari was from among the second group while Imam Zuhli was from among the first.

Imam as-Subki writes:

"At the time when Imam Zuhli heard the news that Imam al-Bukhari had given an answer (which was vague and open to interpretation) to the question related to the creation of Qur'an, he received a letter from scholars of Hadith living in Baghdad. The content of this letter stated that the scholars advised Imam al-Bukhari not to make any statements regarding the question 'Is the Qur'an a creation or not?' However, he ignored their advice and made the statement anyway. This statement caused the people to quibble amongst themselves"

[as-Subki, Tabaqat ash-Shafi'ah, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani and Imam adh-Dhahabi write:

"Even after this dispute Imam al-Bukhari included 43 ahadith narrated by Imam Zuhli in his book, Sahih al-Bukhari. To avoid embarrassment, each hadith was written with the narrator's name disguised e.g. 'narrated by Muhammad or Ibn 'Abdullah or Ibn Khalid, to attribute Imam Zuhli to his father or grandfather"

[al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Imam Zuhli; adh-Dhahabi,Alam an-Nubala, Biography of Imam Zuhli]

Criticism of Imam Muslim

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"May Allah send blessings on Imam al-Bukhari. Imam al-Bukhari has collected the principles of Hadith [Usul] and taught it to people. After Imam al-Bukhari, anything which has been written includes quotes from his book. Imam Muslim has written books whose content has been taken from Imam al-Bukhari's books. Imam Muslim has copied Imam al-Bukhari's books and did not have the courtesy to acknowledge him in them. Imam Daraqutni said that if Imam al-Bukhari did not exist there would not even be the name of Imam Muslim. Imam Muslim has done nothing special; what he has done is taken some ahadith from Imam al-Bukhari's book and has added some more ahadith to complete his book, Sahih Muslim"

[Muqaddima Fath al-Bari, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

If this accusation was made at any other scholar of Hadith everyone would have called him a 'stealer of ahadith' and all his narrations would have been rejected.

If someone wishes to explore the criticism of Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari they should study Al-Jarh wa ta'dil. These books have been written by different scholars of Hadith and describe, in detail, the characteristics of narrators (whether they were weak, authentic, knowledgeable, good or bad natured, and which sect they belonged to).

Narrators of Bukhari and Muslim that Have Been Criticised by the Scholars of Hadith

Many narrators of Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari have been overwhelmingly criticised. The claim that no-one has criticised them clearly illustrates the claimant's lack of knowledge of the subject matter.

The following are some narrators of Muslim and al-Bukhari who have been criticised by the scholars of Hadith. The information below has been obtained from the books of Hafiz al-'Asqalani and Hafiz adh-Dhahabi.

'Uthman ibn Abi Shayba

(teacher and narrator of Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim)

"Imam Ajali has said that he used to tell such types of hadith that when we had heard them, it would make us take refuge in Allah and pray for our iman to be kept alive. An example of the type of narrations he used to tell is: "Our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace)attended a festival of non-believers and respected their idols the way they respected them. This is the reason why two angels refused to pray behind our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace)." Scholars of Hadith have said that this situation would never arise with our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace). This hadith is most definitely fabricated.

Ibn Abi Shayba also used to interpret the Qur'an incorrectly and disrespected it by changing its words. For instance, in Sura al-Hadid, verse 13, Allah says: 'fa-duri-ba-bay-na-hum-bisurilla hu bab' meaning 'a wall will be set up between the Muslims and the hypocrites in which there is a door.' Ibn Abi Shayba used to recite the verse like this: 'fa-duri-ba-bay-na-hum-bi-sunnuh-rin-la-hu-nab' which means that 'there will be placed between them a cat and it will have a tail.' Another verse which he mocked was Sura Yusuf, verse 10 which correctly reads: 'fa-lamma-jah-haza-bi-ja-haz-za-hum-ja-ala-assiqa-yata-fi-rahli-akhi-hi' which means: 'when he makes ready their baggage, he put the drinking cup in the saddle bag of his brother.' Ibn Abi Shayba instead recited: 'fa-lumma-jah-haza-hum-bi-ja-haz-zi-him-ja-ala-asifinata-fi-rahli-akhi-hi' which means 'and when he made ready the baggage, he put a ship in the saddle bag of his brother.' In Sura ash-Shu'ara', verse 130 Allah says: 'fa-izaa-ba-tash-tum-ba-tash-tum-jabbaa-reen,' which means: 'And when you lay your hands on anyone, you lay hands on injustice'. Ibn Abi Shayba used to recite the verse like this: 'fa-iza-ba-tash-tum-ba-tush-tum-kabbah-zeen', which means 'And when you lay your hands on anyone, you lay your hands on naan [Pitta Bread].' He also recited many other verses of the Qur'an like this and the verses mentioned above are some examples of this. He was a very humorous person. That is why whenever he used to recite the Qur'an he read it humorously, which was wrong. I think that Ibn Abi Shayba might have repented from this sin before he died"

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal and Tadhkirat al-Huffaz]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Despite the above, Imam al-Bukhari has taken 53 narrations and Imam Muslim has taken 135 narrations from him. As usual, some scholars of Hadith praised him"

[al-'Asqalani, Biography of 'Uthman ibn Abi Shayba;adh-Dhahabi, Mizan at-Ta'dib]

Imam Daraqutni wrote a book called Kitab at-Tas-hif. In this book he wrote various names of scholars who made fun of the Qur'an when reciting it. He wrote that the scholar who made the most fun of the Qur'an was Imam Ibn Abi Shayba.

It could be that Ibn Abi Shayba was reciting a different mode of recitiation, of which there are seven, and so this would support his reading of the Qur'an. If we look at the different modes of recitation, we find that the general meaning does not change, but there may be slight variations like, for example, in one mode of recitation the third aya of Sura al-Fatiha is 'Maaliki Yaum id-Din' - Master of the Day of Judgement. In another mode it is pronounced as 'Maliki Yaum id-Din' - king of the Day of Judgment. Both of these ways have been confirmed by Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and angel Jibril (peace be upon him). If someone was to introduce another mode of recitation, other than the ones which have been confirmed, it is totally unacceptable. When we look to the alterations which Ibn Abi Shaiba made, we see that both the meaning and wording is altered. This means that the way that he used to recite the Qur'an was totally contrary to the Shari'ah.

Also, Imam adh-Dhahabi mentioned in his book, Mizan I'tidal and Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, that maybe, Ibn Abi Shayba, repented for reading the Qur'an incorrectly. From this it is proved that if the way that Ibn Abi Shayba recited the Qur'an was correct there was no need for him to repent from the way he used to recite the Qur'an.

Abu ibn 'Abbas ibn Sahl al-Ansari Sa'd

Imam adh-Dhahabi has said that S'ad was not strong in knowledge of Hadith. Yahya ibn Mu'in has said that he was a weak narrator. Imam Ahmed has said that he used to tell hadith which no one had any knowledge about. An-Nasa'i has said that he had minimum knowledge of Hadith. Adh-Dhahabi has said that Imam al-Bukhari has said that he had minimum knowledge of Hadith but nevertheless he took hadith narration from him. The narration which Imam al-Bukhari took is that of the 'Excellency of Ibrahim (peace be upon him)'

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal ;al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib]

Ahmad ibn Salat Abu Ja'far Nasa'i

(teacher of Imam al-Bukhari)

Nasa'i has said that he is not authentic and he has not accepted his narrations. Imam Ahmed had evicted him from his meetings. Yahya ibn Mu'in has said that he was a liar but some scholars of Hadith had praised him[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal and al-'Asqalani,Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Ahmed ibn Salat]

Ayyub ibn Sulaiman al-Madani

(teacher of Imam al-Bukhari)

Abul-Fath has said that the type of ahadith he told were not told by anyone else. Daraqutni has made similar remarks. Ibn 'Abdi'l Barr has said that Sulaiman was weak. However, some scholars of Hadith have praised him[ adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal and al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Ayyub ibn Sulaiman]

Ja'far ibn Sulaiman al-Ba'si

(narrator of Imam Muslim)

Yahya ibn Sa'id has said that his hadith should not be written and that he was a weak narrator. Ibn al-Madini has said that he used to tell the sort of narrations that no-one else would relate. Ibn Madi has said that his narration has no value. Ibn Sa'id has said that he was authentic but weak. Imam al-Bukhari has said that he was a weak narrator.

Once, a scholar of Hadith asked Ja'far if he swore at Abu Bakr and 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). Ja'far replied: "I do not swear at them but I hate them." Ahmed ibn Madam has said that once he attended a meeting of Yazid ibn Zurah accompanied by Ja'far. Yazid ibn Zurah said to the people "Do not let him [Ja'far] come near me because he swore at Abu Bakr and 'Umar." Dowri has said that whenever Ja'far talked about Mu'awiya, he used to swear at him and whenever he used to talk about 'Ali, he used to cry

[ adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Ja'far ibn Sulaiman]

Harb ibn Maymun al-Basri

(narrator of Imam Muslim)

Imam al-Bukhari has said that he used to make many mistakes in Hadith but he was a truthful person. One day Harab brought a box and said that the box contained pictures of the family of Qarun. He then showed these pictures. But what he said was a big lie. Imam al-Bukhari, Ibn 'Ali and 'Abdullah have said that he was a weak narrator. Al-'Asqalani has said that he was a big liar but some people have still praised him.

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan at-Ta'dib; al-'Asqalani, Biography of Harab ibn Maymun al-Basri]

Husayn ibn Ibrahim al-Quramani

(narrator of Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari)

Nasa'i has said that he was not an expert in the knowledge of Hadith. Ibn Adi has said that whenever he told hadith he made mistakes. Imam Ahmed has rejected his narrations. 'Uqali has said that his hadith are doubtful. Ibn Madini has said he was a Qadiri [one from a deviant sect] but he was authentic. As always, some people have still praised him

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Husayn ibn Ibrahim al-Quramani]

Zakariyya ibn Yahya ath-Thani

(teacher of Imam al-Bukhari)

Daraqutni has said that he had no knowledge of Hadith and he used to tell the type of hadith which no-one would tell. Hakim had said that he was a weak narrator and used to make many mistakes in narration. Al-Bukhari has said that the scholars of Hadith have ignored him and did not take any ahadith from him. None-the-less, Imam al-Bukhari has taken narrations from him

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Zakariyya ibn Yahya ath-Thani]

Ayyub ibn Salih al-Kufi

(narrator of Imam al-Bukhari)

Abu Zur'a said that he was a weak narrator. Ibn Hiban has said that he used to make mistakes in hadith. Imam al-Bukhari has said that he was Murii'I [from a misled sect]. Imam al-Bukhari has mentioned his faults, but none-the-less still took narrations from him - this seems very strange

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Ayyub ibn Salih al-Kufi]

Sa'id ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Madani (Narrator of Imam Muslim)

Ibn Adi has said that he used to relate the type of narrations that no one else would repeat. Abu Hatam and Ibn Jawzi have said that his narrations cannot be used as evidence. Ibn Hatam has also said that he used to tell fabricated Hadith in the name of pious people. Some scholars of Ahadith have praised him.

[adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I'tidal; al-'Asqalani, Tahzib at-Tahzib, Biography of Sa'id ibn 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Madan]

From the above, it can be clearly be seen that the above claim is completely false. The above ten narrators are not the only narrators which have been criticised, but we only mentioned some of the narrators in one specific decade.

Hafiz al-'Asqalani has made a list in the preface of Fath al-Bari of all the narrators of Imam Bukhari who have been criticised by the scholars of Hadith.

"Imam Bukhari and Muslim have gathered all the Authentic Ahadith in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim!"

The scholars of Hadith are in agreement that there are many authentic ahadith that have been left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari. These can be found in other Hadith books such as Ibn Hibban, Ibn Khuzayma, Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, etc.

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes: "... There are many authentic ahadith that were left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari and can be found in other Hadith books like Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud and an-Nasa'i" [Ibn Kathir, Ikhtisar al-'Ulum al-Hadith, page 21]

Hafiz Ibn Salat writes:

"Many authentic ahadith were left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari and that Imam al-Hakim has collected all the authentic ahadith, which met the Hadith principles of Muslim and al-Bukhari, and put them in a book called Mustadrak 'alas-Sahihayn. It is written in four volumes and contains enormous amounts of authentic ahadith. Imam al-Bukhari himself said that he knew 100,000 authentic ahadith, 200,000 of which were not authentic., and yet in Sahih Bukhari there are only 4,000 ahadith without repetition.

[Ibn Salat, Ulum al-Hadith, Bukhari and Muslim, page 17]

Whenever scholars of Hadith write a hadith, they usually write the same hadith with different chains. If a hadith was recieved through five different chains, it is counted as five different ahadith, but infact it is only one hadith. Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari have used this same principle, so the quantity of the ahadith "recorded" in their books is very large, when infact the actual quantity is smaller.

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes that there are 9, 682 narrations in Sahih Bukhari, but each narration has been repeated many times. The total number of individual narrations in Bukhari is 2623 [Preface of Fath al-Bari]

Even the name of Sahih Bukhari can tell us that there are lots of authentic ahadith which have been left out. The full name of Sahih Bukhari is "Al-Jami' al-Musnad as-Sahih al-Mukhtasari min al-Murri wa yamayhi." The translation of this is, "The short collection of the Sunna of our Prophet (may Allahbless him and grant him peace)" [al-'Asqalani, Sahdib at-Ta'dib]

Imam an-Nawawi and Imam adh-Dhahabi both wrote that Imam Muslim compiled Sahih Muslim from the 300,000 ahadith that he knew. The total number of ahadith in Sahih Muslim is 12,000. If repetitions can be left out, the actual number would be 4,000 [an-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim; adh-Dhahabi, Tadhkirat al-Huffaz]

From the references above we can understand that Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim knew a very large numbers of ahadith by memory but in Sahih Muslim and Bukhari only approximately ten per cent of these ahadith has been compiled. Hence it can clearly be seen that there are large numbers of authentic ahadith present which have been left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari. These ahadith can be found in other Hadith books.

How did Bukhari become an entity?

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam al-Bukhari said: 'One day we were at the meeting of Ishaq ibn Rahawiyya and someone from among our Companions said, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if one of you could write a short book regarding the Sunna of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).' This was directed at everyone, but somehow this request became embedded in my heart. It was my good fortune that Allah wanted this work to be carried out by me. I then started to collect the material for the book, which would only contain sahih ahadith. I have left out many authentic ahadith because I thought that the book would become too large. This book is the concise summarisation of the 600,000 ahadith which I knew. The book was completed in sixteen years."

[al-'Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, Biography of Imam al-Bukhari]

Imam al-Bukhari completed Sahih Bukhari in sixteen years, during which time he continuously edited it. Towards the end, Imam al-Bukhari did not have the opportunity to make the final alterations because he passed away. Whenever we read Sahih Bukhari we notice that it lacks fluency and it is disjointed. For example, we may find a chapter with a heading but nothing written in it and sometimes there might be a chapter written but no heading for it. The reason for this is that his students, from the materials that were left by Imam Bukhari, finally edited Sahih Bukhari. The students found that some material was written in final draft, some in rough draft form, and some in brief comments on the sides of the pages.

Hafiz Abu Ishaq has said,"I copied the original copy of Sahih Bukhari, which was in the possession of Imam Bukhari's student, Farabri. From the material I collected, I noticed that some things were incomplete and some things were without any headings and also there were headings for chapters but nothing written in them. We had to join the material together."

Imam Baji said that four people copied the original Sahih Bukhari. These people were Ibrahim ibn Maq'al, Muhammad ibn Yusuf Farabri, Abu Talha ibn Muhammad and Hammad ibn Shakir. There are differences between these four versions i.e. you can find that ahadith are written in one place in one version but the same thing could be written in another place, in the other versions. The reason for this is that when these four people compiled Sahih Bukhari from the original materials they interpreted the material according to their own understanding [al-'Asqalani, Preface of Fath al-Bari, page 10]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes: "Imam Bukhari's student Hafiz Farabri possessed the original copy of Sahih Bukhari and at the present time we have this version" [IbnKathir, Ta'rikh Ibn Kathir, Biography of Imam Farabri]

There were other students who heard and narrated Sahih Bukhari but those versions have not reached us. Some scholars of Hadith have seen those versions in the old Islamic centres and have noticed that there are differences among them.

Hafiz as-Suyuti writes: "Imam Farabri narrated Sahih Bukhari and that in this original copy there are 200 more ahadith than Humad ibn Shakir's version and 300 more ahadith than Ibrahim's version. The reason why Farabri carries more ahadith is because he heard Sahih Bukhari from Imam al-Bukhari twice and others heard it only once [as-Suyuti, Tadrib ar-Rawi]. One Example:

Imam Bukhari writes: "Musa ibn Ismail reported that Anas ibn Malik said that the Qur'an forbade us from asking questions to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) so we wanted a sensible person to come from the village who could ask things to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and we could hear the answers. One day a person came from the village and asked some questions to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)." The hadith continues on the subject

[Bukhari, chapter on,'Ilm]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"This hadith was narrated by Imam Bukhari's teacher." Imam Sun 'Anni said: "This hadith is not written in all the original copies ofBukhari. It is only written in that copy which is written by Imam al-Bukhari's student, Imam Farabri. But I say that from all the original copies of Bukhari that I have seen, I have not seen this hadith mentioned in any of them"

[Fath al-Bari, chapter on 'Ilm]

Imam Muslim writes:

"The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that a person who continually speaks the truth, Allah writes his name amongst the truthful. A person who continually tells lies, Allah writes his name amongst the liars"

[Muslim, Kitab al-Birr]

Imam an-Nawawi writes: "All the copies of Bukhari and Muslim in our area mention only this."

Qadi 'Iyad and Humaydi also write only this. But Abu Mas'ud narrates this hadith with the extra words: "The worst people are those who tell lies. Lies are not permissible under serious or humorous intentions. It is not permissible for a father to make false promises with his son"

[an-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Birr]

Finally, we disagree with those people who claim that Imam al-Bukhari's narrations are higher than the Hadith principles, and demand all references from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. This demand is wrong because Hafiz al-'Asqalani has written: "Imam al-Bukhari has said, 'I know 100,000 authentic narrations, but in Sahih Bukhari there are only 9082.' On page 107 it says a different amount"[Fath al-Bari, page 5]

Of course, the other 90, 918 authentic narrations are recorded in the other books of the Hadith which were written before them:

  • Humam ibn Munabi (d.101AH) had a collection of ahadith which were narrated by Abu Hurayra.

  • Imam Zuhri, Imam 'Abd al-Aziz Madani (d.164AH), Imam Hadri (d.174AH), Imam Malik (d. 179AH) and Imam Abu Dawud Tayalsi (d.203AH) wrote books of Hadith.

  • Hammad ibn Salma (d.167AH) wrote a book of Hadith that had a collection of a0, 000 ahadith.

  • Imam Yahya ibn Sa'id (d.143AH) wrote books of Hadith that were read to people by Imam ibn Zayd (d.179AH).

  • Imam Abu Awana (d.176AH) wrote a book of Hadith about which Imam Ahmad said that his book is authentic.

  • Imam Hashim (d.183AH) wrote a book of Hadith that has a collection of 2, 000 ahadith.

  • 'Abdullah ibn Mubarak (d.181AH) wrote a book of Hadith which had a collection of 20, 000 ahadith.

  • Imam Mousli (d.186AH) wrote books on different topics of Islam and one of the books were a collection of ahadith.

  • Imam Abu Hanifa (d.150AH) wrote books of Hadith which were narrated by his students, Imam Muhammad ash-Shaybani (d.189AH) and Imam Abu Yusuf (d.182AH).

[adh-Dhahabi, Tadkirat al-'Uffad, Biographies of the above names]

Hafiz Suyuti writes:

"Abu Walid, Sufyan ath-Thawri, Abi Salma, Abi Sufyan and Ibn 'Uyaina wrote books of Hadith"

[as-Suyuti, Tadrib ar-Rawi]

The books of Hadith mentioned above are more close to the time of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and are more authentic because they have a shorter chain like the hadith narrated by Abu Hanifa which is more authentic because he narrated the hadith from the Prophet's Companion or the Companion's students.

Here is one example where Imam Abu Hanifa says:

"I heard from Ata ibn Rubah and he heard from Ibn Abbas who heard from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) who said, 'Whoever reads the Fajr and 'Isha' salat with jama'a, Allah purifies his heart from hypocrisy''

[Musnad Imam Abu Hanifa, Chapter of Salat]

Hafiz al-'Asqalani writes:

"Imam Yahya ibn Mau'in said, 'Abu Hanifa narrated ahadith from 'A'isha bint Ajarad and she narrated from the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace)'

[al-'Asqalani, Lisan al-Mizan, Biography of 'A'isha bint Ajarad]

So this is the proof that the previous books of Hadith carry authentic ahadith. If we find a hadith in the above books and we do not find these in Bukhari or Muslim that does not mean that the hadith is weak or fabricated, but means that the hadith never reached Bukhari or Muslim. The hadith can still be authentic with shorter chains from the above books.

The above evidence highlights the fact that one cannot claim that Bukhari and Muslim are the only sources of Sunna.

With Great Regret

By mentioning the above references the writer's intention is not to insult Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim. We believe that Imam al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim were great scholars of Hadith and their books contain many more authentic narrations than any other book. We have great respect for them both. They have done a lot of hard work for the science of Hadith and have done a great favour to the whole of the Muslim Umma. We also pray that Allah may reward them in Paradise and fill their graves with blessings and nur. Amin.

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