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Commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari – Volume 2

By Shaykh Omar Subedar

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Knowledge

In this book, Imām al-Bukhārī briefly touches on the virtues of acquiring sacred knowledge before engaging in a detailed discussion on the etiquettes of seeking it and disseminating it. He also addresses the various views held by scholars of the generations prior to him and during his life on various technical issues related to ḥadīth sciences and then provides his viewpoints on those issues. He then addresses the prophecy of knowledge being stripped from people during the end times and condemns those who withhold it from others for no valid reason.

This book is an essential source for those pursuing higher Islamic studies. It exposes them to detailed scholarly discussions and exposes Imām al-Bukhārī’s scholarly brilliance. Reading this book will assist a committed student in learning how to conduct a scholarly dialogue with adversaries in a dignified and respectful fashion and presenting their viewpoints in an inoffensive manner.

About the Author

Abū ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿīl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhārī was a Persian scholar who was born in Bukhara (present-day Uzbekistan) after the jumuʿah prayer on Friday, Shawwāl 13, 194 AH (July 810 CE).

During his formative years, Imām al-Bukhārī developed the zeal to memorize aḥādīth and began attending the gatherings of contemporary ḥadīth scholars (muḥaddithūn) such as Imām al-Dākhalī.

At the age of 16, Imām al-Bukhārī began a series of journeys to collect aḥādīth. His first quest was to the province of Ḥijāz, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. After residing in Ḥijāz for six years, he travelled to several Islamic countries, including Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Persia. He visited Baṣrah four times and also Kūfah and Baghdād on a number of occasions. From these trips, he collected aḥādīth from a total of 1,080 muḥaddithūn.

Once Imām al-Bukhārī was attending a class of the famous shaykh, Is′ḥāq ibn Rāhway. During the gathering, one person shared an idea with the students of knowledge, “I really wish you people would put together a short book about the practices of Allāh’s Prophet (peace be upon him)!” Imām al-Bukhārī later recalled, “This comment hit my heart!”

Later, Imām al-Bukhārī had a vivid dream in which he stood face to face with Allāh’s beloved Messenger (peace be upon him). The imam could clearly see flies hovering above the Prophet’s head, so he waved a fan to scatter them away. The next day, he consulted dream interpreters, who informed him that the he was going to purify the aḥādīth from all the lies and fabrications that had crept into them. This dream only motivated the imam further.

Thus, in the year 217 AH (9th century CE), at the age of 23, Imām al-Bukhārī began preparing the Jāmiʿ after having travelled many lands to collect aḥādīth. With the help of Allāh, he completed this work in 16 years. From about 600,000 aḥādīth he had compiled from his various teachers, Imām al-Bukhārī carefully selected a final total of 7,563 aḥādīth for his book by carefully scrutinizing the transmission chains. These authentic aḥādīth represent about 1% of his initial collection.

May Allāh continue to shower his infinite mercy upon the soul of Imām al-Bukhārī till the final day.

About the Translator

Mohammed Omar Subedar was born in 1977 and grew up in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. In 1990, he enrolled in the Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury, United Kingdom, where in 1993 he became a ḥāfiẓ of the Qurʾān. In 2001, he graduated from a seven year program on Islamic Theology offered at the very same institute, earning the title of Scholar of Islamic Sciences and Arabic Literature with a final grade of A.

This seven-year program covered:
• Prophetic traditions (aḥādīth) and the principles (uṣūl) of ḥadīth studies
• Arabic grammar (naḥw), morphology (ṣarf), rhetoric (balāghah), vocabulary and literature
• Islamic creed (ʿaqīdah)
• Exegesis (tafsīr) of the Qurʾān and the principles (uṣūl) of exegesis
• Islamic law (fiqh) according to the Ḥanafī School (madh’hab)
• Comparative studies of the four schools of Islamic Law (Ḥanafī, Shāfiʿī, Mālikī and Ḥanbalī) and the principles of jurisprudence (uṣūl al-fiqh)
• Islamic history
• Pronunciation of the Qurʾān (tajwīd) according to the 10 major styles of recitation (qirāʾāt).

Since 2011, Mohammed Omar Subedar has been a lecturer on ḥadīth literature at the Islamic Society of Peel.

Among the books he has taught are:
• Muʾaṭṭaʾ li-Imām Muḥammad
• Muʾaṭṭaʾ li-Imām Mālik
• Sunan Abū Dāwūd
• Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī
• Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī
• Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim