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Were the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari known to the four great Imams?

 

 

Were the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari known to the four great Imams?

 

Sahih Bukhari was composed in such a time when millions of rigorously authenticated Hadith were lost, which were present in the times of the 4 great Imams.  That jurisprudence and especially the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, is as per those Hadith has been testified by thousands of teachers of Imam Bukhari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him).

 

Nowadays, the charge is leveled against the 4 schools of jurisprudence that they are against Sahih Bukhari.  An answer could be that Imam Bukhari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) didn’t get those Hadith at all which the 4 great Imams, especially Imam Azam, before him had received.

 

Even if he had received all those Hadith, then his jurisprudential acumen didn’t serve him well in deduction of rules, which Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) had done.  This is nothing new as scholars like A’amash and Auza’ee have openly said:  We are pharmacists and you are doctors.

 

Now, we should also see whether the Hadith related in Sahih Bukhari were there in the times of the 4 great Imams or not.  It is not possible that those Hadith weren’t present in the earlier times, as otherwise all will have to be declared as fabricated.  If they were present, we should check whether it was possible for the 4 great Imams to receive them or not.  It just cannot be proved that these Hadith couldn’t have reached the great Imams.  Which means that these Hadith did reach the great Imams.

 

After this, we see that the greatest Hadith experts have testified that Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) was the greatest scholar of his age.  We can easily learn from this that these Hadith did reach Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) as well.  Imam Bukhari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) selected a few Hadith from millions and related them in his book.  The reason for this selection is clearly the rigorousness of the chain of narration. 

 

The rigorousness of the chains of narration has been much sought after in every age.  People would travel long distances to learn those Hadith… when such selected Hadith were present in the age of Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him), then can it be that he did not learn those Hadith?  Of course not!  This was the reason Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) felt the need to learn from 4000 teachers. 

 

Then Hadith experts from all over the Islamic world would come to the circle of Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) and would present their corpus of Hadith at the time of deduction of rules.  Did Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) ignore all such Hadith?  Did the likes of ‘Abdullah bin Mubarak (May Allah shower His Mercy on him), who spent all his life at the side of Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) and was accepted to be Ameer Ul Momineen Fil Hadith, gain that wide acceptance without knowing these Hadith?  Of course not!

 

Thus, we learn from this and many such evidences, we learn that the Hadith selected by Imam Bukhari (May Allah shower His Mercy on him) were known to Imam Azam (May Allah be well pleased with him) and were duly considered when deduction of rules and principles of the Shariah. 

 

[Excerpted from Haqeeqatul Fiqh, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 81, 82]

 


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