Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Ebrahim ibn Mugira ibn Bardizba Al Ju’fi Al Bukhari.
2) Birth and Lineage:
Born on Friday (after Jumuah) 13 Shawwal 194 A.H. Passed away on Friday 1 Shawwal 256 A.H. (the night before Eid-ul-Fitr) (Hadyus Saari – pg.477).
Bardizba was a fire worshipper. His son Mugira accepted Islam on the hands of Ju’fi the governor of Bukhara. That is why the name Ju’fi appears at the end of his name. There is not much mention about Imam Bukhari’s grandfather, Ebrahim. However his father, Ismail, was a muhaddith and Ibn Hibban has rated him in the 4th category of reliable muhadditheen. He has narrated from Hammad ibn Zaid and Imam Malik. Abu Hafs Kabir says that he was present at the time of Ismails death when he heard him say: “I do not have a single dirham of doubt in my earnings.”
3) Abilities (Remarkable Memory):
When Imam Bukhari was 11 years old, he was once at the lesson of Imaam Daakli and Imaam Daakhli narrated the following sanad: Sufyan from Abu Zubair from Ebrahim. Imaam Bukhari said that this sanad is incorrect because Abu Zubair did not narrate from Ebrahim. When it was checked up, Imaam Bukhari was correct. (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Hashid bin Ismail mentions that Imam Bukhari (R.A.) in his youth use to come to the Mashaaikh of Basra but he never used to write. After 16 days, we rebuked him for not writing down the notes (Ahadith). After a while he said: “You have rebuked me enough – bring your kitaabs.” Hashid says: “We brought our kitaabs and Imam Saheb mentioned each and every Hadith with their sanads and also corrected our kitaabs and said: “You think I’m wasting my time!” (At that time there were over 15 000 Ahadith taken from those Mashaaikh of Basra) (Hadyus Saari pg.478).
Once Ishaaq bin Raah-weih mentioned that I know the 70 000 Ahadith mentioned in my book like I’m looking at them. When this was mentioned to Imam Bukhari (R.A.), he replied: “You are astonished at that, perhaps in this time and age, there are such people who know 200 000 Ahadith as mentioned in the kitaab (by this Imam Bukhari was referring to himself) (Hadyus Saari pg.487).
Once when Imam Bukhari went to Baghdad, the muhadditheen got together and took 100 Ahadith and mixed up their sanads (chain of narrators) and matan (text). Thereafter 10 muhadditheen were appointed to present ten of these Ahadith each to him incorrectly. When each Hadith was presented, he replied each time with these words: “I don’t know this Hadith.” After all the Ahadith were presented to him, he mentioned each Hadith as it was narrated by those ten muhadditheen and then mentioned the correct version of each one (Hadyus Saari pg.486).
Abu Azhar (R.A.) says; “Once when Imam Bukhari (R.A.) came to Samarkand, 400 muhadditheen got together and mixed up the sanads of Iraq with Yemeni sanads and the sanads of the Haram with the Yemeni sanads in trying to make Imam Saheb commit a mistake, but not one mistake was taken out by anyone of the 400 muhadditheen.
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) said he has more than 1000 Teachers. He knows the chain of narrators of every Hadith from every Teacher. Ibn Hajar has categorized Bukhari’s Teachers into 5 groups:
2) Contemporaries of Tabi’een but did not narrate.
3) Heard from elderly Tabi’een.
4) Narrates from his colleagues who were his seniors.
5) Narrates from his juniors.
90 000 people have heard the Bukhari Shariif directly from Imam Bukhari (Hadyus Saari pg.491).
Imam Bukhari (RA) invested his money of inheritance from his father’s estate and he should receive 500 dirham’s monthly. All this used to be spent in attaining knowledge.
When he went to Aadam ibn Abi Ayas there was a delay in receiving money – he ate grass, after 3 days somebody gave a bag of coins.
He got sick, his container of food was shown to doctors, and they said this is like the Raahibs. Imam Bukhari did not eat curry for 40 years. When people insisted, he accepted to have bread and sugar as curry.
7) Piety and Character:
Imam Bukhari said: “From the time I knew backbiting is haraam I never spoke ill about anyone.”
The need once arose for Imam Bukhari (R.A.) to travel by sea. He had with him 1000 ashrafis (gold coins). While on the ship, he met a person who became very close to Imam Saheb. One day (while on the ship) that person began shouting, when asked the reason for the shouting he mentioned that he had a thousand Ashrafis that were missing. While every passenger on the ship was being searched, Imam Bukhari (R.A.) threw his 1000 Ashrafis into the sea. After all the passengers on board were searched and the money not found, the people began rebuking that person. When the journey ended that person came to Imam Bukhari (R.A.) and enquired: “As to what he had done with the money.” Imam Bukhari (R.A.) replied: “That he had thrown it into the sea.” That person asked: “Why he had borne such a huge loss.” He replied: “Are you not aware that my entire life has been devoted to the Ahadith of Rasulullah (SAW) and my authenticity is very renowned. I was not prepared to loose what I had earned my entire life because of a few gold coins.” (Zafrul Muhassileen – pg.103)
Whilst practicing archery, the arrow hit a bridge and damaged it. He asked the owner for forgiveness and offered to repair it.
Abu Hafs Kabir sent goods to him which he promised to sell to somebody at a certain price. Others offered a higher price. He refused.
Imam Bukhari (R.A.) mentioned: “I did not write any Hadith in this book before taking a bath and performing 2 rakaat and I deduced this kitaab from 600 000 Ahadith in 16 years.