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Authenticity of Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim

Published: 27/08/2011 05:24:00 PM GMT
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How can I reply to those who claim that there are false hadîth in Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim? How can I convince them or show them that these two books are authentic?

Answered by

Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân `Alûsh

Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim are the two most authentic books after the Qur’ân. There are no fabricated hadîth in these two books. We know this for the following reasons:

1. Al-Bukhârî and Muslim made it a condition not to record in their books any hadîth that were not authentic. Al-Bukhârî said: “I did not place in my book anything that is not authentic. I left out a number of authentic hadîth so the book would not be overly long.” He also said: “I did not place in my book anything that is not authentic. I left out more authentic hadîth than I recorded.”

Muslim said: “I did not place anything in this book of mine without proof for doing so. I did not leave anything out without proof for doing so.” He also said: “I did not place therein every authentic hadîth that I know. I only placed therein that which is unanimously agreed upon.”

2. There is juristic consensus among the scholars (ijmâ`) that all the hadîth in these two works are to be accepted. Al-Nawawî says: “The scholars are in agreement that the Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim are the most authentic books after the Qur’ân. The Muslim Ummah has accepted them.”

Imâm al-Haramayn said: “If a man swears that his wife is divorced from him if the contents of Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim contain anything deemed unauthentic in its attribution to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would not be divorced nor would he have to expiate for his oath, because there is consensus of the Muslims that they are both authentic.”

3. If we look at the methodology employed by those two scholars in compiling their books and the time that they took in verifying and editing them, and if we consider the number of hadîth from which they drew, we would be convinced of the reliability of their books. Al-Bukhârî drew from 600,000 hadîth and Muslim drew from 300,000 hadîth.

We must also recognize that these two scholars were the foremost authorities in the field of hadîth criticism. This is why their books are so important.

4. Al-Bukhârî took 16 years to complete his book. He did not record a single hadîth in it without first taking a full bath and praying two units of prayer seeking Allah’s guidance in the matter. When he completed his work, he subjected it to peer review, showing it to such eminent scholars if hadîth as Ahmad b. Hanbal, Yahyâ b. Ma`în, and `Alî b. al-Madînî. They all praised the work and verified its authenticity.

For further reading, please refer to the book Makânah al-Sahîhayn by Dr. Khalîl Mullâ Khâtir.

Source: Islam Today

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