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"Al-Bukhari and Muslims Sahi Hadith Collections"

Reader comment on item: Is Turkey's Government Starting a Muslim Reformation?

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), May 22, 2008 at 09:52

Bukhari (Abu `Abdullah Muhammad ibn Isma'il ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughira al-Ja'fai), the famous commentator and collector of hadiths of the 8th/9th century i.e., 810-870 A.D. His collection is known as Sahih (authentic) Bukhari, said to be a result of sixteen years of labour. al-Bukhari was one of the first also to compile traditions that stresses the marks of 'authentic' traditions, namely the long chains of narrators (isnad), it being said he only wanted to record authentic traditions. Out of 600,000 hadiths that he examined, he accepted only 7,397 as authentic (some others say 2,602, 9,082 with repetition). Of the more than 590,000 hadith he rejected, plenty of those he accepted as authentic, don't exactly flatter Islam and Muhammad its prophet.

The second most famous hadith collection amongst Sunni Muslims, is the Sahi Muslim collection. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (817-874AD), collecting, like Bukhari, large numbers of hadith, and rejecting most of them, collecting it is said, 300,000 and rejecting 296,000 of them, accepting 4,000 based on stringent acceptance criteria, checking each hadith for its compatibility with the Qur'an, painstakingly establishing its chain of narrators.

Muslims never claimed to collect all authentic hadith, trying to collect only those on which Muslims agreed on about their accuracy.

With Muhammad dying in 632 AD, the Sahi hadith collections therefore, date at some 200 years after Muhammad's death, and that time interval doesn't lend itself to accuracy of the hadith collections, does it?

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactantius Jr.

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