Every Muslim household that has an Islamic library will most likely have a work of ahadeeth (sayings of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) whether it be the forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi or Riyadhus-Salihin, or other mukhtasarat. And the name Bukhari or Bukhari and Muslim will appear in any of these works one way or another.
Whenever we hear lectures or Friday sermons the imam or khateeb will mention a Hadith and then in the end will most likely say rawaahul Bukhari (narrated by Bukhari) or agreed upon (muttafaqun alayh’ which means the Hadith is reported by both Shaykhs, Bukhari and Muslim)
So…who was imam Muhammad Ibn Ismail Al Bukhari?
He is the author of the most authentic book after the book of Allah. Sahih Al Bukhari. Yes that’s right. The greatest book after the Qur’an is the Sahih collection of this giant of Islam. Al Bukhari.
Imam Al Bukhari was non- Arab unlike the imams mentioned so far in this series.
In our times, he would probably be considered Russian or Uzbek.
He was born the year 194 in the area of Bukhara which is now in modern day Uzbekistan.
Al Bukhari’s father passed away when he was a young child. His pious mother took charge of his upbringing and care.
He lost his eyesight as a young boy.
One night Umm Al Bukhari saw Ibrahim عليه السلام in her dream. He told her that Allah has returned her son’s sight due to her many sincere duaa’ and crying to Allah azza wa jall.
The next morning Al Bukhari could see again! It was a miracle (karaamah) for this pious woman.
Indeed, Allah did say
أمن يجيب المضطر إذا دعاه
Is it not He Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him…
It is very important that we realize the power of duaa’ especially the duaa’ of the parent!
The prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said in an authentic Hadith
ثلاث دعوات لا ترد، دعوة الوالد لولده ودعوة الصائم ودعوة المسافر
Three (kinds of people) their supplications are answered.
The supplication of the parent for their child, the supplication of the fasting person, and the supplication of the traveler
As he got older Umm Al Bukhari would send her son to the circles of knowledge. She would often encourage him to sit with the scholars and benefit from them. And he did! Allah blessed Al Bukhari with an amazingly strong memory and love for the Sunnah.
He was the Ameerul Mu’mineen of hadith and his collection is the most trusted source after the book of Allah.
What an honor for Al Bukhari and his mother.
What an honor for his mother- the woman behind the upbringing of this giant of Islam.
May Allah accept it from her and from all those mothers who sacrifice their time and efforts in raising righteous children.