What is the reliability level of hadiths? Is Sahih Bukhari a reliable hadith book?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The full name of Jami’us-Sahih, known as Bukhari in short, in reference to its author, is “Al-Jami’us-Sahih al-Musnad min Hadithi Rasulullahi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam wa Sunanihi wa Ayyamihi”.
Bukhari, who acted upon his teacher, Ishaq Ibn Rahuya’s advice, “One of you should collect sound hadiths in a separate, concise book”, completed his Sahih in sixteen years by choosing hadiths from among six hundred thousand hadiths.

According to the narration of Firabri, Bukhari, who made ghusl and performed a prayer of two rak’ahs before including any hadith in the Sahih, sought a spiritual sign by asking Allah for a spiritual sign through istikhara, and then decided about the soundness of the hadith. “I did not include any hadith whose soundness was not confirmed like that in the Sahih.” He made a fair copy of the Sahih under these conditions between the tomb and pulpit of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

When Bukhari completed his work, he presented it to the masters of his time such as Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Yahya Ibn Main, Ali Ibnul-Madini. According to a narration, they agreed on the soundness of all hadiths except four and appreciated him. Dhahabi states the following:

“Bukhari’s al-Jami’us-Sahih is the most valuable and superior Islamic book after the Kitabullah (the Quran). If a person travels a thousand leagues to listen to it, it is worth the effort and his journey will not be in vain.”

Due to the meticulousness followed by the author in its writing, the work gained the honor of being “the second book after the Quran” by collecting the soundest hadiths with an agreement close to consensus of the whole ummah. So much so that it has become a tradition to recite it, just like the Quran, against calamities and troubles. The following narration is narrated from Bukhari himself with a solid chain of narrations:

“One night, I saw the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in my dream. I was standing in front of him and I was protecting the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) from the harassment of flies with the fan in my hand. I asked the meaning of it from a dream interpreter. He said to me: ‘You will defend the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) against lies.’ It was this dream that prompted me to compile al-Jami’us-Sahih.”

The following narration from Abu Zayd al-Marwazi is reported to explain the importance and acceptance of the work implicitly. Abu Zayd said:

“Once, I was sleeping between the Rukn and the Maqam. I saw the Prophet (pbuh) in my dream. He said to me: “O Abu Zayd! Until when will you teach Shafii’s book instead of mine?” I asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Which one is your book? He said, “Muhammad Ibn Ismail’s Jami’.

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