Sahih Bukhari

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Sahih Bukhari (in Arabic صحيح البخاري, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī) is a collection of hadiths (narrations) by a non-arab, al-Bukhari, who was born in Persia around 200 years after Muhammad's death [1]. He collected narrations which were transmitted only orally for generations. Although he started collecting the orally transmitted stories generations after Muhammad's death, the collection is called "authentic" (sahih). The "authenticness" of a narration is judged by subjectively judging the people in the chain of narrators (if they were good truthful Muslims). In the English translation of the hadiths, often only the last narrator (the one who narrated it to Bukhari) is mentioned, and sometimes only the first narrator from the time of Muhammad is mentioned.[2] But in the original Arabic, there is always a long list of narrators. This collection of hadiths is considered (by sunni Muslims) to be the most authentic along with the collection Sahih Muslim. It is also part of "the six books" (الكتب الستة, Al-Kutub as-Sittah), the most trusted hadith collections in sunni Islam. There are over 7000 narrations in the collection, but there are often different version of the same story, so the actual number of narrations is less than 3000 [3].

Translations[edit]

The whole collection was translated to English by Muhsin Khan. His translations uses the 97 books version. The collection was translated into many other languages.[4]

The English text often isn't a literal translation of the Arabic original. For example the book "كتاب السلم" (kitaab us-sallam, book of payment) is named "A book of Sales in which a Price is paid for Goods to be Delivered Later". Other times they are so literal, that they are actually not translation, but only a transliteration, for example "Khusoomaat" (Quarrels).

Just like in the Qur'an translations, when the Arabic original text is too violent or absurd, the English translation uses euphemisms, transliteration, mis-translation or just doesn't translate it at all.

For example, in the 58th Book (with only a transliterated name) "Jizyah and Mawaada'ah" (the tax and the peace treaty), the first chapter is named:

  • In English: "Al-Jizya taken from the Dhimmi"
  • In Arabic: "باب الْجِزْيَةِ وَالْمُوَادَعَةِ مَعَ أَهْلِ الْحَرْبِ"
    • باب (baab) - chapter
    • الْجِزْيَةِ (al-jizya) - (of) the tax
    • وَالْمُوَادَعَةِ (wal-mawaada'ah) - and the peace treaty
    • مَعَ (ma'a) - with
    • أَهْلِ (ahl) - people
    • الْحَرْبِ (al-harbi) - (of) the war

We would expect that the English word "dhimmi" is a transliteration of the Arabic word dhimmi (ذمي), but the name of the chapter actually says "people of war" (أَهْلِ الْحَرْبِ, ahl il-harbi) and doesn't use the word dhimmi (ذمي). This might be even called "mis-transliteration". Also the chapter mentions the Mawaada'ah (الموادعة), the peace treaty (of not killing them), while the translation says only "jizya".

Ambiguous numbering[edit]

There is more than one way of numbering the hadiths in this collection. Every hadith has it's own number (from 1 to 7495 [5], 7563[6] or 7658 [7]), but the collection was also divided into volumes and books. There are either 93[8], 97 [9] or 98 [10] books and there are 9 volumes (in the 93 books version). So for example, if someone tells you about a hadith in the book 98, you might find out your collection has only 93 books and the hadith is actually in the book 93 in your collection. Also what is in one version considered as two separate hadiths might be in other collection considered to be one big hadith. So we can't tell how many hadiths are there.

In the 93 books (USC-MSA) version, the hadith numbering is not from the first hadith of the whole collection, but from the first hadith of the first book of the volume. The hadith identificator is volume:book:hadith. For example, 9:84:53, is the first hadith of the book 84, and it has the number 53, because volume 9 started with the book 83 and the book 83 has 52 hadiths. The same hadith could be described as 88:1, because it is the 1st hadith of the book 88 in the 97 books version (or 89:1 in the 97 books version). It could be also described with one number 6918, as it is the 6918th hadith from the beginning of the whole Sahih Bukhari collection (in the 93 books version). And it could be also described with the number 7004 (more than 6918), because in the 93 books version, some hadiths from the 98 books version, were "joined" and considered to be one hadith.


This is a list of all names used in different versions [11]. The first three columns "98", "97" and "93" contain a number of the book with the name "Book name" in the 98, 97 or 93 version. The last three columns Q98, Q97 and Q93 contain the number (Quantity) of hadiths in the book "Book name" in the 98, 97 and 93 books version. "x" means that a book with this name is not a part of that version (the hadiths which would be in that book are in some other book instead).


98 97 93 Volume Book name Q98 Q97 Q93
1 1 1 1 Revelation 7 7 6
2 2 2 1 Belief 51 51 49
3 3 3 1 Knowledge 78 76 81
4 4 4 1 Ablutions (wudu) 114 113 111
5 5 5 1 Bathing (ghusl) 44 46 45
6 6 6 1 Menstrual periods 37 40 37
7 7 7 1 Ablution (rubbing hands and feet) with dust (tayammum) 15 15 15
8 8 8 1 Prayer (salat) 165 172 127
x x 9 1 Virtues of the prayer hall (sutra) x x 27
9 9 10 1 Times of prayers 78 82 77
10 10 11 1 Call to prayers 265 273 122
x x 12 1 Characteristics of prayer x x 134
11 11 13 2 Friday prayer 65 66 63
12 12 14 2 Fear prayer 6 6 5
13 13 15 2 The two festivals (eids) 37 42 36
14 14 16 2 Witr prayer 15 15 14
15 15 17 2 Invoking Allah for rain (istisqaa) 34 35 31
16 16 18 2 Eclipses 24 25 23
17 17 19 2 Prostration during recital of Qur'an 13 13 13
18 18 20 2 Shortening the prayers 37 40 35
19 19 21 2 Prayer at night (tajjud) 63 68 68
20 20 x 2 Virtues of prayer at Masjid Makkah and Madinah 9 10 x
21 21 22 2 Actions while praying 27 26 40
22 22 x 2 Forgetfulness in prayer 14 13 x
23 23 23 2 Funerals 149 158 155
24 24 24 2 Obligatory charity tax (Zakat) 116 118 95
x x 25 2 Zakat ul-Fitr (ramadan charity) x x 10
25 25 26 2 Pilgrimage (Hajj) 247 259 235
26 26 27 3 Minor pilgrimage (Umrah) 33 33 32
27 27 28 3 Pilgrims prevented from completing the pilgrimage 17 15 14
28 28 29 3 Penalty of hunting while on pilgrimage 46 46 44
29 29 30 3 Virtues of Madinah 24 24 24
30 30 31 3 Fasting 119 117 111
31 31 32 3 Praying at night in Ramadan 6 6 16
32 32 x 3 Virtues of the night of Qadr 11 x x
33 33 33 3 Retiring to a mosque for remembrance of Allah 21 21 21
34 34 34 3 Sales and trade 193 192 178
35 35 35 3 Sales in which a price is paid for goods to be delivered later 16 18 20
36 36 x 3 Shuf'a (pre-emption) 3 3 x
37 37 36 3 Hiring 25 26 25
38 38 37 3 Transferance of a debt from one person to another 3 3 10
39 39 x 3 Kafalah 9 9 x
40 40 38 3 Representation, Authorization, Business by proxy 18 21 17
41 41 39 3 Agriculture 28 31 28
42 42 40 3 Distribution of water 31 33 29
43 43 41 3 Loans, payment of loans, freezing of property, bankruptcy 24 25 38
44 44 x 3 Khusoomaat (quarrels) 15 16 x
45 45 42 3 Lost things picked up by someone 15 14 12
46 46 43 3 Oppressions 43 44 43
47 47 44 3 Partnership 22 25 22
48 48 45 3 Mortgaging 8 8 8
49 49 46 3 Manumission (freeing) of slaves 42 43 47
50 50 x 3 Makaatib (slaves trying to be free) 6 6 x
51 51 47 3 Gifts 69 71 65
52 52 48 3 Witnesses 62 53 50
53 53 49 3 Peacemaking 20 21 19
54 54 50 3 Conditions 24 27 22
55 55 51 4 Wills and testaments 45 44 40
56 56 52 4 Fighting for the cause of Allah (jihaad) 311 309 283
57 57 53 4 One-fifth of booty to the cause of Allah 63 65 89
58 58 x 4 Jizyah and mawaada'ah (tax on dhimmis and a peace treaty) 30 34 x
59 59 54 4 Beginning of creation 137 136 130
60 60 55 4 Prophets 156 163 116
61 61 56 4 Virtues and merits of the prophet and his companions / merits of sunnah 152 160 183
62 62 57 5 Companions of the prophet 136 127 118
63 63 58 5 Merits of the helpers in Madinah 179 173 166
64 64 59 5 Military expeditions led by the prophet 510 525 465
65 65 60 6 Prophetic commentary on the Qur'an 516 504 501
66 66 61 6 Virtues of the Qur'an 89 85 81
67 67 62 7 Wedlock, marriage 189 188 177
68 68 63 7 Divorce 101 100 85
69 69 64 7 Supporting the family 23 22 23
70 70 65 7 Food, meals 96 94 89
71 71 66 7 Sacrifice on occasion of birth 9 8 8
72 72 67 7 Hunting, slaughtering 71 70 69
73 73 68 7 Al-Adha festival sacrifice 31 30 28
74 74 69 7 Drinks 67 65 63
75 75 70 7 Patients 38 38 38
76 76 71 7 Medicine 94 105 92
77 77 72 7 Dress 194 187 179
78 78 73 8 Good manners and form 266 257 245
79 79 74 8 Asking permission 78 77 71
80 80 75 8 Invocations 106 108 104
81 81 76 8 To make the heart tender 186 182 172
82 82 77 8 Divine will (qadar) 27 27 25
83 83 78 8 Oaths and vows 89 87 81
84 84 79 8 Expiation for unfulfilled oaths 16 16 18
85 85 80 8 Laws of inheritance 47 49 47
86 86 81 8 Limits and punishments set by Allah 31 88 31
87 x 82 8 Punishments of disbelievers at war with Allah and his apostle / Disbelievers 52 x 49
88 87 83 9 Blood money 55 57 52
89 88 84 9 Dealing with apostates 21 22 20
90 89 85 9 Saying something under compulsion 13 13 12
91 90 86 9 Tricks 28 29 26
92 91 87 9 Interpretation of dreams 68 66 59
93 92 88 9 Afflictions and the end of the world 90 89 81
94 93 89 9 Judgements 87 89 81
95 94 90 9 Wishes 22 20 20
96 95 91 9 Accepting information given by a truthful person 21 22 21
97 96 92 9 Holding fast to the Qur'an and sunnah 98 103 96
98 97 93 9 Oneness, uniqueness of Allah 194 193 184

Conclusion[edit]

Sahih Bukhari is a collection of narrations from people who lived with Muhammad. The word "sahih" means "authentic", but since Bukhari started collecting them hundereds of years after Muhammad and all of the narrations have a long chain of narrations (like "someone said, that someone else said, that someone else said, that she said, that he said that Muhammad did something"), it is questionable, whether those narrations are actually authentic. Nevertheless this collection is considered to be the most authentic by sunni Muslims.

The English translation by Muhsin Khan is not very reliable.

The collection is divided into 9 volumes and volumes are divided into books. There are more than 90 books. One book can contain from a few to hundereds of hadiths (narrations). Since the numbering of both books and hadiths is problematic (there are more numbering methods), we can't say how many books and how many hadiths there are. Also we can't say which book contains the biggest number of hadiths. But we can say that (in all numbering methods) the 3 biggest books are:

  • Military expeditions led by the prophet
  • Prophetic commentary on the Qur'an
  • Fighting for the cause of Allah (jihaad)

So two out of three biggest books of narrations about Muhammad's life are about killing people. The book "Military expeditions led by the prophet" contains over 500 hadiths. While the book of "Peacemaking" contains less then 30 hadiths. From this we can conclude that killing people was a very big part of Muhammad's life (of his "sunna").

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Muhammad died 632. Bukhari was born 810.
  2. The most common narrators from Muhammad's generation are Abu Huraira and Aisha. See also [1] and [2].
  3. A.C. Brown, Jonathan (2009). Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Foundations of Islam series). Oneworld Publications. p. 32. ISBN 978-1851686636.
  4. http://www.australianislamiclibrary.org/sahih-bukhari.html
  5. http://al-islamic.net/hadith/bukhari
  6. https://sunnah.com/bukhari/97
  7. http://al-islamic.net/hadith/bukhari/98
  8. https://www.sahih-bukhari.com/Pages/Bukhari_2_20.php
  9. https://sunnah.com/bukhari
  10. http://al-islamic.net/hadith/bukhari
  11. The 98 version is from the web al-islamic.net, the 97 version from sunnah.com and the 93 version from sahih-bukhari.com