Source of livelihood of Imam Bukhari

Introduction

The name of Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ is ‘Muhammad’, his Kunyah is Abu ‘Abdullah and his father’s name is Isma’eel. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was born in Bukhara, a famous city of Uzbekistan. He, therefore, is called ‘Bukhari’. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was a great Islamic scholar, Muhaddis, Faqih, Mujtahid of the Ummah of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم. His father was also a great Islamic scholar and a student of Sayyiduna Hammad Bin Zayd and of Sayyiduna Imam Maalik رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِمَا. The earnings of his father were perfectly lawful. At the time of his demise, his father said, ‘To the best of my knowledge, in my wealth, there is not a single penny earned from Haraam and doubtful means.’ Whatever Du’a his mother made, it would be answered. Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ wrote many books. The most famous amongst them is ‘Sahih Bukhari’. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ completed this book in more or less 16 years. Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was born on 13th Shawwal-ul-Mukarram 194 AH on Friday, and passed away in 256 AH at the age of more or less 62 years on Saturday night. Fragrance continued to emanate from the soil of his blessed grave for a long period of time and people would take it with them for blessing. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 1, pp. 11; Tareekh Baghdad, vol. 2, pp. 6; Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 10, pp. 284; Fath-ul-Baari, vol. 1, pp. 454)

Source of livelihood

Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was a farmer and trader. It has been narrated that he inherited immense wealth from his father. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ would invest the wealth in Mudarabat [مُضَارَبَت]. (Masabih-ul-Jaami’ lid-Dama-Meeni, vol. 5, pp. 49; Fath-ul-Baari, vol. 1, pp. 454)

No change in intention

Sayyiduna Bakr Bin Muneer رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ has stated: Once a person sent goods to Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ. In the evening, some traders came to him and were willing to buy the goods by paying him the amount that could earn him the profit of 5000 dirhams. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ replied, ‘Wait till tomorrow.’ The next day, another group of traders came and made the offer of buying the goods by paying him the amount that could earn him 10,000 dirhams. Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ said, ‘I have intended to sell the goods to the traders who came yesterday.’ So he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ sold the goods to them and said, ‘I do not like to change my intention.’ (Tareekh Baghdad, vol. 2, pp. 12)

Spending 500 dirhams on gaining knowledge every month

Once Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ said, ‘I would earn 500 dirhams every month and would spend all of them on gaining knowledge.’ (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 10, pp. 309)

He would like Kakri [a kind of cucumber] very much

Sayyiduna Muhammad Bin Abu Haatim رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ has said: Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ had a piece of land on which he would receive 700 dirhams rent every year. The tenant sometimes would bring one or two Kakries for Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ because Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ liked ripe Kakries very much and would prefer them to melon. Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ would give this person 100 dirhams every year for bringing the Kakri. (Siyar A’laam-un-Nubala, vol. 10, pp. 308)

May Allah Almighty bless us with following the Seerah of Sayyiduna Imam Bukhari رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ and with the privilege of spending our earnings in His path for the fulfilment of the needs of the needy!

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

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Source of livelihood of Imam Bukhari

Students were satisfying their thirst of knowledge from the Halqah of Dars of Imam-e-A’zam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ in Kufa. One day a boy who was looking intelligent came and asked Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ, ‘What is your Fatwa about the Na-Baaligh boy [a boy who has not reached puberty] who sleeps after offering ‘Isha Salah in the night and before Fajr of the same night grows adult? Should he offer ‘Isha Salah again?’ Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ replied, ‘Yes! He will have to repeat the Salah.’ Having heard this, the boy stood up and went to a corner of the Masjid and started offering Salah. Having seen the young man this great Imam said, ‘اِنْ شَـآءَ اللہ عَزَّوَجَلَّ this boy will make progress.’ (Buloogh-ul-Amaani, pp. 5)

Dear Islamic brothers! The people of his age saw that the young boy who attained the blessing from Imam-e-A’zam Sayyiduna Imam Abu Hanifah رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ became the Imam of his time and is still famous in the world by the name of ‘Imam Muhammad Bin Hasan Shaybani رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ’. Imam-e-A’zam’s prediction came true and he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ became Mujtahid-fil-Mazhab.[1]

Birth

He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was born in 132 AH in Wasit, the city of eastern Iraq. His name is ‘Muhammad Bin Hasan’ and Kunyat ‘Abu ‘Abdullah’.

Became Haafiz of Quran within a week

After some period of time of this event he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ went to Sayyiduna Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ to gain the knowledge of Fiqh. Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ asked him to memorize the Holy Quran first. He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ approached him again after memorizing the Holy Quran within a week and Imam-e-A’zam رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ accepted him as his student. (Buloogh-ul-Amaani, pp. 4, 6)

Teachers

He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ gained knowledge from great personages like Imam Maalik, Imam Awza’ee, Imam Sufyan Sawri, Mis’ar Bin Kidaam and ‘Umar Bin Zar including Imam-e-A’zam and Imam Abu Yusuf رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی. (Tareekh-e-Baghdad, vol. 2, pp. 169)

Unique honour

One unique aspect of his personality is that everyone from all four schools of thought [Hanafi, Shaafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali] benefited directly or indirectly from him. Imam Shaafi’i رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ gained knowledge directly from him. Asad Bin Furaat رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ, the compiler of Kutub-e-Asadiyyah from Maliki Fiqh, was the student of Imam Muhammad رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ. Similarly, Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was asked, ‘From where have you gained the knowledge of most difficult rulings?’ He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ replied, ‘From the books of Imam Muhammad Bin Hasan رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ.’ (Buloogh-ul-Amaani, pp. 9; Manaqib Abi Hanifah, pp. 79 - 86) His blessings are found in all these four schools of thought.

Strong desire for study

He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ would sleep very less and spend most of the time studying books during the night. When a Shar’i ruling was solved, he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ would say, ‘It brings me such enormous pleasure which even a prince cannot get!’ Someone asked, ‘Why do you not sleep?’ He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ replied, ‘How should I sleep when people are placing their absolute trust in us [regarding Shar’i rulings]!’ (Buloogh-ul-Amaani, pp. 7; Jami’-ul-Ahadees, vol. 1, pp. 285)

Famous book

He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was the author of many books. His famous book in the knowledge of Hadees is ‘Mu`atta Imam Muhammad’ whose most of the narrations he has taken from Imam Maalik رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ. Similarly, ‘Kitab-ul-Aasaar’ is also a famous compilation in the knowledge of Hadees. In addition, his collection of six books is famous in Hanafi Fiqh. This collection is called ‘Zaahir-ur-Riwayah’. The names of the books are as follows: (1) ‘اَلْجَامِعُ الْکَبِیْر’ (2) ‘اَلْجَامِعُ الصَّغِیْر’ (3) ‘اَلسِّیَرُ الْکَبِیْر’ (4) ‘اَلسِّیَرُ الصَّغِیْر’ (5) ‘مَبْسُوْط’ (6) ‘زِیَادات’.

In addition to them, (1) ‘اَلْجُرْجَانِیَّات’ (2) ‘اَلْکَیْسَانِیَّات’ (3) ‘اَلْھَارُوْنِیَّات’ (4) ‘اَلرِّقِّیَّات’ are also famous in Hanafi Fiqh. (Jami’-ul-Ahadees, vol. 1, pp. 288, 290, 293)

Blessed saying

Imam Muhammad رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ has said, ‘My father left 30,000 dirhams out of which I have spent 15,000 dirhams on gaining the knowledge of Hadees and the knowledge of Fiqh.’ (Tareekh-e-Baghdad, vol. 2, pp. 170)

Chief Justice

After the demise of Sayyiduna Imam Abu Yusuf رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ he رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ was appointed as the Chief Justice of Iraq.

Demise

He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ passed away on 14th Jumadal Ukhra 189 AH. During the same days, his maternal cousin Imam Kisa`ee (who is a famous Imam of the knowledge of Nahw [grammar]) also passed away. Both these blessed personages were laid to rest in ‘Rey’. Caliph Haroon-ur-Rasheed, the caliph of that time, spoke a sentence: Today I have buried both Fiqh and Nahw in ‘Rey’. Someone had a dream in which he saw Imam Muhammad رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ and asked, ‘کَیْفَ کُنْتَ فِی حَالِ النَّزْعِhow did you experience the agony of death? He رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ replied, ‘At that time, I was thinking deeply about the rulings of Mukatab Ghulam. I did not know when my soul was seized.’ (Ta’leem-ul-Muta’allim, pp. 99) May Allah Almighty have mercy on him and forgive us without any accountability for his sake!

اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم



[1] The follower Mujtahid who possesses the ability to deduce the rules in the light of the rules made by his Imam. Though he can oppose the details from his Imam, yet he follows his own Imam in Usool (rule) such as Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad رَحْمَۃُ اللہِ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِمَا.

(Rad-dul-Muhtar, vol. 1, pp. 181; Jad-dul-Mumtar, vol. 1, pp. 301)

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