Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, studied from over 1000 teachers. The best of them were also the greatest scholars of his time. This is an important point: in the previous generation, four scholars lived who were stars of hadith sciences. Imam Bukhari not only studied under all four of these masters of hadith sciences, but he became the main student or protege of all four scholars. As teachers, in that time, each teacher would teach many students.
- Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, was tested a few times in his life. One of the early tests, which really showcases the powerful memory that Allah blessed him with, occurred as follows. While in his twenties, imam Bukhari’s fame spread over much of the Muslim world — something rare in the time before internet, before email, before YouTube, our modern era where news travels almost instantenously. As he arrived in Baghdad, word of his arrival spread, and the scholars of Baghdad devised a test for imam Bukhari — to prove to the world that he’s not that good.
- We all know Imam Bukhari’s status as a scholar of hadith. Unquestionably, he is among the best scholars of hadith. This contributed heavily to his ability to produce a book like Saheeh Al-Bukhari. What is less well known about Imam Bukhari, though, are his other two specialities: aqeedah (which we will inshaAllah discuss another time), and fiqh. Imam Bukhari, rahimahullah, was a master of fiqh, and a mujtahid. Additionally, Imam Bukhari assumes that any reader of his book will be at least a hafidh of Qur’an.