All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, the Trustworthy: Seal of the Prophets and may Allah be pleased with his household members, his wives and all his Companions. And may Allah’s Mercy be upon the trustworthy Tabi’een and the ones who followed the Tabi’een(Taba’ Tabieen) from the best generations(of Islam). And may Allah’s Mercy be upon those who followed them in goodness till the Day of Judgement.

The ones who believes in the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) with their heart, while accepting it in their saying and action and propagating it further. They are the ones who are labelled with the honorific title of ‘Ahlul Hadeeth’ or ‘Ahl us-Sunnah’.

The ‘Khalifah Mijaaz’ of Haaji Imdadullah Thaanwi and the founder of Jamia Nizamiyyah Hyderabad, Deccan i.e. Anwarullah Faarooqee has written:

“Though all the Companions were Ahlul Hadeeth”.

(Faarooqee’s book: Haqeeqat ul-Fiqah V.2 p.228, pub. Idaaratul Quraan wa Uloom al-Islamiyyah, Karachi)

Muhammad Idrees Kandhalwee Deobandee wrote:

“All the Companions were Ahlul Hadeeth”.

(Ijtihaad wa Taqleed p.84 line.13;also see Tanqeed Sadeed p.16)

After the Companions(may Allah be pleased with them all), the Tabi’een and the Taba’ Tabi’een who were on the correct creed, upheld the flag of Ahlul Hadeeth. May Allah have Mercy on all of them.

From their highly valuable students which includes Imaam Shafi’ee , Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal, Imaam Bukharee & Imaam Muslim & the thiqah Fuqaha of Muhadditheen. These people with the special favor from Allah, preserved the Deen of Islam in the form of Quraan & its sciences, along with Hadeeth and its sciences and establishing the science of Asmaa wa ar-Rijaal. May Allah reward them with good.

From the Fuqahaa of Muhadditheen, the Ameerul Mu’mineen fil hadeeth (Leader of Believers in the filed of hadeeth) & Imaam of the world in the understanding of hadeeth i.e. Aboo Abdillah Muhammad bin Isma’eel al-Bukharee rahimahullah and his book Saheeh Bukharee has a very special position. And this is the reason that every true Ahl us-Sunnah has extreme love for Imaam Bukharee & his Saheeh.

Keeping this love in mind, I would like to present a concise article, summarizing the distinctive issues of Ahlul Hadeeth in terms of Eemaan & Action and their references from Imaam Bukharee & his Saheeh Bukharee.

1. The attributive name of Ahlul Hadeeth:

It has come in a hadeeth that a group of this Ummah will continue to fight and will remain predominant till the Day of Judgement. Imaam Bukharee said while explaining this hadeeth: “يعني أهل الحديث” meaning this group is Ahlul Hadeeth.

(Mas’alatul Ihtijaaj by Khateeb p.47; its chain is saheeh, second manuscript p.35, al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Muhajjah 1/46)

Two things are pretty evident from this authentic reference:

  • That the attributive name of the people of correct creed is Ahlul Hadeeth. Hence the title ‘Ahlul Hadeeth’ is absolutely correct and the truth.
  • Tai’fah Mansoorah/Firqah Najiyyah i.e. the saved sect is Ahlul Hadeeth.

2. Eemaan increases & decreases:

Imaam Bukharee said regarding Eemaan:

“و هو قول و فعل يزيد و ينقص ”

“It is statement and action. It increases & decreases.”

(Saheeh Bukharee, Kitaab al-Eemaan, Chapter before hadeeth no. 8)

And this is the Aqeedah of all the Muhadditheen & Salaf us-Saliheen. However, it is written in ‘Aqeedah Nasafiyyah’ which is the book on Aqeedah for the Deobandiyyah & the Barelwiyyah:

“الإيمان لا يزيد ولا ينقص”

And Eemaan neither increases nor decreases! (p.39)

3. Allah is upon His Throne i.e. Mustawee:

While explaining the famous aayah of Istawaa, Imaam Bukharee has quoted the famous thiqah Tabi’ee & interpreter of Quraan i.e. Mujaahid ibnJabr rahimahullah that ‘علا‘ means that He ascended over the Throne.

(Saheeh Bukharee Kitab at-Tawheed Chapter 22, before hadeeth no. 7418, Taghleeq ut-Ta’leeq V.5 p.345)

Hence it is proven that Imaam Bukharee believed that Allah is on His Throne. However, the opponent of this Salafee Aqeedah say that Allah by His Essence(Dhaat) is Everywhere!!

4. Condemning of Opinion:

Imaam Bukharee has mentioned under a sub-book of Saheeh Bukharee (where it is mentioned to hold tight to the Book of Allah & the Sunnah):

‘باب مَا يُذْكَرُ مِنْ ذَمِّ الرَّأْىِ وَتكلف الْقِيَاسِ‘

Chapter: On what has been mentioned condemning opinion & delving in Qiyaas/analogy

(Saheeh Bukharee, Kitaab al-Itisaam bil Kitaab wa as-Sunnah, Chapter 7 before hadeeth 7307)

In it, Imaam Bukharee has brought that hadeeth in which the Messenger of Alaah sallallahu alyhi wa sallam said:

“there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray”

(hadeeth 7307)

It is pretty evident from this that Imaam Bukharee considered presenting one’s opinion and qiyaas against the Book of Allah & the Sunnah as the action of one who is deviant. Hence, Ahl ur-Raa’i (people of opinion) are not liked. Apparently, this is the reason why Imaam Bukharee did not even consider mentioning the name of an Imaam from the people of opinion. In fact he refuted him by saying ‘بعض الناس‘ and mentioned his criticism in his other books(at-Tareekh al-Kabeer & Dhuafa as-Sagheer) so that the chain remains.

This also proves that Imaam Bukharee rahimahullah was not a Muqallid (blind-follower) as has been mentioned by the famous Deobandee scholar Saleemullah Khaan (Head of Jaamia Faaroqqiyah Karachi): “Bukharee was a Mujtahid-e-Mutlaq”.

(Fadhl ul-Baaree V.1 p.36)

5. Raising hands in Salah/prayer:

Imaam Bukharee has put a Chapter in Saheeh Bukharee:

‘باب رفع اليدين إذا كبر و ركع وإذا رفع‘

Chapter on Raising the hands when saying Takbeer and when making rukoo and when rising from it(rukoo).

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.732)

This hadeeth applies to all the prayers, be it one rakah of Witr or the two rakahs of obligatory prayer in the morning. And if the prayer is more than two rakah, then the following Chapter of Saheeh Bukharee will serve as a guiding light:

‘باب رفع اليدين إذاقام من الركعتين ‘

Chapter on raising the hands when rising up after two rakahs.

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.739)

Imaam Bukharee has brought five(5) narrations in his Saheeh on the issue of raising the hands and he wrote a specific book on this matter i.e. ‘Juzz Raf’ul Yadayn’ which is rightly attributed to him and is very famous and known as his work. This book has been published with my tehqeeq and translation.

Do remember that Deobandiyyah & Barelwiyyah differ with Imaam Bukharee on this matter.

6. Reciting Surah al-Fatiha behind the Imaam:

Imaam Bukharee has put a Chapter in his Saheeh:

‘باب وجوب القراءة للإمام والمأموم في الصلواة كلها في الحضر والسفر و ما يجهر و ما يخافت‘

Chapter: Recitation of the Quraan is compulsory for the Imaam and the followers, at the home and on journey, in all As-Salah (the prayers) whether the recitation is done silently or aloud.

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.755)

Imaam Bukharee has brought under this chapter the following hadeeth:

“لاَ صَلاَةَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَقْرَأْ بِفَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ”

“Whoever does not recite Al-Fatiha in his prayer, his prayer is invalid.”

(Saheeh Bukharee h.756)

Hence it is proven that what Imaam Bukharee meant by this Chapter on ‘Recitation of the Quraan’ was ‘Recitation of Surah al-Fatiha’.

Also note that Imaam Bukharee has written a treaty on the subject of reciting Surah al-Faitha behind the Imaam. This has been published with my tehqeeq/research and translation by the name of ‘Nasrul Baari’.

7. Saying ‘Aameen’ loudly:

Imaam Bukharee has written a chapter:

‘باب جَهْرِ الإِمَامِ بِالتَّأْمِينِ‘

Chapter: Saying of Ameen aloud by the Imam.

Within it, he has also brought that hadeeth which proves that Adullah bin Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) and his followers used to say Aameen loudly.

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.780)

Hence it is proven that Imaam Bukharee considered that the Imaam and his follwers should say Aameen loudly.

Also note that there is an Ijmaa(consensus) that one should not say Aameen loudly in silent prayers but should say it silently.

8. To fold the hands (on the chest) in Salah:

Imaam Bukharee has brought a famous hadeeth under the chapter:

‘باب وَضْعِ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى الْيُسْرَى في الصلاة‘

(To place the right hand on the left in prayer):

“The people were ordered to place the right hand on the left forearm(ذراع) in the prayer”

(Saheeh Bukharee h.740)

The portion from the tip of the largest finger to the elbow is called ‘ذراع’ in Arabic. And if one were to place the hand on the complete forearm(ذراع), it would automatically come to the level of chest.

9. Eleven rakah of Taraweeh:

Under ‘Kitaab as-Saum’ (Boook of Fasting) within Kitaab al-Salaat at-Taraweeh, Imaam Bukharee has brought the following chapter:

‘باب فَضْلِ مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ‘

Chapter: Virtue of making qiyaam in Ramadhaan.

Within it Imaam Bukharee has written the famous hadeeth that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) never used to pray more than eleven rakahs.

(Saheeh Bukharee h.2013)

Hence it is proven that Imaam Bukahree was a proponent of eleven rakahs for Taraweeh.

Note: It is not proven that Imaam Bukharee used to pray twenty rakahs of Taraweeh.

10. To sit (before standing up) after making two prostrations in the odd rakah:

Imaam Bukharee has put the following chapter:

‘باب مَنِ اسْتَوَى قَاعِدًا فِي وِتْرٍ مِنْ صَلاَتِهِ ثُمَّ نَهَضَ‘

Chapter: One who sits up straight in his odd rakah, and then gets up. (Saheeh Bukharee before h.823)

Imaam Bukharee has also proven this issue from the Prophet(ﷺ) that in the odd rakah, he used to get up only after sitting for a moment.(h.823)

11. Placing hands on the ground while getting up:

How must one place his hands on the ground when getting up from the odd rakah? Imaam Bukharee has also made this issue clear with evidence and has put the following chapter:

‘كَيْفَ يَعْتَمِدُ عَلَى الأَرْضِ إِذَا قَامَ مِنَ الرَّكْعَةِ‘

Chapter: How to support oneself on the ground while standing after finishing the rakah.(Saheeh Bukharee before h.824)

12. To say the words of Iqaamah only once:

Imaam Bukharee wrote after taking evidence from the hadeeth of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him):

‘باب الإِقَامَةُ وَاحِدَةٌ، إِلاَّ قَوْلَهُ قَدْ قَامَتِ الصَّلاَةُ‘

Chapter: To pronounce the wording of Iqaamah once (in singles) except ‘Qad-qamat-is-Salat’

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.607)

Hence it is understood that like the Ahlul Hadeeth, Imaam Bukharee was a proponent of saying the words of Iqaamah only once. However, the Deobandiyyah & the Barelwiyyah oppose Imaam Bukharee in this matter.

13. Recitation of Surah al-Fatiha in Funeral Prayers:

Imaam Bukharee has put the following chapter in the Book of Funerals:

‘باب قِرَاءَةِ فَاتِحَةِ الْكِتَابِ عَلَى الْجَنَازَةِ‘

Chapter: The recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha in the funeral prayer.

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.1335)

Under this chapter, Imaam Bukharee has mentioned the hadeeth from Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he recited Surah al-Fatiha in funeral prayer and said: “so that you know that it is Sunnah.” (h.1335)

Sunnah’ here refers to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alyhi wa sallam. And it is that sunnah which one is obliged to act upon because prayer is invalid without Surah al-Fatiha. (see point no. 6)

14. To join the foot with foot & the shoulder with shoulder while making a row (for congregational prayer):

It is narrated from Anas bin Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that: “Everyone of us used to put his shoulder with the shoulder of his companion and his foot with the foot of his companion.”

(Saheeh Bukharee hadeeth: 725)

Imaam Bukharee has placed this hadeeth under the chapter:

‘باب إِلْزَاقِ الْمَنْكِبِ بِالْمَنْكِبِ وَالْقَدَمِ بِالْقَدَمِ فِي الصَّفِّ‘

Chapter: To stand shoulder to shoulder and foot to foot in a row.

(Saheeh Bukharee before h.725)

It is that famous issue which the Deobandiyyah & the Barelwiyyah abhor and in their mosques they stand away from each other except for a few whose ruling is non-existent.

15. To pray Salatul Jumuah in village:

Accroding to the bookish maddhab of Deobandiyyah & Barelwiyyah, there is no Salatul Jumuah in villages. However, contrary to this, Imaam Bukharee has put the following chapter in his Saheeh:

‘باب الْجُمُعَةِ فِي الْقُرَى وَالْمُدْنِ‘

Chapter: To offer Jumu’ah prayer in villages and towns. (Saheeh Bukharee before h.892) i.e. it is correct to offer Salatul Jumuah everywhere, be it in villages or towns.

Note: Nowadays, the general Deobandee & Barelwee public offer Salatul Jumuah in villages showing rebellion towards their bookish maddhab. And this is a clear evidence that the ‘home of spider’ i.e. Taqleed(blind-following) is getting removed. And all praise is due to Allah.

From these fifteen issues including issues of Eemaan & salah(prayer), it is proven that Imaam Bukharee rahimahullah was not a Deobandee or Barelwee. Infact he was Ahlul Hadeeth. Apart from these, there are many other issues as well which Imaam Bukharee has mentioned in his Saheeh and have blasted the self-made analogical understanding of Ahl ur-Raay thereby raising the global flag of following the Book of Allah & Sunnah and establishing its proof upon others.

I pray to Allah that He fills up the graves of Imaam Bukharee and the muhdditheen with the light of His Favor & Mercy. And that we get the companionship of the Prophets, the Sahabahs, the Tabi’een, the Taba’ Tabi’een and the thiqah muhadditheen having correct aqeedah. Aameen

At the end I would like to say that Abdul Quddoos Qarin Deobandee & Anwaar Khursheed Deobandee( Naeemuddeen Deobandee) have written the following books: ‘Bukharee Shareef Ghayr Muqallideen Ki Nazar Mein'(Saheeh Bukharee in the eyes of Non-blind-followers) & ‘Ghayr Muqallideen Imaam Bukharee Ki Adaalat Mein’ (Non-blind-followers in the court of Imaam Bukharee) respectively. Thus, I would like like to ask them a couple of questions:

  • Was Imaam Bukharee Deobandee or Barelwee?
  • Did Imaam Bukahree support Deobandiyyah & Barelwiyyah in the famous disputed issues, over which the Aal-e-Deoband & Aal-e-Barelee’s debater keep debating, for e.g.: Raising hands in prayer, reciting Surah al-Fatiha behind Imaam, saying Aameen loudly, reciting Surah al-Fatiha in funeral prayers & offering Salatul Jumuah in village and others. Or has he held high the view of Ahlul Hadeeth? Please answer.

Author: Hafiz Zubair Alizai Rahimahullah (Written: March 7th, 2011)

Translated by: taalibeilm via (sheikhzubairalizai dot wordpress dot com)

[Monthly AlHadees, Monthly No. 88, Page No. 8-14]