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DID IMAM BUKHARI HAVE A FAMILY AND CHILDREN?

Sometimes, when we talk with people, they often ask: “Did Imam Bukhari have a family and children?” We cannot find detailed information that would satisfy our interest on this issue. But we find some of the information scattered in different sources. During the search for information, we are faced with the fact that scribes are divided into several groups.

The first group: confirming that Imam Bukhari had wives and jariyehs (female slaves). However, they deny having children.

Shamsiddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Usmon Zakhabi in his books “Siyaru alomi-n-nubalo” and “Tarihu-l-islom” tells a story from Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Abu Hatim al-Varraq Bukhari, secretary of Imam Bukhari: “Imam Bukhari told me: “I have a wife and jariyehs. And you! Single!”” Also, his secretary Al-Varraq Bukhari, says: “When we were living in Firab, Abu Abdullah once told me: “One slave trader brought some slaves. Will you come with me?” I said, “Yes,” and we went to him. That slave trader showed us beautiful and sophisticated slaves. Among them was a small fat woman, oblique in one eye. Abu Abdullah looked at her, held her chin and said: “Buy her for us.” “Let’s not buy her because she is so small and ugly. With this money we can buy another of the jariyehs looking at us,” I said. In response, he told me: “We will buy this one. Since I held her chin. Because, I do not like to touch one jariyeh, and then buy another”. Abu Abdullah bought this jariyeh for five hundred dirhams, which, according to those who knew the price, is considered expensive. Then Abu Abdullah spent a lot of time with her. He even took her with him to Nishapur”.

Abu Hatim al-Varraq Bukhari said: I heard Abdullah ibn Muhammad Sarifi said: “I was sitting with Abu Abdullah in his house. Then one jariyeh came. As she was about to enter the house came across an inkwell which were in front of Abu Abdullah. Then Abu Abdullah told her: “How do you walk?” In response, she said: “How can I walk if there is no road?” After Abu Abdullah stretching out his hands said: “Go, I’m freeing you.” Abdullah ibn Muhammad Sarifi says: “Then they asked him: “O Abu Abdullah! Did it make you angry? He replied, “If it made me angry, then I satisfied my ego with what I did.”

This information is a clear indication that Imam Bukhari was married and owned jariyehs. The person talking about it is his servant and secretary.

The second group: confirming the presence of sons and denying the presence of daughters.

Such information emerges in the words of Bakr ibn Munir and Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Abu Hatim al-Varraq Bukhari. Bakr’s words. He says: “Various goods were brought to Imam Bukhari. They were usually sent to Imam Bukhari by his son Abu Hafs Ahmad. In the evening, merchants approached him and demanded to sell the goods for five thousand dirhams. Imam Bukhari said: “It got dark today, go away.” The next day other merchants came and demanded that he sell the same product for ten thousand dirhams. Then Imam Bukhari sent them back and said: “No doubt I intended to sell it to the people who came last night.” “I don’t like to ruin my intentions,” he said.

This is clear evidence that Imam Bukhari had a son named Ahmad, and had a kunya[1] Abu Hafs. However, some say: “Of course, the narrator said,”He used to send goods to Imam Bukhari through his son Abu Hafs Ahmad.” That is, they emphasize that Abu Hafs Ahmad is the son of the narrator. This must be Bakr ibn Munir or Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Abu Hatim al-Varraq Bukhari.

However, this statement is far from the truth. Because if Abu Hafs Ahmad was the son of the narrator, then the narrator would say: “They were usually sent to Imam Bukhari by my son Abu Hafs Ahmad.” Because it would be lexically wrong to say “his son” about own son.

The third group: confirming the presence of daughters and denying the presence of sons. Governor Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Bai in his book “Maarifatu ulum-l-hadith” says: “Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim left no sons behind.”

Hafiz Abdur-Rahman ibn Ali ibn Daiba Shaybani said: “Imam Bukhari died without leaving a son.” This is what Siddiq Hasanhan wrote in his book “Al-Hitto”. 

Sirajiddin Umar ibn Ali ibn Mulakkin said in his book “Al-Mukni fii ulumi-l-hadith”: “Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim left no sons behind.”

The author of the book, Al-Iqmal, says: “Imam Bukhari did not leave a son behind.”

Mulla Ali Qari in his book “Mirkatu-l-mafatih” says: “Imam Bukhari died without leaving a son behind.”

Amir Muhammad ibn Ismail Sanani in his book “At-Tahbir li-isahi maani-t-taysir” says: “Imam Bukhari did not leave behind a son.”

Muhammad ibn Ali Shawqani in his book “Naylu-l-avtor” says: “Imam Bukhari did not leave a son behind him.”

Abdulhak Bukhari Dikhlavi Hanafi in his book “Lamaatu-t-tankih fiy sharhi mishkati-l-masobih” says: “Imam Bukhari did not leave behind a son.”

One of the participants in the debate said: “I came across information that Imam Bukhari was married and had one or two daughters. For some time I continued the discussion in the journal “Daawat al-Haqq”, hoping to find truthful information about Imam Bukhari, which would satisfy the interest and illuminate the path in this dispute, and I did not know where to look for this information.” 

The fourth group: those who deny that Imam Bukhari was married. In this case, the questions of the presence of children disappear by themselves.

Imam Ajluni in his book “Izaatu-l-Badrain” says the following: “I did not mention the marriage of Imam Bukhari. Not to mention the fact that he has a child.”

Abu Haymad Taysir ibn Saad, researcher of the Al-Bukhari’s book “At-Tarih al-Awsat” said: “The books on biography do not mention anything about the marriage and descendants of Imam Bukhari, except for the words of the governor: “Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim did not leave sons behind.””

The fifth group: they completely deny that Imam Bukhari had children.

Sheikh Abdusalom Mubarakfuri quotes Allama Waliuddin Khatib, the author of the book “Mishkatu-al-Masobih”, and from the book of Mullah Ali Kari “Sharhu Mishkati-l-Masobih”: “Undoubtedly, Imam Bukhari did not leave a child behind.”

Hussein ibn Muhammad Loy Maghribi in his book “Al-Badru-t-Tamam” says: “Imam Bukhari did not leave behind a single child. Allah endowed Imam al-Bukhari with something more than righteous children, making his book “Sahihul Bukhori” world famous and used by the entire ummah.

I say, “The word “child” includes a boy and a girl. Allah Almighty in the 11th ayah of Surah An-Nisa says: “Allah instructs you concerning your children.” Rasulullah sellallahu alayhi wasallam said: “A righteous son who prays for his parents.”

Ismail ibn Umar ibn Kasir says: “Imam Bukhari rahimahullah left behind him useful knowledge for all Muslims. Thus, the practice of Imam Bukhari does not stop until now. Surely the benefits of his righteous deeds in this world are credited to him in another world as well.” Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “When a person dies, his deeds come to an end, except for three: ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), knowledge that is benefited from, and a righteous child who prays for him.” (Imam Muslim, Wasiyyat, 14).

Of course, this statement by Ibn Kasir is a sign that Imam Bukhari had no children.

The sixth group: those who doubt the presence or absence of children from Imam Bukhari.

As Sheikh Abdusalam Mubarakfuri cites, Alloma Ajluniy said why Imam Bukhari is called Abu Abdullah when he had no children? He also gives his answer to this question: “Of course, in order to have the nickname Abu, it is not necessary to have children. There are many such examples among Arabs, when they call their children by nicknames with the prefix Abu even in childhood, when they do not have children yet. Despite the fact that Imam Bukhari was not an Arab, at that time the influence of Arab traditions was great.”

Unfortunately, we cannot find more ancient evidence than the words of Valiuddin Khatib Tabriziy. So he is the last editor.

 However, Alloma Ajluniy cites that if Imam Bukhari were married, we would find written evidence of this. Unfortunately, historians do not record information about wives. There are hundreds of names in history books, about whose wives nothing is written. Therefore, to a weak assumption, we are not allowed to suppose that Imam Bukhari was deprived of the Sunnati Muakkadi, or that he gained a foothold by his orthodoxy and hadith studies being deprived of the Sunnati Muakkadi.

Even if we imagine that Imam Bukhari did not leave behind direct heirs, the number of his spiritual followers exceeded two hundred million two hundred and four thousand people, according to the book of 1897 “Jadidatu-l-Muayyid”. According to this source, one should not pay attention to doubting people. They even doubt the Quran compiled by Umar ibn Affon and believe that the real Quran was hidden somewhere in underground vaults and paths and was lost. Of course, this does not detract from the spiritual followers of Imam Bukhari. Glory to Allah, the number of people who consider the book “Sahihul Bukhari” the second most reliable after the book of Allah, is growing day by day.

Abu Nuaym says: “This is all the information that I found about the marriage and children of Imam Bukhari.”

Indeed, in the information that I give, it becomes clear that Imam Bukhari was married, had jariyehs, bought and freed them, and, of course, had children. Whoever will refute this will not be able to find documentary evidence. Truly, the confirmer is superior to the denier.

Perhaps this is an incorrect assumption, but in our understanding the number of wives, jariyehs, sons and daughters of Imam Buakhari is unknown. But the fact that it is not written does not mean that it was not. Especially when we know that “Cases concerning women are hidden, withheld, and also not disclosed.”

Of course, the small number of women in autobiographical and storytelling books proves our hypothesis. However, this in itself does not prove the small number of women themselves. On the contrary, it proves the arguments I spoke about. The number of famous women is negligible compared to their total.

Historian Abdulkodir ibn Muhammad Kurashiy in his book “Al-Javohiru-l-Muziyat” says: “We have heard that fatwas from the houses of the cities of Maverannahr or other cities are issued with the signature of the owner of this house or the signature of his daughter or wife or sister.” … This also means that the Ulemahs got married and their wives were not deprived of a knowledge.

May Allah be merciful to Imam Bukhari and assign him a place in the great paradise. This man left behind an immortal legacy.

Abduvosi SHONAZAROV
Scientific researcher Imam Bukhari international scientific research center

[1] A kunya (Arabic: كنية‎, kunyah) is a teknonym in Arabic names, the name of an adult derived from their eldest child.

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