Hadith is the second source of Islam after the Qur’an. Whenever a Hadith is told to a Muslim, he immediately accepts it, but there are some people, who when they are told a Hadith, ask wether that Hadith is written in Bukhari or Muslim. They say, if it is written in Muslim and Bukhari then it should be accepted, but if it is not, then a doubt remains as to whether the Hadith is authentic or not.
Our claim to this is that it is not the command of Allah or our Prophet (May Allah bless Him and grant him peace) that we can only believe in those Ahadith which are written in Muslim or Bukhari and have doubts about the rest. People who fall into the category of people who use Bukhari and Muslim as their only sources of Sunnah claim:
(A) Many scholars of Islam have said that the Ahadith written in Muslim or Bukhari are authentic, but the Ahadith which are not in Muslim or Bukhari can be weak, fabricated or authentic.
(B) Muslim and Bukhari do not take narration from a weak narrator. Even if there was a weak narrator and Muslim and Bukhari took narration from the narrator, then the narrator is said to have “Crossed the Bridge” .
(C) The scholars of Hadith have not objected to any narration of Muslim and Bukhari.
(D) We do not need to see any other Ahadith books because Muslim and Bukhari have gathered all the authentic Ahadith in Muslim and Bukhari.
(E) No one has ever criticised Imams Muslim and Bukhari in regards to any mistake they may have made.
Whatever has been claimed above is not from the Qur’an or Sunnah. We will explain, with the help of Allah that these claims are false.
We say that an authentic Hadith is one, which meets the principals of authentication of Ahadith. It does not matter whether it is written in Muslim, Bukhari, Tirmidhi or Abu Dawud, or Muwatta of Imam Malik.
“The narration of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim have not been criticised by scholars of Ahadith”
Before we write about the actual narration of Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari we will prove that to criticise the narration of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim is not forbidden.
Asqalani writes, “when you compare the narration of Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim you will notice that Imam Muslim’s narration have been criticised a lot more by the scholars of Ahadith than the narration of Imam Bukhari. When Imam Bukhari took narration from his teachers, he was well aware of these narrations beforehand, On the other hand, when Imam Muslim took narration from his teachers, he had no previous information about them. This is another reason why Imam Bukhari is said to be better than Imam Muslim. Imam Bukhari carries less Shaadh and Muallal (types of weak Hadith) than Imam Muslim
(An-Nukhbah, chapter on Imams Bukhari and Muslim, by Hafidh Asqalani).
Imam Sakhawee writes that the status of Imam Bukhari is higher than Imam Muslim. The reason he gives this is that Imam Bukhari has taken narration from 435 narrators, among these narrators there are only 80 weak narrators. Imam Muslim has taken narration from 620 narrators. About 160 narrators are known to be weak from among these
(Fath-ul-mughees, chapter on Imams Bukhari and Muslim, by Imam Sakhawee)
Hafidhh Asqalani and Imam Ay’nee write that Imam Daar Qutni has written a book called “Istadrikaat” in which he has objected to many narrations of Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari (Muqaddamah, Fath-ul-Baari by Hafidh Asqalani and Umdat-ul-qaari by Imam Ay’nee)
Hafidh Asqalani has attempted to answer the objection raised in the book. In the preface of Fath-ul-Baari, Imam Asqalani has answered some questions raised
(Muqaddamah Fath-ul-Baari, “Criticism of Imam Bukhari by Scholars of Ahadith” by Hafidh Asqalani)
Alaama Abu Fatah writes that Hafidhh Iraaqee has written in his book, “Al-Fayaah”, that he criticised only two narrations of Imam Muslim and Imam Bukhari. In my other book, “Sharh-ul-Kabeer”, I have gathered all the narration of Imam Bukhari and Muslim, which the scholars of Ahadith have criticised. Hafidhh Abu Ali...