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Imaam Al-Bukhari's life - Part I

The city of Bukhara (now in Islamic Uzbekistan) was located at that time in one of the greatest countries beyond the Transoxus (now Turkistan). Schools of knowledge where people could learn Arabic, the Qur?an, history, and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) were spread throughout the city. The young boy, Muhammad Ibn Ismaa?eel Al-Bukhari, may Allah upon him, then set out to quench his thirst for knowledge from these sweet springs. Early in his life, he showed signs of intelligence that surprised everyone around him.

He had a sharp mind, an attentive heart, an amazing memory, and an incredible ability to memorise. Before he was 10, he had memorised the whole Qur?an, mastered the Arabic language, covered much of the Fiqh, and memorised many Prophetic narrations. His pious good mother always encouraged her son and prepared a suitable atmosphere for him to acquire knowledge. When Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, finished his studies in the small schools, his wise mother thought to send him to the well-known study circles in Bukhaaraa, Samarqand, Bekend, Marw, and Nesabor. He became famous among the scholars to the point that he used to argue with his professors and even corrected them sometimes!!

The success and physiognomy of Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, didn?t end there. His shaykh and teacher Muhammad Ibn Salaam Al-Bekandy, may Allah have mercy on him, the scholar of Buhaaraa and the scholar of Prophetic narrations across the Transoxus (now Turkistan), used to ask him to revise some of his books and corrected any mistakes he found. Scholars used to wonder in astonishment: ?Who was that boy who edits the books of his professor?!?

Imaam Bekandi, may Allah have mercy on him, used to say proudly about his clever student: ?This boy is unique of his kind.?

On many occasions Imaam Bekandi, may Allah have mercy on him, talked to his colleagues about his student, Al-Bukhari, may Allah have mercy on him, who memorised seventy thousand Prophetic narrations by heart. In addition to this, he never reported a narration of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, or the generation following them unless he knew when and where they were born, as well as where they lived and died!

The years passed and Muhammad Ibn Ismaa?eel, may Allah be pleased with him, reached the age of 16 years. He felt a great need to go and seek knowledge in every corner of the world to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. He headed to Makkah, accompanied by his mother and elder brother, Ahmad, in 210 AH to perform Hajj (pilgrimage) and seek more knowledge. After the pilgrimage, his mother and brother Ahmad returned to Bukhara while he stayed in Makkah to move between its domes of knowledge: East, and west; North and South. Before the end of two years in this sacred city, he started writing his book The Issues of the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and their Followers which marked the beginning of his renowned books.

End of Part I

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