CIF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

العقيدة الإسلامية الصحيحة

 

 

 

 

 

 SAHIH AL-BUKHARI

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION AND GUIDE BY

 

SHAIKH MIR ASEDULLAH QUADRI

 

 

 

 VOLUME (1)

 

بِسم الله الرحمنِ الرحيم  

 الحمد لله رب العالمين ، والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين

 

Hadith books were originally written in Arabic. Later these were translated into other languages.  The  need for authentic Ahle Sunnah English translations and guides of Ahadith books explaining the facts in the light of Quran and Sunnah was felt for a longtime as the  English translations of Ahadith Books by deviant sects do not meet Sahih Iman requirement of Islam.
 
Currently, English Translations and Guides of the following 7 major books of Ahadith are being uploaded on our Network websites.  
(1) Sahih al-Bukhari (صحيح البخاري) 
(2) Sahih Muslim  (صحيح مسلم)
(3) Sahih al-Muatta (صحيح الموطأ)
(4) Sunan an-Nasa'i (سنن النسائي)
(5) Sunan Abi Dawud (سنن أبي داود)
(6) Jami at-Tirmidhi  (جامع الترمذي)
(7) Sunan Ibn Majah  (سنن ابن ماجه)
 
More Ahadith books will be added later. We aim at creating an Ahle Sunnah, multilingual  database of Ahadith. 

 

BOOKS OF AHADITH 

 

A brief account of books of Ahadith, classification of Ahadith and categories of the books of Ahadith is given below.

There are two main sources of Islamic Sharia, Quran and Sunnah. Quran is the word of God, while the Hadith is its translation into pragmatic terms, as exemplified by Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  These two sources are inter related because it is not possible to understand  Qur’an without reference to Ahadith; and it is not possible to explain a Hadith without relating it to Qur’an. The words 'Sunnah' and 'Hadith' are synonymous. Sunnah means 'the way' or conduct of life'.  It refers to  statements, acts, approvals and character descriptions attributed to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).

During the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), the emphasis was more on recording, memorizing and preserving Quran. However, some Sahabah used to write whatever the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said or did in their presence. It is reported that 1,060 Sahabah have narrated Ahadith from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).

After the death of  Prophet Muhammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Sahabah shared and collected Ahadith. This continued for a few decades.  Later, within the first two centuries, Hadith scholars conducted a thorough review of these Ahadith, tracing the origins of each Hadith along with the chain of narrators through whom the Hadith was related. The Ahadith which were verifiable were deemed authentic (Sahih) and other were either considered as weak or in some cases, concocted. 

During the time of Companions (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعين) and their Successors  (تابعين), Islam spread to a large area in the world.  It was this time when it became necessary to record Ahadith in a systematic way. During the era of  the 'Successors of the successors' (تبه  تابعين), Ahadith were systematically collected and written in a text format.  The first such book was compiled by Imam Malik bin Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) titled 'Muatta' (موطأ).  The period that followed,  witnessed critical research by Hadith scholars.  Ahadith were compiled systematically and were grouped under various headings.  The history of collection of Ahadith can be summed up as follows.
 
(i) First period (1st century AH) was the age of companions and their successor.  This is known as the age of 'Saheefah' (صحيفه), like the collections of Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہما) and others.  Among the well known manuscripts of Hadith collections of the first century Hijri are as follows.
(a) 'As-Sahifa as-Sadiqa' of Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-Aas (d 63 H)
 
(b) 'As-Sahifa as-Sahiha' of Hammam Ibn Munabbih (d 118 H), narrated from Abu Hurairah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).
 
(c) The collection of Aban Ibn Uthman (d 105 H) from whom Mohammad Ibn Ishaq narrated.
 
(d) The collection of Urwa bin az-Zubair Ibn al-Awwam. This collection was burnt during the sack of Madina by Yazid bin Muawiya in 63 H.
 
(e) Sira of Mohammad Ibn Shihab az-Zuhri  ( d 120 H). 
 
(f) 'Munaqib as-Sahabah' by Asim Ibn Umar Ibn Qatada Ibn al-Numan al-Ansari (d 120 H), etc.
 
(ii) The second period covers middle of second century AH that witnessed planned compilation of Ahadith, like  Imam Malik (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) compilation titled 'Muatta' (موطأ).
 
(iii) The third stage began towards the end of  second century AH, in which classified and organized work on Ahadith was carried out, like Musnad of Imam Ahmad (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).
 
(iv) The fourth and most important period is known as 'the period of Sahih'.   It began at the beginning of third century AH, in which books like Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and others were compiled.  

One of the common accusations made by non-Muslims against Islamic sciences and the study of Hadith is that there is no way of verifying the Hadith and that they should not be used as a source of Fiqh. This argument is based on a very rudimentary and flawed understanding of how the Ahadith were collected and the incredible care and effort Hadith scholars (محدثين) have taken in verifying their authenticity. 

Hadhrat Umar (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) used to judge the narration of every claimant of the tradition on the basis of the 'Principle of testimony.' Meaning, he would accept it only if two men, or one man and two women, would narrate the same thing.  Hadhrat Ali (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) used to ask the narration on oath and considered oath as one witness.  All authentic Ahadith have been collected and published by our Imams of Ahadith in voluminous books.  Every single Hadith has been investigated and it is clearly written the type of Hadith it is.  In the encyclopedia of narrators, particulars and circumstances are investigated.  All these books are elucidated and are pure from weak Ahadith. We are grateful and indebted to our Hadith scholars for their unparalleled work in the history of mankind.  With the monumental work of our Hadith scholars, we are able to know what words and actions can truly be attributed to Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) even after 1400 years  of his life.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF AHADITH

 

Hadith is composed of three parts, viz., (i) Text (متن), (ii) Chain of narrators (اسناد) and (iii) 'Object' (طرف) - the text of the Hadith that refers to Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying, action, or concurrence of others' action. 

The primary Hadith terminology (مُصْطَلَحُ الحَدِيْث‎) that specifies the acceptability of Ahadith developed by Hadith scholars, is as follows. 

(i) As regards to the authority, there are 4 types of Ahadith, as follows.

(a) Divine (Qudsi - قدسي) Revelation of Allah relayed with the words of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).

(b) Elevated (Murfu - مرفوع) Murfu Ahadith are narrated in the following manner, 'I heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying' -

(c) Stopped (Mauquf - موقوف)  A Hadith narrated by the companion (صحابي) - for example, 'we were commanded to -'

(d) Severed (Maqtu - مقطوع) A narration from the 'successors of Sahabah' (تابعين).

 

(ii) As regards to the Chain of Narrators, there are 6 types of Ahadith, as follows

(a) Supported (Musnad - مُسند)   A hadith which is reported by a Hadith scholar, based on what he learned from his teacher at a time of life suitable for learning.  In turn his teacher learned it from his teacher until the chain  reaches to a well known Sahabi and eventually to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Also Ahadith that are arranged in alphabetical order as per Sahaba names as narrators, are also included in this category. 

(b) Continuous (Muttasil - متصل) A Hadith with  an uninterrupted chain of narrators that goes back to a companion (صحابي) or a Successor (تابعي).

(c) Missing link (Mursal - مرسل)  The link of the Hadith missing between the 'Successor' (تابعي), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Like the Successor (تابعي) says, 'the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said - .

(d) Broken Link (Munqati - منقطع) A Hadith whose link is broken before the successor (تابعي). 

(e) Perplexed Link (Mu'dhal - معضل) A Hadith whose narrator omits two or more consecutive reporters in his Chain.

(f) Hanging Link (Mu'allaq - معلق) A Hadith whose narrator omits the entire chain of reporters and directly quotes the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).

 

(iii) As regards to the number of reporters in the Chain of Narrators, there are 2 types of Ahadith, as follows.
(a) Continuous (Mutawatir - متواتر) A Hadith which is reported consecutively by a large number of people in different chains, and it is not possible that they all will agree upon a lie.  There are two kinds of Ahadith in this category, (1) Mutawatir in wording, and (2) Mutawatir in meaning.
(b) Infrequent (Ahaad - اَحاد) A Hadith which is narrated by people whose number does not reach to the state of 'Perpetual Narration' (حديثِ متواتر).
The 'Infrequent Hadith (حديثِ احد) is of three types, as follows.
(1) Famous (Mash'hur - مشهور) A Hadith reported by more than two reporters.
(2) Strong (Aziz - عزيز) A Hadith  reported by two narrators.
(3) Strange (Gharib - غريب) A Hadith reported by only one narrator. 
 
(iv) As regards to the nature of text and the chain of narration,  there are 2 types of Ahadith, as follows.
(a) Inconceivable (Munkar - منكر) A Hadith reported by a weak narrator and the text is against an authentic Hadith.
(b) Interpolated (Mudraj - مدرج) A Hadith in which addition has been made in the text of Hadith by the narrator. 
 
(v) As regards to the reliability, there are 4 types of Ahadith, as follows.
(a) Sound (Sahih - صحيح)  A Hadith whose narrators are trustworthy in religion.  Each narrator in the chain is truthful and understands how a different expression can alter the meanings of the Hadith.  The narrator reports the Hadith verbatim, not just in meaning.
(b) Good (Hassan - حسن) A Hadith whose source is known and the reporters are unambiguous.
(c) Weak (Dha'eef - ضعيف) A Hadith that does not reach to the status of Hassan Hadith. 
The weakness could be related in discontinuity in the chain of narrators or it could be related to one of the narrator making excessive mistakes, or he is a liar.  It could also be related to  ambiguity surrounding the narrator.
(d) Concocted (Maudu - موضوع) A Hadith whose text goes against the established norms of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) traditions or its reporters include known liars. Concocted Ahadith are also identified by external evidence related to a discrepancy found in the date and time of a particular incident.
 
CATEGORIES OF BOOKS OF AHADITH
 
 
The books of Ahadith are broadly divided into following categories.
 
(i) Sahifah (صحيفه)

Initial collections of Ahadith written down during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), like the Sahifah of Hadhrat Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).

(ii) Ajza  (اجزا)

These books include Ahadith passed down on the authority of a Sahabi or a Taba'ee.  This category also includes Ahadith concerning a specific subject which are known as Rasa'il. 

(iii) Sunan (سنن)

Sunan are collections of Ahadith narrated to authors by their teachers; which were narrated to them by their teachers, and so on; until the chain reaches to Sahabah, and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  In this category, Ahadith are generally related to specific subjects of  laws of Islamic Sharia.

(iv) Musannaf  (المصنف)

In this category, Ahadith are collected on various topics, like Bukhari, Muslim, etc.  

(v) Jami’  (جامع)

Jami is a comprehensive version of Musannaf. Sahih Muslim is considered a Musannaf,  not a Jami’ like that of Sahih Bukhari.  

(vi) Musnad (مسند)

In this category, Ahadith are collected alphabetically as per Sahaba's names as narrators. The famous book in this classification is Musnad of Imam Ahmad.  The Hadith scholars of such books, differ  in their method of arrangement.  In some, Ahadith are arranged as per their Isnad (chain of narrators) in alphabetical order. In others, these are arranged based on the reliability of the people in Isnad. 

(vii) Mu’jam  (معجم)

If Musnad is arranged in alphabetical order, it becomes Mu'jam.  In Mu'jam, Ahadith are taken in alphabetical order irrespective of their content, like  at-Tabarani. 

(viii)  Mustadrak  (المستدرك)

Mustadrak are those books that are written in continuation to the Ahadith books that were written by Hadith scholars earlier. This happens  when Ahadith that conform to the criteria of an earlier work were missed in the earlier work. Mustadrak al-Hakim is an example in this context.  It is said that Mustadrak al-Hakim (المستدرك على الصحيحين للحاكم) contains Ahadith that conform to the criteria of Bukhari and Muslim. 

(ix) Mustakhraj  (المستخرج)

Mustakhraj is similar to Mustadrak.  These books are written when the Hadith scholar finds new chains to previously recorded Ahadith. Abu Nu’aym Isfahani's Mustakhraj is an example in this context that contains fresh isnad (chain of narrations) to Ahadith in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.

(x) Arba’in  (الأربعين

These books contain 40 Ahadith, the authors consider as important. Book of Imam Nawawi (أحاديث الأربعين النووية) is an example in this category.

 
The famous six major collections of Ahadith, 'Al-Kutub al-Sitta' (الكتب السته) are (i) Sahih al-Bukhari (صحيح البخاري), (ii) Sahih Muslim  (صحيح مسلم), (iii) Sunan an-Nasa'i (سنن النسائي), (iv) Sunan Abi Dawud (سنن أبي داود), (v) Jami at-Tirmidhi  (جامع الترمذي), (vi) Sunan Ibn Majah  (سنن ابن ماجه).

Three more Ahadith books, after the above six major collections are (vii) Al-Muwatta Imam Malik (الموطأ امام مالك), (viii) Musnad Imam Ahmad (مسند امام احمد), and (ix) Sunan al-Darimi (سنن الدارمي) or Musnad al-Darimi (مسند الدارمي). 

Some other important books of Ahadith are (i) Adab al-Mufrad, (ii) Mishkat al-Masabih, (iii) Sunan al-Kubra al-Bayhaqi, (iv) Sunan ad-Daraqutni, (v) Musannaf of Abdur Razzaq, (vi) Musannaf Ibn Jurayi, (vii) Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, (viii) Musannaf Ibn Khuzaymah, (ix) Sahih Ibn Hibban, (x) Mustadrak Al-Hakim, (xi) Mujma az-Zawa'id, (xii) Sahifah Hammam Ibn Munabbih, (xiii)  Al-Mu'jam al-Kabeer, (xiv) Bulugh al-Maram, (xv) Talkhis al-Mustadrak, (xvi) Tahdhib al-Athar, (xvii) Kitaab-ul-Aathaar, (xviii) At-Tareeq al-Islam Musnad Imam-ul-Azam, (xix) Musnad al-Shafi'i, (xx) Musnad al-Siraj, (xxi) Musnad al-Firdous, (xxii) Musnad Abu Ya'la, (xxiii) Musnad al-Tayalisi, (xxiv) Musnad Abu Awaanah, (xxv) Sunan Sa'id Ibn Mansur, (xxvi) Kanz-ul-Ummal (كنز العمال),  etc. 
 
 
SAHIH AL-BUKHARI  (صحيح البخاري)
 

Sahih al-Bukhari  (صحيح البخاري) was compiled by Imam Abu Abdullah Muḥammad ibn Isma'il ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī (أبو عبد الله محمد بن اسماعيل بن ابراهيم بن المغيرة بن بردزبه الجعفي البخاري‎‎), 810–870/194-256 AH (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ). The book is titled "The Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith with Connected Chains regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet , His practices and His Times" (الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسننه وأيامه). 

 

BIOGRAPHY OF IMAM  BUKHARI (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) 

 

Imam Bukhari (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) is one of the most distinguished scholars of Hadith in Islamic history.  His book Sahih Bukhari, accepted as the most authentic book of Hadith, is one of the greatest sources of Sahih Ahadith in Islamic literature. He was born on Friday, 13 Shawwal, 194 H (July 16, 810 AD) in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.   

ANCESTORS

Imam Bukhari's father Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn Mughaira al-Ju'fî was  a also a Hadith scholar, and student of Imam Malik Ibn Anas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  Ibn Hibban mentioned him in his book 'Reliable Narrators' (كتاب الثقات), and recorded that Isma’il  heard Ahadith from Imam Malik.  He also sat in the company of Abdullah Ibn Mubarak and others.  Hadith Scholars of Iraq related Ahadith from him. 

Ismail  was  an industrious and wealthy person who left a good deal of wealth at the time of his death.  He died when Imam Bukhari was an infant.  Thus, the responsibility of upbringing of the Imam was shouldered by his mother. 

It is reported that the grand father of Imam Bukhari, Al-Mughaira bin Bardizbah had settled in Bukhara after accepting Islam. Information about Imam's ancestors is sketchy except that his great grand father Bardizbah ibn Bazzabah and his ancestors were Persian, following the religion of their forefathers. 

EDUCATION

Imam Bukhari received early education in Bukhara.  He was famous for his exceptional memory right from his childhood.  He memorized Quran early and inherited interest in Ahadith from his father.  It is reported that by early teens he learned over 300,000 Ahadith and memorized Ahadith collections of Abdullah Ibn Mubarak, a companion of Imam Abu Hanifah,  and others. He also sat in the company of many Hadith scholars of his time to learn Ahadith. His teachers include, (i) Ishaq Ibn Rahway, (ii) Ali Ibn Madini, (iii) Dhihaak Ibn Mukhlid, (iv) Makki Ibn Ibrahim Khadhali, (v) Ubaidullah Ibn Musa Abasa, (vi) Abdul Quddoos Ibn Hajjaj, (vii) Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ansari, (viii) Shaikh ad-Dakhili, etc. 

Muhammad Abu Hatim ibn Idris al-Razi (811–890), a contemporary Hadith scholar of his time, who knew him personally, recorded the statement of Imam Bukhari about his early  education, as follows:

"I began to go regularly to Shaikh ad-Dakhili and others. One day, Shaikh ad-Dakhili was describing Ahadith to his students.  While describing the chain of a Hadith, he said 'Sufyan reported from Abu Zubayr from Ibrahim.'  On this I said to him, 'Abu Zubayr never related anything from Ibrahim'.  'On this the Shaikh rebuffed me.  I told him, 'please refer to your original copy, if you still have it.'  The Shaikh went and looked at it and then came back and said, 'alright then how it is supposed to be read, young man? I said, 'It is actually Zubayr ibn Uday, and he narrated the Hadith from Ibrahim. On hearing this, the Shaikh took his pen and corrected his book, saying, you are right.'

Muhammad Abu Hatim  recorded another incident,  as follows. 

"It was reported to me (Abu Hatim) by two Senior students who attended Hadith classes along with young (Imam) Bukhari.  They noticed that several days had passed the boy was attending the classes but was not writing anything down. They asked him about it.  He ( Imam Bukhari) told them, ‘You are here longer than me. Why do you not tell me what you have written?’ They did so, and the total came to over fifteen thousand Ahadith.  When they finished reading, the Imam repeated from memory every word of every Hadith they had read to him and asked them, 'Do you still think that I come here for nothing or that I am wasting my time?"

Another Hadith scholar Sulayman ibn Mujahid cited the following incident. 

"One day I was in the company of Muhammad ibn Salam Baykandi. He told me, 'If you had come a little early, I would have shown you the child who has seventy thousand Ahadîth in his memory. I was amazed. I stood up, and started looking for that child.  Shortly I found him. I asked, 'Are you the one who has memorized committed seventy thousand Ahadît?' Imam Bukhari replied, 'I have learned more Ahadith than this. I even know the place of birth, death and residence of most of those companions from whom the Ahadith are narrated."

When Imam Bukhari was 18 years old, he went for Hajj along with his mother and brother.  After Hajj, his mother and brother returned to Bukhara, but he stayed in Makka-al-Mukarrama for two years for further education.  From Makka, he went to Madina and stayed there for one year.  This was the time his great travels began in pursuit of Ahadith collection.  He traveled to Basra,  Balkh, Merv, Nishapur, Rayy, Baghdad, Kufa, Makkah, Madina, Wasit, Egypt, Damascus, Qaysariya, Asqalan, Palestine, Syria, etc., and wrote Ahadith narrated by over one thousand people.

Mohammad Abu Hatim recorded a statement of Imam Bukhari, in this context,  as follows. 

"Then I spent five years in Basra with my books, going for Hajj (again), and then returning from Makkah to Basra. I never related a Hadith unless I knew the authentic from the doubtful, and until I had studied the books of the rational Jurists about this Hadith. I know nothing that is considered essential, whether be it in  regard to legislation, etiquette, society, or anything,  that cannot be found in the Book of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) or the Sunnah of His Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)."

A spectacular incident is reported that took place in Baghdad where the Imam had taken up temporary residence.  The people having heard of his accomplishments,  decided to test him. They chose one hundred different Ahadith, changed the chain of narration and in some cases altered the text.  These Ahadith were  read in front of the Imam by 10 people. He was asked to testify. A large crowd had gathered to witness the test.  After listening to each Hadith, the Imam gave a standard reply - 'not to my knowledge'. However, after completion of their recitation of all 100 Ahadith, the Imam repeated each text and testimonials which had been changed, followed by the correct text and testimonial.

WORKS

Imam Bukhari wrote his first book titled  'Prophet's ﷺ Companions and their immediate successors' (قضايا الصحابه و التابعين) in Makka al-Mukarrama when he was staying there after Hajj.  

Later, during his stay in Madina, he wrote his famous book titled 'The detailed History of Narrators' (التاريخ الكبير).   In this book he compiled the biographies of narrators of Ahadith from the time of the Companions until his time.

He studied the lives of narrators, to make sure they were trustworthy in their reporting. They should not change the wording of the Hadith or concoct from their minds.  If it came to his knowledge that the narrator is not trustworthy or an open sinner, he will not write down the Hadith unless there was another strong chain of narrators existed for that Hadith.  He studied where and when the narrators lived, in order to make sure that if someone narrates from someone else, they must both have been in the same place at the same time and have actually met and discussed the Hadith. 

He wrote three books about the narrators of Ahadith to establish the ability and trustworthiness of narrators in conveying the Ahadith. These are,  (i) The detailed history of Narrators (التاريخ الكبير), (ii) The Standard History of Narrators (التاريخ الاوسط), and (iii) The Brief History of Narrators (التاريخ الصغير).

Imam Bukhari made  stringent guidelines for acceptance of Ahadith. He was among the pioneering scholars who  used a systematic approach in analyzing and labeling Ahadith into  (i) 'Authentic' (Sahih - صحيح), (ii) 'Good' (Hassan- حسن), (iii) 'Perpetual' (Mutawatir - متواتر), (iv) 'Infrequent' (Ahaad - اَحاد), (v) Weak (Da'eef - ضعيف), and (vi) 'Concocted' (Mawdu - موضوع).  Later, these classifications became a standard which was followed and further developed by the later Hadith scholars. 

Imam Bukhari wrote several books, but his book Sahih Bukhari titled "The Abridged Collection of Authentic Hadith with Connected Chains regarding Matters Pertaining to the Prophet , His practices and His Times" (الجامع المسند الصحيح المختصر من أمور رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وسننه وأيامه) is most famous among them.  It is reported that it took him 16 years to complete this book.  Sahih Bukhari is accepted by all scholars as the most authentic book of Hadith.

The Imam mentioned how the idea came to his mind for writing Sahih Bukhari, as follows.

"Once, during one of our Hadith sessions when my teacher Ishaq Ibn Rahway remarked, 'it would be appreciated if someone could collect Ahadith that held strong and reliable testimonials and write them in  a book',  the idea came to my mind to compile authentic Ahadith in a book." 

What makes Sahih Bukhari so unique was Imam's meticulous attention to detail. He made far stricter rules than other Hadith scholars for accepting a Hadith as authentic.  His collection of Ahadith is a monumental achievement and an irreplaceable cornerstone of the Science of Hadith scholarship. Through his work, Hadith studies became a science with governing laws that protected the field from innovation/corruption.

Sahih Bukhari is divided into 97 books, each with numerous chapters within it.  After he finished the compilation, Imam Bukhari showed the manuscript to some of his teachers like Imam Ahmed, Ibn al-Madini, Ibn Ma'in, etc.

Over 80 guides have been written to explain  Sahih Bukhari.  The best among them are (i) Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s “Fath Al-Bari”, (ii) Shihab Ahmad Ibn Al-khateeb Al-Qastalani’s "Irshad As-Sari”, and (iii) Badr-ud-Deen al-Aini’s  “Umda-tul-Qari”. 

 

Imam Bukhari has written many books. These include (i) Sahih Bukhari, (ii) Tarikh-Al Kabeer (and Tarikh al-Awsat, and Tarikh as Sageer), (iii)  Khalq A’faal Ebaad, (iv) Kitaab al-Wuhdan, (v) Adab al-Mufrad, (vi) Kitaab Adh-Dhua’fa, (vii) Juz Raf al-Yadain, (viii) Juz Al-Qirat Kalful Imam, (ix) Tafseer Al-Kabeer, (x) Kitab Al-Ilal, (xi) Kitaab Al-Manaqib, (xii) Qadhaya As-Sahabah wa at-taba'in, (xiii) Kitab al-Ashribah, (xiv) Kitab al-Hibah, (xv) Kitab al-Mabsoot, etc.

Imam Bukhari  had a large number of students. It is reported that over 9000 people used to sit in his lessons when he taught his Sahih Bukhari. There used to be many travelers among this crowd who used to travel long distances to listen to his sermons. There are some well known names among his students like (i) Tirmidhi, (ii) Muslim, (iii) Nasa’i, (iv) Ibrahim Ibn Ishaq Al-Harawi, (v) Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Dolabi, (vi) Mansoor Ibn Muhammad Bazdoori, etc.  

Imâm Muslim ibn Hajjâj reported that in 250 AH, Imam Bukhari arrived in Nishapur.  After hearing the news of his arrival, people were jubilant.  Muhammad ibn Yahya adh-Dhuhlî was the ruler of Nishapur.  He led a huge crowd of people to the outskirts of the city to receive Imam Bukhari.  Imam Muslims wrote,  'I had never seen such a reception ever given to a scholar or a ruler'.  

In Nishapur, Imam Bukhari began giving lectures on Ahadith. A crowd used to gather to listen to his lecture. However, his popularity became an eye sore to some people in Nishapur.  They started to insinuate the ruler about the Imam. Gradually the ruler started suspecting about the Imam.   The conspirators sent a person to attend Imam's lectures and find something to defame him.  This man asked Imam, whether Qur'ân was created or not created. The Imam knew the intention of the questioner.  He paused for a while but the person insisted for his reply.  On this, the Imam said 'Quran is the word of Allah and is not created.  Then the man posed certain more questions to confuse the issue.  On this, the Imam explained 'our (human) actions are created and our pronunciation of Quranic verses is one of our actions.'

This statement of Imam was conveyed to the ruler who had believed that 'even the pronunciation of Quran was eternal'.

It is clear that the difference of opinion was not on the essence that the Quran is the word of Allah.  Adh-Duhli, the ruler, and some people following the Hanbali school of thought in Nishapur considered that the pronunciation of the word of Allah is also not created, while Imam Bukhari, Muslim and others considered the pronunciation is created because it is part of one's acts.  

After this, a mass propaganda campaign was initiated against the Imam and people were made to believe that Imam considers the word of Allah as created. The ruler openly disconnected his ties with the Imam and stopped people from attending Imam's lectures. When things went out of control, the Imam decided to leave Nishapur to his home town Bukhara. 

The Imam received a mammoth welcome in Bukhara on his arrival. He established a school there and started teaching Ahadith.  However, he faced rivalry in Bukhara as well.  Some people started spreading false stories about him.  The Governor of Bukhara was incited to act against the Imam.  The Governor asked the Imam to come to his home everyday and teach his son.  The Imam replied, 'I do not want to abuse knowledge and carry it to the doorstep of the ruler'. If anybody wants to learn, they should come to my school.'  On this the Governor said, he cannot let his son sit with commoners in the school and the Imam should teach his son alone. The Imam did not agree.  On this, the Governor became angry. A fatwa was issued by a group of Ulema against the Imam to banish him from Bukhara.

DEATH 

The Imam was distressed to leave his home land.  He decided to go to Samarkhand.  On his way he was told that the people of Samarkhand were divided about him.  He stopped his journey at a village called 'Khartang'.  He spent two months there and became ill. When people of Samarkhand knew that the Imam had stayed back from travel to their city, a large delegation from Samarkhand came to pursue him to travel to Samarkhand.  But by this time, he had become very week from his ailment. 

He died on the night of Eid al-Fitr, the first night of Shawwal in the year 256 AH (870 AD). He was 62 years old.  He was buried in Khartang. (Tadhkira-tul-Huffaz 2/122, Shadhrat adh-Dhahab 2/135, Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 9/47, Al-Wafiyaat 1/55, etc.

It is claimed that Imam Bukhari was a follower of  Hanbali school of thought.  Some people claim he was follower of Shafi'i school of thought. Ad-Dhahabi said Imam Bukhari was a mujtahid, a scholar capable of making his own ijtihad.

It is reported that when Imam Bukhari went to Nishapur, Imam Muslim came to him and kissed his forehead and said, 'O Teacher,  O leader of the Muhadditheen, give me permission to kiss your feet.' Imam Tirmidhi said, 'in the field of narrators I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than Imam Bukhari'. Ibn Khuzaimah said, 'I have never encountered anyone more knowledgeable than Imam Bukhari in Ahadith.

 

SAHIH AL-BUKHARI  (صحيح البخاري) is accepted as the most reliable Hadith book.  It contains about 7500 Ahadith selected from over 600,000 Ahadith. This shows the care taken by the Imam.  It contains 97 books, and over 4000 chapters. The criteria used by Imam Bukhari, which was later followed by his student Imam Muslim, for Ahadith compilations is briefly described below.    
(i) The knowledge of Hadith (علم الحديث
In it, they studied the wording of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used, its line of transmission and the original listener or recorder.
(ii) The knowledge about the credibility of narrator (علم الرجال الحديث) 
In it, they analyzed the narrator with certain mandatory requirements, like; (a) he should be a Muslim, (b) should have reached the age of puberty, (c) must be of stable mind, (d) should not deviate or stray. (e) should avoid sin, (f) Narrator's mannerism and actions should be good. 
(iii) Study of the background of the narrators (علم الجرح و التعديل). 
In it, they evaluated the  reliable sources, using details about the history of the narrator, his family background, strengths and weaknesses, consistency in good character, etc.  
(iv) Knowledge of the root of the Hadith (علم الى الحديث)
In it, they undertook detailed study of the life of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to help them in evaluating the authenticity of the narration beyond any doubt. 
 
Sahih al-Bukhari consists of the following 97 books.  Its Translation and Guide consists of 9 volumes.

 (1) Book of Revelation (كتاب بدء الوحى)

 (2) Book of Faith (كتاب الإيمان)

 (3) Book of Knowledge (كتاب العلم)

 (4) Book of Ablution  (كتاب الوضوء)

 (5) Book of Bathing   (كتاب الغسل)

 (6) Book of Mensuration  (كتاب الحيض)

 (7) Book of dry Ablution  (كتاب التيمم)

 (8) Book of Salah  (كتاب الصلاة)

 (9) Book of Times of Salah  (كتاب مواقيت الصلاة)

(10) Book of Azan  (كتاب الأذان)

(11) Book of Friday Salah (كتاب الجمعة)

(12) Book of Salah to allay fear  (كتاب صلاة الخوف)

(13) Book of two Eids  (كتاب العيدين)

(14) Book of Salat al-Witr  (كتاب الوتر)

(15) Book of Salah for rain   (كتاب الاستسقاء)

(16) Book of Salah during Eclipse   (كتاب الكسوف)

(17) Book of Prostration during recitation of Quran   (كتاب سجود القرآن)

(18) Book of abridgement in Salah   (كتاب التقصير)

(19) Book of Salat at-Tahajjud  (كتاب التهجد)

(20) Book of virtue of Salah at Haramain in Makka and Madina   (كتاب فضل الصلاة فى مسجد مكة والمدينة)

(21) Book of actions during Salah   (كتاب العمل فى الصلاة)

(22) Book of forgetfulness during Salah   (كتاب السهو)

(23) Book of Funerals   (كتاب الجنائز)

(24) Book of Zakat  (كتاب الزكاة)

(25) Book of Hajj   (كتاب الحج)

(26) Book of Umra   (كتاب العمرة)

(27) Book of Pilgrims prevented from Hajj & Umra   (كتاب المحصر)

(28) Book of Penalty for Hunting during Hajj   (كتاب جزاء الصيد)

(29) Book of virtues of Madina al-Munawwara   (كتاب فضائل المدينة)

(30) Book of Fasting   (كتاب الصوم)

(31) Book of Salat at-Taraweeh in Ramadhan   (كتاب صلاة التراويح)

(32) Book of the night of al-Qadr  (كتاب فضل ليلة القدر)

(33) Book of Seclusion in a Mosque   (كتاب الاعتكاف)

(34) Book of Trading   (كتاب البيوع)

(35) Book of advance payment for goods   (كتاب السلم)

(36) Book for no excuse   (كتاب الشفعة)

(37) Book of Hiring   (كتاب الإجارة)

(38) Book of debt transfer  (كتاب الحوالات)

(39) Book of Surety (كتاب الكفالة)

(40) Book of Authorization/Agency  (كتاب الوكالة

(41) Book of Agriculture  (كتاب المزارعة)

(42) Book of Water distribution   (كتاب المساقاة)

(43) Book of Bankruptcy  (كتاب فى الاستقراض)

(44) Book of Discounts   (كتاب الخصومات)

(45) Book of lost thing picked by someone   (كتاب فى اللقطة)

(46) Book of Oppression   (كتاب المظالم)

(47) Book of Partnership  (كتاب الشركة)

(48) Book of Mortgage  (كتاب الرهن)

(49) Book of Manumission of slaves   (كتاب العتق)

(50) Book of Agreements   (كتاب المكاتب)

(51) Book of Gifts and its virtues   (كتاب الهبة وفضلها والتحريض عليها)

(52) Book of Witnesses   (كتاب الشهادات)

(53) Book of peacemaking  (كتاب الصلح)

(54) Book of Conditions  (كتاب الشروط)

(55) Book of Wills  (كتاب الوصايا)

(56) Book of Jihad and Expeditions  (كتاب الجهاد والسير)

(57) Book of One fifth of the booty in the cause of Allah   (كتاب فرض الخمس)

(58) Book of Jizya Security Tax and Pledge   (كتاب الجزية والموادعة)

(59) Book of beginning of creation   (كتاب بدء الخلق)

(60) Book of Prophets  (كتاب أحاديث الأنبياء)

(61) Book of virtues of Prophet Mohammad ﷺ and Sahabah  (كتاب المناقب)

(62) Book of Virtues of  Sahabah  (كتاب فضائل أصحاب النبى صلى الله عليه وسلم)

(63) Book of Virtues of Ansaar of Madina  (كتاب مناقب الأنصار)

(64) Book of Prophet's ﷺ military expeditions  (كتاب المغازى)

(65) Book of Prophet's ﷺ Tafseer  (كتاب التفسير)

(66) Book of Virtues of Quran   (كتاب فضائل القرآن)

(67) Book of Marriage  (كتاب النكاح)

(68) Book of Divorce  (كتاب الطلاق)

(69) Book of Supporting the family   (كتاب النفقات)

(70) Book of Food  (كتاب الأطعمة)

(71) Book of Aqeeqa  (كتاب العقيقة)

(72) Book of Hunting and slaughtering   (كتاب الذبائح والصيد)

(73) Book of Eid al-Azha  (كتاب الأضاحي)

(74) Book of Drink   (كتاب الأشربة)

(75) Book of patients   (كتاب المرضى)

(76) Book of Medicine  (كتاب الطب)

(77) Book of Dress  (كتاب اللباس)

(78) Book of Good manners and respect of elders   (كتاب الأدب)

(79) Book of asking permission   (كتاب الاستئذان)

(80) Book of Supplication   (كتاب الدعوات)

(81) Book of tenderness of heart   (كتاب الرقاق)

(82) Book of Destiny   (كتاب القدر)

(83) Book of Oath and vows   (كتاب الأيمان والنذور)

(84) Book of expiation for unfulfilled oaths   (كتاب كفارات الأيمان)

(85) Book of Inheritance   (كتاب الفرائض)

(86) Book of limits and punishment  (كتاب الحدود)

(87) Book of Blood money  (كتاب الديات)

(88) Book of Apostates  (كتاب استتابة المرتدين والمعاندين وقتالهم)

(89) Book of Statements made under duress  (كتاب الإكراه)

(90) Book of making pretext   (كتاب الحيل)

(91) Book of explication of dreams  (كتاب التعبير)

(92) Book of Tribulations before Qiyamah   (كتاب الفتن)

(93) Book of Judgments   (كتاب الأحكام)

(94) Book of Wishes  (كتاب التمنى)

(95) Book of accepting information from a truthful person   (كتاب أخبار الآحاد)

(96) Book of holding on to the commandments of Quran and Sunnah   (كتاب الاعتصام بالكتاب والسنة)

(97) Book of oneness of God  (كتاب التوحيد)



 

BOOK # 1 - REVELATIONS

 كتاب بدء الوحى

 

The translation of Ahadith and their explanations, in the light of Quran and Sunnah, are provided below.  First, the content of the Hadith is provided in Arabic,  followed by its translation in English and then, wherever necessary,  explanation has been provided to help readers understand Hadith in the proper perspective. 

 

CHAPTER (1)

باب كَيْفَ كَانَ بَدْءُ الْوَحْىِ إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم 

How the Divine Revelation started being revealed to Allah's Apostle

وَقَوْلُ اللَّهِ جَلَّ ذِكْرُهُ - إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِنْ بَعْدِه

 Indeed, We have revealed to you, (O' Prophet  ﷺ), as We revealed to Prophet Noah (عليه السلام) and the prophets after him. (An-Nisa-163)

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 001

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الزُّبَيْرِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ التَّيْمِيُّ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنَ وَقَّاصٍ اللَّيْثِيَّ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ إِنَّمَا الأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ، وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مَا نَوَى، فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيبُهَا أَوْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ يَنْكِحُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِ ‏"‏‏.‏

Narrated Hadhrat Umar bin al-Khattab (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), on the pulpit (of a mosque)  'I heard Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) saying, the reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.  Thus, whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for.'

 

Explanation

Some people get confused and are unable to differentiate between good and bad intentions.  In this context, following points are important.

(i) There is no doubt, the intention is the key to a person's deed.  This fact is accepted by everyone in the world, irrespective of a Muslim or non-Muslim.  Even the Judge of a court does not punish a defendant who accidentally killed a person unintentionally.  Meaning, accidental actions are not treated as done intentionally. 

Good intention should also be lawful

(ii) If you go out of your house or city or  country to earn money to feed your family, it will be treated as good intention. But if you immigrate to make money to live a life of luxury and vice and to use your money in creating disorder, it is not a good intention.

(iii) Can a person earn money unlawfully, with the good intention to spend it on charity?  No, it is not allowed in Islam.

It is in Hadith -  عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏"‏ لاَ تُقْبَلُ صَلاَةٌ بِغَيْرِ طُهُورٍ وَلاَ صَدَقَةٌ مِنْ غُلُولٍ  [ Ibn Umar (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated that : the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: "Salah will not be accepted without purification, nor Charity from Ghulul (Haram).(Tirmidhi). 

(iv) Can a person participate in the worship of idols, along with idol worshipers, in  places of their worship, with the good intention of unity among people of different faiths or Inter-faith harmony?  No it is not allowed in Islam.  Creating peace and harmony among different faiths/sections of society can be achieved more effectively in many ways.  You do not have a create a cocktail of religions for this purpose. 

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 002

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّ الْحَارِثَ بْنَ هِشَامٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يَأْتِيكَ الْوَحْىُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ أَحْيَانًا يَأْتِينِي مِثْلَ صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ ـ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّهُ عَلَىَّ ـ فَيُفْصَمُ عَنِّي وَقَدْ وَعَيْتُ عَنْهُ مَا قَالَ، وَأَحْيَانًا يَتَمَثَّلُ لِيَ الْمَلَكُ رَجُلاً فَيُكَلِّمُنِي فَأَعِي مَا يَقُولُ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ رضى الله عنها وَلَقَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ الْوَحْىُ فِي الْيَوْمِ الشَّدِيدِ الْبَرْدِ، فَيَفْصِمُ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّ جَبِينَهُ لَيَتَفَصَّدُ عَرَقًا‏.‏

Narrated Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا), Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم),  'O Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), how does Divine revelation come to you? Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, 'Sometimes it is like the ringing of a bell; this form of revelation is the hardest of all, and then this state passes off, after I have grasped what is revealed.  Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.'  Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) added: 'Verily I saw revelation coming to him on a very cold day, and at the end, I noticed the sweat dropping from Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) forehead.

 

Explanation

The channels of revelations to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) were many, direct and indirect, both. 

It is in Quran -  وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ - إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ [ The Prophet ﷺ does not speak out of desire.  It is the revelation that is coming to him.] (An-Najm - 3-4)

It is in Hadith - Qatadah reported: I said, “Ummul Momineen, tell me about the character of the Apostle of Allah, (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) said, 'Have you not read the Quran?' I said, “Of course!” Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا)  said, 'Verily, the character of the Prophet of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was the Quran.'  (Muslim).

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) mentioned two of these channels. What is the meaning of 'ringing of bell' (صَلْصَلَةِ الْجَرَسِ).  It is the state of annihilation (فنائیت). What is this state.  It is the state in which the existence of Almighty overtakes the existence of the servant.  When this state is over, the physical senses come back.  This was one of the ways of revelations to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). During this state, when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) had grasped what was communicated to him directly, the state of annihilation would pass.  

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 003

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ بُكَيْرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا اللَّيْثُ، عَنْ عُقَيْلٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ أَوَّلُ مَا بُدِئَ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ الْوَحْىِ الرُّؤْيَا الصَّالِحَةُ فِي النَّوْمِ، فَكَانَ لاَ يَرَى رُؤْيَا إِلاَّ جَاءَتْ مِثْلَ فَلَقِ الصُّبْحِ، ثُمَّ حُبِّبَ إِلَيْهِ الْخَلاَءُ، وَكَانَ يَخْلُو بِغَارِ حِرَاءٍ فَيَتَحَنَّثُ فِيهِ ـ وَهُوَ التَّعَبُّدُ ـ اللَّيَالِيَ ذَوَاتِ الْعَدَدِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَنْزِعَ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ، وَيَتَزَوَّدُ لِذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ إِلَى خَدِيجَةَ، فَيَتَزَوَّدُ لِمِثْلِهَا، حَتَّى جَاءَهُ الْحَقُّ وَهُوَ فِي غَارِ حِرَاءٍ، فَجَاءَهُ الْمَلَكُ فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَأَخَذَنِي فَغَطَّنِي حَتَّى بَلَغَ مِنِّي الْجَهْدَ، ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ قُلْتُ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَنِي فَغَطَّنِي الثَّانِيَةَ حَتَّى بَلَغَ مِنِّي الْجَهْدَ، ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي فَقَالَ اقْرَأْ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ مَا أَنَا بِقَارِئٍ‏.‏ فَأَخَذَنِي فَغَطَّنِي الثَّالِثَةَ، ثُمَّ أَرْسَلَنِي فَقَالَ ‏{‏اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ * خَلَقَ الإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ * اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الأَكْرَمُ‏}‏ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَرَجَعَ بِهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَرْجُفُ فُؤَادُهُ، فَدَخَلَ عَلَى خَدِيجَةَ بِنْتِ خُوَيْلِدٍ رضى الله عنها فَقَالَ ‏"‏ زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِي ‏"‏‏.‏ فَزَمَّلُوهُ حَتَّى ذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الرَّوْعُ، فَقَالَ لِخَدِيجَةَ وَأَخْبَرَهَا الْخَبَرَ ‏"‏ لَقَدْ خَشِيتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ خَدِيجَةُ كَلاَّ وَاللَّهِ مَا يُخْزِيكَ اللَّهُ أَبَدًا، إِنَّكَ لَتَصِلُ الرَّحِمَ، وَتَحْمِلُ الْكَلَّ، وَتَكْسِبُ الْمَعْدُومَ، وَتَقْرِي الضَّيْفَ، وَتُعِينُ عَلَى نَوَائِبِ الْحَقِّ‏.‏ فَانْطَلَقَتْ بِهِ خَدِيجَةُ حَتَّى أَتَتْ بِهِ وَرَقَةَ بْنَ نَوْفَلِ بْنِ أَسَدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الْعُزَّى ابْنَ عَمِّ خَدِيجَةَ ـ وَكَانَ امْرَأً تَنَصَّرَ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ، وَكَانَ يَكْتُبُ الْكِتَابَ الْعِبْرَانِيَّ، فَيَكْتُبُ مِنَ الإِنْجِيلِ بِالْعِبْرَانِيَّةِ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ يَكْتُبَ، وَكَانَ شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا قَدْ عَمِيَ ـ فَقَالَتْ لَهُ خَدِيجَةُ يَا ابْنَ عَمِّ اسْمَعْ مِنَ ابْنِ أَخِيكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ وَرَقَةُ يَا ابْنَ أَخِي مَاذَا تَرَى فَأَخْبَرَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَبَرَ مَا رَأَى‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ وَرَقَةُ هَذَا النَّامُوسُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ عَلَى مُوسَى صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا لَيْتَنِي فِيهَا جَذَعًا، لَيْتَنِي أَكُونُ حَيًّا إِذْ يُخْرِجُكَ قَوْمُكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ أَوَمُخْرِجِيَّ هُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ نَعَمْ، لَمْ يَأْتِ رَجُلٌ قَطُّ بِمِثْلِ مَا جِئْتَ بِهِ إِلاَّ عُودِيَ، وَإِنْ يُدْرِكْنِي يَوْمُكَ أَنْصُرْكَ نَصْرًا مُؤَزَّرًا‏.‏ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَنْشَبْ وَرَقَةُ أَنْ تُوُفِّيَ وَفَتَرَ الْوَحْىُ‏.‏  -  

Narrated Ummul Momineen Aisha (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا), 'the onset of Divine revelations to Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was in the form of good dreams which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him.  He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he would pray continuously for many days till he would go back to see his family.  He would take with him some food for his stay and then come back to Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) to take his food like-wise again till suddenly (one day) the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira.  The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) replied, "I do not know how to read. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) added, 'The angel caught me and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, I do not know how to read.  Then he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more.  He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, I do not know how to read. Then he caught me for the third time and pressed me, and then released me and said,

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ - خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ - اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ - Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists), has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous." (Al-Alaq - 1-3).

(After this) Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) returned (home) with the revelation; his heart beating hard. He went to Ummul Momineen Khadija bint Khuwailid (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) and said, 'Cover me! Cover me!' He was covered, till his state came back to normal and  he told her everything that happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me.'  Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah will always take care of you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.' Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza, who, during Pre-Islamic period, had became  Christian and used Hebrew letters in his writing.  He used to write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) said to Waraqa, 'Listen to your nephew, O' my cousin!' Waraqa asked, 'O my nephew! What have you seen?' Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) described whatever he had seen.  Waraqa said, 'This is the same one (angel Gabriel) who keeps the secrets,  whom Allah had sent to Moses (عليه السلام). I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out.' Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked, 'Will they drive me out?' Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said, 'Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility; and if I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out, then I would support you strongly.' But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine revelation was also paused for a while.

 

Explanation

Some explanation in context of the sequence of events of the first revelation are important.

(i) Some people consider that the Prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) started in Hira cave when he was 40 years old and before that, he was not a prophet. This is wrong understanding.

Prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is established from the beginning of creation. 

The fact of Prophet Mohammad (حقيقتِ محمدي صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم

(a) It is in Hadith - Abu Hurairah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) narrated, 'they asked, O'Allah's Apostle (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), when was prophet-hood established for you?  He said, while Adam (عليه السلام) was between the soul and body' (Tirmidhi).

(b) It is in Hadith - The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, truly I was   in the sight of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), the Seal of Prophets, when Adam (عليه السلام) was still kneaded in his clay. I shall inform you of the meaning of this.  It is the supplication of my father Ibrahim (عليه السلام).

[ رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ - Our Lord, and send among them an Apostle from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted, Mighty and Wise.] (Al-Baqra - 129) 

And the glad tidings of my brother Isa (عليه السلام) to his people.

[ وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ  -  And when Prophet Isa, the son of Mary (عليه السلام) , said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the Apostle of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of an Apostle to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.]   (Assaf - 6)

And the vision, my mother saw the night I was born. She saw a light that lit the palaces of Syro-Palestine so that she could see them. (Ahmad)

(c) It is in Hadith - Narrated Abu Huraira (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said -  'I was the first of the Prophets to be created and the last one to be sent.' (al-Razi in his Fawa’id (4:207 #1399); al-Tabarani in Musnad al-Shamiyyin (4:34-35 #2662); and Abu Nu`aym in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (p.42 #3); Qatada by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (sub 33:7) and with the wording 'the first of the people' by Ibn Sa`d in his Tabaqat (1:124). 

(d) It is in Hadith - Jabir Ibn Abdullah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), O' Apostle of Allah (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, tell me the first thing Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) created before all things.'  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said : O'Jabir (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), the first thing Allah (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ) created was the light of your Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) from His light.  (And everything else was created from that light). (Part of the Hadith).

The above Hadith was narrated by Abdur Razzaq (d. 211 AH) in his Musannaf according to Qastallani in al-Mawahib al-Laduniyya (1:55) and Zarqani in his Sahrh al-Mawahib (1:56 of the Matba'a al-Amira, Edn, Cairo).

Abdur Razzaq is one of the authentic and reliable narrators.  Bukhari took 120 and Muslim took 400 Ahadith from him. 

Baihaqi narrated the above Hadith with a different wording in 'Dala'il al-Nubawwa, according to Zurqani in his Sharh al-Mawahib (1:56 of the Matba'a al-Amira, Cairo.) Diyarbakri narrated it in 'Tarikh al-Khamis (1-20).

(e) It is in Quran –   يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا - وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا [ O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) Truly We have sent you as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad tidings and a Warner (for the entire cosmos); and one who invites to Allah's (grace) by His consent, and as a lamp spreading light (into the whole cosmos). (Al-Ahzaab 45-46)

In the above verse Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is described as 'Lamp spreading light' (into the whole cosmos).  He is also referred as a 'Witness', a bearer of glad tidings and the one who warns to humanity.  A witness is the one who knows about all the physical and spiritual aspects of this Cosmos.

The above Ahadith, and many related Quranic verses confirm that Apostleship of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is established from the beginning of the creation. However, it was made known to people when he was 40 years old.

(ii) The proclamation of Prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) to the world was divinely carried out in an organized way, as per the exigencies of our physical world.  Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) truthful dreams before the declaration of Prophet-hood in the world, and his love for seclusion in remembering Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) were indicators in this context.

In addition, the worldly confirmation of prophet-hood from a source outside Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) home was done by Waraqa bin Naufal who confirmed and accepted the prophet-hood based on his study of earlier scriptures.  He also predicted people's apathy towards the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) based on his knowledge of earlier scriptures.

During Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) childhood and adolescence, Hadhrat Abu Talib (رضئ الله تعالی عنه) recognized and believed in the Prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).  

It is in Hadith - When Abu Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) decided to go to Syria along with the Quraish for business, he took the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) along with him. At that time, the age of the  Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) was 12 years, 2 months and 10 days. When the caravan reached Basra, there a hermit (Christian Monk) by name Buhaira recognized the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) the moment he saw him, as he had read in the previous heavenly books the attributes of the Last Prophet and the signs of his Prophet-hood.

Buhaira held the blessed hands of the Apostle ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ) and told the Quraish: He is the leader of the heavens and earths. He is the Prophet of the Lord of the Worlds and his greatness is 'Mercy for the whole universe'.

The Quraish asked him : How do you know all this? Buhaira replied: When you were ascending the valley, there was no tree or stone that did not prostrate to Him, at the time of heat, a small cloud covered Him and He has the Seal of Prophet-hood between both His shoulders. With great devotion and respect, Buhaira arranged a feast for the sake of the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ).

Buhaira told Hadhrat Abu Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ),  take your nephew back to Makkah and sell away your merchandise here itself, as the Jews are his die-hard enemies. There is a danger that they might martyr Him. Hence, Hadhrat Abu Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) returned to Makkah along with the Prophet ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ). (Tirmidhi, Muwahib Ladunniya by Qastallani).  

The above episode shows Hadhrat Abu Talib ( رضئ الله تعالی عنه ) believed in the Prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammad ( صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم ).  This was the reason he returned back to Makka.  If he did not believe it, he would have ignored Buhaira and  continued his scheduled journey.

 

Explanation of the events described in the above Bukhari Hadith # 3 about the first revelation 

(i) Explanation about the unletteredness of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)  is the teacher of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) is the teacher of humanity. In this circumstance, how can a human being teach him reading or writing?  This was the reason, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) informed  Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) that  'he does not know how to read'.

It is in Quran -   عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَىٰ - ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَىٰ [The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him.  The Lord of Strength; so he attained completion.] (An-Najm - 5-6) 

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) taught the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) everything, directly and indirectly (via Hadhrat Jibreel - عليه السلام). Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) was not teaching the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), in Hira cave, rather he was a medium to convey Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) affection towards Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) by three affectionate hugs. Surely, these hugs looked powerful to Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), as this was a display of divine love. 

(ii) When Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said to Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) that 'I fear something may happen to me' ( لَقَدْ خَشِيتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي), it reflects that he knew that the time has come to physically carry the responsibility of Prophet-hood in the world, and surely it is a great responsibility to shoulder. And when Ummul Momineen Khadija (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) tried to lessen Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) concern by describing his exceptional attributes, she meant that Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) help will always be there, in ensuing years as well.

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 004

قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ وَأَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو سَلَمَةَ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، أَنَّ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الأَنْصَارِيَّ، قَالَ ـ وَهُوَ يُحَدِّثُ عَنْ فَتْرَةِ الْوَحْىِ، فَقَالَ ـ فِي حَدِيثِهِ ‏"‏ بَيْنَا أَنَا أَمْشِي، إِذْ سَمِعْتُ صَوْتًا، مِنَ السَّمَاءِ، فَرَفَعْتُ بَصَرِي فَإِذَا الْمَلَكُ الَّذِي جَاءَنِي بِحِرَاءٍ جَالِسٌ عَلَى كُرْسِيٍّ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ، فَرُعِبْتُ مِنْهُ، فَرَجَعْتُ فَقُلْتُ زَمِّلُونِي‏.‏ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى ‏{‏يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ * قُمْ فَأَنْذِرْ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ‏}‏ فَحَمِيَ الْوَحْىُ وَتَتَابَعَ ‏"‏‏.‏ تَابَعَهُ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ وَأَبُو صَالِحٍ‏.‏ وَتَابَعَهُ هِلاَلُ بْنُ رَدَّادٍ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ‏.‏ وَقَالَ يُونُسُ وَمَعْمَرٌ ‏"‏ بَوَادِرُهُ ‏"‏‏ 

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari, while talking about the period of pause in revelation, reporting the speech of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) 'While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel who had visited me at the cave of Hira sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth. I got afraid and came back home and said, Wrap me (in blankets). And then Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) revealed the following Verses. 

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ - قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ - وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ - وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ - وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ   -  'O you (the Prophet ﷺ)! wrapped up in garments! Arise and warn (the people). And glorify your Lord. And purify your clothing. And avoid uncleanliness.] (Al-Muddaththir - 1-5) 

After this,  the revelations started coming strongly, frequently and regularly.

 

Explanation

After the first revelation in Hira cave,  there was a pause in revelations.  It was a long pause.  Ulema differ in the period of this pause.  Some say it was for two years, while others say it was slightly longer or much shorter than two years. The above Hadith refers to this period.

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) witnessed Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) sitting on a big chair between the earth and sky. It depicts that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was assured that Allah, the mighty is looking over the affairs of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) constantly. Looking at the depiction of Allah's (سبحانه و تعالى) might, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) covered himself in a garment/blanket.  While he did so, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) addressed him affectionately, as follows. 

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ - قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ - وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ - وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ - وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ   -  'O you ( Prophet ﷺ)! wrapped up in garments! Arise and warn (the people). And glorify your Lord. And purify your clothing. And avoid uncleanliness.] (Al-Muddaththir - 1-5)   

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 005

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ أَبِي عَائِشَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى ‏{‏لاَ تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ‏}‏ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُعَالِجُ مِنَ التَّنْزِيلِ شِدَّةً، وَكَانَ مِمَّا يُحَرِّكُ شَفَتَيْهِ ـ فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَأَنَا أُحَرِّكُهُمَا لَكُمْ كَمَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُحَرِّكُهُمَا‏.‏ وَقَالَ سَعِيدٌ أَنَا أُحَرِّكُهُمَا كَمَا رَأَيْتُ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يُحَرِّكُهُمَا‏.‏ فَحَرَّكَ شَفَتَيْهِ ـ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى ‏{‏لاَ تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ* إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ‏}‏ قَالَ جَمْعُهُ لَهُ فِي صَدْرِكَ، وَتَقْرَأَهُ ‏{‏فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ‏}‏ قَالَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لَهُ وَأَنْصِتْ ‏{‏ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ‏}‏ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا أَنْ تَقْرَأَهُ‏.‏ فَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ إِذَا أَتَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ اسْتَمَعَ، فَإِذَا انْطَلَقَ جِبْرِيلُ قَرَأَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَمَا قَرَأَهُ‏.‏

Narrated Sa'id bin Jubair; Ibn Abbas, in the explanation of the statement of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى)  [ لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ - Move not your tongue with it, (O Prophet ﷺ), to hasten with recitation of the Quran. Al-Qiyamah - 16] said,  'Allah's Apostle ﷺ used to bear the revelation with great effort and used to move his lips with the revelation.  Ibn Abbas moved his lips,  saying, 'I am moving my lips in front of you, as Allah's Apostle ﷺ used to move his.' 

Sa'id bin Jubair moved his lips saying: 'I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn Abbas moving his.' 

Ibn 'Abbas added, 'So Allah revealed (the following verse)

لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ - إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَه - Move not your tongue with it, (O Prophet ﷺ), to hasten with recitation of Quran. Indeed, upon Us is its collection (in your heart) and (to make it easier) for you to recite it. - Al-Qiyamah - 16-17]

It means that Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) will make him (the Prophet ﷺ) remember by heart the portion of the Qur'an which was revealed at that time and recite it (later).

The statement of Allah [ فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ - And when we have recited it to you, follow its (Quran) recital' - Al-Qiyamah - 18] means 'listen to it calmly.' 

And (this verse) [  ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ - Then it is for Us (Allah ) to make it clear to you' - Al-Qiyamah - 19 ] means, 'then it is (for Allah) to make you recite it (and its meaning will be clear by itself through your tongue).

Afterwards, Allah's Apostle ﷺ used to listen to Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) whenever he came and after his departure used to recite it,  as Jibreel (عليه السلام) had recited.

 

Explanation

To receive, absorb and convey the word of Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) is the distinction of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) in the entire Universe.

It is in Quran -  لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ  [ If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah.] (Al-Hashr - 21)

It is in Quran - إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا [ Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.] (Al-Muzzammil - 6) 

In the beginning, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was concerned to remember the verses, so that these can be conveyed to people later. Therefore, he used to repeat them while these were revealed.  To alleviate his concern, Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) assured him that he does not have to burden himself for preservation of revealed verses in his heart. After this assurance  the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) stopped repeating the verses while they were revealed.


 Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 006

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا يُونُسُ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، ح وَحَدَّثَنَا بِشْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا يُونُسُ، وَمَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، نَحْوَهُ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ‏.

Narrated Ibn Abbas, Allah's Apostle ﷺ was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) met him.  Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) used to meet him every night in Ramadan to recite Quran along with the Prophet ﷺ. Allah's Apostle ﷺ was the most generous, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind.

 

Explanation

Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) used to meet the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) every night in Ramadhan to read Quran to Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and in turn the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to read Quran to Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام). Imam Bukhari has repeated the above Hadith with a different chain  in Kitab as-Saum, Hadith no. 7,  in which it is mentioned that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to recite Quran to Hadhrat Jibreel (عليه السلام) in Ramadhan.

In the last year of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) life, the recitation of Quran was done  twice. The Quran was later compiled in the same order as it was read in the last Ramadhan before the death of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم).

Generosity of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)

Indeed, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was generous like a wind that brings clouds of rain with which every thing benefits on earth. 

It is in Quran -  وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ [ And We have not sent you, (O' Prophet ﷺ), except as a mercy to the worlds. ] (Al-Anbiya - 107).

 

Sahih al-Bukhari Vol 1, Bk 1, Hadith # 007

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ الْحَكَمُ بْنُ نَافِعٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عَبَّاسٍ، أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ أَبَا سُفْيَانَ بْنَ حَرْبٍ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ هِرَقْلَ أَرْسَلَ إِلَيْهِ فِي رَكْبٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ ـ وَكَانُوا تُجَّارًا بِالشَّأْمِ ـ فِي الْمُدَّةِ الَّتِي كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَادَّ فِيهَا أَبَا سُفْيَانَ وَكُفَّارَ قُرَيْشٍ، فَأَتَوْهُ وَهُمْ بِإِيلِيَاءَ فَدَعَاهُمْ فِي مَجْلِسِهِ، وَحَوْلَهُ عُظَمَاءُ الرُّومِ ثُمَّ دَعَاهُمْ وَدَعَا بِتَرْجُمَانِهِ فَقَالَ أَيُّكُمْ أَقْرَبُ نَسَبًا بِهَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ فَقَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ فَقُلْتُ أَنَا أَقْرَبُهُمْ نَسَبًا‏.‏ فَقَالَ أَدْنُوهُ مِنِّي، وَقَرِّبُوا أَصْحَابَهُ، فَاجْعَلُوهُمْ عِنْدَ ظَهْرِهِ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِتَرْجُمَانِهِ قُلْ لَهُمْ إِنِّي سَائِلٌ هَذَا عَنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ، فَإِنْ كَذَبَنِي فَكَذِّبُوهُ‏.‏ فَوَاللَّهِ لَوْلاَ الْحَيَاءُ مِنْ أَنْ يَأْثِرُوا عَلَىَّ كَذِبًا لَكَذَبْتُ عَنْهُ، ثُمَّ كَانَ أَوَّلَ مَا سَأَلَنِي عَنْهُ أَنْ قَالَ كَيْفَ نَسَبُهُ فِيكُمْ قُلْتُ هُوَ فِينَا ذُو نَسَبٍ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ مِنْكُمْ أَحَدٌ قَطُّ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَشْرَافُ النَّاسِ يَتَّبِعُونَهُ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ فَقُلْتُ بَلْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ‏.‏ قَالَ أَيَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ قُلْتُ بَلْ يَزِيدُونَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ سَخْطَةً لِدِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ يَغْدِرُ قُلْتُ لاَ، وَنَحْنُ مِنْهُ فِي مُدَّةٍ لاَ نَدْرِي مَا هُوَ فَاعِلٌ فِيهَا‏.‏ قَالَ وَلَمْ تُمْكِنِّي كَلِمَةٌ أُدْخِلُ فِيهَا شَيْئًا غَيْرُ هَذِهِ الْكَلِمَةِ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ قِتَالُكُمْ إِيَّاهُ قُلْتُ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالٌ، يَنَالُ مِنَّا وَنَنَالُ مِنْهُ‏.‏ قَالَ مَاذَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ قُلْتُ يَقُولُ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ، وَلاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَاتْرُكُوا مَا يَقُولُ آبَاؤُكُمْ، وَيَأْمُرُنَا بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالصِّدْقِ وَالْعَفَافِ وَالصِّلَةِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لِلتَّرْجُمَانِ قُلْ لَهُ سَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ نَسَبِهِ، فَذَكَرْتَ أَنَّهُ فِيكُمْ ذُو نَسَبٍ، فَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ تُبْعَثُ فِي نَسَبِ قَوْمِهَا، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَالَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ أَحَدٌ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ قَبْلَهُ لَقُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَأْتَسِي بِقَوْلٍ قِيلَ قَبْلَهُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ، قُلْتُ فَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مِنْ مَلِكٍ قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ مُلْكَ أَبِيهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَقَدْ أَعْرِفُ أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَذَرَ الْكَذِبَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكْذِبَ عَلَى اللَّهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَشْرَافُ النَّاسِ اتَّبَعُوهُ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنَّ ضُعَفَاءَهُمُ اتَّبَعُوهُ، وَهُمْ أَتْبَاعُ الرُّسُلِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَيَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنَّهُمْ يَزِيدُونَ، وَكَذَلِكَ أَمْرُ الإِيمَانِ حَتَّى يَتِمَّ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ أَيَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ سَخْطَةً لِدِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ حِينَ تُخَالِطُ بَشَاشَتُهُ الْقُلُوبَ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَغْدِرُ فَذَكَرْتَ أَنْ لاَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ لاَ تَغْدِرُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ بِمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ، فَذَكَرْتَ أَنَّهُ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَنْ تَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ، وَلاَ تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَيَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْ عِبَادَةِ الأَوْثَانِ، وَيَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالصِّدْقِ وَالْعَفَافِ‏.‏ فَإِنْ كَانَ مَا تَقُولُ حَقًّا فَسَيَمْلِكُ مَوْضِعَ قَدَمَىَّ هَاتَيْنِ، وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ خَارِجٌ، لَمْ أَكُنْ أَظُنُّ أَنَّهُ مِنْكُمْ، فَلَوْ أَنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنِّي أَخْلُصُ إِلَيْهِ لَتَجَشَّمْتُ لِقَاءَهُ، وَلَوْ كُنْتُ عِنْدَهُ لَغَسَلْتُ عَنْ قَدَمِهِ‏.‏ ثُمَّ دَعَا بِكِتَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الَّذِي بَعَثَ بِهِ دِحْيَةُ إِلَى عَظِيمِ بُصْرَى، فَدَفَعَهُ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ فَقَرَأَهُ فَإِذَا فِيهِ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ‏.‏ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ‏.‏ سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ، أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ، يُؤْتِكَ اللَّهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْنِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ فَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ إِثْمَ الأَرِيسِيِّينَ وَ‏{‏يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَنْ لاَ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ وَلاَ نُشْرِكَ بِهِ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُنَا بَعْضًا أَرْبَابًا مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَقُولُوا اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ‏}‏ قَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ فَلَمَّا قَالَ مَا قَالَ، وَفَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَةِ الْكِتَابِ كَثُرَ عِنْدَهُ الصَّخَبُ، وَارْتَفَعَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ وَأُخْرِجْنَا، فَقُلْتُ لأَصْحَابِي حِينَ أُخْرِجْنَا لَقَدْ أَمِرَ أَمْرُ ابْنِ أَبِي كَبْشَةَ، إِنَّهُ يَخَافُهُ مَلِكُ بَنِي الأَصْفَرِ‏.‏ فَمَا زِلْتُ مُوقِنًا أَنَّهُ سَيَظْهَرُ حَتَّى أَدْخَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ الإِسْلاَمَ‏.‏

وَكَانَ ابْنُ النَّاظُورِ صَاحِبُ إِيلِيَاءَ وَهِرَقْلَ سُقُفًّا عَلَى نَصَارَى الشَّأْمِ، يُحَدِّثُ أَنَّ هِرَقْلَ حِينَ قَدِمَ إِيلِيَاءَ أَصْبَحَ يَوْمًا خَبِيثَ النَّفْسِ، فَقَالَ بَعْضُ بَطَارِقَتِهِ قَدِ اسْتَنْكَرْنَا هَيْئَتَكَ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ النَّاظُورِ وَكَانَ هِرَقْلُ حَزَّاءً يَنْظُرُ فِي النُّجُومِ، فَقَالَ لَهُمْ حِينَ سَأَلُوهُ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ اللَّيْلَةَ حِينَ نَظَرْتُ فِي النُّجُومِ مَلِكَ الْخِتَانِ قَدْ ظَهَرَ، فَمَنْ يَخْتَتِنُ مِنْ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ قَالُوا لَيْسَ يَخْتَتِنُ إِلاَّ الْيَهُودُ فَلاَ يُهِمَّنَّكَ شَأْنُهُمْ وَاكْتُبْ إِلَى مَدَايِنِ مُلْكِكَ، فَيَقْتُلُوا مَنْ فِيهِمْ مِنَ الْيَهُودِ‏.‏ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ أُتِيَ هِرَقْلُ بِرَجُلٍ أَرْسَلَ بِهِ مَلِكُ غَسَّانَ، يُخْبِرُ عَنْ خَبَرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمَّا اسْتَخْبَرَهُ هِرَقْلُ قَالَ اذْهَبُوا فَانْظُرُوا أَمُخْتَتِنٌ هُوَ أَمْ لاَ‏.‏ فَنَظَرُوا إِلَيْهِ، فَحَدَّثُوهُ أَنَّهُ مُخْتَتِنٌ، وَسَأَلَهُ عَنِ الْعَرَبِ فَقَالَ هُمْ يَخْتَتِنُونَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ هِرَقْلُ هَذَا مَلِكُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ قَدْ ظَهَرَ‏.‏ ثُمَّ كَتَبَ هِرَقْلُ إِلَى صَاحِبٍ لَهُ بِرُومِيَةَ، وَكَانَ نَظِيرَهُ فِي الْعِلْمِ، وَسَارَ هِرَقْلُ إِلَى حِمْصَ، فَلَمْ يَرِمْ حِمْصَ حَتَّى أَتَاهُ كِتَابٌ مِنْ صَاحِبِهِ يُوَافِقُ رَأْىَ هِرَقْلَ عَلَى خُرُوجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ، فَأَذِنَ هِرَقْلُ لِعُظَمَاءِ الرُّومِ فِي دَسْكَرَةٍ لَهُ بِحِمْصَ ثُمَّ أَمَرَ بِأَبْوَابِهَا فَغُلِّقَتْ، ثُمَّ اطَّلَعَ فَقَالَ يَا مَعْشَرَ الرُّومِ، هَلْ لَكُمْ فِي الْفَلاَحِ وَالرُّشْدِ وَأَنْ يَثْبُتَ مُلْكُكُمْ فَتُبَايِعُوا هَذَا النَّبِيَّ، فَحَاصُوا حَيْصَةَ حُمُرِ الْوَحْشِ إِلَى الأَبْوَابِ، فَوَجَدُوهَا قَدْ غُلِّقَتْ، فَلَمَّا رَأَى هِرَقْلُ نَفْرَتَهُمْ، وَأَيِسَ مِنَ الإِيمَانِ قَالَ رُدُّوهُمْ عَلَىَّ‏.‏ وَقَالَ إِنِّي قُلْتُ مَقَالَتِي آنِفًا أَخْتَبِرُ بِهَا شِدَّتَكُمْ عَلَى دِينِكُمْ، فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ‏.‏ فَسَجَدُوا لَهُ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ، فَكَانَ ذَلِكَ آخِرَ شَأْنِ هِرَقْلَ‏.‏ رَوَاهُ صَالِحُ بْنُ كَيْسَانَ وَيُونُسُ وَمَعْمَرٌ عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ‏.‏ 

Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas: Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah's Apostle ﷺ had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius's question said to them, 'Who among you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?' Abu Sufyan replied, 'I am the nearest relative to him (in the group).

Heraclius said, 'Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him.'  Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (the Prophet ﷺ) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me.' Abu Sufyan added, 'By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet ﷺ. The first question he asked me about him was:

'What is his family status among you?'

I replied, 'He belongs to a good (noble) family among us.'

Heraclius further asked, 'Has anybody among you ever claimed the same (to be a Prophet) before him?'

I replied, 'No.'

He said, 'Was anybody among his ancestors a king?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius asked, 'Do the nobles or the poor follow him?'

I replied, 'It is the poor who follow him.'

He said, 'Are his followers increasing decreasing?'

I replied, 'They are increasing.'

He then asked, 'Does anybody among those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?'

I replied, 'No.'

Heraclius said, 'Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim ( ofProphet-hood)?'

I replied, 'No. '

Heraclius said, 'Does he break his promises?'

I replied, 'No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.' I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked, 'Have you ever had a war with him?'

I replied, 'Yes.'

Then he said, 'What was the outcome of the battles?'

I replied, 'Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.'

Heraclius said, 'What does he order you to do?'

I said, 'He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our Kith and kin.'

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following, I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact all the Apostles come from noble families among their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else among you claimed such a thing, your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man's statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom.

I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah.  I, then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And in fact all the Apostle have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and in fact this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and in fact this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative and likewise the Apostles never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship any thing along with Him and forbade you to worship idols and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.' Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah's Apostle ﷺ which was delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows:

"In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle,  to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him, who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam you will be committing a sin by misguiding your Arisiyin (peasants). (And I recite to you Allah's Statement:)

'O people of the scripture! Come to a word common to you and us that we worship none but Allah and that we associate nothing in worship with Him, and that none of us shall take others as Lords beside Allah. Then, if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are Muslims (those who have surrendered to Allah).' (Aal-e-Imran - 64).

Abu Sufyan then added, "When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great commotion in the Royal Court. So we were removed from the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha) (Prophet  Muhammad ) has become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) is afraid of him. Then I became sure that he (the Prophet ) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam. 

The sub narrator adds, "Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya' (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrates that once while Heraclius was visiting ilya' (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood? Heraclius was a fore-teller and an astrologer. He replied, 'At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?' The people replied, 'Except the Jews nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews).

'Just Issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.'

While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah's Apostle ﷺ to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied, 'Arabs also practice circumcision.'

(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the 'Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs. (a town in Syria and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said, 'O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet. ( embrace Islam).'

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.

(When they returned) he said, 'What already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.' The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius's story (about his faith).

 

 

 

RELATED READING

 

(i) Sahih Bukhari Volume 1.1

(ii) Sahih Bukhari Volume 1.2

(iii) Sahih Bukhari Volume 1.3

(iv) Sahih Bukhari Volume 1.4