The Early Life of Imam Bukhari (RA)
Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ismail ibn Ibrahim ibn Mughira was born in the famous city of Bukhara on the 13th of Shawwal 194 AH 20th July 810 CE, following the Friday prayer. He passed away on the night of Id ul-Fitr, in a village called Khartank, near the city of Samarqand (present-day Uzbekistan), and was buried the following day, after Dhuhr prayer.[An-Nawawi,Tahdhib al-Asma wa’l -Lughat,Vol. 1 ,p.86;Ibn al-Athir,Al-Kamil fit-Tarikh, Vol 6 p.228]
Imam Bukhari [RA]’s academic and spiritual development began as the result of a miraculous event. During his infancy, he lost his eyesight. His mother who was a great saint of her time prayed intensely that Almighty Allah restore her son’s eyesight. One night, she saw Prophet Ibrahim(AS) in a dream who brought her glad tidings of restoration of her son’s eyesight. When she awoke in the morning, she saw that the Imam’s eyesight had indeed been restored. [Ad-Dhahabi Siyar A’lam an-Nubala,Vol 12, Page 393]
An important note here (in the light of this event) is that there are many people who claim to know Imam Bukhari, yet they mock dreams, rejecting their reality and meaningfulness. They do not believe that blessings can be attained through dreams.
Imam Bukhari [RA] completed his collection at the Blessed grave of Prophetﷺ
The compilation of Sahih Al-Bukhari was completed in 16 years. Imam Al-Bukhari selected Ahadith for his masterpiece, Al-Jami Sahih from, a total collection of 6,00,000 ahadith. [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani,Muqadama Fath ul-Bari ,p. 489]
He began compiling his masterpiece in Makka, at the House of Allah and finalized the chapters and general structure of his work at the Mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in the holy city of Madina. It is interesting to see his spiritual insight attached to his choice of where to begin and finalize his most important work. It also signifies his belief in spiritual blessings. He was undoubtedly a saint, spiritually connected to Allah and His Messenger(peace be upon him). An important point here is that Imam Bukhari never stated,” I completed the compilation of My Sahih in the mosque of the Prophet(peace be upon him) .”
In fact, a multitude of his students and other authoritative scholars inform us that, “Imam Al-Bukhari finalized the chapters of his compendium between the grave of the Prophetﷺ and his pulpit.” [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani ,Muqaddama Fath al-Bari,p.13]
The question is, did Imam al-Bukhari believe in the visitation of the Prophet’s grave or not? If not, then why would he choose to sit at his blessed grave and finalize his compilation? It is evident that he believed that he would receive blessings from Holy Prophet(peace be upon him).In fact, according to an authentic tradition, every morning and evening the grave of the Prophet(peace be upon him) is visited by 70,000 angels. [Ad-Darimi in as-Sunan, Vol 1 p.57 #94; al-Bayhaqi Shub al-Iman Vol 3, p.492, #4170] and so Imam al-Bukhari finalized his work in the company of angels, benefitting both from the light of Chosen one-al Mustafaﷺ – and the angels.
Blessings from Blessed Hairs of Beloved Prophet ﷺ
Imam Bukhari(RA) always kept the blessed hair of Prophet ﷺ with him, as a source of blessings(al-baraka). [Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani,Muqadama Fath al-Bari,p.481]
Sadly those who claim to be the followers of the Imam are totally ignorant of this reality. Imam Bukhari(RA) was not merely a scholar of the outward: he was a saintly man, who believed in spirituality and seeking blessings from the blessed hair of the Prophetﷺ.