Can a Muslim read Saheeh Al Bukhari?

Many of the callers toward the deviant sects forbid the common folk from reading Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim claiming that the average Muslim is unable to understand the Sunnah. And rather than reading these books that are the most authentic after the Qur’an they direct their followers to read the likes of Fada’il Al ‘Amal and Dala’il Al Khairaat which are books that contain fabricated Ahadeeth and stories. And Allah’s help is sought.

This is what the Noble Shaikh, Shaikh Rabee’ has said about this:

سئل الشيخ العلامة ربيع بن هادي المدخلي حفظه الله هذا السؤال و اتي كما يلي


Shaikh Al ‘Allamah Rabee’ Ibn Hadi Al Madkhali (may Allah preserve him) was asked this question and it came like this.

سؤال :نجد هنا بعض المنتمين للعلم ينكر النظر في كتاب صحيح البخاري إلاّ للعلماء المتمكنين لأسباب يذكرها منها معرفة الناسخ و المنسوخ فهل لهذا القول نصيب من الصحة و ما الذي توجهون به ؟


Question: There are some who ascribe themselves to knowledge and prevent others from looking into Saheeh Al Bukhari with the  exception of scholars who are firm in knowledge for reasons that they have mentioned.  From them is knowing the abrogated Hadeeth and that which abrogates them. Hence, does this statement have any truth in it? And what is your advice on this matter?


الجواب : والله على سَنَن هذا الاعتراض على قراءة البخاري: الاعتراض على القرآن لأنّ هذا – بارك الله فيك – أكثر الناس حتى من طلاب العلم لا يعرفون الناسخ والمنسوخ من القرآن , فإذا كان عدم معرفة الناسخ والمنسوخ في الحديث تمنع من قراءة كتب السنة وعلى رأسها البخاري فكذلك أيضا هذه العلة تمنع من قراءة القرآن , هذا كلام فارغ .


The Answer: By Allah if one turns others away from reading Bukhari: from this it can be said that one has to turn away from reading the Qur’an because- May Allah bless all of you- the majority including the students of knowledge do not know the abrogated verses within the Qur’an (Naasikh) and that which abrogates them (Mansuukh). Therefore, if a lack of knowledge in knowing the Naasikh and Mansuukh in Hadeeth prevents one from reading the books of the Sunnah, the most authentic of them being Bukhari then, for this reason, one can be prevented from reading the Qur’an. This is empty speech…


يقرأ في البخاري والأصل في الأحاديث أنّها محكمة – و لله الحمد – فكلّ حديث ينسب إلى الرسول صلّى الله عليه وسلَّم وصلك إذا عندك عالم اسأله عنه , ما عندك ,الأصل في الحديث العام العموم ,والحديث المطلق الأصل فيه الإطلاق ,والحديث الذي تخاف أن يكون منسوخا الأصل فيه الإحكام حتى يتبين الناسخ ويتبين المقيد ويتبين المخصص ,
لا يكلف الله نفسا إلاّ وسعها .


Hence, one reads in Bukhari. And the basis of Ahadeeth is that they are clear (Muhkamah)- and Allah deserves all praise- . Therefore, every Hadeeth that is ascribed to the Messenger (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam) that has come to you, if one has a scholar he asks him about it, you are unaware that: the basis of the general Hadeeth is that it remains general, and that the unrestricted Hadeeth remains unrestricted, and the Hadeeth that you may fear that is abrogated the basis is that it isn’t Mansuukh unless one finds another that is Naasikh, makes it unrestricted or specific. And Allah doesn’t give anyone more than he can bear. 


وقد كان الصحابة يَصِل بعضهم الحديث فيقضي فيعمل به بمقتضى إطلاقه أو عمومه أو يعني الأصل أنّه غير منسوخ ,وقد يعمل به والواقع أنه منسوخ و هو لم يعرفه ويكون غيره عرف النسخ و لا يكلف الله نفسا إلاّ وسعها .


And Hadeeth arrived to some of the companions and was implemented because of its unrestricted nature, generality or that the basis is that (Hadeeth) are unabrogated. However, in reality it may be abrogated and one is unaware of this and others may be aware of which has made it abrogated and Allah doesn’t gave anyone what he cannot bear.

على كلّ حال طالب العلم عليه أن يتحرك و إذا لم يمكنه أن يعرف الناسخ و المنسوخ فلا يكلف الله نفسا إلاّ وسعها , إذا اجتهد وعمل بالمنسوخ و هو لا يعلم وهذا حسب اجتهاده فلا يكلف الله نفسا إلاّ وسعها , سأل العلماء ما وجد إجابة بحث في الكتب ما وجد إجابة فالأصل فيها الإحكام .


In any case, the student of knowledge has to act and if it is not possible for him to know the Naasikh and the Mansuukh then Allah doesn’t give anyone that which he has the inability to bear. Therefore, if he makes effort and acts upon the Mansuukh and has no prior knowledge about this then no one is given a burden that he cannot bear. He asks the scholars  and he has neither found anything in any of their books nor an answer from them .  (On that note) the Basis is that they (the Hadeeth) are clear.


على كل حال هذا من التنفير عن السنة , هذا الكلام من التنفير عن سنّة الرسول صلّى الله عليه وسلَّم بأسلوب مؤدب , فنحن نطلب من شبابنا أن يقرؤوا البخاري و إذا استطاعوا أن يحفظوه بأسانيده فجزاهم الله خيرا ,وأن يقرؤوا صحيح مسلم وأبا داود والنسائي
وابن ماجة وإن استطاعوا حفظ هذه الكتب فإنّ هذه ثروة عظيمة للإسلام والمسلمين


In any case, this statement is one which directs others away from the Sunnah, this speech is that which steers others away from the Sunnah of the Messenger (Salallahu alaihi wa sallam) in an eloquent fashion. We therefore ask our youths to read in Saheeh Al Bukhari and if they are able to memorize it with its chains of narration then may Allah reward them. And to read Saheeh Muslim, and Abu Dawuud, And Nasa’ee and Ibn Majah and if they have the ability to memorize these books then this would be of great service to Islam and the Muslims.

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