Imam Bukhari Al Shafi’i
Writer: Maulana Noor Muhammad Tawakkali (Allah’s mercy be upon him).
Translator: Mumtaz Hussain Akhtar ul Qaadiri.
This humble self Tawakkali tells to the readers that in this treacherous era, sects are in abundance and every sect claims the same i.e. “we are with the truth, rest all are depraved”. Therefore if it is questioned that which one of them is Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah? Then the answer would be that the Muqallidin (conformists, followers) of the Four Imams. The Ghair-Muqallidin (Non-conformists, who do not follow Islamic school of jurisprudence) get very perplexed because they consider Taqleed (the conformation) of the great Jurists (Imam Abu Hanifah, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal, may Allah be pleased with all of them. Ameen) using very bad words especially Taqleed (conformation) of Sayyeduna Imam Abu Hanifah Nu’maan bin Thabit (May Allah be please with him) and keep on abusing the great Imam. These people are very dim because this way they keep transferring their good deeds to Imam Sahib’s Register of Deeds, There are other noble personalities also, whose good deeds are increasing in their Register of Deeds after their deaths. Hence the deeds in the Register of Deeds of the Four Mujtahidin (the Four Jurists) are still continued by Rawafid and Khawarji (Shia Heretics and Wahabis the Expelled Ones) and Register of Deeds of Sufi Saints like Huzoor Ghaus-e-Paak Sayyeduna Shaykh Abdul Qadir , Sheikh Akbar and Mansoor Hallaaj etc. are continued too. Wish the Ghair-Muqallidin think over it. If it is only to become a person who memorizes Ahadith by heart then why did the Compilers of Sihaah-e-Sitta (the six most authentic books of the Ahadith) followed the school of Islamic Jurisprudence? When Ghair-Muqallidin get unable to make a reasonable answer, in confusion they sometimes say wrong things about noble personalities of the religion and sometimes say that these Compilers, especially with reference to Imam Bukhari, was not Shafi’i but was Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist) .This is why particularly the discussion about Imam Bukhari being a shafi’i is written in these pages.
Some time ago some Ahnaaf scholar wrote contents about Imam Bukhari and his “Sahih” in the newspaper “Ahl-e-Fiqah” Amritsar, Later it was compiled in a book labeled as “Al-Jarah ‘Alal Bukhari”. In an answer to this, Molvi Haji Muhammad Abul Qasim Banarsi published “Hal-e-Mushkilat-e-Bukhari”. Thus it is appropriately understood that I’ll quote whatever is said by Molvi Dr. Sayed Umar Kareem Azeemabadi about this discussion in the first converse and from Banarsi in consequent converse and answer to them adorns as “I say”.
In this era, the followers of Imam Bukhari “ONLY” have, on one hand, tried to raise the status of his book over the Quran and have also made Imam Bukhari, Mujtahid e Mutlaq (full Jurist) but he was actually true Muqallid (conformist, follower) of Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence. And this can be proved by two ways. One, to prove it by saying of an authoritative person, and second is to show the fact that he did not have enough knowledge and skills to make an Independent Ijtihad, and so in this case he had no option other than to follow a school of Islamic Jurisprudence.
Allama Qastalaani (851-923H/ 1448-1517 CE) writes in Sharah Bukhari, volume 1, page 32, (Egypt Edition); it says:
“Taaj-ud-Din Subki (727-771 AH/1327-1370 CE) said that Abu ‘Aasim categorized Bukhari amongst Shafi’is.”
Thus the above saying clearly proves that Imam Bukhari belonged to Shafi’i Doctrine, and since these three (Imam Qastalaani, Taaj-ud-Din Subki, Abu ‘Aasim) are amongst gracious Muhaddithin (Interpreters of the Ahadith) and scholars of the religion, that is why their sayings cannot be seen with a cursory glance and these sayings are more likely to be acceptable in this age because it is observed that these three above mentioned individuals belonged to Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence as well.
(Al-Jarah Alal Bukhari, volume 1, page 4)
Abu ‘Aasim is rare in this narration and your figuring out concerning to doctrine of the three persons (Qastalaani, Taaj-ud-Din Subki, Abu ‘Aasim) is wrong. Because Qastalaani and Subki are only Narrators and the detail is self-evident because narration of the detail does not necessitate that it is correct near the narrators too. Now about Abu ‘Aasim, his saying is same as about Imam Ahmad Bin Hambal. The writer of ‘Tabqaat ash-Shafi’iya’ counted Imam Ahmed bin Hambal amongst Shafi’i while the fact is that Imam Ahmed is himself Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist). This would mean that Hambali and Shafi’i schools are both one and the same, which is completely incorrect! As a result, Imam Ahmad cannot be a Shafi’i; Imam Bukhari too can’t be either. Abu ‘Aasim said this only for peace in propositions otherwise Imam Bukhari was Mujtahid e Mustaqil as Allama Ismail Ujlooni Shami Hanafi writes in “Al-Fawaaid ad-Daraari”:
“Imam Bukhari was a Mutahid e Mutlaq (full Mujtahid) and Sakhawi adopted it and said that Imam Bukhari was Mujtahid e Mutlaq and Ibn Taymiyya also confirmed it that Imam Bukhari was Imam of Jurisprudence and was among the people who were at the status Ijtihaad (independent opinion).”
So, when Imam Bukhari is proved to be a Mujtahid e Mutlaq (full Mujtahid) then it is self-evident that Mujtahid is not Muqallid (follower). Therefore, Imam Bukhari could never be a Muqallid of Imam Shafi’i about which I made a detailed description in my pamphlets “Ar-Reeh al-Qaiyum” page 3-4, “Al-‘Arjoon al-Qadeem” page 12-14. Hence the two ways you used to prove that Imam Bukhari as a Muqallid (i.e. to take rulings from an authoritative personality) could not be established. Hence it is clarified that he was a Mujtahid e Mutlaq.
(Hal-e-Mushkilat-e-Bukhari, part first, page 28-29)
Qazi Abul ‘Aasim al-‘Abaadi was born on 357 Hijri and died on 458 Hijri. Shaykhl ul Islam Taaj-ud-Din Subki writes about him:
“Abu ‘Aasim was a glorious Imam, learnt the doctrine by heart, was a sea that was flowing with great knowledge.”
Imam Bukhari (Allah’s mercy be upon him) died on 256 Hijri. Now examine that the elder who was born about 100 years after Imam Bukhari and was Shafi’i himself and he learnt Shafi’i school of thought by heart and wrote in his book ‘Tabqaat’ about the same matter that which of the Fuqaha (scholars) and Muhadditheen (Interpreters of Ahadith) belonged to Shafi’iyah school of thought; counted Imam Bukhari in the category of Shafi’iyah. And then afterwards supporting this elder very strongly, Banarsi is labeling, in 14th century without any certification, this saying of this noble to be rare and wrongly thinking them to be narrators only. Strange! Very Strange! Imam Subki writes about Imam Bukhari:
“ Abu ‘Aasim al-‘Ibaadi said about Abu Abdullah (Imam Bukhari) in his book Tabqaat-ush-Shafi’iyah that Imam Bukhari got educated from al- Za’faraani and Abu Thaur and al-Karabeesi, (I say) that Imam Bukhari learned jurisprudence from Imam Humaydi and all of them are amongst the disciples of Imam Shafi’i.”
Imagine how Imam Subki is favouring Imam Abu ‘Aasim here as if saying that Imam Bukhari, in reality, belonged to Shafi’i category as he learned jurisprudence from Imam Humaydi (died on month of Shawwal, 219 Hijri); and Imam Za’faraani and Imam Abu Thaur and Imam Karabeesi and Imam Humaydi all belonged to Shafi’i school of thought and were disciples of Imam Shafi’i. At another place Imam Subki writes about the teachers of Imam Bukhari:
“Imam Bukhari learned Ahadith (the traditions) and learned Fiqah (jurisprudence) from Imam Humaydi in the holy city of Makkah.”
And while writing about Imam Humaydi it says:
“Imam Humaydi narrated Ahadith (the traditions) from Imam Shafi’i and also learnt jurisprudence from him”.
Accordingly, it is clear that Imam Bukhari is disciple of Imam Humaydi with reference to Shafi’i school of thought. Imam Taaj-ud-Din as-Subki Shafi’i (died on 771 Hijri) supported Imam ‘Aasim appropriately and Allama Qastalaani Shafi’i (died on 923 Hijri) quoted Imam Subki’s saying which concludes to become an absolute support. Other than Shafi’iyah, great Hanafiyah Kasrullah Sawadhum also considers that Imam Bukhari belonged to the Doctrine of Shafi’i. Similarly, Allama Azneeqi Hanafi, who was in 8th century Hijri, counted Imam Bukhari in the category of Shafi’i in his book “Madeenat-ul-Uloom” and Nawab Siddeeq Hasan Khan Bhopali (Ghair-Muqallid) quoted the diction of Madeenat-ul-Uloom and wrote:
“We should talk about scholars of Shafi’iyah, after scholars of Hanafiyah, so that our books become perfect and collective of both nobilities. And scholars of Shafi’iyah are of two kinds, one are those who got opportunity to be close with Imam Shafi’i and second are those scholars who came after them, the first sort belonged to Imam Khalid Al-Khilaal Abu Ja’far Al-Baghdadi….. And from the second sort Muhammad bin Idrees Abu Haatim Raazi and Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari and Muhammad bin Ali Hakeemul Tirmidhi”
The saying of Banarsi that Imam Subki categorized Imam Ahmad bin Hambal amongst Shafi’i in “Tabqaat” is incorrect. Perhaps Banarsi didn’t even see “Tabqaat”, otherwise he would have not written so! Tajuddin Subki classified Imam Ahmad bin Hambal into “first group” and his wordings are:
“First group” belong to those people who sat in the assembly of Imam Shafi’i together.”
Since Imam Ahmad bin Hambal was student of Imam Shafi’i, so he was assumed amongst “first group” but at the same time clarified that he was Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist) and possessor of doctrine. Hence the wordings of Imam Taaj Subki are these:
Imam Tajuddin Subki classified Imam Bukhari into “second group” about which he says this:
“The category of “second group” belonged to those who died after 200 Hijri and who could not get the opportunity to be with Imam Shafi’i and those who followed only method of Imam Shafi’i and sufficed to only those who saw Imam Shafi’i at hand and applied approach of Imam Shafi’i, whose moon (of knowledge) appeared in between the darkness of doubts.”
Thus, Imam Bukhari being from Shafi’i school of Jurisprudence is now proved.
Banarsi quoted Allama Ismail Ujlooni’s saying to prove Imam Bukhari as an Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist) but this does not fulfil the objection of Banarsi because there are two types of Mujtahid e Mutlaq (full Jurist). First is “Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent)” and second is “Mujtahid e Muntasib (Attributed)” about which Shah Wali Ullah (Allah’s mercy be upon him) says:
“And it should be acknowledged that Mujtahid e Mutlaq is one who comprehends the five acquaintances….. Then this should be known that it is Mujtahid e Mustaqil and sometimes Mujtahid who is related with Mujtahid e Mutalq (attributed). And Mujtahid e Mustaqil is different from the other jurists in the following three matters as these were found in Imam Shafi’i:
1: Those rules and regulations through which deduction of jurisprudence is done should be acquired.
2: Second quality about Mujtahid e Mustaqil is that, he compiles the traditions and narrations, and conveys their commands, and knows the source of jurisprudence in it, and identifies the difference in it, and prefers certain over certain others, and appoints some of the suppositions (to his doctrine), and about two third of this thing is found in the knowledge of Imam Shafi’i as far as our knowledge is concerned. And Allah knows best.
3: Third quality in Mujtahid e Mustaqil is that, those issues which are not answered already, meaning those which are witness to be satisfactory in the three ages, but creates further division of those issues and answers them.
He should be having good command over these three points and he should be superior and takes lead in the ground of competition in between those who are equal to him and be the greatest individual in this field. After these three points, fourth one follows which is, his acceptance should be revealed from the heaven, so that Mufassireen (the writers of Quranic exegesis) and Muhaddithin (interpreters of the traditions) and Jurist and faction of memorizers of the books of jurisprudence all bend down to his knowledge. And, his acceptability and the attention of scholars (towards him) spreads to the whole realm of the era to this extend that it penetrates into the depth of hearts. And Mujtahid e Muntasib is a person who is follower of Mujtahud e Mustaqil such that he admits the first point (mentioned above) and selects to adopt the way of his own in the second point. And Mujtahid e Mazhab (Jurist of doctrine) is one who admits first and second points but to the third point makes his own approach in resolving the issues.
(See also ‘Aqd al-Jaiyad with urdu translation, page 10)
Now it is to see that Allama ‘Ujlooni wrote about Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid, but which type (of Mujtahud) did he mean? I say this very strongly that Allama ‘Ujlooni or anyone else did not mean to write Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist).
Ibn Ziaad Shafi’i Yemeni contradicted with the statement of Allama Suyuti (died on 911 Hijri) and writes his verdict like this:
“The inscription of Suyuti is that Ibn Jareer Tabari should not be counted as Shafi’i, which is not admitted because Rafi’ said in the commentary of beginning of book of Zakah that saying of Ibn Jareer alone could not be counted as doctrine even if he is not categorized amongst the companions of Imam Shafi’i. And Nawawi said in “Tahzeeb” that Abu ‘Aasim ‘Abaadi categorized Ibn Jareer amongst the Shafi’i Jurists and said that this person is amongst our kindred scholars. He learnt Shafi’i school of thought from Rabi’ Maraawi and Hasan Za’faraani. End of saying of Nawawi.”
And meaning of being related with Shafi’i is that (he) followed the way of Imam Shafi’i in the search of Ijtihaad and evidences and about preferring certain over certain others, and his Ijtihaad is agreeable to the Ijtihaad of Imam and if he went against on some issues then didn’t care for the disagreement and didn’t went against Imam’s method beside some matters and (this thing is not against in) remaining present in Shafi’i school of thought. And Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari was also of the same sort because he is counted in the category of Shafi’iyah and those, who counted him in the group of Shafi’iyah, amongst them is Sheikh Taaj-ud-Din Subki because he said that Bukhari learnt jurisprudence from Humaydi and Humaydi learnt jurisprudence from Imam Shafi’i. And to include Imam Bukhari into Shafi’i, our teacher Allama took this declaration that Taaj-ud-Din Subki mentioned in “Tabqaat-us-Shafi’iyah” and Nawawi’s saying, which we quoted, is witness of this matter.
(Insaaf, with urdu translation, page 66-67)
Summary of the speech is that if we agree to take Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid who is attributed to Imam Shafi’i, he still cannot be excluded from the Shafi’i school. But for Imam Bukhari in being this kind of jurist is not due to some distinction, because there are many such jurists in Shafi’i school of thought. Accordingly, Shah Wali Ullah Muhaddith Dehlvi (Allah’s mercy be upon him) writes:
Some names are written with reference as the examples:
1. Imam Ibn al-Manzar:
Meaning: “Imam was Jurist”.
2. Imam Ibn Jazeemah:
Meaning: “Abu Bakr al-Salami Naishapoori was Mujtahid”.
3. Imam Ibn Jareer at-Tabari:
Meaning: “Imam Jaleel was Mujtahid”.
4. Abu al-Qasim Ibn Abi Ya’laa ad-Daboosi:
Meaning: “Was a star in doing Ijtihaad.”
5. Abu al-Faatih Taqi-ud-Din bin Qadeed al-‘Aeed:
Meaning: “Sheikh ul Islam, memorizer, ascetic, devotee, abstemious, was Mujtahid”.
6. Imam Ali bin Abdul Kaafi al-Subki:
Meaning: “Educator of the educators was amongst Mujtahidin”.
These all were Mujtahid e Muntasib (attributed, related), and none of them was Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent). Hence Allama Suyuti wrote in “Sharah al-Tambiyah”:
“I do not know any of the companions of Imam Shafi’i who reached the status of Mujtahid e Mustaqil except for Abu Ja’far ibn Jareer who was Shafi’i and became Independent in doctrine later.
But Ibn Ziaad proved it that Ibn Jareer was too not Mujtahid e Mustaqi, as mentioned earlier.
It is understood from the above explanation that Imam Bukhari was not Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent) but was Mujtahid e Muntasib (related) with in Shafi’i school. And here it is also necessary to clarify this that scholars are not agreed about him being Mujtahid e Muntasib (attributed to) Shafi’i Doctrine. Shaykh ul Islam Taaj-ud-Din Subki explained in his “Tabqaat” that so and so elder was Mujtahid Mutlaq (Permanent) as it is comprehensible in the examples, but he didn’t write Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid, his wordings about Imam Bukhari are:
“He is guide of Muslims, leader of Muhaddithin (interpreters of Ahadith), prelate of faithfuls, reliable source of traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), memorizer of the dispositions of the religion, Abu Abdullah Ja’afi the aristocrat of Ja’af dynasty, meaning Imam Bukhari is compiler of authentic (traditions).”
This tells that Imam Bukhari’s popularity is in art of the traditions only. Imam Yaaqut Hamoodi (died on 626 Hijri) writes about the charisma of Bukharaa:
“There are many people related to Bukhaara who are leaders of Muslims in different aspects. Amongst them is leader of people of the traditions, Imam Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail.”
We can’t quote further more references here, but, amongst them, the words of Imam Taaj-ud-Din Subki bears great reputation. He is Shafi’i, his father was Mujtahid he himself was Mujtahid and therefore Allama Jalaal-ud-Din Suyuti writes about his personality:
“Chief Justice Sheikh ul Islam Taaj-ud-Din Subki once wrote a letter to the ruler of Syria in which he wrote “I am Mujtahid e Mutlaq (Full Mujtahid) of today’s world, none can deny this” and his saying about himself is accepted.”
When such person about whom Jalaal-ud-Din Suyuti and even the world acknowledged as Mujtahid e Mutlaq and got the upper hand in a work of art amongst scholars of Shafi’iyah, didn’t write Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid e Mutlaq; though clarified some Shafi’i scholars, who were capable for such status, to be Mujtahidin. For this reason this Shaykh’s saying is superior and carries no qualms in its authenticity. And this Shaykh is not the only individual in this motto, but abundance of rest of the scholars confirmed it to be truth.
Over here this point is also worthy of consideration that Imam Tirmidhi, who is student of Imam Bukhari, in his (book) Jami’ where he identified doctrine of different authorities, nowhere mentioned Imam Bukhari; but, however, mentioned him everywhere in relation with Ahadith. Thus, it is now proved that Imam Bukhari being Mujtahid is a weak and ineffective statement. Hence, there is no doubt about Imam Bukhari being a follower of Imam Shafi’i and follower of Shafi’i school of thought.
Imam Bukhari not being a Shafi’i
The third allegation on Imam (Bukhari), about being follower of Shafi’i school, is as silly as calling night to a bright day which is the job of a crook-minded one. This is because when it is confirmed about Imam being Mujtahid and also from the statements of Hanafiyah, then how could he be a Muqallid (follower, conformist)? Mujtahid cannot become a Muqallid (follower); Ijtihaad and Taqleed (conformation) both are opposite to each other. And it can be understood easily that how can such a capable person be a follower of a person (Imam Shafi’i) who is beneath him….. Yes, if some student of Ibn Hanbaqah says “The door of Ijtihaad is closed after (the Four) Imams; that’s why Imam Bukhari cannot be Mujtahid e Mustaqil, thus can him only be follower.” This is statement like about a man who works in a clinic. That’s because the Verifiers of Hanafiyah themselves didn’t agree on this point. Mulla Abdul ‘Ulaa Bahr-ul-Uloom Hanafi contradicted forcefully in “Fawaatah-ur-Rahmoot Sharah Muslim al-Saboot” and interpreted with Boo-al-Hoosi.
So it is understood that door of Ijtihaad is open and will not close until the Day of Resurrection. Imam Bukhari being Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent) and not Muqallid (follower) is brighter than the sun and clearer that the passed yesterday.
(Hal-e-Mushkilat-e-Bukhari, Part 1, page 8-9)
Some contemporary writers wrote Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid e Muntasib (attributed). But their statement is weak and ineffective and even incorrect, as clarified earlier. Even if we take him as Mujtahid e Muntasib then still he will not be excluded from the group of Shafi’iyah. Labeling Imam Bukhari to be Mujtahid e Mustaqil is Banarsi’s and his assistants’ only invention out of the whole world. This is the outcome of his ignorance. This helpless person got these hearsay words “Mujtahid can’t be Muqallid (follower), rather these are opposite and contradicting to each other. The door of Ijtihaad is closed after the Four Jurist” but he can’t understand this that which kind of Mujtahid cannot be Muqallid? Which type of Ijtihaad is it for which Ijtihaad and Taqleed (conformation) both goes opposite and contradicting to each other? If the door of Ijtihaad is closed after the Four Jurists, then which kind of Ijtihaad is it (which is closed)? For this reason he is saying Imam Bukhari being Mujtahid e Mustaqil is brighter than the sun and writing Imam Shafi’i is lower in status to Imam Bukhari, and having philosophy that there are and will be hundreds and thousands of Mujtahid e Mustaqil after the Four Imams! If this kind of ill-bred person takes the Urdu translators of books “Mishkaat” or “Bukhari” as Mujtahid e Mustaqil then what is the big deal? Anyway, it is not suitable for us to answer this person one after another. We should rather try to make our life pattern as good as similar to the great existence (Sunnah) of our Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Now Maulana Molvi Abdullah Sahib Hanafi Khankahi Bihaari’s statement is written and then, as programmed, its answer and later will be written answer to the answer.
Spectator! In “Shahna-e-Hind” 1st July, an article writer A’zam Gudhi, wrote a statement under the title “Imam Bukhari aur Imam Abu Haneefah ka muqaablah” (meaning, the competition between Imam Bukhari and Imam Abu Hafeenah) in which the worthy article writer did not put on inconsiderable business in falsely making his Imam Bukhari to be the highest heaven according to his knowledge. Contrary to his fictitious late jurist, (he) didn’t leave a little deficiency in disdaining and diminishing Imam of high rank Hazrat Saiyudana Abu Haneefah.
(Al-Jarah Alal Bukhari, part 1, page 87)
Only Imam Bukhari is occurred to be a real Mujtahid throughout the world, who actually deserves it, because his status is higher than the highest of the heaven. Besides him, there are jurists with other names as well, but issue of Imam Bukhari being Mujtahid is so self-evident that it does not require any verification. Proof of the sun is arrival of the sun itself.
(Hal Mushkilat-e-Bukhari, part 2-3, page 34)
Banarsi has written it already that the door of Ijtihaad is open and will not close till the Day of Resurrection, which was meant that there will be continuous appearance of other Mujtahidin similar to the Four Imam. But, over he said that only Imam Bukhari is the real Mujtahid throughout the world, rest all are just nominal Mujtahid; what is the assurance of this statement which is a herd of filth?
The whole Islamic world knows this statement that Imam Bukhari is a follower of Shafi’i school and the real reason for him to be a follower (Muqallid) is that he kept on crying all the age in front of Allah for Ijtihaad and to become an arbitrator of jurisprudence and kept on making noise of distress. But, the fact is same that he remained to be a Muqallid (follower), then how could he be a Mujtahid instead of Muqallid?
(Al-Jarah Alal Bukhari, page 90)
Calling Imam Bukhari a Muqallid (conformist) is same as calling black to white and night to day. It is strange that the person who refutes Imam Shafi’i everywhere in his book, still to be labeled him follower? The fact is that Imam Bukhari was not Muqallid but was Mujtahid himself. I’ve talked about this matter in many pamphlets.
(Hal Mushkilat-e-Bukhari, part 2-3, page 35)
Banarsi writes in another place:
“Most of Imam Bukhari’s judicial issues are associated with Imam Shafi’i but he was not follower of Shafi’i school. Rather, at some places, he clearly contradicted with Imam Shafi’i. The allegation of Taqleed of Shafi’i school on him is incorrect, false and deception, which I’ve analyzed in many of my pamphles”.
(Hal Mushkilat-e-Bukhari, part 2-3, page 123)
It can be found in every two statement of Banarsi that according to him, contradiction of Imam Bukhari with Imam Shafi’i in some matters is proving this fact that Imam Bukhari was Mutahid e Mustaqil (Independent) and not a Muqallid of Shafi’i school. Answer to this is that none, throughout the world, said Imam Bukhari to be Mujtahid e Mustaqil, and he is (indeed) not (a Mujtahid e Mustaqil). But yes, some contemporary writers called him Mujtahid e Muntasib (Jurist attributed to) Imam Shafi which is weak, ineffective and even incorrect. By seeing the Sharah of chapters of Bukhari Sharif, it can be known that Imam Bukhari tried to do Attributed Ijtihaad but that was proved as ungrateful attempt. Even Imam Tirmidhi in his “Jami’”, while writing the doctrine of jurists, did not mention his teacher Imam Bukhari’s name; but talked about him in many places related to Ahadith. If we take Imam Bukhari as Mujtahid e Mutlaq Muntasib attributed to Shafi’i jurisprudence, then still he cannot be excluded from the category of Shafi’i, as explained earlier, and his contradiction with Imam Shafi’i in some matter also cannot exclude him from category of Shafi’iyah. Consequently, Sheikh ul Islam, Taaj-ud-Din Subki writes in the interpretation of Imam ibn al-Manzar:
“Our Spiritual Guide Zahabi said that ibn al-Manzar had excessive cognizance in Hadith and disagreement and he was Mujtahid who didn’t follow conformation of anyone. I say that all the Four Muhammads, meaning Muhammad bin Nasir, Muhammad bin Jareer, Muhammad bin Khuzaimah and Muhammad bin Manzar, belonged to our companions of Shafi’iyah and they reached the status to do full Ijtihaad (Mutlaq). And they being the Mujtahid e Mutlaq did not exclude themselves from those companions of Imam Shafi’i who used to extract issues in Shafi’i laws and used to follow the Doctrine of Shafi’i as though their Ijtihaad became superior to the Ijtihaad of Imam Shafi’i. Moreover, some of our genuine companions of Shafi’iyah, e.g. Abu Ali etc, claimed “our opinion and the opinion of Imam Shafi’i both are same, that’s why we followed Imam Shafi’i and got linked with Imam Shafi’i but we are not Muqallidin (conformists).” Thus, what presumption you have about these four people who, if contradict with opinion of Imam Shafi’i in some matter, but didn’t contradict in greater part of the matters with opnion Imam Shafi’i. Understand this very thoroughly and know this that these four are counted amongst the category of Shafi’iyah, and are those who extract issues in the Shafi’i regulations in most matter, and are followers of Shafi’i Doctrine.”
It is as clear as a bright day in this statement that Imam Bukhari was not even an Attributed Jurist (Mujtahid Mutlaq Muntasib) otherwise Allama Subki would’ve written “all five” instead of “all four”. Secondly, if he was Attributed Jurist (Mujtahid Mutlaq Muntasib) then still he would be counted amongst the follower of Shafi’i school even if he disagreed with Imam Shafi’i in some matters. Therefore, the allegation of Adam-Taqleed (Non-Conformation of Shafi’i) over Imam Bukhari is incorrect, false and deception.
So what if Banarsi has written many pamphlets about this topic. This ignoramus stockless humble self (Tawakkali) has written a few pages by the grace of the Almighty; consider them to be the answer to all of them (the pamphlets). If Banarsi or anyone of the same nature somehow tries to proof Imam Bukhari to be Mujtahid e Mustaqil (Independent Jurist) then he will never be able to do so. Banarsi is palpitating very much for Imam Bukhari only due to his misapprehension. Come! Let’s take you to the trip of “Bustan-e-Muhadditheen” (Persian book written by Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlvi); you will see there as well that how some great Imams adorn the necklace of Taqleed (following a school of fiqh) on their necks.
“There is a difference of opinion of scholars about his doctrine. Some say he was Shafi’i and some say he was Hambali”.
“He was a Shafi’i, his book “Manaasik” is the evidence about him”.
“Abdullah bin Mubarak was leader of faithful people in (matters of) Ahadith. Primarily he adopted the apprenticeship of Imam-e-Azam Abu Haneefah (May Allah be pleased with him) and learnt jurisprudence from him. After the death of Imam-e-Azam (Allah’s mercy be upon him), he learnt jurisprudence further by Imam Malik in Madeenah Munawwarah. His Ijtihaad is the compendium of both jurisprudences. This is the reason Ahnaaf count him in Hanafiyah category and Malikis count him in Malikiyah category.”
“Imam Daarqutni compiler of al-Sunan, his name and family-tree is as follows: Ali, who was son of Umar, who was son of Ahmad, who was son of Mahdi, who was son of Mas’ood, who was son of Deenaar, who was son of Abdullah; his appellation was Abul Hasan and his doctrine was Shafi’i.”
“Imam al-Haramain said about Imam Abu Bakr that there is no (follower of) Imam Shafi’i on earth who is not grateful to Imam Shafi’i except for Imam Abu Bakr Baihaqi, because Imam Shafi’i is grateful to him, who favoured and supported his (Imam Shafi’s) doctrine through writings/compilations.”
“Imam Abu Muhammad Hussain al-Baghwi, Sahib al-Sharah al-Sunnat, he is compiler of all three acquaintances, and reached a higher rank in all of them; was an incomparable Muhaddith and unmatched Mufassir, and was Imam in the Doctrine of Shafi’i school.”
So far it is an enough trip of “Bustaan” of Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz Sahib, allow us to show you his father’s “Insaaf” now:
“The real book of Shafi’i school of thought is Muwatta, even if it is before Imam Shafi’i but Imam Shafi’i laid the foundation of his school of thought by it, and likewise the books of their school of thought are Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn-e-Maajah, Darimi; and then Masnad Shafi’i, Sunan Nisaai, Sunan Daarqutni, Sunan Baihaqi and Baghwi’s Sharah al-Sunnah. Amongst them if Bukhari got related with Imam Shafi’i and favoured him in many matter of jurisprudence, still contradicted with him in many matters, and as a result those matters in which he contradicted are not counted amongst the matters of Doctrine of Imam Shafi’i. And Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi were Mujtahidin and related with Imam Ahmad or Ishaaq, and the same way Ibn Maajah and Darimi are as well. And Allah knows best. And Muslim and Abu Abbaas Asam compiled Masnad Shafi’i and Kitab ul Umm. And those people (meaning Imam Nisaai, Imam Daarqutni, Imam Baihaqi and Imam Baghwi), about which we’d mentioned them after Masnad Shafi’i, those people were followers in the Doctrine of Shafi’i school and are stuck to it.
(Insaaf with Urdu translation Kashaaf, Page 79-80)
(Molwi Muhammad Ahsan Sahib Nanotwi did the translation of the Arabic statement as “those people are separated from Doctrine of Shafi’i who accepted the policy of others except for his policy.” This translation was not correct, that’s why I didn’t establish it. Tawakkali)
Thus according to Shah Abdul Aziz, Imam Muslim, Abu Abbas Asam, Imam Nisaai, Imam Daarqutni, Imam Baihaqi and Imam Baghwi were just followers of Shafi’i school of jurisprudence and didn’t possess the ability to do Ijtihaad. And Imam Bukhari was Shafi’i. Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah and Darimi were all Hambalis and had a status to do Ijtihaad attributed (with their Mujtahid Mustaqil).
Viewers! You got late, also listen to the decision of a Mujtahid e Mutlaq (Attributed):
Imam Bukhari (Tabqaat-ush-Shafi’iyah al-Kubra, part 2, page 1),
Imam Abu Dawood Sulaiman bin Ash’ab Sajistaani (Tabqaat, part 2, page 48),
Hafiz Abu Sa’eed Daarimi (Tabqaat, Part 2, page 53),
Imam Abu Abdur Rahmaan Nisaai (Tabqaat, part 2, page 83),
Imam Daarqutni (Tabqaat, part 2, page 310),
Imam Baihaqi (Tabqaat, part 3, page 3),
Imam Muhi al-Sunnah Baghwi (Tabqaat, part 4, page 214).
They were all followers of Imam Shafi’i who have great stand in the art of Ahadith.
Now finish the speech Tawakkali! It is enough for those who like acceptance of righteousness.