Sahih Bukhari is a collection of alleged sayings and deeds of Muhammad, also known as theSUNNA. The reports of his sayings and deeds are called AHADITH.
Bukhari lived a couple of centuries after Muhammad's death and worked extremely hard to collect his Ahadith. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Quran, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established.
Bukhari's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muhammadan world to be one of the most authentic collections of theSunna of Muhammad.
Bukhari (full name Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ibrahim bin al-Mughira al-Ja'fai) was born in 194 A.H. and died in 256 A.H. His collection of hadith is considered second to none.
He spent sixteen years compiling it, and ended up with 2,602 Ahadith (9,082 with repetition) out of 300,000 that he considered to be authentic. A very depressing figure of TRUTHFULNESS and VERACITY.
His criteria for acceptance into the collection were amongst the most stringent of all the scholars of ahadith. It is important to realize, however, that Bukhari's collection is not complete: there are other scholars who worked as Bukhari did and collected other alleged authentic reports.
Imam Al Bukhari (194 - 265)
By: Sheikh al-Hadith `Allama Ghulam Rasul Sa`idi
Translated by: `Allamah Ishfaq Alam Qadri and M. Iqtidar
Muhammad ibn Azhar Sajistani says: "I used to go to Sulayman ibn Harab accompanied by Imam Bukhari for listening to Ahadith. I used to write the Ahadith, but Imam Bukhari wouldn't. Someone said to me, 'Why doesn't Imam Bukhari note the Ahadith down?' I told him, 'if you missed any Hadith in writing, you could obtain it from the memory of Imam Bukhari."
Imam Bukhari's memory could be understood by knowing that if he glanced through a book, it would be committed to memory instantly. In his early period of acquiring knowledge, he memorized seventy thousand Ahadith and later in his life, this figure reached three hundred thousand. Of these, one hundred thousand were sahih (rigorously authenticated) and two hundred thousand were not sahih (hasan, da`if, etc). Once he went to Balkh and the inhabitants asked him to recite one Hadith from each of his sheikhs. Then he orated from one thousand Sheikhs one thousand Ahadith.
Sulayman ibn Mujahid says about Iman Bukhari: "One day I was present in the company of Muhammad ibn Salam Baykandi. Muhammad ibn Salam said, 'If you had come earlier, I would have shown you the child who has seventy thousand Ahadith in his memory.' Sulayman stood up from his company and started looking for Imam Bukhari. Shortly he found him and asked, 'Are you the one who has committed seventy thousand Ahadith to memory?' Imam Bukhari replied, 'I have learnt more Ahadith than this by heart. I even know the place of birth, death and residence of most of those companions from whom the Ahadith are narrated."
*** In fact, according to all the extant records, Bukhari collected between 300 to 900 thousand Hadiths (depending on the source) of which only about 7-9000 are considered AUTHENTIC.
This is a remarkably LOW figure for VERACITY, REPRESENTING LESS THAN 1% TRUTHFULNESS.
With such an abysmal percentage of authenticity, it remains to the reader to evaluate whether or not MANY of those considered authentic, are authentic ***