Why are there are no reports in Sahih al-Bukhari of Ali’s (a.s.) appointment as Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) successor?

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This is a question uppermost in the minds of the Muslim majority who demand from Shias that if Ali’s (a.s.) appointment was a reality leading Muslim scholars like Bukhari should have documented it in their books.

Bukhari in his animosity is unwilling to even name Ali (a.s.) as fourth caliph, leave alone report him (a.s.) as successor of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Bukhari records in his Al-Tarikh al-Sagheer:

  • Abu Bakr ruled for 2 years and six months
  • Umar for 10 years 6 months and 18 days
  • Usman for 12 days short of 12 years
  • After Usman, there were 5 years of trial,
  • then Muawiyah ruled for 20 years.

– Al-Tarikh al-Sagheer of Bukhari p 118-119

Bukhari condemned for animosity against Ahle Bait (a.s.)

Well-known Ahle Sunnah scholars such as Abu Zar’ah, Abu Hatam, Zuhli and other professors of Bukhari have treated him with contempt, considering him as misled. Their mistreatment of Bukhari was the worldly consequence of his deviation from the path of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and the Holy Prophet’s progeny (a.s), his treatment of them with contempt and his concealment of their virtues and merits.

The scholars have pointed out several instances where Bukhari’s mischief is evident in reporting incomplete or incorrect reports showing Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) in a bad light.

Two malicious reports in particular that show Bukhari’s bias against Ali (a.s.) involve:

  • Khalid Ibn Waleed’s rumour mongering against Ali (a.s.) in Yemen which Bukhari misrepresents to show Khalid was right
  • Ali’s (a.s.) so-called marriage proposal to Abu Jahl’s daughter angering Fatima Zahra (s.a.), which is what Bukhari wants to project as a blot on Ali’s (a.s.) character.

– Bukhari wa Muslim dar Tarazu-e-Naqd (A Critical Assessment of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) of Sayyid Ali Milani under Chapter of Bukhari and his deviation from path of Ahle Bait (a.s.)

Bukhari ignores people of revelation, puts faith in suspect narrators

Anyone familiar with Sahih al-Bukhari and Bukhari’s preferred narrators knows that in his scheme of things the Ahle Bait (a.s.) rank way below the wives and companions (Sahabah).

In his Sahih, Bukhari has recorded

  • 442 traditions from Ayesha

While from infallible members of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) progeny, Bukhari records:

  • ONLY ONE tradition from Fatima Zahra (s.a.)
  • 29 traditions from Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)
  • ZERO traditions from Imams Hasan (a.s.) and Husain (a.s.)
  • ZERO traditions from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), even though Bukhari lived in the same era.

– Prohibition of recording the hadith p 317

Bukhari and Hadith Ghadir

It is not surprising Bukhari ignored reports on appointment of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) as successor of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). It is on account of his extreme prejudice (towards Shiaism) that he criticizes the successively narrated Ghadeer tradition.

Ghadeer tradition is narrated by more than one hundred companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The standard of Ghadeer tradition is far above the standards of other successively reported traditions. But even this level of reliability does not satisfy Bukhari, who thinks nothing of reporting traditions in his Sahih which go against the consensus of scholars like the report of Abu Talib (a.s.) being tortured in hell (Allah forbid).

Renowned Muslim scholars of traditions admit that Ghadeer tradition is a successively reported tradition. This is apparent from their books viz.

  • Jalaluddin Suyuti’s al-Azhar al-Mutanathira fi al-Akhbar al-Mutawatira wa al-Fawaeed al-Mutakathira fi al-Akhbar al-Mutawatira
  • Noor al-Deen Azizi’s Sharh al-Jamee’a al-Saghir
  • Manawi’s Sharh al-Jamee’a al-Saghir
  • Ali Qari’s al-Mirqat
  • Jamal al-Deen Muhaddith Shirazi’s al-Arbaeen fi Manaqib Ameerul Momineen,
  • Al-Saif al-Maslul by Shah Waliullah’s student, father of the author of Tuhfah Ithna Ashariyya
  • Ibn Jawzi’s Asna al-Matalib

Bukhari’s prejudice against Ahle Bait (a.s.) and his pandering to companions and wives by recording their most dubious reports, only serves to compromise his Sahih, among other works. It also puts a question mark on the faith of millions of Muslims who treat his reports as the ultimate truth and as a sister to the Holy Quran.

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