Were the teachings of Imam Bukhari restricted to only one of the four madhabs? Which Madhab did Imam Bukhari follow

In the name of Allah,


Al-Bukhārī (rahimahullāh), also known as Amīr al-Mu’minīn in hadīth, was born on Friday, the 13th of Shawwāl 194 (A.H.). His father died when he was young. By 16, he had memorized Imām Wakīy and Abdullāh Ibn Mubārak’s writings and did Hajj with his elder brother and mother. It was stated that Imām al-Bukhārī took 16 years to compile the Ṣaḥīḥ, starting in 217 A.H. at the age of 23. Prior to adding a hadith to his collection, he did ghusl and offered two raka’ah nafl prayers, asking Allah to help him. For political reasons, he moved to Khartank, an area near Samarkānd, where he died in 256 A.H./870 A.D.[i]


Al-Bukhari never adopted any of the legal schools. He is claimed by all four of the madhabs to be one of them. Imam As-Sabki classified Bukhari as a Shafiite, for the fact that writings by Bukhari, such as Rafa’ Yadain and Qira’t Khalf al-Imam, support Shafi’ views. Ibn Abi Ya’la al-Hanbal claims that Al-Bukhari was a Hanbali since he passed on hadith and legal rulings from Ahmed Ibn Hanbal. Later Hanafi also cites al-Bukhari since one of his teachers, Ibn Rahawayh, was a Hanafi.[ii]


According to Imam Ahmad, it is permissible to perform the Jumu’ah prayer before midday. By chapter header and narrative, Imam Bukhari rejected the position:

Chapter: The time for the Jumu’ah (prayer) is due when the sun declines

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer the Jumu’ah prayer immediately after midday.[ Sahih al-Bukhari 904]

Ibn Battal, Bukhari’s commentator, says Bukhari’s chapter header rejected Ahmad and Mujahid.


In the Hanafi Madhhab, as per Imam Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf, unused water after wudhu is impure. In response, Imam Bukhari titled the hadith chapter:

Chapter: The use of the remaining water after ablution

He then followed up his chapter heading with the following authentic hadith:

Narrated Abu Juhaifa: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to us at noon and water for ablution was brought to him. After he had performed ablution, the remaining water was taken by the people and they started smearing their bodies with it (as a blessed thing). The Prophet (ﷺ) offered two rak`at of the Zuhr prayer and then two rak’at of the Asr prayer while a short spear (or stick) was there (as a Sutra) in front of him. [ Bukhari 187]


Many blind followers of Madhhabs have flowery titles but never forsake their faith for any proof or narration that contradicts it!


Al-Bukhari was distinguished as an autonomous scholar, unrestrained by any one school. As opposed to the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence, he permits people who are junub during Ramadan to expiate their sin via charity, without having to repeat the fasting day. He defies the schools by allowing someone who is junub without ablutions to read the Qur’an.[iii]


Imam Bukhari, according to ibn Taimiyyah (R.A.), was a mujtahid and an independent Imam. ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani concludes:

He has, thus, recorded differences with both the Hanatite and Shafiite schools, and, like an independent-minded person who does not leave premises unquestioned, he was not bound by a single madhhab but had his own interpretive approach.[iv]


May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the last and final messenger.





[i] Sunnah.com

[ii] The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim, By Jonathan Brown LEIDEN • BOSTON 2007, page 71

[iii] Islamic Rules on Menstruation and Post Natal Bleeding, Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, page 16

[iv] Fadl Al-Bari Commentary On The Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume I, ‘Allamah Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani, page 90

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