Translator: M. Muhsin Khan
Sahih Bukhari is a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), also known as the sunnah. The reports of the Prophet's sayings and deeds are called ahadith. Bukhari lived a couple of centuries after the Prophet's death and worked extremely hard to collect his ahadith. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established. Bukhari's collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be one of the most authentic collections of the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).
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 hadith (9,082 with repetition). 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 authentic reports.
Sahih Bukhari is divided into nine volumes, each of which has several books. Each book contains many ahadith. The ahadith are numbered consecutively per volume. The books really only serve to group ahadith together, but the volumes impose the numbering.
MSA-USC has placed anchors (hyperlinks) for all the ahadith in the translations presented here. Prospective developers of Islamic sites may find it useful to refer to these anchors. For example, one could use the anchors to create an 'active' subject index into Sahih Bukhari.
The format of the anchor names for the translated ahadith in Sahih Bukhari is very simple:
D stands for a digit and
[A] means an optional letter.
The first three digits are the volume number, the second three digits are the book number,
and the last three digits (with optional letter) are the report number. The format of the
file names (one per book) is:
The three digits are the book number, and
sbt stands for Sahih Bukhari
Translation. Given the anchor, you can tell which file it is found in (e.g. 005.059.716 is
found in 059.sbt.html).