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October 21st, 2019

English Translation of Sahih al-Bukhari, Parts 1 to 7, now online

Please see this link to this new publication.

The work Faḍl al-Bārī is an Urdu translation of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī with extensive explanatory notes by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Its first volume, consisting of nearly the first half of Bukhari, was published in 1932, and the rest as the second volume in 1937.

Maulana Muhammad Ali, shortly before his death in 1951, had started an Eng­lish translation of this voluminous work. He reached only as far as Book 2, ch. 21, and left the manuscript with Mau­lana Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad to continue the translation. Mau­lana Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad was a scholar and missionary of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement who had, during the 1930s, served as Imam of the Woking Mosque and Muslim Mission in Woking, Surrey, England. He had also been editor of the Islamic Review and was since 1950 editor of The Light, the Lahore Ahmadiyya weekly organ. Sadly he died in 1956, having completed the first three Parts and some of the fourth Part. The first three Parts were published in 1956, 1962 and 1973 respectively, and the incomplete fourth Part was serialised in The Light between 1983 and 1985.

(Note: The collection of Bukhari has, like the Holy Quran, been divided into 30 roughly equal parts, irrespective of subject-matter.)

In 2015 we decided to continue the translation and take it up to the beginning of Part 8, since that is the point where Bukhari completes his coverage of the fundamentals of Islam. The Parts that we completed were placed online individually as they were done, and now, in October 2019, we have combined them into one volume (see link given above).

There is, of course, a well known English translation of Sahih Bukhari by Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan. However, it contains almost no commentary. I am unaware of any other English translation of Sahih Bukhari. In Urdu there are several translations and commentaries of Bukhari. So it appears that our work is the only English translation with commentary of Bukhari (although, of course, it consists of only the first 2046 reports out of the total of 7563 reports in Bukhari).

In the preface to his Urdu work, Maulana Muhammad Ali wrote (and this part of his preface is included in our English translation):

“I have to confess my handicap that I lack a sufficiently broad knowledge of the field of Ḥadīth. Most of all, I regret that, for the translation of Bukhārī, I could not benefit from the vast and detailed knowledge of the learned Maulana Nur-ud-Din, as I had done in case of translating the Holy Qur’ān. This regret was expressed by the Maulana [Nur-ud-Din] himself in the last days of his life when he said to me: “The Qur’ān has been done, but Bukhārī remains.”

I must also mention here that this shortcoming of mine has to some extent been removed by the participation of Maulana Ahmad in this work, who shared with me the task of writing the footnotes. I also received much help from Maulana Abdus Sattar.”

The Maulana Ahmad mentioned here was the paternal grandfather of the esteemed contributor to this blog Mr Abdul Momin.

— Zahid Aziz

One Response to “English Translation of Sahih al-Bukhari, Parts 1 to 7, now online”

  1. Thank you so much Dr. Aziz. This is an amazing resource.


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