In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most MercifulWhy is al-Bukhari’s collection more authentic than Muslim’s?
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on himThe shaykh mentions this benefit in his explanation of “al-Bayquniyyah” under the portion of the book entitled “Mabaahith Hadithiyyah”. He said:
There are three ways of how narrators received and shared their narrations:
1.A person clearly heard a statement from another
2.It is affirmed that a person met another but he did not hear (a particular statement) from him
3.It is affirmed they are contemporaries (lived at the same time) but it is not affirmed that they met
As for if it is affirmed that a person (directly) heard from another then he will say:
“I heard so and so” (Sami’tu سمعت) or
“So and so related to me” (haddathani حدثني).
This contact is clear.
As for if it is affirmed that a person met another but he did not hear (a particular) statement from him (directly) then he will say:
“So and so said” (Qaala قال) or
“On the authority of so and so” (‘an عن)
This narrator would not say, “I heard” or “So and so related to me”. However, this type of narration is still considered to be connected (and an unbroken chain) as long as the narrators in the chain are all ‘adl (just)*.
That is because a narrator who is ‘adl (just) will not attribute speech to another except that he is positive the statement is correctly attributed.
As for if it is affirmed that (the narrators) are contemporaries but it is not affirmed they met, then is this chain considered to be connected?
Imaam al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said that this chain is not considered to be connected until it is affirmed they met.
While Imaam Muslim (may Allah have mercy on him) said that this chain is connected because as long as they are contemporaries and they narrate from one another then the origin is that they heard from one another.
However the statement of al-Bukhari is more correct and it must be affirmed that the narrator has met the one he is narrating from. This is why “Sahih al-Bukhari” is more authentic than “Sahih Muslim”, because al-Bukhari made it a condition for it to be affirmed that the narrators met one another whereas Imaam Muslim did not.
*Conditions for a person to be ‘adl (just) are five: Muslim, of age (baaligh), sane, not an open sinner (faasiq), and not having bad manners and habits.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله