He traveled extensively in the Arab lands to collect the sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) known as Hadiths. The Sunni scholars consider it second only to theQuran in terms of authenticity – I don’t know why.
He collects 600,000 such sayings and rejects 592,725 hadiths for lack of authentic chain of narrations – i.e., who said this to whom and when. That is 99% rejection rate. In his place, most people would have rejected them all, that is not an acceptable quality control, and no one will take a product that has a 99% rejection rate. However, I admire the patience of the great Imam, despite the discouraging results, he ‘probably’ did not want to miss out even a single authentic one, and with that determination he finally endorsed 7,275 Hadiths as Sahih – correct ones.
I have been writing about the undue status given to Hadiths, and recently I wrote about it again at Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/two-islams-the-mangledup-_b_5748280.html
We must admit that whatever their intentions might have been, the medieval scholars messed it up big time. The Neocons feast on those quotes, and most certainly they have not pulled the ‘hateful citations’ out of thin air, they are quoting the interpretations of men like Ibn Kathir, Ibn Tamiyah, Ibn Wahhab, Maududi, Banna, Qutub and others. Each one of them was a product of history, in some cases ignored the Quranic teachings of no compulsion, but advocated authoritarianism. Apparently, they did not believe in individual’s God-given rights, and suggested the state to kill those who differed. This is another instance we have gone wrong by not denouncing their misinterpretations.
The mistake we have made is to give their word a near equivalence of Quran and the Prophet; we can judge them against historical relativism but should not regard their work as integral component of Islamic teachings. All said, we must admit that whatever their intentions might have been, the medieval scholars messed up the interpretation of Quran. Instead of building cohesive societies, they were inclined to forge exclusive authoritarian societies. A lot of their work is good, but it takes only a single drop of poison to endanger a pot full of water.”
further from Wikipedia
Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن اسماعيل بن ابراهيم بن المغيرة بن بردزبه الجعفي البخاري; 19 July 810 – September 870), or Bukhārī (Persian: بخاری), commonly referred to as Imam al-Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, was a Persian Islamic scholar who authored the hadith collection known as Sahih al-Bukhari, regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of the most sahih (authentic) of all hadithcompilations. He also wrote the books Al-Adab al-Mufrad.
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.