al-Bukhari Tampers with a Narration

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

‎اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

During our readings, it is through the grace of Allah that we have stumbled upon a narration that implicates al-Bukhari of altering a narration. See the following narration as recorded by al-Humaydi, the teacher of al-Bukhari, in his Musnad:

al-Humaydi narrated to us, saying: it was narrated to us by Sufyan, who said: it was narrated to us by 'Amr b. Dinar, who said: it was reported to me by Tawus that he heard Ibn Abbas saying:

It reached 'Umar b. Khattab that Samura b. Jundub sold wine, so he said, "May Allah destroy Samura, does he not know that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, 'The curse of Allah be upon the Jews, for fat [of animals] was forbidden for them so they rendered it (meaning: they melted it) and sold it.'"

Humaydi. 1996. Musnad al-Humaydi (Vol. 1, p. 154). Damascus: Dar al-Suqa.

In this narration, 'Umar discovers that Samura b. Jundub, a companion of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), sold alcohol, and he condemns him for it. This narration was evidently problematic for al-Bukhari due to his view on the companions, so he reports it in his own Sahih as the following:

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَمْرُو بْنُ دِينَارٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي طَاوُسٌ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ يَقُولُ بَلَغَ عُمَرَ أَنَّ فُلاَنًا بَاعَ خَمْرًا فَقَالَ قَاتَلَ اللَّهُ فُلاَنًا، أَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ قَاتَلَ اللَّهُ الْيَهُودَ، حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّحُومُ فَجَمَلُوهَا فَبَاعُوهَا ‏"‏‏.‏

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

Once `Umar was informed that a certain man sold alcohol. `Umar said, "May Allah destroy him! Doesn't he know that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, 'May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah had forbidden them to eat the fat of animals but they melted it and sold it."

Sahih al-Bukhari 2223

Note that the chain for both narrations is identical: al-Humaydi from Sufyan from 'Amr b. Dinar from Tawus from Ibn Abbas. al-Bukhari's inclusion of al-Humaydi at the beginning of his chain indicates that he was reporting directly from his teacher. The only difference in the chain is al-Bukhari himself, leaving it obvious who is responsible for the difference in the narration. His motives are also obvious, to conceal Samura's identity so that the reader does not know that it is a companion who committed this sin that 'Umar harshly insulted. This hadith is also notable because if a Shi'a were to say what 'Umar said regarding a companion, many would do takfir of them or at the very least dissociate from them, yet 'Umar does the same and gets away scott free.

It is time for Sunnis to turn their backs on al-Bukhari who has betrayed Islam by tampering with narrations.

For another example of blatant tampering with theologically problematic hadith by Sunni scholars, see the article 'Ali's Claim to the Caliphate and Distortion of Hadith.