The Story of Imām al-Bukhārī and the One Thousand Dinars

Written by Munīb al-Ṣumālī on . Posted in ...Those Who Followed

   Imām ʿAbd al-Salām al-Mubārakfūrī

An interesting story of money, lies and the flawed attempt of a thief to extort Imām al-Bukhārī.

bismallah

  

  ‘O ignorant one! Do you not know that I have spent my whole life compiling the aḥādīth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, and that the (inhabitants of the) earth have relied upon me and trusted me in that which I narrate of noble aḥādīth. So how can I subject myself to an accusation of theft? Am I to trade the invaluable pearls of trustworthiness and uprightness which I have attained throughout my life for the sake of a number of dinars?
 Imām al-Bukhārī 

Imām ʿAbd al-Salām al-Mubārakfūrī mentioned in his book titled, Sīrah al-Imām al-Bukhārī Ṣayyid al-Fuqahāʾ wa-Imām al-Muḥadithīn, pg. 122-123:

Imām al-Bukhārī once boarded a ship in pursuit of prophetic narrations. He had a thousand dinars to help him during his travels.

A man from the people aboard the ship approached Imām al-Bukhārī and manifested his love, affection and attachment for him. He began to build a close relationship with Imām al-Bukhārī and sit with him often. When Imām al-Bukhārī saw the man’s love (for him), he inclined towards him and trusted him, so much so, that Imām al-Bukhārī informed him—during some of their sittings—regarding the amount of wealth he was travelling with.

One day, the man woke up crying and screaming, tearing his clothes while hitting his face and his head. The people were startled by the man's cries, so they approached him and asked him what had happened. The man said: ‘I had a pouch which contained a thousand dinārs, and I have lost it!’.

The staff of the ship and some of the travellers on board began to search the passengers one by one. Imām al-Bukhārī secretly brought out the pouch containing one thousand dinars, without anyone noticing, and threw it into the sea. Those who were going around searching the passengers reached him and searched him and continued on with their search until they completed searching everyone on board the ship. They did not find anything. They returned to the man and reprimanded him and rebuked him severely.

Once they had reached their destination and the people disembarked the ship, the man approached Imām al-Bukhārī and asked him: what did you do with the pouch full of dinars?

Imām al-Bukhārī replied: I threw it in the sea.

The man said: How did you bear losing that great amount of wealth?

Imām al-Bukhārī replied: ‘O ignorant one! Do you not know that I have spent my whole life compiling the aḥādīth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, and that the (inhabitants of the) earth have relied upon me and trusted me in that which I narrate of noble aḥādīth. So how can I subject myself to an accusation of theft? Am I to trade the invaluable pearls of trustworthiness and uprightness which I have attained throughout my life for the sake of a number of dinars?

Translated by: Munīb al-Ṣumālī

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Tags: Al-Bukhārī, Sīrah

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