Prophet Muhammad

Drinking from the Genius of Imām al-Sindī and His Commentary on al-Bukhāri’s S̩ahīh

by Imām al-Sindī | Translated by Suhaib Webb

Imām al-Sindī, Abū al-Hasan Nūr al-Dīn Muhammad bin ‘Abū al-Hādī al-Sindī was born in Sind around the 11th century A.H. Known for his keen intellect and analytical skills, he became widely respected and taught in the Prophet’s (pbuh) masjid for a number of years. He died 1138 A.H and is buried in al-Baq’ī.

The following are some of his comments made in his commentary on al-Bukhāri’s S̩ahīh. Although brief in nature, I hope that such a glimpse into the work of the scholars will encourage others to study and practice.

The First Chapter: How the revelation started being sent to the Prophet

Sindi’s Comments:

Al-Bukhārī began his complication with the chapter on revelation, placing it before the chapter on faith, because revelation is the foundation for everything that follows in the text; and is based on the fact that Muhammad was a Prophet inspired by Allah.”

The First Hadith

“Works are but judged according to intentions.”

Sindi’s comments:

“In my opinion the meaning of “Works” is those chosen works that emanate from those obligated to worship. This is because the Shari’ah does not concern itself with other types of actions (that are not chosen nor emanate from cognition), nor does it grant them consideration. It could also be, as some have noted, that the word ‘Amal [En. works] is exclusively attributed to works initiated by the intellect. For that reason the actions of animals are called ‘Afal [Ar. Actions] and not ‘Amal.”

The Third Hadith:

“The angel came to him and said, ‘Read!’ He said, ‘I cannot read.'”

Sindi’s Comments:

“Regarding the statement of the Prophet, ‘I cannot read,’

It is as though he (pbuh) understood that orders are [to be acted on] immediately…

It is as though he (pbuh) knew, because of his sound intellect, even though he was in the infancy of prophethood, that there is no obligation greater than one can bear.”*

* Here Imam al-Sindi (ra) alluded to two important legal axioms. The first requires detail for which time will not allow. And that is the contention of the Mālikis, as well as the majority, that orders are not to be delayed [meaning the orders of Allah and His messenger (pbuh). Thus, if one is able to, he is not allowed in the Maliki school, to delay Hajj. The Shafi’s differed with these contentions, the axiom and the position on Hajj, stating that the Prophet (pbuh) made Hajj a few years after its order was sent. Most scholars state that both schools are correct in that there are some orders which must be done immediately; and others that one is allowed to delay.

The second axiom is that the Shari’ah does not burden a person with more than he or she can handle. Thus, Prophet, being illiterate, responded, “I cannot read.” Reflect.

And Allah knows best

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