Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
As salamu alaiakum,
Dear sheikh someone recently told me that imam bukhari was once lashed for giving false testimony in a rape case. The person who told me this...denies sahih bukhari based on this. Ya sheikh please tell me if this story has any weight to it.
May ALLAH protect you from all evils
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Dear and Beloved Brother in Islam, to the best of our knowledge we have not found even a reference to the above said incident in any of the authentic books of Islamic History, or in the various books that provide details of the life of Imam Bukhari. It is absolutely inconceivable that the recorders of Islamic History would forget to omit such a case against such an important individual, even after he was apparently convicted and lashed! Allah Subhanah Alone knows best if the story you heard from the person has any truth to it, or it is a malicious slander spread against the scholar by people who have their own agendas.
If one studies the history of mankind, it is often noted that when one who wishes harm cannot find any fault in the work of a person, they try to assassinate the character of the person! If one applies even simple logic, one would determine that even an ordinary believer who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day would never dare to commit a sin as heinous and grave as giving false witness! To expect that a scholar and believer of the stature of Imam Bukhari, who dedicated his whole life in the Service of Islam would do such a thing is not only inconceivable, but reprehensible!
If the person who told you this supposed incident of Imam Bukhari giving false witness in a rape case, sincerely believes what he has heard or read of the supposed case which happened at least a thousand years ago; then he has a case in denying the works of Imam Bukhari! Believing in Imam Bukhari is not a condition of Islam; and Praise be to Allah Subhanah Who has blessed the Ummah with scholars and collectors of the hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saws) in the likes of Imam Muslim, Imam Ahmad, Imam Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Ibn Maajah, An Nisaai, etc. If the brother who wishes to deny the works of Imam Bukhari wishes to seek guidance or knowledge of the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), he has many other authentic sources available to him!
If the brother has a pending case against each of these noble and trusted scholars, then the determination of the Truth should be clear from the falsehood; for the person might be trying to violate the knowledge of the collection of the authentic hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (saws), rather than simply the character assassination of Imam Bukhari!!!
Allah Alone Knows Best.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,