Sahih al-Bukhari is a collection of hadith compiled by Imam Muhammad al-Bukhari (d. 256 AH/870 AD) (rahimahullah). His collection is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be the most authentic collection of reports of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (Arabic: صحيح البخاري), is one of the Kutub al-Sittah (six major hadith collections) of Sunni Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Sunni Muslims view this as one of the three most trusted collections of hadith along with Sahih Muslim and Muwatta Imam Malik. In some circles, it is considered the most authentic book after the Quran. The Arabic word sahih translates as authentic or correct.
Hadith in religious use is often translated as 'tradition', meaning a report of the deeds and sayings of Muhammad. The hadith literature does not qualify as primary source material as it was compiled from oral reports that were present in society around the time of their compilation, well after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Bukhari's collection which is considered by many traditional religious scholars as the most 'reliable' was compiled two centuries after the death of the Prophet. Hadiths reports claim to originate from important characters of the earliest years of Islam such as the companions of Muhammad or Shia Imams/Religious leaders. These hadith narrations have formed the controversial basis of the Shariah models of "Islamic law", despite the contradictions they contain with regards to the Quran itself, such as regarding the punishment for Zina in the hadith (stoning to death) contradicts the Quran, rates of Zakat, definition of Ribba etc. The Hadith has also had a profound influence on molding the commentaries (tafsir) on the Quran. The earliest commentary of the Quran by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari is mostly sourced from the hadith, in-line with Tabari's Athari creed which considered rational inquiry in matters of religion to be forbidden. As the application of deductive reasoning in deriving laws directly from the Quran was sidelined, the arbitrary authority of the hadith was used to replace the Quran in forming the basis of 'Shariah' Law. Much of early Islamic history available today is also based on the hadith.
Each hadith is composed of two parts, a chain of authorities reporting the hadith (isnad), and the text itself (matn). Hadiths are regarded by traditional Islamic schools of jurisprudence as important tools for understanding the Quran and in matters of jurisprudence. Hadith were evaluated and gathered into large collections during the 8th and 9th centuries. These works are referred to in matters of Islamic law and history to this day.
The largest denominations of Islam, Sunni, Shiʻa, and Ibadi, rely upon different sets of hadith collections.
Clerics and jurists of all denominations classify individual hadith as sahih (authentic), hasan (good) and da'if (weak). However, different traditions within each denomination, and different scholars within each tradition, may differ as to which hadith should be included in which category.