Selections from al-Bukhari’s Work, with Commentary on its Unusual Sections


This two-volume manuscript is an abridgement of the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, as set down by al-Bukhari (810−70), made by Ahmad ibn ‘Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Qurtubi (1182−1258). The first volume is incomplete, lacking both title inscription and colophon. The author’s approach is to select and comment on certain hadiths from al-Bukhari’s canonical collection al-Sahih (The genuine), emphasizing unusual interpretations that may have grown up around each quotation. Selections are grouped into topics of faith and practice, such as fasting, zakat (alms giving), pilgrimage, peacemaking, and inheritance. Dispersed throughout the work are many details concerning such topics as belief and superstition, sexual practice during the holy month of Ramadan, angels, heaven and hell, and celestial phenomena, such as eclipses. Not much is known about Al-Qurtubi, apart from the fact that he lived, taught, and died in Alexandria, Egypt. His name indicates that he or his family came from Muslim Spain, a supposition supported by his adherence to the Maliki school of law. It appears from the scattered notes in the biographical literature that he concentrated his life on teaching and did not write many books other than this selection from al-Bukhari and a similar collection from Muslim [ibn al-Hajjaj]. He was known in his lifetime as Ibn al-Muzayyin, or “Son of the barber.” A note at the end of the second volume indicates planning for a third volume. The books have the Khedival Library ownership stamps and a notation that they were part of a waqf (charitable bequest).

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Title in Original Language

مختارات من صحيح البخاري وشرح غريبه

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Physical Description

74 leaves ; 25 x 17 centimeters (volume 1). 213 leaves ; 25 x 17 centimeters (volume 2)

Last updated: August 24, 2016