Only Bukhari & Muslim?
Hadith is the second source of Islam after the Qur’an. But there are some people, who when they are told a Hadith, ask wether that Hadith is written in Bukhari or Muslim. They say, if it is written in Muslim and Bukhari then it should be accepted, but if it is not, then a doubt remains as to whether the Hadith is authentic or not.
Our claim to this is that it is not the command of Allah or our Prophet (May Allah bless Him and grant him peace) that we can only believe in those Ahadith which are written in Muslim or Bukhari and have doubts about the rest.
The scholars of Ahadith are in agreement that there are many authentic Ahadith that have been left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari. These can be found in other Ahadith books, for example, Ibn Habbaan, Ibn Khuzaimah, Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da’ood, Tirmidhee, and Nasaa’ee etc.
Hafidh Ibn Kathir writes that there are many authentic Ahadith that were left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari and can be found in other Hadith books like Tirmidhee, Abu Da’ood, An-Nasaa’ee.
(Ikhtaisar-ul-Uloom ul Ahadith, page 21, by Hafidh Ibn Kathir)
Hafidh Ibn Salaah writes that many authentic Ahadith were left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari and that Imam Hakim has collected all the authentic Ahadith, which met the Hadith principles of Muslim and Bukhari, and put them in a book called “Mustadrak ‘alas-Saahihain”. It is written in four volumes and contains enormous amounts of authentic Ahadith. Imam Bukhari, himself, said that he knew 100,000 authentic Ahadith and 200,000 which were not authentic, but in the Sahih Bukhari there are only 4,000 Ahadith without repetition.
(Uloom-ul-Ahadith, page 17, “Bukhari and Muslim”, by Hafidh ibn Salaah)
Hafidh Asqalani writes that there are 9682 narrations in sahih Bukhari, but each narration has been repeated many times. The total number of individual narrations in Bukhari is 2623.
(Preface of Fath-ul-baari, by Hafidh Asqalani)
Even the name of Sahih Bukhari can tell us that there are lots of authentic Ahadith which have been left out of Sahih Bukhari. The full name of Sahih Bukhari is “Al Jamee’ ul Musnad-is-SaaHiH-il-Mukhtasari Min al murree Wa yaamayhee”. The meaning of this is “The short collection of the Sunnah of our Prophet [May Allah bless Him and grant Him peace]”.
(Tah’deeb-ut-ta’deeb by Hafidh Asqalani)
Imam Nawawee and Imam Dhahabi write that Imam Muslim compiled Sahih Muslim from the 300,000 Ahadith that he knew. The total number of Ahadith in Sahih Muslim is 12,000. If repetitions can be left out, the actual number would be 4,000.
(Sharh Sahih Muslim by Imam Nawawee and Tadhkarat-ul-Huffad by Imam Dhahabi)
From the references above we can understand that Imam Bukhari and Muslim knew a very large numbers of Ahadith by memory but in Sahih Muslim and Bukhari only approximately 10% of these Ahadith has been compiled. Hence, it can clearly be seen that there are large numbers of authentic Ahadith present, which have been left out of Sahih Muslim and Bukhari. These Ahadith can be found in other Ahadith books.
Whenever scholars of Ahadith write a Hadith, they usually write the same Hadith with different chains. If a Hadith was recieved through five different chains, it is counted as five different Ahadith, but infact it is only one Hadith. Imam Muslim and Bukhari have used this same principle, so the quantity of the Ahadith “recorded” in their books is very large, when infact, the actual quantity is smaller.