Sahih al-Bukhari, 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.
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.
Amin Ahsan Islahi, the notable Islamic scholar, has listed three outstanding qualities of Sahih al-Bukhari:
1. Quality and soundness of the chain of narrators of the selected ahādīth. Muhammad al-Bukhari has followed two principle criteria for selecting sound narratives. First, the lifetime of a narrator should overlap with the lifetime of the authority from whom he narrates. Second, it should be verifiable that narrators have met with their source persons. They should also expressly state that they obtained the narrative from these authorities. This is a stricter criterion than that set by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.
2. Muhammad al-Bukhari accepted the narratives from only those who, according to his knowledge, not only believed in Islam but practiced its teachings. Thus, he has not accepted narratives from the Murjites.
3. The particular arrangement and ordering of chapters. This expresses the profound knowledge of the author and his understanding of the religion. This has made the book a more useful guide in understanding of the religious disciplines.