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I've noticed that there are 'repetitions' in e.g. Sahih Al-Bukhari; for example: Hadiths 8.419, 8.426, 23.425 are all on the same narration by 'Aisha, and in its essentials do not differ from each other; with perhaps the last being the most detailed.

Is there a standard 'commentary' on the Hadith which takes this into account, but adds little else? Why are there repetitions of hadiths in Sahih Al-Bukhari?

  • Whatever hadith comes first was considered stronger than that came after it, even though they may be similar. It's how the compilers arranged the collections. – Sayyid Sep 21 '15 at 7:24
  • @Sayyid: I'm not suggesting otherwise; it's simply easier to look through such an edited collection – Mozibur Ullah Sep 21 '15 at 11:05
  • It would be nice on what nummeration these ahadit are based? And as Sayyid said the order is the stronger or more sane/sahih first then less in the "ranking" and maybe a hadith is also useful in an other topic so you may find a "summarized" copy referring to the first quotation ... And as he was a hadith scholar he may show different narrator chains to show the tawatur! – Medi1Saif Feb 16 '16 at 14:27
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    Sorry, what's the question here? Is it Is there a commentary on the repetitions in hadith books? If so, can we edit to make it clear, and make the title match the question. – Rebecca J. Stones Jun 8 '17 at 23:14
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The repetitions in Sahih al-Bukhari is a known topic, but there is almost always a valid reason. The types of repetitions are:

  1. Hadiths that have the same matn (content) and same sanad (chain of narration)
  2. Hadiths that have the same matn with different sanads
  3. Hadiths that have more than one matn through the same sanad.

The hadiths you are asking about are in the second category (same content, a different chain of narration). The companion layer ('Ā'isha, in our case) is the same, but the following layers have different people (the English translation in your link does not mention the complete chain). The reason that Al-Bukhari documented the multiple sanads is for completeness. This proved to be beneficial in case of disputes over the authenticity of a hadith; more than one sanad may prove or strengthen its authenticity. The most famous such hadith with the same content but different chains of narration is hadith Al-Ifk (Sahih al-Bukhari 52/25), which he documented through about 15 different chains.

The hadiths in the first category (same content, the same chain of narration) have been counted by multiple hadith scholars. Al-Qastallāni documented 23 such hadiths. The count is not cast in stone, but it is in this order in any case, as some other scholars arrived at 22 or 24, and so on.

As for the third category, Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani said in Fat'h al-Bāri 11/340 that he counted over 20 hadiths that were repeated more than once with the same chain and content, including some hadith where Al-Bukhari abridged the content (i.e., keeping only the portion of the hadith that is relevant to the topic of the chapter).

In any case, the subject of Al-Bukhari's repetition has been quite common and commonly criticized. There is almost always a good reason for repetition that the criticizers will have overlooked, except in very rare cases where there was genuine "repetition" were rare as Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani said in Fat'h al-Bāri 10/227.

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