It is well-known (among Sunni muslims) that Imam Bukhari was extremely diligent while collecting ahadith, and his criteria are considered among the most stringent (if not the most stringent) in the field of ilm-ul-hadith.

One of the criteria is that every narrator in the isnad is considered reliable. My question in particular is about whether or not a narrator — the one who narrated to Bukhari directly or any of the previous narrators in the isnad — was considered reliable if he was otherwise known to narrate fabricated ahadith.

I'm not asking if (nor implying that) any of the ahadith in Bukhari's Sahih are in any way fabricated. I am also not asking about whether any narrator fabricated these ahadith himself, nor those who transmitted a hadith knowing it was fabricated; such blatant fraud, when discovered, would obviously be grounds for dismissal by any reasonable standard.

I am referring particularly to the reliability of narrators who, without knowledge, continued the transmission of (or had at some point transmitted) a fabricated hadith from a (presumably) reliable source.

Was this concern one of the criteria used by Imam Bukhari in the compilation of his famous Sahih? Or, to put it another way, are any of the narrators in Sahih Bukhari known to have inadvertently transmitted a fabricated hadith otherwise?

  • One of the conditions of being a "reliable" narrator is that s/he must be 'adl (or "just") which precludes fabricators and others intent on mischief from being a person of hadith. Reliability is not just about having a good memory. And since this condition had to apply at every level of the chain, if anyone at any level was a known fabricator, that destroyed the chain. Does this answer your question or am I missing the point? – Ansari Jan 26 '13 at 17:29
  • @ansari I'm basically asking about narrators who, believing that the previous narrators were reliable, continued the transmission of a hadith that turned out to be fabricated. Does being 'adl mean that the narrator himself knows that all preceding narrators were also indisputably reliable (e.g. 'adl), even for ahadith that were not collected in Bukhari's Sahih? (if so, that would be an excellent answer to my question) – goldPseudo Jan 26 '13 at 17:42
  • @goldPseudo : I don't think that his narrators would have accepted daeef ahadith as they were from the early generation of the muslims (Tabieen- Atba Tabieen). These early generations were the best of muslims. – ilyas Jan 29 '14 at 0:28

are any of the narrators in Sahih Bukhari known to have inadvertently transmitted a fabricated hadith otherwise?

The simple answer would be no. Because nothing has been brought into light about such an event occurring. This is because the criteria al-Bukhari used, would not allow him to accept hadith from such a person in totality. He would've rejected the narrator all together and not consider him as reliable.

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