Some Hadith rejecters allege that Imam Bukhari used to conceal a part of hadith because he was the supporter of Shafi madhab. Let us look into this allegation.
Allegation: “The often repeated hadith that they used to quote is narrated by Ata’ b. Yasar reported that he had asked Zaid b. Thabit about recital along with the Imam, to which he said: There should be no recital along with the Imam in anything, and alleged that he recited:” By the star when it sets” (surah najm) before the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) and he did not prostrate himself. (Book #004, Hadith #1192) Sahi Muslim
But there is a hadith in Sahi Bukhari which is also narrated by Ata’b.yasir, but the half part of hadith “There should be no recital along with the Imam in anything” is missing there. It only mentions the recitation of Surah najmand he did not perform a prostration. (Book #19, Hadith #179 prostration during the recital of quran”
So it proves that he was a deceiver.
‘My Response :The allegation on Imam Bukhari can be divided in two parts
1) Imam Bukhari (r) used to conceal the part of hadith.
2) Secondly he was a supporter of Shafi madhab.
So first of all lets discuss the first part of allegation… 1)Imam Bukhari (r) used to concealed the part of hadith.
It can be answered in various ways …
1) Imam Bukhari added this narration under the heading “Prostration During Recital of Qur’an” …So here his intention was to show part of hadith which is related to topic.
2) What was the need of hiding that part of hadith when it is well known that according to muhaddis the action of sahaba is not hujjat or dalila sharaie.
3) Third point is that if he add this part of narration, then also it not contradict the view of Imam shafi because according to his view also that the act of companion is not hujjat.
Now, further we will discuss the second part of allegation…ie 2) he was a supporter of Shafi madhab.
First of all we should know what does different scholar says about the madhab of Imam Bukhari (r):
1) According to ibn Taimiyyah (r), Imām Bukhari (r) was a mujtahid and an independent Imām.
2) Allama Taqi῾uddeen Subki (r) has regarded him as a Shafi῾ because he was the student of Humaidi, who was a Shafi῾. This conclusion is not correct because then Imām Bukhari should be regarded as a Hanafi in view of Ishāq ibn Rāhway, Imām Bukhari’s Teacher, being a student of Abdullah Ibn Mubārak (r) and Abdullah Ibn Mubārak, was a Hanafi.
3) Ibn Qayym (r) says Imām Bukhari , Muslim and Abu Dawood were strong followers of Imām Ahmed ibn Hambal.
After studying and closely looking at Imām Bukhari’s works we will realize that Imām Bukhari did not follow any one Imām, he has his independent views on many issues, therefore Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri (r) and Sheikh Zakaria(r) have the same view as that of Allamah Taimiyyah that Imām Bukhari is a mujtahid.
My Final argument on this allegation
Imam Bukhari narrates the hadith of Ai’isha (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who said, “I was sleeping in front of the messenger of Allah and my legs were in his qiblah. When he prostrated he touched me and I withdrew my legs, and when he stood I stretched them out”. (Homes in those days did not have lamps.) (Bukhari narrated it, #328.)
There is a well known view of Imam Shafi (r) on this issue
” when a woman touches a man who is in a state of wudhu the wudhu breaks”.( For reference :Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.)
So, now the question arises if Imam Bukhari was the supporter of Imam Shafi (r) ,why he does he narrate the hadith which contradict the madhab of Imam Shafi (r)?