Distortion committed by Bukhari whilst copying down a tradition in his ‘Sahih’ pertaining to the legitimacy of sodomy

 

We read in the Holy Quran:

 Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will (Yusufali, 2:223).

In various Sunni works we read that testimony of Abdullah Ibn Umar regarding the reason for the revelation of the said verse qua legitimacy of performing buggery on one’s wife. Hafiz Jalaluddin Suyuuti for example recorded in Tafseer Durre Manthur, Volume 1 page 638:

وأخرج الحسن بن سفيان في مسنده والطبراني في الأوسط والحاكم وأبو نعيم في المستخرج بسند حسن عن ابن عمر قال‏:‏ إنما نزلت على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏{‏نساؤكم حرث لكم‏.‏‏.‏‏.‏‏}‏ الآية‏.‏ رخصة في إتيان الدبر‏.‏

Hasan bin Sufiyan in his Musnad, Tabarani in Al-Awsat, Hakim and Abu Naeem in Al-Mastakhraj with a ‘Hasan’ chain of narration narrated from Ibn Umar who said: ‘This verse was revealed upon the Holy Prophet (s) in respect of the permissibility of performing sex in the anus of a woman’

Curiously, when it came to the great Imam Bukhari, he felt compelled to record the statement of Abdullah Ibn Umar in an incomplete manner. We read in Sahih Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 50:

Narrated Nafi’: Whenever Ibn ‘Umar recited the Qur’an, he would not speak to anyone till he had finished his recitation. Once I held the Qur’an and he recited Surat-al-Baqara from his memory and then stopped at a certain Verse and said, “Do you know in what connection this Verse was revealed? ” I replied, “No.” He said, “It was revealed in such-and-such connection.” Ibn ‘Umar then resumed his recitation. Nafi added regarding the Verse:–”So go to your tilth when or how you will” Ibn ‘Umar said, “It means one should approach his wife in ..”

‘In’ what? Of course In her anus and whilst Hafiz Jalaluddin Suyuti and other famed Sunni scholars recorded this fact, itwas Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani who filled in the blanks whilst commenting on the cited tradition of Bukhari:

في إتيان المرأة في دبرها

“Approach the woman in her anus”
Fatah ul Bari Sharah Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8 page 190 

Imam Bukhari has recorded this tradition in his ‘Sahih’ with the following chain of narration:

Ishaq (bin Rehwiya) – Nadar – Ibn Aun – Nnaf’i

Now the most interesting part is that Bukhari actually copied down the above statement of Abdullah Ibn Umar from his Shaykh, namely Ishaq bin Rehwiya as mentioned by Ibn Hajar Asqalani:

فقد أخرجها إسحاق ابن راهويه في مسنده وفي تفسيره بالإسناد المذكور ، وقال بدل قوله حتى انتهى إلى مكان ” حتى انتهى إلى قوله نساؤكم حرث لكم فأتوا حرثكم أنى شئتم فقال : أتدرون فيما أنزلت هذه الآية ؟ قلت لا . قال : نزلت في إتيان النساء في أدبارهن

 Ishaq bin Raheweh recorded it in his Musnad and his Tafsir with the same chain, when it reached the part “your wives are tilth to you, so go to your tilth anyhow you will” he said: ‘Do you know what for this verse has been revealed about?’ They said: ‘No’. He replied: ‘It has been revealed in regards to approaching women in their anuses’    

Interestingly whilst citing the said tradition verbatim Bukhari committed deception and did not quote the words of his Shaykh opting to leave a blank, in the hope that the attention plan of his readers would be short enough to confuse them and direct them to the next narration.

 

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