Imam Al Bukhari, (Mohammed bin Ismail bin Al Mughirah Al Bukhari), was born on 13 Shawwal in the year 194AH in Bukhara in the territory of Khurasan (West Turkistan).
Many stories have been told about Imam Bukhari regarding his struggles in collecting Hadith literature. He travelled to many different places gathering the precious gems that fell from the lips of the noble Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It is said that Imam Bukhari collected over 300,000 Ahadith and he himself memorised 200,000 of which some were unreliable. He was born at a time when Hadith was being forged either to please the rulers or to corrupt the religion of Islam.
It was a great task for him to sift the forged Ahadith from the authentic ones. He laboured day and night and although he had memorised such a large number he only chose approximately 7,275 with repetition and about 2,230 without repetition of which there is no doubt about their authenticity.
Imam Bukhari collected the Ahadith over a period of sixteen years. He stated that before writing any Hadith in his book, he performed Salat of Istikharah (offered two Rak’at prayer for guidance from Allah), and when he was sure of its authenticity, he included that Hadith in his Sahih.
Imam Bukhari died on first Shawwal in the year 256AH and was buried in Khartank, a village near Samarkand. May Allah have mercy on his soul.
Imam Muslim, (Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj), was born in 202 AH in Nishapur and died in 261AH also in Nishapur. He travelled widely to gather his collection of ahadith. Out of 300,000 ahadith which he evaluated, approximately 4,000 were extracted for inclusion into his collection based on stringent acceptance criteria. Each report in his collection was checked for compatibility with the Qur'an, and the veracity of the chain of reporters had to be painstakingly established.
It has been unanimously agreed that Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim’s works are the most authentic of all the other works in Hadith literature put together. The authenticity of their works is such that the religious learned scholars of Islam said concerning them: “The most authentic books after the Book of Allah (i.e Al Qu’ran) is Sahih Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.