By Mohammed Fadel, University of Chicago
Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (773-852/1372-1449) was an Egyptian who lived in the late Mamluk period. Although he wrote in many different fields, he earned his scholarly reputation for his works on Prophetic tradition. Perhaps his most famous work is his commentary upon Sahih al-Bukhari, known as Fath al-Bari bi-sharh Sahih al-Bukhari.
Hady al-Sari is his introduction to this commentary. Hady al-sari is a lengthy work. Much of it consists of indexes: a glossary of rare words found in the Sahih, vocalizations of ambiguous proper names, full identification of the transmitters al-Bukhari cited in his work, etc. The first four chapters, however, present his view of the generic features of Sahih al-Bukhdri as a text. In these chapters, Ibn Hajar is concerned with revealing the structure of the work and explaining the complexities which arise in this work as a result of its structure.