In 1311 AH/1893 CE, Sultān ʿAbdul Ḥamīd II [RA] issued an imperial decree to prepare the most critically evaluated edition of the second most authentic book after Kitābullāh. It specified that the copy of Hāfiẓ al-Yūnīnī – the most relied upon copy of the Ṣaḥīḥ of the later scholars – should be used as the foundation and differences from other well-known and meticulously prepared copies should be critically evaluated and inserted in the body of the main text if found worthy or they should be published on its margins.
The task was undertaken by Shaykh ʿAlī al-Makāwī, the chief research scholar and editor of the famous publishing house called al-Maṭbaʿah al-Amīriyyah, and the first edition was published between 1311 and 1313 AH.
After its publication, it was presented – again, by an imperial decree – to a committee of 16-18 well-known scholars of al-Azhar, who were tasked with meticulously cross-referencing and scrutinizing that edition under the supervision of the then Shaykh al-Azhar, Shaykh Ḥasūta an-Nawāwī [RA].
Another edition of this great work was published by the great ḥadīth scholar, Shaykh Aḥmad Shākir [RA], along with the latter’s comprehensive introduction who called it an-Nuskha al-Yūnīniyya (The Yūnīnī Copy). It can be downloaded from here.
Recently, Dār Ṭawq an-Najāh, a publishing house in Beirut has re-printed this edition in its original lithographic print format, which may not be aesthetically very appealing in this era of digital presses. However, credit is due to them for at least bringing again to us this beautiful fruit of love for the Noble Prophet [SAW], no doubt, on the part of the Ottomans. Download this edition from here.