“I visited at Bukhara also the tomb of the learned imam Abu Abdullah al-Bukhari, compiler of al-Jami al-Sahih, the Sheikh of the Muslims and over it is inscribed; This is the grave of Muhammed ibn Ismail al-Bukhari who composed such and such books. In the same manner the tombs of the learned men of Bukhara are inscribed with their names and the titles of their writings. “
Al-Bukhari is not just ‘a learned imam’, he is considered to be the greatest compiler of the Hadith, sayings of the Prophet Mohammed collected over the years, as an additional source of canonical law. For a sunni Muslim, such as Ibn Battuta, there are essentially only two sources of Islamic jurisprudence; the Koran and the Hadith. Al-Bukhari was respected by all Sunni Muslims because of the scrupulous detail he attached to his research - he did not include any hadith that could not be traced to a respected source. And because he did not align himself fully with any particular school of law, he was considered fair-minded by all.