Shaykh ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn ‘Abd al-Ḥayy al-Kattānī just passed away at 107 years of age. May Allāh Ta’āla forgive him and have mercy upon him. Is it correct that “It is believed he had the shortest chain of narration in Saḥīḥ al-Bukhārī in our time” as given below?
Shaykh ‘Abdul Raḥmān al-Kattānī – 1. Shaykh Bahā’ al-Dīn al-Afghānī – 2. Imām ‘Abdul ‘Azīz al-Dehlawī – 3. Imām Walīullāh al-Dehlawī- 4. Imām Abū Tāhir al-Kūrānī – 5. Imām Ibrāhīm al-Kūrānī – 6. Imām Qutb al-Dīn al-Nahrawālī – 7. Imām Abul Fatḥ al-Tawūsī – 8. Imām Yūsuf al-Harawī al-Jāmi’ – 9. Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Shadhbakht al-Farghānī – 10. Imām al-Khatlānī – 11. Imām Abū ‘Abdillāh al-Farabrī – Imām Muḥammad ibn Ismā’īl al-Bukhārī
Also, do you have any biographical info on Shaykh Baha al Din Afghani?
Amin. Shaykh Baha al-Din al-Afghani was a pious Meccan scholar of Afghan origin who has a biographical entry in Shaykh Yusuf Mar`ashli’s Nathr al-Jawahir.
What you mentioned is false from the following aspects:
1. Neither Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Kattani (who passed away aged 103 years (Gregorian) / 106 years (lunar), not 107 years) nor his father the Musnid `Abd al-Hayy al-Kattani (1302-1382) narrated from Shaykh Baha al-Din al-Afghani (d. 1365) to our knowledge. So the claim that Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman al-Kattani narrated that chain is not true.
2. Ibrahim al-Kurani did not narrate the chain in the fashion claimed above, but rather from Qutb al-Din al-Nahrawali, from his father, from Abu al-Futuh (not Abu al-Fath) al-Tawusi.
3. The chain after Abu al-Futuh al-Tawusi contains three notoriously unverified characters, i.e. even their existence is uncertain let alone their status.
4. None of the knowledgeable authorities — including the Dihlawis and the Kuranis — considered that chain authentic. They only related it as something strange and unusual as the scholars of transmission often do. More importantly, inauthenticity precludes any claim to shortness. So the claim that it is “the shortest chain” is not true.
5. Furthermore the anonymous claim that “it is believed” appears phrased in such a way as to deliberately misrepresent that fact by promoting the chain as something valid and scholarly. In reality it is just a curiosity which no knowledgeable hadith scholar relies upon.
Hajj Gibril Haddad