What’s the meaning of this narration found in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 121:
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) said: I have memorized two vessels of knowledge from Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), I have propagated one of them to you and if I propagated the second, then my throat would be cut.”
By two vessels, what is meant is that if the Hadiths that he memorized were to be written, they would fill up 2 vessels.
It is also possible that Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) had dictated these Hadiths by then, which actually did fill up 2 vessels.
The first vessel, which consisted of the rulings of Islam, were propagated diligently by himself.
As far as the second vessel is concerned, the famous commentator of Sahih Bukhari; Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) writes under the commentary of this Hadith:
‘The ‘Ulama have understood that the second vessel (which Abu Hurayrah refused to share publicly) consisted of Hadiths that probably had the names of the tyrant rulers and the descriptions of their acts of tyranny…
These Hadiths had no mention of any type of rulings of Islam, or else Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) would have never allowed himself to conceal such knowledge.’
(Fathul Bari, hadith: 120)
Several seniors of the Salaf (predecessors) had cautioned against publicizing Hadiths that have a sensitive meaning. This is exactly what Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) had done too.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar