The commentaries on Saheeh al-Bukhari are many and varied. For the most part they are written for specialists and are difficult to understand for those who are not specialized in the study of shar’i (Islamic legal) sciences. The reason for that is that it is difficult to understand the way in which al-Bukhari compiled his Saheeh, because he often paid attention to the number of isnaads (chains of narration) and he repeated hadeeths (narrations) and included many chapter headings, which may confuse both the ordinary reader and the scholar.
Hence the great scholar Ahmad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Lateef al-Zubaydi (893 AH) summarized Saheeh al-Bukhari, omitting repeated isnaads and reports, and he called his summary al-Tajreed al-Sareeh li Ahaadeeth al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh. This has been printed in an edition edited by Ibraaheem Barakah, with a brief commentary on these ahaadeeth (reports).
If a non-specialist wants to read Saheeh al-Bukhari, he should read al-Zubaydi’s abridgement of it, and then try to understand the ahaadeeth in it by means of various commentaries, among the easiest of which are the following:
I’laam al-Sunan by al-‘Allaamah al-Khattaabi (388 AH), which is a brief commentary on the Saheeh.
Haashiyat al-‘Allaamah al-Sindi ‘ala Saheeh al-Bukhari, which is a very brief but beneficial commentary.
‘Awn al-Baari Sharh Tajreed al-Sareeh by Siddeeq Hasan Khan (1307 AH), which is a commentary on al-Zubaydi’s abridgement, which he based on Fath al-Baari, so it is like a summary thereof.
These commentaries are amongst the shortest and easiest commentaries on al-Saheeh. They deal with the meanings of the words and expressions used, and the meanings of the hadeeth, and they do not deal with the isnaads and problematic issues and subtleties. They are not difficult to read for most people, although they sometimes indulge in discussing some linguistic details and so on. The reader should overlook whatever he finds difficult to understand.
But it is the best of these commentaries for the non-specialist, and he can also make use of some verbal commentaries on these books, such as that by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) on al-Saheeh, and the commentary of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr (may Allah preserve him) on the abridgment by al-Zubaydi.
We ask Allah to make the book easy for the ordinary Muslim who reads it, and to benefit more people by means of it.
And Allah knows best.