In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. In our golden era, people would memorize the hadith as a routine part of their schooling as they understood the importance of this ‘Wahy Ghairmatloo’ and we have on record people who had thousands to lacs of ahadith in memory.
There is a famous episode of Imam Bukhari which is mentioned in many books about an incident that also took place in Baghdad when the Imam had taken up temporary residence there. People had heard about the Imam’s extraordinary memory. They decided to test him to see if the Imam
was worthy of the attributes that were being attributed to him. One hundred different ahadith were chosen that had their sequence of narrators and texts altered. These altered ahadith were to be recited to Imam Bukhari by ten people. By now, a crowd had gathered to witness the outcome of this
deliberate test. One by one, each altered tradition was recited. The Imam remarked at the end of each recital, “Not in my knowledge.” After all the traditions had been presented, the Imam demonstrated the power of his memory by correcting the testimonial and text of each tradition in order.