Assalaamu alaykum. Does the Mursal hadith (hadith in which the Companion who related it from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is missing from the chain) narrated by Tawoos about placing the hands on the chest in the prayer found in Sunan Abi Dawood have any unreliable narrator in its chain? [Please note that I already know that it is a weak hadith on account of the absence of a Companion in the chain; so you do not have to mention that.]
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
The hadeeth in Sunan Abu Daawood on the authority of Taawoos both, reads, “The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to place his right hand on his left hand, and then he placed them firmly on his chest in prayer.”
Shaykh Al-Albaani wrote in his detailed commentary on Sunan Abu Daawood, “All the narrators in this chain of narration are classified as trustworthy (Thiqaat) from whom (Imaam) Muslim narrated except for Al-Haytham ibn Humayd, and he is trustworthy, and Sulaymaan ibn Moosa, whose memory became weak shortly before his death, as stated in At-Taqreeb.”
Shaykh Shu‘ayb Al-Arnaa’oot and his co-authors underlined in their commentary on Sunan Abu Daawood, “It is a Mursal hadeeth (incompletely transmitted; the chain of narrators ending at a Taabi‘i, without the reference of the Companion quoting from the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whose chain of narration are all trustworthy (Thiqaat) except for Sulaymaan ibn Moosa – nicknamed Ad-Dimashqi – and he was truthful and his narration was accepted by Hadeeth scholars.”
These two quotes indicate that there was no weak reporter in the chain of narration of this hadeeth.
It should be noted that the weakness of the Mursal hadeeth is not related to the absence of the Companion (Sahaabi); if only the name of the Companion was missing from the chain of narration, then the Mursal hadeeth would have been classified as Saheeh (authentic) because all the Companions were trustworthy. Rather, the weakness of the Mursal hadeeth is related to the fact that it is possible that the missing reporter is one or more Taabi‘i (one of the generation following that of the Companions) along with the missing Companion, and it is also possible that this Taabi‘i is weak.
Therefore, Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar wrote:
“The hadeeth in whose chain of narration one or more reporter is missing after the Taabi‘i is known as Mursal. The Taabi‘i, whether he belonged to the early or late generations, would say, ‘The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said or did such-and-such, or such-and-such took place in his presence, or the like.’ The Mursal hadeeth was classified in the section of the rejected reports because of the fact that the situation of the missing reporter(s) is unknown; he may be a Companion or a Taabi‘i. Based on the second possibility, he may either be weak or trustworthy...” [Nuzhat An-Nathar]
Allah knows best.
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