Praise be to Allah,This article is regarding the Mursal hadeeth(A Tabiyee narrating directly from Prophet peace be upon him leaving a sahabi from the chain), Mursal hadeeth is not evidence according to the Majority of the scholars of Islam, Including Companions of Prophet peace be upon him, and the claim that Imam Ash Shafiee was the first one who rejected mursal is false claim, Proof for this claim is
a) It is mentioned in Muqaddimah of Sahih Muslim that a) Mujahid said ”
جاء بشير العدوي إلى ابن عباس فجعل يحدث ويقول : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم . قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فجعل ابن عباس لا يأذن لحديثه ولا ينظر إليه . فقال : يا ابن عباس ما لي لا أراك تسمع لحديثي ؟ أحدثك عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا تسمع ؟ فقال ابن عباس : إنا كنا مرة إذا سمعنا رجلا يقول قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ابتدرته أبصارنا وأصغينا إليه بآذاننا ، فلما ركب الناس الصعب والذلول لم ينفذ من الناس إلا ما نعرف .
Basheer bin Ka’ab (Tabiyee) came to Ibne Abbas (Sahabi) and said Prophet peace be upon him said this(he again said) Prophet peace be upon him said this but Ibne Abbas was not paying attention to him in fact he was not even watching him, He( Tabiyee) said I do not see you hear my hadeeth, I am narrating the hadeeth of Prophet peace be upon him but you do not hear? Ibn Abbas replied: previously when we heard a person saying Prophet of Allah peace be upon him said this, our eyes also sees him quickly and our ears listened him, But when People started following wrong way(started narrating weak and fabricated ahadeeth) then we left listening ahadeeth except the ahadeeth we already knew.[Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim no: 21]
b) and From the narration from Tawus, Ibne Abbas said
انا كنا نحدث عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذ لم يكن يكذب عليه ، فلما ركب الناس الصعب والذلول تركنا الحديث عنه .
We used to narrate hadeeth from Prophet peace be upon him when (people did not) lie on prophet peace be upon him, but when people started following wrong ways, we left narrating ahadeeth[Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim no: 19]
Note that after the death of Prophet peace be upon him people used to lie intentionally, and some people lied unintentionally because Fitnah was increasing, another proof for that is
a) It is mentioned in Mawatta Imam Malik
Yahya related to me from Malik from Musa ibn Uqba that Salim ibn Abdullah heard his father say, “Your claim that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered ihram from this desert of yours is not true, because he only entered ihram from the mosque, i.e. the mosque of Dhu’l-Hulayfa.”[Book 20, Number 20.7.30]
Comment: Here Abdullah Ibne Omar ra is correcting his students that your claim is false regarding Prophet peace be upon him.So, It is proven directly from sahaba they never considered Mursal an evidence unless if someone narrates that from where he heard the hadeeth.
b) It is mentioned in Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim
عن محمد بن يحيى بن سعيد القطان عن أبيه قال لم نر الصالحين في شيء أكذب منهم في الحديث قال ابن أبي عتاب فلقيت أنا محمد بن يحيى بن سعيد القطان فسألته عنه فقال عن أبيه لم تر أهل الخير في شيء أكذب منهم في الحديث قال مسلم يقول يجري الكذب على لسانهم ولا يتعمدون الكذب
Muhammad bin Yahya bin saeed al Qattan Narrates from his Father that he said we have never seen righteous people lying in anything except in (narrating) hadeeth )same is narrated from Ibn Abi Attab) Imam Muslim said they do not lie deliberately but it appear on their tongue (unintentionally) [Source: http://www.islamweb.net/newlibrary/display_book.php?bk_no=53&ID=1&idfrom=1&idto=8651&bookid=53&startno=37]
Comment: Meaning righteous people who were not muhadditheen, they used to hear narrations and preach because they considered them authentic but in reality the narrations were false.
Some sayings of the Masters of hadeeth
a) Abdullah bin Mubarak and rejection of Mursal
Imam Muslim narrates in Muqaddamah of Sahih Muslim:
محمد سمعت أبا إسحق إبراهيم بن عيسى الطالقاني قال قلت لعبد الله بن المبارك يا أبا عبد الرحمن الحديث الذي جاء إن من البر بعد البر أن تصلي لأبويك مع صلاتك وتصوم لهما مع صومك قال فقال عبد الله يا أبا إسحق عمن هذا قال قلت له هذا من حديث شهاب بن خراش فقال ثقة عمن قال قلت عن الحجاج بن دينار قال ثقة عمن قال قلت قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال يا أبا إسحق إن بين الحجاج بن دينار وبين النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم مفاوز تنقطع فيها أعناق المطي ولكن ليس في الصدقة اختلاف ] And Muhammad said: I heard Aboo Ishaaq Ibraaheem Ibn ‘Easaa at-Taaqaanee saying: I said to ‘Abdullaah Ibnul-Mubaarak, “O Abaa ‘Abdur-Rahmaan! The hadeeth if which comes, “Certainly from al-birr (righteousness) after al-birr is to pray for your parents with your Prayer and to fast for them with your fast. ‘Abdullaah said, ‘O Abaa Ishaaq! From whom is this hadeeth?” I said, “It is from the hadeeth of Shihaab Ibn Kharaash.” He said, “He is trustworthy (thiqa). From whom does he narrate?” I said “From al-Hajjaaj Ibnud-Deenaar.” He said, “He is trustworthy. From whom does he narrate?” I said, “He said the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said…” . He (Ibn mubaarak) said, “O Abaa Ishaaq! Between al-Hajjaaj and the Prophet is a desert that would break the necks of the riding beasts! But there is no difference of opinion with regards to sadaqah (charity).”[Muqaddimah Sahih Muslim Chapter Narrating the chain is in deen]
b) Imaam Muslim said, “The Mursal narrations according to me andthe saying of the people of knowledge is that it is not evidence.”(Muqaddimah Saheeh Muslim (1/24), Imaam Nawawee agreed with this statement ofImaam Muslim, see his Irshaad (pg.81)
c) Imam al Hakim said
والمراسيل واهية عند جماعة أهل الحديث من فقهاء الحجاز، غير محتج بها، وهو قول سعيد بن المسيب ومحمد بن مسلم الزهري ومالك بن أنس الأصبحي وعبدالرحمن الأوزاعي ومحمد بن إدريس الشافعي وأحمد بن حنبل ومن بعدهم من فقهاء المدينة و حجتهم فيه كتب الله و سنة نبيه
According to Jamaah of Ahl e Hadeeth and Fuqaha of Hijaaz, Mursal narrations are weak and not reliable and this is saying of Sa’eed bin Musayyib, Muhammad bin Muslim al Zuhri, Malik bin Anas, Abdul Rahman al Awza’ee, Muhammad bin Idrees al Shafi’ee, Ahmed bin Hanbal, And after them from the Fuqahaa of Madinah and upon this they have evidences from Qur’an and Sunnah of Prophet.[المدخل ص ١٢ – Al Madkhal page no. 12]
d) Imam Tirmidhi rah said
والحديث إذا كان مرسلاً فإنه لا يصح عند أكثر أهل الحديث وقد ضعفه غير واحد منهم
And When Hadeeth is Mursal then it not Sahih according to majority of Ahl e Hadeeth and many have said it as weak[al Ilal 4/397] e) Imaam Ibn Abee Haatim said, “I heard my father (Abu Haatim) and Abu Zur’ahsaying the mursal narrations are not evidence and evidence is only that whichhas an authentic and continuous/linked chain.” (Kitaab al-Maraaseel (p.7).
f) Imaam Khateeb al-Baghdaadee said, “Said Muhammad ibn Idrees ash-Shaaf’ieeand others amongst Ahlul-Ilm (People of Knowledge) it is not allowed to actupon them (ie Mursal narrations.) and said also this the Imaams and Scholarfrom amongst the preservers of hadeeth (Huffaadh al-Hadeeth) and thescrutinizers of narrations.” (al-Kifaayah Fee Ilm ar-Riwaayah (pg.384).
g) Imam Iraqi said regarding
“Mostof the People of Hadeeth have rejected Mursal narrations because in that narration a narrator (which is not been mentioned bytabiee or any other) is unknown[Al faqeeh al Iraqi page143 ma fath ul baqi, (Fath ul-Mugeeth (pg.69)]
h) Haafidh Ibn as-Salaah said,
“And what we have mentioned that mursalnarrations cannot be deduced from and grading them to be weak then this is theposition of the majority of the Preservers of Hadeeth (Huffaadh) and thescrutinizers of narrations and this is the opinion they have repeated in theirworks.” (Muqaddimah (pg.55).
HaafidhIbn as-Salaah “I say about mursal that its weak, which cannot be taken as evidence, Memorizers of hadeeth have consensus on this[Ikhtisaar uloom ul hadeeth by Imam Ibn e katheer under mursal hadeeth].
i) Imaam Nawawee said, “Mursal narrations are not evidence according to me andaccording to the majority of the scholars of hadeeth, a group of jurists andthe majority of the people of principles.” (Sharh Muhazzab (1/103).
Same is mentioned by j) Ibne Abdul Barr fromMuhadditheen (al Tamheed 1/17)
An Introduction To The Science Of Hadith by Shaykh Suhaib Hassan, see Authenticity of the Mursal hadith