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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Muhammad bin Muslim bin Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Shihaab az-Zuhri




Name:

محمد بن مسلم بن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن شهاب بن عبد الله بن الحارث بن زهرة القرشى الزهرى ، أبو بكر المدنى

Muhammad bin Muslim bin Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Shihaab bin Abdullah bin al-Haarith bin Zuhrah al-Qurashi az-Zuhri, Abu Bakr al-Madani

Tabaqah: 4 - Next to the Taabi'een of Middle Level

Birth: 50 A.H. and this is the most preponderant opinion concerning his date of birth.

Death: 17th of Ramadaan, 124 A.H. on his property in Shaghab.

Imaam Sufyaan bin Uyaynah said: “Az-Zuhri, Muhammad bin Muslim bin Ubaydullah bin Shihaab, died in 124 A.H.”
[Al-Taareekh al-Kabeer lil Bukhaari (1/220)]

Ibn Sa’d, Khaleefah bin Khayyaat, and az-Zubayr also said the same thing.

Narrated by: Al-Bukhaari – Muslim – Abu Dawood – Tirmidhi – Nasaa'ee – Ibn Maajah

Note: Imaam Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhri is one of the central authorities of hadeeth. There is no book of hadeeth which does not contain his narrations!

Teachers: He narrated from Ibn Umar, Jaabir bin Abdullah (a small part), Sahl bin Sa’d, Anas bin Maalik, Saa’ib bin Yazeed, Abdullah bin Tha’labah bin Su’ayr, Mahmood bin ar-Rabee’, Mahmood bin Labeed, Abu at-Tufayl Aamir, Abdur Rahmaan bin Azhar, Rabee’ah bin Abbaad ad-Daylee, Abdullah bin Aamir bin Rabee’ah, Maalik bin Aws bin al-Hadathaan, Sa’eed bin al-Musayyab, Alqamah bin Waqqaas, Katheer bin al-Abbaas, Abu Umaamah bin Sahl, Ali bin al-Husayn, Urwah bin az-Zubayr, Abu Idrees al-Khawlaani, Qabeesah bin Dhu’ayb, Abdul Malik bin Marwaan, Saalim bin Abdullah, Muhammad bin Jubayr bin Mut’im, Muhammad bin an-Nu’maan bin Basheer, Abu Salamah bin Abdur Rahmaan, Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah, Uthmaan bin Ishaaq al-Aamri, Abi al-Ahwas Mawla Bani Thaabit, Abu Bakr bin Abdur Rahmaan bin al-Haarith, Qaasim bin Muhammad, Aamir bin Sa’d, Khaarijah bin Zayd bin Thaabit, Abdullah bin Ka’b bin Maalik, Abu Umar – a man from Bilaa who has also a Companion – and Abaan bin Uthmaan

Students: Ataa bin Abi Ribaah (who was elder than him), Umar bin Abdul Azeez (he died a little before Az-Zuhri in one hundred and twenty some Hijri), Amr bin Deenaar, Amr bin Shu’ayb, Qataadah bin Di’aamah, Zayd bin Aslam, Mansoor bin al-Mu’tamir, Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani, Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Ansaari, Abu az-Zinaad, Saalih bin Kaysaan, Uqayl bin Khaalid, Muhammad bin al-Waleed az-Zubaydee, Muhammad bin Abi Hafsah, Bakr bin Waa’il, Amr bin al-Haarith, Ibn Jurayj, Ja’far bin Burqaan, Ziyaad bin Sa’d, Abdul Azeez bin al-Maajishoon, Abu Uways, Ma’mar bin Raashid, Al-Awzaa’ee, Shu’ayb bin Abi Hamzah, Maalik bin Anas, Layth bin Sa’d, Ibraaheem bin Sa’d, Sa’eed bin Abdul Azeez, Fulayh bin Sulemaan, Ibn Abi Dhi’b, Muhammad bin Ishaaq bin Yasaar, Sufyaan bin Husayn, Saalih bin Abi al-Akhdar, Sulemaan bin Katheer, Hishaam bin Sa’d, Hushaym bin Bushayr, Sufyaan bin Uyaynah, and a nation of people other than these.

Status: Thiqah Haafidh Faqeeh, there is consensus on his might and mastery

Opinions of Ahl ul-Jarh wat Ta’deel:

Note: It is not possible to enclose all the virtues and praises of Imaam az-Zuhri in one short article; hence we will only mention a few sayings to be concise.

Those who praised him:

1-    Imaam Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhri said:

ما استعدت حديثًا قط، ولا شككت في حديث إلا حديثًا، احدًا، فسألت صاحبي، فإذا هو كما حفظت
“I have never requested that a hadeeth be repeated to me neither was I unsure of any hadeeth except one hadeeth. And when I asked my colleague, he told me that it was exactly as I had memorized it”
[Al-Ilal by Ahmed (160) & Hilyat al-Awliyaa (3/363)]

Hakeem bin Hakeem said that when he told Ibn Shihaab that Rabee’ah bin Abi Abdur Rahmaan says, “Sa’eed bin al-Musayyab said such and such.” He said:

أوهم ربيعة أنا كنت أحفظ لحديث سعيد بن المسيب من ربيعة
“Rabee’ah was mistaken. I have the mastery of Ibn al-Musayyab’s ahaadeeth more than Rabee’ah”
[Taareekh Dimashq by Ibn Asaakir (55/326), Chain Hasan]

Ibn Ishaaq said that he asked Az-Zuhri about something and that he said:

ما بقي أحد فيما بين المشرق والمغرب أعلم بهذا مني
“There is none of those who are between the East and West more knowledgeable about this than me.”
[Taareekh Dimashq by Ibn Asaakir (55/326), Chain Hasan]

2-    Ameer ul-Mu’mineen, Umar bin Abdul Azeez (D. 101) said:

عليكم بابن شهاب هذا فانكم لاتلقون أحدا أعلم بالسنة الماضية منه
“Necessary upon you is to hold on to this Ibn Shihaab, for indeed you would not have met anyone more knowledgeable of the past Sunnah than him”
[Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel by Ibn Abi Haatim (8/72), Chain Saheeh]

3-    Imaam Amr bin Deenaar (D. 126) said:

مَا رَأَيْتُ أَحَدًا أَبْصَرَ بِحَدِيثٍ مِنَ الزُّهْرِيِّ
“I have not seen anyone as precise in Hadeeth as Az-Zuhri”
[Tabaqaat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa’d (1/174), Chain Saheeh]

4-    Imaam Sa’d bin Ibraaheem bin Abdur Rahmaan bin Awf (D. 125-127) said:

ما أرى أحدا بعد رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلى اللَّهُ عَلَيه وسَلم جَمَعَ ما جَمَعَ ابْن شِهاب
“I have not seen anyone after the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) who gathered what Ibn Shihaab gathered”
[Al-Taareekh al-Kabeer by Al-Bukhaari (1/220), Chain Saheeh]

5-    Imaam Maalik bin Anas al-Madani (D. 179) said:

أول من أسند الحديث ابن شهاب الزهري
“The first person who (wrote down) the chains of Hadeeth was Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhri”
[Muqaddimah Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel (1/20), Chain Saheeh]

Another version says: “The first person to record down the knowledge in written form was Ibn Shihaab”
[Hilyat al-Awliya (3/363), Chain Weak]

6-    Imaam Sufyaan bin Uyaynah (D. 198) said:

مَا أَحَدٌ أَعْلَمُ بِالسُّنَّةِ منه
“There is no one more knowledgeable of the Sunnah than him (i.e. Zuhri)”
[Al-Kaamil by Ibn Adee (1/139), Chain Hasan]

Al-Qaasim bin Abi Sufyaan al-Ma’mari said, I asked Sufyaan bin Uyaynah:

أيما أفقه أو أعلم إبراهيم النخعي أو الزهري قال الزهري
“Which one of the two is bigger Faqeeh or Aalim: Ibraaheem an-Nakha’ee or Az-Zuhri?” Sufyaan answered: “Az-Zuhri”
[Taareekh Dimashq by Ibn Asaakir (55/355), Chain Hasan]

7-    Imaam Muhammad bin Sa’d (D. 230) said:

كَانَ الزُّهْرِيُّ ثِقَةً كَثِيرَ الْحَدِيثِ وَالْعِلْمِ وَالرِّوَايَةِ فَقِيهًا جَامِعًا
“Az-Zuhri was Thiqah, possessed a lot of ahaadeeth, knowledge and narrations, he was a complete Faqeeh”
[ Tabaqaat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa'd (1/185)]

8-    Imaam Abu Abdur Rahmaan Al-Nasaa’ee (D. 303) said:

أحسن أسانيد تروى عن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) أربعة منها الزهري عن علي بن الحسين عن حسين بن علي عن علي بن أبي طالب عن رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وسلم) والزهري عن عبيد الله بن عبد الله بن عتبة بن مسعود عن ابن عباس عن عمر عن النبي (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
“The best of chains narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are four among them is (what) Zuhri narrated from Ali bin al-Husayn from Husayn bin Ali from Ali bin Abi Taalib from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and (what) Zuhri narrated from Ubaydullah bin Abdullah bin Utbah bin Mas’ood from Ibn Abbaas from Umar from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) [and he mentioned two other routes]”
[ Taareekh Dimashq by Ibn Asaakir (55/339), Chain Hasan]

9-    Imaam Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani (D. 131) said:

ما رأيت أحدًا أعلم من الزهري، فقال له صخر بن جويرية: ولا الحسن: قال: ما رأيت أحدًا أعلم من الزهري
“I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than Az-Zuhri, so Sakhr bin Juwayriyyah said to him, ‘not even Hasan (al-Basri)?’ He said (again): I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable than Az-Zuhri”
[ Al-Ilal by Imaam Ahmed (3/313), Chain Saheeh]

10-          Imaam Ahmed bin Hanbal (D. 241) said:

الزُّهْريّ أَحْسَنُ النَّاسِ حَدِيثًا وَأَجْوَدُ النَّاسِ إِسْنَادًا
“Az-Zuhri is the best of people in Hadeeth and the most skilled of people in Isnaad”
[ Al-Kaamil by Ibn Adee (1/139), Chain Hasan]

11-          Imaam Abu Zur’ah ar-Raazi (D. 264) was asked:

أي الإسناد أصح؟ قال الزهري عن سالم عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى الله عليه وسلم صحيح
“Which Isnaad is the most authentic?” He replied: “(the Isnaad of) Az-Zuhri from Saalim from his Father from the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is Saheeh…” [and he mentioned two other chains]
[ Al-Jarh wat Ta'deel by Ibn Abi Haatim (2/26)]

12-          Imaam Abu Haatim ar-Raazi (D. 275) said:

الزهري احب إلى من الاعمش، يحتج بحديثه، واثبت اصحاب انس الزهري
“Az-Zuhri is more beloved to us than Al-A’mash, his hadeeth is to be taken evidence from, and the most proficient of Anas’ students was Az-Zuhri”
[Al-Jarh wat Ta’deel by Ibn Abi Haatim (8/74)]

13-          Imaam Ibn Hibbaan (D. 354) said:

رأى عشرَة من أَصْحَاب رَسُول اللَّه صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَكَانَ من أحفظ أهل زَمَانه وَأَحْسَنهمْ سياقا لمتون الْأَخْبَار وَكَانَ فَقِيها فَاضلا
“He saw ten companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and he was the most preserving of the people of his era, and the best of them in mentioning the contexts of the texts of narrations, and he was a Faqeeh Faadil”
[ Ath-Thiqaat by Ibn Hibbaan (5/349)]

14-          Imaam Abu al-Hasan al-Ijlee (D. 261) said:

تَابِعِيّ ثِقَة أدْرك الزهرى من أَصْحَاب النَّبِي صلى الله عَلَيْهِ وَسلم أنس بن مَالك الْأنْصَارِيّ وَسَهل بن سعد السَّاعِدِيّ وَعبد الرَّحْمَن بن أَيمن بن نابل ومحمود بن الرّبيع الْأنْصَارِيّ وروى عَن عبد الله بن عمر نَحوا من ثَلَاثَة أَحَادِيث وروى عَن السَّائِب بن يزِيد
“He is a Thiqah Taabi’ee. Zuhri met Anas bin Maalik al-Ansaari, Sahl bin Sa’d as-Saa’idi, Abdur Rahmaan bin Ayman bin Naabil, and Mahmood bin ar-Rabee’ al-Ansaari from the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and he narrated from Abdullah bin Umar about three narrations, and he (also) narrated from Saa’ib bin Yazeed”
[ Ath-Thiqaat by al-Ijlee (2/253)]

15-          Imaam Shams ud-Deen adh-Dhahabi (D. 748) dedicated 24 pages to the biography of Imaam az-Zuhri in Siyar A’laam al-Nabula and said:

الإِمَامُ، العَلَمُ، حَافِظُ زَمَانِه
“Al-Imaam al-Alam, the Haafidh of his time”
[ 5/326]

16-          Haafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani (D. 852) said:

الفقيه الحافظ متفق على جلالته وإتقانه وثبته
“Al-Faqeeh al-Haafidh, his might, mastery and precision is agreed upon”
[ Taqreeb at-Tahdheeb (6296)]

Those who criticized him:

None

The Accusation of being a Shi’aa on Imaam az-Zuhri:

A person named Abu al-Khayr Asdi writes in his book named “Islaam main Nuzool-e-Maseeh ka Tasawwur (The concept of Eesa’s descendance in Islaam)” that: “The confession of the A’immah Rijaal of Shi’aas that Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhri was counted among the companions of  Imaam Ja’far Saadiq. Hence the famous Imaam of Shi’aa Rijaal, Maamqaani writes in his book ‘Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal fi Asmaa ur-Rijaal’ that: The Shaykh counted him among his Rijaal among the companions of as-Saadiq (3/186)”
[P. 41, 42]

Answer:

We have proven above that Imaam az-Zuhri was one of the highest authorities of Ahl us-Sunnah wal Jama’ah and a Thiqah with consensus Imaam and a Wali of Allaah. His ahaadeeth are present in all the hadeeth books of Ahl us-Sunnah. The Sunni Ulama have praised him and have declared his narrations to be Saheeh, in fact, the most authentic of all narrations. And not a single Sunni Muhaddith has accused him of being a Shi’aa. Therefore, this accusation is rejected.

Secondly, if Rawaafid mention someone in their books to increase their numbers, this is not at all the evidence for saying that this person would actually be a Shi’aa and a Raafidi.

The Rawaafid have also mentioned the following people in their books of Rijaal, so does that mean they would also become Shi’aa or Raafidi?

1.     Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu [Al-Usool min al-Kaafi (1/452)]
2.     Al-Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu [Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 15); and Al-Usool min al-Kaafi (1/463)]
3.     Al-Husayn bin Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu [Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 15); and Al-Usool min al-Kaafi (1/463)]
4.     Jaabir bin Abdullah al-Ansaari radiallah anhu [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal of Maamqaani (1/99); Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 12)]
5.     Sa’eed bin Jubayr rahimahullah [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (2/25); Rijaal al-Helli (P. 29)]
6.     Abu Haneefah an-Nu’maan bin Thaabit rahimahullah [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (3/272); Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 325)]
7.     Ya’qoob bin Ibraaheem Abu Yoosuf al-Qaadhi [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (3/329)]
8.     Muhammad bin Idrees ash-Shaafi’ee [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (2/76 # 10360)]
9.     Maalik bin Anas [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (2/48 # 10022)]
10.   Ibraaheem bin Yazeed an-Nakha’ee and others [Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (1/43); Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 35)]

Does anyone have the courage to declare these Sahaabah and Taabi’een to be Shi’aa or Raafidi and reject their narrations? Therefore, it is proven that mere mention of some Sunni people in Shi’aa Rijaal does not make them Raafidi.

In fact on the contrary, Maamqaani Raafidi has narrated in Ibn Abi al-Hadeed’s Sharh of Nahj ul-Balaghah that:

كان الزهري من المنحر فين عنه يعني عليا
i.e. Az-Zuhri was among the opposers of Ameer ul-Mu’mineen Ali bin Abi Taalib radiallah anhu
[Tanqeeh ul-Maqaal (3/187)]

And similarly, Abu Ja’far at-Toosi ar-Raafidi writes:

محمد بن شهاب الزهري عدو...
“Muhammad bin Shihaab az-Zuhri is an enemy…”
[Rijaal at-Toosi (P. 101)]

Now decide as to whether we can declare Imaam az-Zuhri to be a Naasibi on the saying of Raafidah?

Imaam az-Zuhri & the accusation of Tadlees:

It is not proven from any of the early Muhadditheen that they declared Imaam az-Zuhri to be a Mudallis. It is only a few Muta’khireen who declared him a Mudallis without any reference from the Mutaqaddimeen. On the contrary, all the Scholars have accepted his narrations with AN. That is why, Haafidh al-Alaa’ee said:

وقد قبل الأئمة قوله عن
“And indeed the A’immah have (unanimously) accepted his saying with An”
[Jaami at-Tahseel (1/109)]

There are only three proven references from the early Muhadditheen that are presented in order to prove the Tadlees of Zuhri, and the reality of each of them is explained as follows:

1. The Saying of Imaam Abu Haatim:

Imaam Abu Haatim ar-Raazi said while commenting on a Hadeeth:

الزهري لم يسمع من عروة هذا الحديث، فلعله دلسه
“Az-Zuhri did not hear this hadeeth from Urwah, probably he did Tadlees”
[Ilal al-Hadeeth by Ibn Abi Haatim (3/407)]

“He probably did Tadlees” is not sufficient to declare a giant Imaam like Zuhri to be a Mudallis. Imaam Abu Haatim himself is not certain of the reality, so how can this saying become a proof?

2. The saying of Imaam Tirmidhi

Some people have presented the following saying of Imaam Tirmidhi to prove that Imaam az-Zuhri used to do Tadlees. Imaam Tirmidhi said while commenting on a hadeeth:

هذا حديث لا يصح لأن الزهري لم يسمع هذا الحديث من أبي سلمة
“This hadeeth is not Saheeh because az-Zuhri did not hear this hadeeth from Abu Salamah”
[Sunan at-Tirmidhi (1524)]

If Zuhri did not hear this hadeeth from Abu Salamah, this does not necessarily mean that he committed Tadlees! There could be several other reasons for not listening this hadeeth from Abu Salamah other than Tadlees, such as this route is not proven from Zuhri, or Zuhri in actuality did not hear this hadeeth from Zuhri but the one who narrated from him could have mistake in narrating it from Abu Salamah! And reading the context of the saying of Imaam Tirmidhi also suggests that he is not talking about Tadlees but the opposition of Zuhri’s student in narrating it from Abu Salamah with the other students of Zuhri! As long as these possibilities are there, this saying cannot be presented as a proof of his Tadlees.

3. The saying of Abu Ja’far at-Tahaawi

Abu Ja’far at-Tahaawi al-Hanafi said while commenting on a hadeeth:

وهذا الحديث أيضا لم يسمعه الزهري من عروة إنما دلس به
“Zuhri also did not hear this hadeeth from Urwah, rather he did Tadlees in it”
[Sharh Ma’aani ul-Athaar (1/72)]

Although Abu Ja’far At-Tahaawi is Sadooq and Thiqah in Hadeeth but he was a Muta’assib Hanafi. He does not even hesitate to suggest far-fetched Ta’weelaat of ahaadeeth in support of his Madhab. Ilm al-Hadeeth was not his field of specialty as it was with other Muhadditheen that we should decide the fate of a narrator based only on his saying.

Shaykh ul-Islaam, Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

وَالطَّحَاوِيُّ لَيْسَتْ عَادَتُهُ نَقْدَ الْحَدِيثِ كَنَقْدِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ ; وَلِهَذَا رَوَى فِي " شَرْحِ مَعَانِي الْآثَارِ " الْأَحَادِيثَ الْمُخْتَلِفَةَ، وَإِنَّمَا يُرَجِّحُ مَا يُرَجِّحُهُ مِنْهَا فِي الْغَالِبِ مِنْ جِهَةِ الْقِيَاسِ الَّذِي رَآهُ حُجَّةً، وَيَكُونُ أَكْثَرُهَا مَجْرُوحًا مِنْ جِهَةِ الْإِسْنَادِ لَا يَثْبُتُ، وَلَا يَتَعَرَّضُ لِذَلِكَ ; فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ تَكُنْ مَعْرِفَتُهُ بِالْإِسْنَادِ كَمَعْرِفَةِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ بِهِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ كَثِيرَ الْحَدِيثِ، فَقِيهًا عَالِمًا
“The manner in which the Scholars scrutinize ahaadeeth, At-Tahaawi does not have this habit because the narrations that he mentions in Sharh Ma’aani al-Athaar and gives one precedence over the other then he does most of it based upon Qiyaas and considers this to be evidence, whereas most of them are weak in terms of their chains. The reason for this is because although he was Katheer al-Hadeeth Faqeeh Aalim, but he did not have knowledge of the chains as did the other Scholars of hadeeth.”
[Minhaaj us-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Taymiyyah (8/195-196)]

And if you open this hadeeth under which Tahaawi has said this about Imaam az-Zuhri, you would see that he is unsuccessfully defending the Hanafi Madhab even there and is constantly busy in criticizing Thiqah narrators. Hence, Jarh wa Ta’deel (as Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said) is not the field of At-Tahaawi. And basing the opinion of someone’s Jarh wa Ta’deel on an non-expert is not the habit of Muhaqqiqeen.

Moreover, the reason based on which Tahaawi has accused Imaam az-Zuhri of Tadlees in this hadeeth is also very odd and strange which is not supported by any other Expert, but we do not want to go into its details.

At the end we say that the narration in which Tahaawi accused Imaam az-Zuhri of committing Tadlees, in another route of that very hadeeth, Imaam az-Zuhri himself has affirmed his samaa from Urwah (See, Taareekh Baghdaad (10/451, Chain Saheeh)). So when Imaam az-Zuhri did not even commit Tadlees in the narration in which he is wrongfully accused of committing Tadlees, then what value does the accusation have remaining!?

Therefore, the accusation of Tadlees upon Imaam az-Zuhri is wrong. He is free from Tadlees and hence all his narrations narrated with An are acceptable, wa lillaahi-l-hamd!

The Maraaseel of Imaam az-Zuhri:

Imaam Yahya bin Sa’eed al-Qattaan said: “The Mursal of Zuhri is worse than that of others; because he was an erudite Scholar. He was able to mention the name of any narrator in the sanad if he wanted to. He only omitted the names of those he did not like.”
[Taareekh Dimashq (5/368)]

Imaam adh-Dhahabi said: “The Maraaseel of az-Zuhri is like a Mu’dal Hadeeth [a mu’dal is a report in which two or more of the narrators on his chain of narrators are missing], in the sense that he might have omitted the names of two narrators. And it is not justifiable to think that he dropped only the name of a Companion. If he had heard the hadeeth directly from a Companion, he would have mentioned his name and would not have been unable to connect the sanad. If he said, ‘from some Companions of the Prophet’, that would not have been sufficient indication that he heard the hadeeth directly from a Companion. Whoever equated the Mursal of az-Zuhri with that of [senior Taabi’een] like Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyab, and Urwah bin az-Zubayr, did not know what he was saying. Yes, his Mursal is like that of people like Qataadah”
[Siyar A’laam al-Nabula (5/338)]

Ahmed bin Abi Shurayh said that he heard ash-Shaafi’ee saying: “Az-Zuhri’s Mursal is valueless, for we find him narrating from Sulemaan bin Arqam”
[Ibid]

Ash-Shaafi’ee also said: “We are being accused of partiality. If we had to be partial in favor of anyone, we would have been partial in favor of az-Zuhri. But az-Zuhri’s Mursal is valueless for we find him narrating from Sulemaan bin Arqam”
[Taareekh Dimashq (55/368), Chain Saheeh up to Ahmed bin Abi Shurayh]

Conclusion:

Imaam Ibn Shihaab az-Zuhri is unanimously proven to be Thiqah Imaam Faqeeh and one of the highest authorities of hadeeth. He is not proven to be a Mudallis, nor is he a Shi’aa as some people recently claimed. His Maraaseel are weak, and his Muttasil narrations are Saheeh.

For a detailed biography of Imaam az-Zuhri, read the book by Shaykh Salaahuddeen ‘Alee ‘Abdul-Mawjood by Darussalam posted here

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