Al-'Uqaylī records: in the opinion of Yahyā ibn Ma'īn, he is laysa bi shay' and his narratives are nothing not even worth a penny and at another place he has called him da'īf. 'Abdullāh ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal heard his father say that Ayyūb ibn 'Utbah's narratives from Yahyā ibn Abī Kathīr have discrepancies while from others he is okay. (In this narrative, he narrates from Yahyā ibn Abī Kathīr)
Ibn Abī Hātim records that in the opinion of Abū Zur'ah, he is da'īf.
Al-Bukhārī says that he is layyin.
Al-Nasā'ī says that he is mudtarib al-hadīth.
Ibn Hajar says the he is da'īf.
Al-Mizzī records: 'Alī ibn al-Madīnī, Ibrāhīm ibn Ya'qūb al-Juzjānī, 'Amr ibn 'Alī, Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh ibn 'Ammār al-Mawsilī and Muslim ibn al-Hajjāj regard him to be da'īf; al-'Ijlī remarks about him: yuktabu hadīthuhū wa laysa bi al-qawī; Ya'qūb ibn Sufyān regards him to be da'īf; al-Dāraqutnī says: yutrak.
Here are the two mursal narratives:
Khālid ibn Mihrān
Ibn 'Ulayyah Wuhayb
Ya'qūb ibn Ibrāhīm 'Abd al-A'lā
al-Tabarī Ibn Durays
Abū Qilābah 'Abdullāh ibn Yazīd died in 104/ 106 or 107 AH.
Moreover, Khālid ibn Mihrān is a mudallis and this narrative is an 'an'anah from him.
Though most authorities have regarded him to be a trustworthy narrator, in the opinion of Abū Hātim, he is: yuktabu hadīthuhū wa lā yuhtajju bihī.
Sa'īd ibn Abī Hilāl
Layth ibn Sa'd
'Abdullāh ibn Sālih
Besides inqitā' (Sa'īd ibn Abī Hilāl died in 149 AH), another flaw in the chain is the existence of 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih. Al-Dhahabī records about 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih: wa lahū manākīr. Al-'Uqaylī records that 'Abdullāh ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal asked his father about 'Abdullāh ibn Sālihwho replied that initially he was trustworthy but later he became dubious (kāna awwala amrihī mutamāsikanthumma fasada bi ākharah), and that he is laysa huwa bi shay', and at another instance 'Abdullāh ibn Ahmad says that his father mentioned 'Abdullāh ibn Sālihand censured him and expressed his disgust at him (dhammahū wa karihahū) and said that he narrated a book or narratives from Layth who narrated them from Ibn Abī Dhi'b. However, Ahmad denied that he (Layth) narrated anything from Ibn Abī Dhi'b. Ibn Hibbān says that he is munkar al-hadīthin the extreme sense (munkar al-hadīth jiddan) and he would narrate things from trustworthy people which would not sound as theirs. While explaining the reason for the existence of manākīr in his narratives, Ibn Hibbān goes on to say that he had a neighbour who was an evil person and that he (Ibn Hibbān) heard Ibn Khuzaymah say that this person would fabricate narratives from 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih. He would write these narratives in a handwriting which would resemble that of 'Abdullāh ibn Sālihand would throw the pieces of paper on which it was written in his house among his books. 'Abdullāh thinking that it was his handwriting would take these pieces and would narrate the narratives written on them. According to al-Nasā'ī,he is laysa bi thiqah. Al-Mizzī records that when 'Abd al-Mu'min ibn Khalaf al-Nasafī asked Sālihibn Muhammad about him, he replied that though Yayhyā ibn Ma'īn regards him to be trustworthy, to him he lies in hadīth (yakdhibu fī al-hadīth). In the opinion of Ahmad ibn Sālih, he is muttahamūn laysa bi shay'. Al-Dhahabī records that 'Alī ibn al-Madīnī said that he had not narrated anything from 'Abdullāh ibn Sālih. Ibn Hajar records that he is sadūqkathīr al-ghalatand is reliable when he narrates from his book (thabtunfī kitābihī) and is forgetful (kānat fīhi ghaflah).
Next, the chain of narration of the narrative attributed to 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) quoted earlier is reproduced below:
'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd
al-Musayyib ibn Rāfi'
'Āsim ibn Bahdalah
Ibrāhīm ibn Tahmān 'Amr ibn Abī Qays
Mu'ādh ibn Hānī Hukkām ibn Salim
al-Dārimī Muhammd ibn Humayd
In the above chain, following narrators are considered suspect by authorities:
i. al-Musayyib ibn al-Rāfi'
Al-Alā'ī records that Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that al-Musayyib ibn Rāfi' has not heard anything from 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta). Al-Mizzī records that 'Abbās al-Dūrī reports from Yahyā ibn Ma'īn that al-Musayyib ibn al-Rāfi' has not heard from any Companion of the Prophet (sws) except Barā' ibn 'Āzib and Abū Iyās 'Āmir ibn 'Abdah. Ibn Abī Hātim says that according to his father, Abū Hātim, his narratives from 'Abdullāh ibn Mas'ūd (rta) aremursal and at another instance he is said to have remarked that al-Musayyib ibn al-Rāfi' has neither met Ibn Mas'ūd (rta) nor 'Alī (rta).
ii. 'Āsim ibn Bahdalah
Authorities like Abū Hātim, Ibn 'Ulayyah, Abū Ja'far al-'Uqayli and al-Dāraqutnī are of the opinion that he does not have a sound memory.
The questions which arise on its text and the weakness in the chain of narration of the variants of this narrative warrant that it should not be accepted. It is perhaps because of these flaws that none of the authors of the six canonical collections have included this narrative in their collections.