I have read that in terms of classing a Hadith according to the number of narrators, Aziz, Gharib, Mashur and Mutawatir, many scholars do not include the Tabaqah of Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum), rather they start counting the number of narrators from the level of Tabi’un.
Also, I have read that the example of an Aziz narration is : لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب الخ
I can understand that those that include Sahabah have termed is as Aziz because it has been narrated by Sayyiduna Anas and Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhuma). What I would like to know is how it will be classed as Aziz according to the individuals that start from Tabi’in, because this narration will have at least three people at the level of Tabi’un, due to the fact that Qatadah and Abdul Aziz ibn Suhayb have narrated from Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and there must be at least one person narrating from Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
In the opinion of this writer, the reason for the difference in consideration of the era depends on what is being classified; the text in general or the version reported by a particular Sahabi (radiyallahu’anhu).
If it’s the text in general that is being classified, then the count should start from the era of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum). Hence if there are two Sahabis (radiyallahu’anhuma) reporting the text and not less than two in the lower eras, that text will be classified as Aziz.
However, sometimes the Muhaddith is actually classifying the version of a particular Sahabi (radiyallahu’anhu).
So you would find them stating:
هذا حديث عزيز من حديث أبي هُريرة
although there are other chains leading up to other Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum).
Just as they sometimes state:
غريب من حديث أبي هُريرة
despite there being other chains that lead up to a different Sahabi…
The example mentioned in your question should be understood in the same light. i.e, Looking at it from the era of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) it is suitable as an example of a Hadith whose text is ‘Aziz.
On the other hand, it could also be an example of the second type; a Hadith that is: عزيز من حديث أنس رضي الله عنه specifically.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar