What are the various definitions given for a Mustafid Hadith in comparison to Mash-hur Hadith?
Firstly, this discussion is more related to Usulul Fiqh, not Usulul Hadith. It is actually the Fuqaha who more frequently use this term, with its different definitions.
Hereunder are a few such definitions that are found in the Hadith commentaries:
1. Mustafid is same as Mash-hur (i.e, it is reported by at least three narrators in every era). This view is also held by a few Muhaddithun.
2. It is a more specific type of Mash-hur; wherein the number of narrators in the entire chain remain exactly equal in every era. (without dropping to below three)
3. It is the same as Mutawatir.
(Sharh Nukhbah, pg. 46-47, Sharhu Sharhin Nukhbah, pg. 193-194 and Fathul Mughith, vol. 3 pg. 389-390)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar