My question is related to the narrator ‘Amr ibn Thabit found in Sunan Abi Dawud. Imam Abu Dawud himself mentioned that this narrator has said all Sahabah besides five became murtad [renegade] after the passing away of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam).
My questions are:
1) How can such a person’s narration still be accepted by Imam Abu Dawud after the great Imam himself reports this statement of ‘Amr ibn Thabit?
2) Does this mean Imam Abu Dawud didn’t consider takfir of all Sahabah besides five to be kufr?
Please provide a comprehensive answer as to whether there is something I’m missing here or is it that the great Imam had different rules in accepting or rejecting Hadiths from narrators in contrast to mainstream Hadith scholars.
Technically speaking, Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) did not narrate the Hadith of ‘Amr Ibn Thabit.
He merely cited it in passing (ta’liqan).
(See Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol.8 pg.10)
After citing his narration in passing (ta’liqan), Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) explained that ‘Amr was a Rafidi (exaggerate Shi’ah) and an evil person.
وزاد في بعض النسخ: ولكنه كان صدوقا في الحديث
أقول: ومع ذلك لم يخرج له وإنما ذكره تعليقا
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 291 and Tahdhibut Tahdhib, vol.8 pg.10)
However as mentioned earlier, Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) did not formally report his Hadith. He merely cited ‘Amr’s version after quoting the very same Hadith with another full chain before that.
The Hadith Masters generally relax their conditions in cases like this.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar