Please comment on the authenticity of the narration that says
Seek knowledge as far as in China
Seeking knowledge is a very noble and recommended deed, wherever it takes the seeker.
Even the Great Nabi Musa (‘alayhis Salam) undertook a lengthy journey to benefit from the knowledge of Khadir/Khidr (‘alayhis Salam).
Traveling for the purpose of acquiring knowledge has remained the status quo of all the Scholars.
The Hadith you question is recorded by Imam Bayhaqi, Ibn ‘Abdil Barr and Khatib Baghdadi (rahimahumullah) with extremely unreliable chains.
(Shu’abul Iman, Hadith: 1543, Al-Madkhal ila ‘ilmis Sunan, Hadith: 1442, Jami’u Bayanil ‘ilm, vol.1 pg.7-8 and Ar Rihlah fi Talabil Hadith, Hadith: 1-3 also see: Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol.1 pg.258)
In fact, Imam Bazzar (rahimahullah) has declared this statement as having no basis.
(Musnad Bazzar, Hadith: 95; see footnotes of Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah on Al-Madkhal of Bayhaqi, Hadith: 1442)
One should rather quote other virtues of sojourn for knowledge.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar