Taqiyud-Din As-Subki – Manaqib Al-Imam Ash-Shafi’i, narrates the following report from Imam Ash-Shafi’i: “It was narrated to us by Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl who had it narrated to him from Abul-Abbas Al-Asam who said Rabi’ ibn Sulayman narrated to us from Imam ash-Shafi’i that he said, “Innovated matters in religion are of two kinds: 1) Whatever is innovated and contravenes the Book, or the Sunnah, or a narration, or Ijma‘ – then that is an innovation of misguidance. 2) Whatever is innovated of [any and all good things and that does not contradict any of these – then this is a novelty which is not blameworthy. And ‘Umar (radiya Allahu ‘anhu) said concerning the night-prayer in the month of Ramadan: ‘ni’matu bida’at hadhihi‘ what a good innovation this is’ meaning it was innovated without having existed before and, even so, there was nothing in it that contradicted the above. But the salafi Salim Al-Hilali and ‘Ali Al-Halabi, claimed that Muhammad ibn Musa ibn al-Fadl is that he is somehow unknown as ‘he did not find a biography for him فإني لم أجد له ترجمة‘ (in the books al-Bida’ah” of Hilali and Usul Al-Bid’ah by Al-Halabi). Can you refute this misconception? jazak Allah khayran

Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

Regarding Abu Sa'id Muhammad b. Musa b. al-Fadl al-Sayrafi, great huffaz like Khatib Baghdadi and Ibn 'Asakir relate from him frequently in their books. There is a biography listed for him in Hafiz Dhahabi's Siyar A'lam al-Nubala' 17/350 in which he is stated to be upright and reliable.

Perhaps Hilali and Halabi simply overlooked his biography, this can happen to even great scholars and does not require a refutation.

And Allah knows best.

Answered by: Shaykh Yaqub Abdurrahman