Shaykh al-Albani [RH]:"Firstly: We do not accept that this story is authentic since the reliablity and precision of Maalik ad-Daar is not known, and these are two principle conditions necessary for the authenticity of any narration, as is affirmed in the science of hadeeth. Ibn Abee Haatim mentions him in al-Jarh wa-Ta'deel (4/1/213) and does not mention anyone who narrates from him except Abu Saalih. So this indicates that he is unknown, and this is further emphasized by the fact that Ibn Abee Haatim himself, who is well known for his memorization and wide knowledge, did not quote anyone who declared him reliable, so he remains unknown. Then this does not contradict the saying of al-Haafidh (Ibn Hajar): '...with an authentic chain of narration, from the narration of Abu Saalih as-Samaan...' since we say: It is not declaration that all of the chain of narration is authentic (saheeh), rather only that it is so up to Abu Saalih. If that were not the case then he would have begun: 'From Maalik ad-Daar ... and its chain of narration is authentic.' But he said it in the way that he did to draw attention to the fact that there was something requiring investigation in it. The scholars say this for various reasons. From these reasons is that they may not have been able to find a biography for some narrator(s) and therefore they would not permit themselves to pass a ruling of authenticity without certainity and cause others to think it authentic and to use it as a proof. So what they would rather do in such a case is to quote the part requiring further examination, which is what al-Haafidh (rahimahullah) did here. It is also as if he indicates the fact that Abu Saalih as-Samaan is alone in reporting from Maalik ad-Daar, or that he is unknown, and Allah knows best. So this is a very fine point of knowledge which will be realized only by those having experience in this field. What we have said is also aided by the fact that al-Haafidh al-Mundhiree reports another story from the narration of Maalik ad-Daar, from 'Umar in at-Targheeb (2/41-42) and says after it: 'at-Tabaraanee reports it in al-Kabeer. Its narrators up to Maalik ad-Daar are famous and reliable, but as for Maalik ad-Daar then I do not know him.' The same is said by al-Haythamee in Majma' az-Zawaa'id (3/125)."
Excerpted from Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri's
book: Islamic Concept of Intermediation
[slight editing by me]
Mālik ad-Dār has related:The people were gripped by famine during the tenure of ‘Umar (bin al-Khattāb). Then a Companion walked up to the Prophet’s grave and said, “O Messenger of Allah, please ask for rain from Allah for your Community who is in dire straits.” Then the Companion saw the Prophet in a dream. The Prophet said to him, “Go over to ‘Umar, give him my regards and tell him that the rain will come to you. And tell ‘Umar that he should be on his toes, he should be on his toes, (he should remain alert).” Then the Companion went over to see ‘Umar and passed on to him the tidings. On hearing this, ‘Umar broke into a spurt of crying. He said, “O Allah, I exert myself to the full until I am completely exhausted.”Ibn Kathīr has confirmed the soundness of its transmission in al-Bidāyah wan-nihāyah (5:167). Ibn Abū Khaythamah narrated it with the same chain of transmission as quoted by Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī in al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (3:484), while the latter writes in Fath-ul-bārī (2:495-6): “Ibn Abū Shaybah transmitted it with a sound chain of transmission and Sayf bin ‘Umar Tamīmī has recorded it in al-Futūh-ul-kabīr that the dreamer was a Companion known as Bilāl bin Hārith Muzanī.” Qastallānī has remarked in al-Mawāhib-ul-laduniyyah (4:276) that Ibn Abū Shaybah has narrated it with a sound chain of transmission while Zurqānī has supported Qastallānī in his Commentary (11:150-1).
It is quite surprising that some people have tried to dub even this soundly transmitted tradition as weak and, therefore, lacking the sinews to face a rigorously probing analysis, though this is far from the truth. They have marshalled in their favour the following objections:
First objection: One of its narrators is A‘mash who is a Mudallis.Reply:Though A‘mash is a Mudallis, his tradition is popular for two reasons whether its soundness is proved or not:1. A‘mash is regarded as a second-grade Mudallis, and this is a class of Mudallis from whom our religious leaders recorded traditions in their authentic books. Therefore, it is proved that this tradition narrated by A‘mash is accepted.2. If we accept this tradition only on the basis of its transmission by A‘mash, as is the practice in the case of third-grade or even lower-grade Mudallis, even then the tradition by A‘mash is likely to retain its popularity as he has copied it from Abū Sālih Dhakawān Sammān. Imam Dhahabī comments: “When A‘mash begins a tradition with the word ‘an (from) there is a possibility of imposture and deception. But if he relates it from his elders like Ibrāhīm, Ibn Abū Wā’il, Abū Sālih Sammān, etc., then it is presumed to possess sound linkage (ittisāl). In addition, Imam Dhahabī has also described him as trustworthy (thiqah). [comment: please see also the clarification from sidi Abul Hasan on the issue of al-A'mash posted below]
Second objection:Albānī in his book at-Tawassul, ahkāmuhū wa anwa‘uhū observes, “I do not acknowledge it authentic because the credibility and memory of Mālik ad-Dār is not known and these are the two basic criteria for any authentic narrator of traditions. Ibn Abū Hātim Rāzī in Kitāb-ul-jarh wat-ta‘dīl [4/1/213(8:213)], while discussing Mālik ad-Dār, has not mentioned any narrator except Abū Sālih who has accepted any tradition from him, which shows that he is unknown. It is also supported by the fact that Ibn Abū Hātim Rāzī, who himself is a leading figure of Islam and a memorizer of traditions, has not mentioned anyone of them who has pronounced him trustworthy (thiqah). Similarly Mundhirī has remarked that he does not know him while Haythamī in his Majma‘-uz-zawā’id, has supported his observation…”
Reply:This objection is refuted by the biographical details which Ibn Sa‘d (d.230ah) has furnished while discussing him among the second-grade Medinan Successors:
Malik al-Dar: `Umar ibn al-Khattab's freedman. He narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar. He was known. 
In addition, this objection is also cancelled by Khalīlī’s (d.445 ah) comment on Māik ad-Dār:
Malik al-Dar: muttafaq `alayh athna `alayhi al-tabi`un -- He is agreed upon (as trustworthy), the Successors have approved highly of him 
Besides, the biographical sketch provided by Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī also serves to neutralize this objection:
"Malik ibn `Iyad: `Umar's freedman. He is the one named Malik al-Dar. He has seen the Prophet and has heard narrations from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. He has narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, Mu`adh, and Abu `Ubayda. From him narrated Abu Salih al-Saman and his (Malik's) two sons `Awn and `Abd Allah...Bukhari in his Tarikh narrated through Abu Salih Dhakwan from Malik al-Dar that `Umar said during the period of drought: "O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!" Ibn Abi Khaythama also narrated it in those words but in a longer hadith:The people suffered a drought during the time of `Umar, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, ask Allah for rain for your Community." The Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: "Go, see `Umar and tell him: You will be watered, and: You must put your nose to the grindstone (`alayk al-kaffayn)!" (The man went and told `Umar.) Then `Umar wept and exclaimed: "O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!"We have also narrated in the Fawa'id of Dawud ibn `Amr and al-Dabbi compiled by al-Baghawi in the narration of `Abd al-Rahman ibn Sa`id ibn Yarbu` al-Makhzumi from Malik al-Dar: he said: "`Umar ibn al-Khattab summoned me one day. He had with him a purse of gold containing four hundred dinars. He said: "Take this to Abu `Ubayda," and he mentioned the rest of the story.Ibn Sa`d mentioned him (Malik al-Dar) in the first layer of the Successors among the people of Madina and said: "He narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, and he was known." Abu `Ubayda said of him: "`Umar put him in charge of the dependents in his household. When `Uthman succeeded him, he put him in charge of financial allotments and he was then named Malik of the House."Isma`il al-Qadi related from `Ali ibn al-Madini: "Malik al-Dar was `Umar's treasurer."" 
Ibn Hibbān has attested to the trustworthiness and credibility of Mālik ad-Dār in Kitāb-uth-thiqāt (5:384).
Now if Mundhirī and Haythamī insist that they do not know Mālik ad-Dār, it means that they have not asserted anything about his credibility or lack of credibility. However there are traditionists of great repute like Imam Bukhārī, Ibn Sa‘d, ‘Alī bin Madīnī, Ibn Hibbān and Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī who know him. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī has even mentioned him in Tahdhīb-ut-tahdhīb (7:226; 8:217).
It is shocking to learn that Albānī gives weight to the opinion of those who do not know Mālik ad-Dār and prefers them to those who know him. Albānī has discarded the traditions of Mālik bin ‘Iyād who is popularly known by the title “ad-Dār” while the great Companions appointed him as their minister because they relied on his trustworthiness. He was even given the portfolio of finance minister, an office that requires honesty, integrity and a huge sense of responsibility. On the contrary, Albānī gives credence to the traditions of those who enjoyed a much lower status than Mālik ad-Dār. The following examples support my contention:
1. He has pronounced Yahyā bin ‘Uryān Harawī as hasan (fair) in Silsīlat-ul-ahādīth-is-sahīhah (1:49). His argument is based on the statement made by Khatīb Baghdādī in Tārīkh Baghdad (14:161) in which he declares Yahyā bin ‘Uryān Harawī as a traditionist of Baghdad.
This statement is quite transparent. Khatīb Baghdādī has argued neither in favour of nor against Yahyā bin ‘Uryān Harawī. His stance is neutral, as he has not tried to establish the stature of his narrations. He has not labelled them as authentic or inauthentic. In spite of his posture of neutrality, it is quite surprising that Albānī has called him fair (hasan).
2. Abū Sa‘īd Ghifārī has also been pronounced a fair narrator in Silsilat-ul-ahādīth-is-sahīhah (2:298). After stating that he is no longer unknown because two narrators have acknowledged traditions from him, he writes, “So he is a Successor. A group of those who have committed the traditions to memory have verified the authenticity of his traditions. Therefore, ‘Irāqī has declared the traditions attributed to him as authentic (isnāduhū jayyid), and there is no harm in it. This gave me a sense of satisfaction and I felt deeply contented.”
The question is why has he tried to discriminate between Abū Sa‘īd Ghifārī and Mālik ad-Dār?
3. Sālih bin Khawwāt has also been pronounced credible in Silsilat-ul-ahādīth-is-sahīhah (2:436) because a group of people has relied on his traditions, and Ibn Hibbān has mentioned him in Kitāb-uth-thiqāt.
While, according to our research, Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī has described him as an acceptable narrator in Taqrīb-ut-tahdhīb (1:359) and has also stated that he belonged to the eighth category of Successors. If an eighth-grade narrator is being described as credible, what justification is there to pronounce a first-grade Successor as un-credible? The discrimination seems to be rooted more in prejudice than reason.
Therefore, the silence of Ibn Abū Hātim Rāzī is hardly an argument against the unknown stature of Mālik ad-Dār because his silence is based on lack of evidence about the narrator. Thus the absence of evidence and reasoning does not reflect the unknowingness of the narrator, which his silence neither explains nor indicates towards any definite interpretation. On the contrary, it opposes any attempt to establish the unknowingness of the narrator. There are a number of narrators about whom Ibn Abū Hātim Rāzī has remained silent though other scholars have argued about them and the books on tradition and related issues are riddled with similar examples.
There is a suspicion of discontinuance between Abū Sālih Dhakawān Sammān and Mālik ad-Dār.
This suspicion is a fallacy, as it has no basis in reality. In its rejection, it is sufficient to say that Abū Sālih like Mālik ad-Dār was a native of Medina and he has reported traditions from the Companions. Therefore, he is not an impostor and a fraud. It may also be noted that only contemporaneity is an adequate guarantee for the connection of transmission as Imam Muslim has mentioned the consensus in the Preamble (muqaddimah) of his as-Sahīh.
There is no justification for the soundness of this tradition because it entirely depends upon a person whose name has not been spelled out. Only in the tradition narrated by Sayf bin ‘Umar Tamīmī, he has been named Bilāl and Sayf has declared him as a weak narrator.
This objection is also groundless, because justification does not depend on Bilāl but on ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb’s act. He did not prevent Bilāl from performing his act; on the contrary, he acknowledged it. He rather himself cried and said: ‘my Creator, I do not shirk responsibility but I may be made more humble.’ Therefore the person visiting the grave, whether he is a Companion or a Successor, does not affect the soundness of the tradition.
The gist of the discussion is that the tradition related by Mālik ad-Dār is sound, as I have stated in the earlier part of my exposition. Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī writes: “All those people who have made reference to this tradition or narrated it or reproduced it in their books have never labelled it disbelief or infidelity. They have not questioned the substance of the tradition and it has been mentioned by a scholarly person of high level like Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī who has confirmed it as a soundly transmitted tradition. Therefore his confirmation needs no apology in view of his highly distinguished stature among the hadith-scholars.” 
This tradition establishes the following principles:
1. Visiting graves with the intention of mediation and seeking help.
2. It is valid to visit the grave of a pious dead person during the period of one’s trials and tribulations to seek help from him because if this act were invalid, ‘Umar would surely have forbidden that person to do so.
3. The Prophet’s appearance in the dream of the person who visited his grave and to give him good tidings, argues in favour of the fact that it is quite valid to seek help from non-Allah and the dead because if it were invalid, it would have been impossible for the Prophet not to have forbidden that person to do so.
4. Validation of the mode of address “O Messenger of Allah (yā rasūl Allah)” even after his death.
5. Call for help and the act of intermediation dates back to the early ages.
6. The holy personality of the Prophet is a fountain of guidance even after his death.
7. The head of the state is responsible for administrative matters. The Holy Prophet , in spite of being the chief of prophets, did not break the state channel and, as a visible demonstration of his sense of discipline, he commanded the man visiting his grave to see the head of the state.
8. The man visiting the grave implored his help through the instrumentality of the Ummah. This shows the Prophet’s immeasurable love for the Community of his followers.
9. Justification for making the Ummah as a source for seeking his help.
10. Justification for making non-prophet a means of help in the presence of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم
11. Anyone who strengthens his link with the Holy Prophet is rewarded by his sight and is showered with his blessings.
12. The Holy Prophet , even after his death, is aware of the weakness of his Ummah or anyone of its rulers and he issues different commands for removing these flaws.
13. To seek guidance from Allah’s favourites.
14. The acknowledgement of the Prophet’s commands by the Companions after his death as just and truthful.
15. Imposition of commands received in dreams on others.
16. When intermediation was discussed in the presence of ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb, he did not forbid it; rather he cried and responded to it acknowledging it as valid.
17. ‘Umar bin al-Khattāb’s love for the Holy Prophet that he incessantly cried as someone mentioned the Holy Prophet
[NOTES:. Related by Ibn Abū Shaybah in al-Musannaf (12:31-2#12051); Bayhaqī, Dalā’il-un-nubuwwah (7:47); Ibn ‘Abd-ul-Barr, al-Istī‘āb fī ma‘rifat-il-ashāb (2:464); Subkī, Shifā’-us-siqām fī ziyārat khayr-il-anām (p.130); ‘Alā’-ud-Dīn ‘Alī, Kanz-ul-‘ummāl (8:431#23535); and Abū Ya‘lā Khalīl bin ‘Abdullāh Khalīlī Qazwīnī in Kitāb-ul-irshād fī ma‘rifat ‘ulamā’-il-hadith (1:313-4), as quoted by Mahmūd Sa‘īd Mamdūh in Raf‘-ul-minārah (p.262).. Dhahabī, Mīzān-ul-i‘tidāl (2:224).. Ibn Sā‘d, at-Tabaqāt-ul-kubrā (5:12).. Abū Yā‘lā Khalīl bin ‘Abdullāh Khalīlī Qazwīnī, Kitāb-ul-irshād fī ma‘rifat ‘ulamā’-il-hadith, as quoted by ‘Abdullāh bin Muhammad bin Siddīq al-Ghumārī in Irghām-ul-mubtadī al-ghabī bi-jawāz-it-tawassul bi an-nabī (p.9).. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī, al-Isābah fī tamyīz-is-sahābah (3:484-5).. Mahmūd Sa‘īd Mamdūh, Raf‘-ul-minārah (p.266). Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalānī also mentioned in his Tahdhīb-ut-tahdhīb (7:226; 8:217).. Muhammad bin ‘Alawī al-Mālikī, Mafāhīm yajib an tusahhah (p.151). ]
----------------------------------------------------------Some further points to add, inshaAllah:It has already been mentioned above that Ibn Hajar considered Malik al-Dar RA to be a sahabah when he stated:"Malik ibn `Iyad: `Umar's freedman. He is the one named Malik al-Dar. He has seen the Prophet and has heard narrations from Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. He has narrated from Abu Bakr and `Umar, Mu`adh, and Abu `Ubayda. From him narrated Abu Salih al-Saman and his (Malik's) two sons `Awn and `Abd Allah...Sidi Abul Hasan has also brought to light that the Hafiz of Hadith and famed Historian: Shamsud-Din al-Dhahabi (d. 748 AH) has listed Malik ibn Iyad as a Sahaba in his Tajrid Asma al-Sahaba, which was printed in Hyderabad, India, in the year 1315 AH - i.e. more than 100 years ago. In addition, Malik al-Dar has been listed as being a Sahabi by Imam Ibn Hajar's student: Imam Taqiud-Din Ibn Fahd al-Makki (d. 871 AH) in his Mukhtasar Asma al-Sahaba. This has been found from the Al-Azhar manuscript.
[ Larger scans can be reviewed HERE ]
Malik ibn Iyad in Tajrid Asma al-Sahaba of al-Hafiz Shamsud-Din al-Dhahabi (d. 748 AH)
Actual scanned page with Malik al-Dar being listed as a Sahabi:
Malik ibn Iyad in Mukhtasar Asma al-Sahaba of Imam Taqiud-Din Ibn Fahd al-Makki (d. 871 AH)
Sidi Abul Hasan goes on to mention:
The fact that these 3 well known scholars: al-Dhahabi, Ibn Hajar and Ibn Fahd listed Malik al-Dar in specific works mentioning those they considered to be noble Sahaba is a proof against those contemporaries who deem Malik al-Dar to be unknown! Such Imams must have surely possessed some definitive evidence to list Malik al-Dar as a Sahabi.
It may also be mentioned that since Ibn Kathir (the contemporary of al-Dhahabi) declared the Malik al-Dar narration to be authentic, then he too must have considered Malik to be at least Thiqa (trustworthy), if not a Sahabi.
Sidi Abul Hasan also mentioned HERE (slight editing by me) regarding the following statement of al-Albani :
"Thirdly: Even if the story were authentic there would still be no proof in it for them since the man (i.e. who came to the grave) in the story is himself not named, and therefore unknown. The fact that he is named as Bilaal ibn al-Haarith in the narration of Sayf is worthless since Sayf is Sayf ibn 'Umar at-Tameemee, and the scholars of hadeeth are agreed that he is weak. Indeed Ibn Hibbaan says about him: 'He reports fabricated things from reliable narrators, and they say that he used to fabricate hadeeth.'"
.....the narration has a Sahih Isnad as: Ibn Hajar and before him: Ibn Kathir explicitly declared in 2 different books.
Thirdly, the narration with Isnads back to Malik al-Dar are found in Bayhaqi's Dala'il al-Nubuwwa and collected before him by Ibn Abi Khaythama and Ibn Abi Shayba as we know. It was also collected with its Isnad by Abu Ya'la al-Khalili in his Irshad. Not one of these Imams of Hadith questioned the text or isnad for its authenticity or it being a route to shirk as the Wahhabi's think!
Without Isnad, it was mentioned in shorter forms by: Ibn Abdal Barr in his al-Isti'ab and al-Bukhari in his Ta'rikh al-Kabir (under Malik al-Dar) - these two Imams didn't attack his narration in any form.
Fourthly, Sayf ibn Umar - no doubt he was problematic - BUT, Imam ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his Taqreeb al-Tahdhib (no. 2724) said that he was "Da'eef fil Hadith Umda fil Ta'rikh..." Meaning: "Weak in Hadith, a PILLAR in HISTORY.."
[comment: please read also the related answer to the Fourth Objection posted above]
Hence: Since the narration from Malik al-Dar is not a Hadith but an Athar (report) from a Tabi'i - this would be regarded as a Historical report from the time of Umar (ra) - This is why Ibn Hajar accepted it, and I have just been looking a little bit deeper into this and have noted that Sayf's narration - naming explicitly the fact that the Sahabi who went to the blessed Qabr - Bilal ibn Harith al-Muzani, was also mentioned by these famous Historians and well regarded Muhaddithin:
Ibn Kathir in his al-Bidaya
Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari in his al-Kamil fi al Ta'rikh
Abu Ja'far al-Tabari in his Ta'rikh(see under the year 18 AH)
Hence, since Sayf is reporting this as a Historical report - the likes of Imam ibn Hajar accepted his narration that it was Bilal al-Muzani (ra) - so this is just another ploy by the Wahhabiyya to reject his historical report. If it was a Hadith - then Sayf's narration would be rejected!
faqir: regarding Sayf ibn Umar al-Tamimi Sh. GF Haddad also mentioned the following:
QUESTION: I was wondering what you could tell me about Sayf b. Umar. He is a primary source for Imam al-Tabari's material in his Tarikh. What is his reliability and all of the other necessary info.
Reply of Dr. GF Haddad:
Sayf ibn `Umar Al-Asadi al-Tamimi al-Dabbi al-Kufi (d. ca. 178) met the Tabi`in and was a "chronicler" (akhbari) as opposed to a muhaddith historian and the author of al-Ridda, Futuh al-Buldaan, al-Fitnatu wal Jamal and other historical works.
In hadith he was declared weak by Yahya ibn Ma`in, Ya`qub ibn Sufyan, al-Nasa'i, and Abu Dawud. Abu Hatim said he was "discarded, of the same type as al-Waqidi." Al-Daraqutni said he was discarded. Ibn Hibban even said he was accused of hidden heresy (zandaqa) and forgery, charges which Ibn Hajar rejected as outlandish in al-Taqrib where he merely grades him as da`if, while Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr in his notes on al-Dhahabi's Mughni says: "There is no proof of any zandaqa in him, rather, the narrations from him indicate the contrary."
Al-Tirmidhi narrates from him the hadith: "When you see those who insult my Companions, say: The curse of Allah be on the evil you do!" which al-Tirmidhi then grades "disclaimed" and he describes Sayf as unknown. Al-Dhahabi in al-Mughni fil-Du`afa' said he was "discarded by agreement" and, in Tarikh al-Islam, said "he narrated from Jabir al-Ju`fi, Hisham ibn `Urwa, Isma`il ibn Abi Khalid, `Ubayd Allah ibn `Umar, and many unknowns and chroniclers."
Yet, he is considered not only reliable but "eminently reliable" in history, as shown by Ibn Hajar's grading in the Taqrib: "Da`if fil-hadith, `umdatun fil-tarikh," notwithstanding the acrimonious dissent of Shu`ayb al-Arna'ut and Bashshar `Awwad Ma`ruf in their Tahrir al-Taqrib. Indeed, he a primary source for al-Tabari in his Tarikh, Ibn Hajar in his Isaba, and Ibn Kathir in his Bidaya while Ibn `Abd al-Barr cites him in al-Isti`ab as does al-Sakhawi in Fath al-Mughith. Even al-Dhahabi cites him often in his Tarikh al-Islam.
Follow up Questions:
 I was wondering, sidi, if you could explain the reasoning behind why and how a specific narrator who is discarded or weak in hadith can be considered "eminently reliable" when it comes to history? What were the reasons behind Sayf's weakness in narrating hadith as opposed to historical events?
 is the identification of the "unknown man" as hadhrat bilal ra by sayf ibn umar al-tamimi in the malik al-dar narration considered a historical report?
Reply of Dr. GF Haddad:
Those who questioned the `adl of al-Waqidi and Sayf were dismissed.The issue here is dabit vs. non-dabit. You know well we can have honest people who do not have a clue what dabt requires. Imam Malik mentioned that he met 70 extremely honest shuyukh in Madina but he did not narrate from a single one of them because they were nescient in hadith transmission. Now, take someone who does have a clue but given the abundance of things he transmits he makes so many mistakes that he becomes similarly discardable. Now make him so erudite, so researched, so full of gems that it is simply impossible to discard him altogether. This is the case with al-Waqidi and Sayf. These scholars would go to the actual sites of battles and look for descendents and interview them one by one for stories. Hence the large number of "unknowns" in their chains. Yet, when it comes to purely historical details such as whether a certain Sahabi was a Badri or not, they might even best al-Bukhari and Muslim.
And yes, the identification of the Sahabi in Malik al-Dar's report as Bilal ibn al-Harith al-Muzani [NOT Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi, in case that is whom the respondent meant by "Hadrat Bilal"] is definitely a historical clue. Allah Most High be well-pleased with them all.
[end of Dr. GF Haddad's words]
Sidi Abul Hasan also mentioned:
These people have also come off with claims that the narartor in the Isnad: al-A'mash may have made Tadlees - that is not clarifying how he received his report from: Abu Salih, since A'mash sometimes made Tadlees. He used the term: An (from) - which is not a very clear way to show how the narration was received by him. For further details on this narration please consultShaykh Mahmud Mamduh's reply to al-Albani on his weakening a narration on Tawassul
The answer to this is the fact that A'mash using "An" - from Abu Salih is not considered as tadlees - because Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih accepted this type of route, as did: Ibn Hajar and Ibn Kathir.
Some others have claimed that Abu Salih al-Samman may not have heard from Malik al-Dar - another mistake on their part- for al-Khalili and Ibn Sa'd clarified that he did!
Much of what I said has been answered by Shaykh Mamduh - for al-Albani and his colleagues like: Abu Bakr al-Jaza'iri and Hammad al-Ansari - showed fanaticism and weakness in the Science of Hadith - when they took on the correct grading of the likes of Ibn Kathir and Ibn Hajar. Also, al-Albani deliberately misinterpreted Ibn Hajar's words - when claiming that Ibn Hajar authenticated it only up to Abu Salih al-Samman!.....