Narration of Aboo Saalih as-Samaan from Maalik ad-Daar, who was the treasurer for ‘Umar, he said: “The people suffered from drought in the time of ‘Umar, so a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: “0 Messenger of Allaah! Pray for rain for your Ummah, because they are being destroyed.” So someone came to the man in his dream and said: ‘Go to ‘Umar…’ the hadeeth.” Then Sayf reports in al-Futoob that the one who saw the dream was Bilaal ibn al-Haarith al-Muzaanee, one of the Companions.”
Reported by At-Tabaraanee
This athar (narration of a sahaba) is weak as the reliability and condition of one of the narrators is unknown, therefore it must not be used as a proof to show the permissibility of tawassul through the prophet Mohammed or the awliyah. Maalik ad-Daar is the unknown narrator. His condition needs to be known before his narrations are accepted because he could be a liar or some one who has a poor memory so is not a reliable narrator as he can not always remember the narration properly due to his weak memory. Ibn Abee Haatim, who is well known for his memorization and wide knowledge, did not quote anyone who declared him reliable. Plus Ibn Abee Haatim mentions him in al-Jar wat-Ta’deel (4/1/213) and does not mention anyone who narrates from him except Aboo Saalih, proving he is unknown.
But al –Haafidh, said about this hadeeth “… with an authentic chain of narration, from the narration of Aboo Saalih as- Samaan…” This proves the chain of narration for this hadeeth is authentic up to Aboo Saalih. The authentication does not include Maalik ad-Daar as al-Haafidh said “….with an authentic chain of narration, from the narration of Aboo Saalih as- Samaan…” he did not say form Maalik ad-Daar.
Also what supports the view that al-Haafidh did not authenticate the whole chain including Maalik ad-Daar is what is stated by al-Haafidh al-Mundhiree when he reports another story from the narration of Maalik ad-Daar, from ‘Umar in at-Targheeb (2/41-41) 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-Haithumee in Majma’ uz-Zawaaid (3/125). Therefore Maalik ad-Daar is unknown so al-Haafidh could not have authenticated the whole chain including Maalik ad-Daar because if he did then Maalik ad-Daar would be known, he would not still be unknown.
Also it is not accepted that the mans name is Bilaal ibn al-Haarith rather the man is unknown the reason for this is Sayf ibn ‘Umar at-Tameemee who reported the mans name, is a weak narrator and the scholars of hadeeth are agreed that he is weak. Ibn Hibbaan says about him: “He reports fabricated things from reliable narrators, and they say that he used to fabricate hadeeth.”