Meams Attribution/Ascription/Entrustment. This was the process by which the stories of the later Ahadith(purported sayings and doings of Muhammad by his contemporaries) were vetted for their veracity or lack of.
It is a fact that the oldest authorities who wrote or lectured on the apostolic tradition paid little or no attention to the Isnad. Many of them were either contemporaneous with Muhammad or had witnesses to the events who could easily corroborate or deny their stories. What they mentioned at the time was common knowledge among both the hearers and the informants of the stories.
For example, Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi or Malik among others, did not care much about the chain of authorities leading to Muhammad because they depended mostly on the reports as mentioned mostly by the Companions. When it suited them, they followed the Hadith and quoted it but disregarded it when it did not, even if it was traced back to Muhammasd or his Companions.
According to Muhammadan records, Bukhari sifted through almost 600,000Hadiths of which only about 7200 that he considered worthy of being reported. From these figures alone, one can understand the extent and magnitude of falsified reports attributed to Muhammad's sayings or doings which leaves a lot to be desired about the validity or veracity of these that are considered 'true'.
The earliest writers mentioned above, regarded words, or acts, or decisions of Muhammad's Companions or the generation that followed them - the Followers - as binding only when they were in accord with the practice of the community.
Unfortunately for all the subsequent Muhammadan communities, al Shafi'I (150-204 CE), the important reformer and systematizer, refused to accept any traditions as legally binding or valid except those that allegedly originated with Muhammad. At a stroke, he made it imperative for all Muhammadan theologians to create false attributions for their own subjective agendas and beliefs. He actually opened a Pandora's Box that has ill served the Muhammadan believers since it seriously hindered the evolution and progression of 'Islamic' law and jurisprudence to this day.
His fundamental thesis cast the Sharia Law of the Muhammadans in theTIME WARP of the Seventh Century from which it cannot easily free itself without admitting that most of these laws are ILLOGICAL,UNJUST,IMPRACTICAL and most of all totally outdated to deal with the dynamics of the modern global world.
He single handily placed the Ahadith at a similar level and with the same authority as the Quran making it 'divine' and hence unchallengeable. It is a fact that often Shafi'I states clearly that such and such particular point of law has no tradition leading to Muhammad, but somehow later on, one can find documentation 'proving' it.
In summation, the earlier practical and milder Quranic legislation was deliberately and systematically replaced by an unbending and rigid code of law which is contrary both to the spirit and the letter of the Quran and Muhammad's sunna. His 'theological' followers invariably and mendaciously used his name to give their rules and regulations the sanction of Allah himself.