I have been researching chains of transmission for a while and I have found that the chain of transmission of Imam Mâlik through Nâfi` through Ibn `Umar is refered to as the "golden chain". What is the most authentic chain of transmission for Imam al-Shâfi`î?
Sheikh Muhammad al-Qannâs
Muhammad b. Idrîs al-Shâfi`î al-Muttalibî, lived from 150-204 AH. He studied under the leading hadîth scholars of that era.
One of his prominent teachers in hadîth was Mâlik. It is worth mentioning that al-Bukhârî said: "The best line of transmission is the one through Mâlik through Nâfi` through Ibn `Umar." [Ibn al-Salâh, `Ulûm al-Hadîth (16)].
Al-Shâfi`î narrated quite a number of hadîth with this chain of transmission. In fact, Mâlik had narrated eighty hadîth through Nâfi` in his compilation of hadîth entitled al-Muwatta’, and all of these hadîth were again narrated by al-Shâfi`î since he had studied al-Muwatta’ directly from Mâlik.
Abû Mansûr said: "The most honored line of transmission is from al-Shâfi`î through Mâlik through Nâfi` through Ibn `Umar." He supported his opinion by citing the consensus of the scholars of hadîth that no one was better than al-Shâfi` in narrating hadîth from Mâlik.
You can find many narrations from al-Shâfi`î using this line of transmission in his Musnad (pages: 164, 213, 682, 683, 789 and 966).
You may refer to `Ulûm al-Hadîth by Ibn al-Salâh (page 16), Tajrîd al-Tamhîd (page 170), al-Nukat by Ibn Hajr, and Musnad Imam al-Shâfi`î collected by Abu al-`Abbâs b. Ya`qûb al-Asamm (1/262) as reorganized by Muhammad `Abd al-Sindî.
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital