What is the source of the Hadith, and is it authentic?
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) informed us:
“A man from the previous Ummah killed ninety nine (99) people before making tawbah and the Angels stretched out the earth for him just so he could enter Jannah”
Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim (rahimahumallah) have recorded this narration. The Hadith is therefore authentic.
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 3470, Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2766)
The full narration as appears in Sahih Bukhari is as follows:
“There was a man from the Bani Israel who had killed ninety nine people. Then he decided to go out inquiring about [repentance]. He went to a monk and asked him, ‘Is there any repentance?’ He said, ‘No,’ so he killed him. He continued to ask and someone said to him, ‘Go to such and such a town.’ Death overtook him en route. The Angels of mercy and the Angels of punishment argued [regarding who should extract his soul]. Allah revealed to this village [the village he was headed to, to repent] to come near and that village to go further from him. He said, ‘Measure the distance between them, and he was a hand-span nearer to this village, and so he was forgiven”
Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) has recorded a more detailed version.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar