What is status of following Hadith? Can it be quoted?
من بلغه عن الله فضل فأخذ بذلك الفضل الذي بلغه أعطاه الله ما بلغه وإن كان الذي حدثه كاذبا
Whoever hears/learns of any virtues from Allah, and practices upon that will receive the rewards, even if what he was told was inaccurate/wrong/a mistake.
Although this Hadith is recorded with weak/very weak chains, ‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah) has repeatedly supported this narration. He has also offered a suitable explanation, a summary of it is cited below.
The Hadith may be quoted only with the accompanying explanation.
This refers to when a narration/Hadith is quoted to an individual via a legitimate source, like with an authentic chain, and he practices on the deed mentioned therein. If that narration was indeed accurate, he will definitely be rewarded for that deed.
However, at times even reliable narrators may falter, and make mistakes. If that happened to be the case, the one who practiced on this will still be rewarded for that deed, despite it being inaccurate.
‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah) states that this may also apply if the chain was weak and the subject matter pertained to the virtues of deeds etc. [Since weak narrations are suitable for such topics].
‘Allamah Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami (rahimahullah) also supports this last explanation.
(Al-Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 1091, Fathul Mughith, vol.3 pg.291 and Qawa’id fi ‘Ulumil Hadith, pg.93. Also see Mukhtasarul Maqasid, Hadith: 1003, Tanzihush Shari’ah, vol.1 pg.265 and Al-Mudawi, Hadith: 3352)
[Update: (17/01/2017) My Esteemed Teacher, Al-Muhaddith Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwamah (hafizahullah) has also accredited this Hadith in his recently published book: Hukmul ‘Amal bil-Hadithid Da’if, pg.211]
Basically, one is rewarded for doing what is within one’s duty, capacity, and is justifiable. We are not burdened for what is beyond our control.
Our duty is to check the suitability of the narration before practice. If the narration seems suiteable -in accordance to the rules of the Hadith masters- one may practice on it and will indeed be rewarded for it, even if in reality that narration was ultimately inaccurate.
However, it should be noted that none of the Scholars have used this to justify practicing on fabrications. Therefore one may not use this to legitimise practicing on a deed that appears in a fabricated narration!
It is haram to practice on a fabrication. Therefore one cannot justify its practice in any situation whatsoever. In this case, it is our duty to abstain…!
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar