What is the authenticity of the following narration?
“Avert the infliction of prescribed penalties on Muslims as much as you can, and if there is any way out, let a man go, for it is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.”
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has recorded the Hadith in question on the authority of Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) with a very weak chain.
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1424)
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) then sates that the correct version of this narration, reported with a reliable chain attributes this statement to Sayyidatuna ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) –mawqufan– and not to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) and others have also expressed similar opinions.
(Refer: As Sunanul Kubra, vol. 8 pg. 238)
Averting corporal punishment when in doubt has been authentically reported as a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). See here for more.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar