Is this incident authentic?
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports an incident from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that from the people of the past there was a husband and wife who were extremely poor. On one occasion the husband arrived from a journey and entered his home suffering from pangs of hunger. He asked his wife ‘Do you have any food?’ She replied ‘Yes, glad tidings for the sustenance of Allah Ta’ala will soon come to you.'” (Musnad Ahmad, Hadith: 9464)
Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) has recorded this incident as the statement of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) and not as a Hadith of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
The gist of the incident is as follows:
A poor man from one of the previous nations returned home from travel in a state of extreme hunger. When he asked his wife if she had any food, she answered in the affirmative [despite not having anything] and said, ‘Glad tidings the sustenance of Allah will soon come [hoping for Allah’s mercy].’ Due to his extreme hunger and her delaying, the husband asked repeatedly and she kept asking him to have patience. Eventually when he became tired of asking, his wife decided to check the oven and to her surprise she found it full of grilled meat and her mill began to grind. She then proceeded to dust/sift the flour and took out the meat.
When this incident was mentioned to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he said, “By Allah, if she had taken out the flour without cleaning it, it would have continued to produce flour till Qiyamah.”
(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 2 pg. 421 and vol. 2 pg. 513. Refer: Hashiyatus Sindhi, vol. 2 pg. 728)
The narration is suitable to quote.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar