Is the following Hadith authentic?
Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) relates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“One of the Angels of Allah, if told to swallow the seven heavens and the seven earths in one morsel,has the ability to do so”
Imam Tabarani (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration.
(Al Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 11476 and Al Mu’jamul Awsat, Hadith: 6438)
Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has expressed extreme reservation with regards to the authenticity of this narration and has deemed it very weak (munkar). He also states that it’s attribution to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is problematic and it is possible that Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) got this from a Historical (Israely) narration.
(Refer: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah Al Isra, verse: 85 and Surah Naba, verses: 37-40. Also see Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 72)
‘Allamah Baghawi (rahimahullah) has recorded a similar narration as the statement of the famous Tabi’i, Sa’id ibn Jubayr (rahimahullah)
(Tafsirul Baghawi- Ma’alimut Tanzil- Surah Al Isra, verse: 3)
In light of the above, this should rather be understood (and may be quoted) as a Historical narration, instead of a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
This narration illustrates the absolute Power of Allah ‘azza wa jall.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar