Is this narration authentic?
When I was taken on Mi’raj, I passed by a group of people who had nails of copper with which they were scratching their faces and chests. I said, ‘Who are these people O Jibril?’ He replied, ‘They are those who eat the flesh of people [i.e. they would backbite] and asperse the honour of people
Imams Abu Dawud and Ahmad (rahimahumallah) have recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 4844 and Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 224)
‘Allamah Mundhiri (rahimahullah) has indicated toward the authenticity of this Hadith. ‘Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has stated that there are corroborating narrations. ‘Allamah Haythami (rahimahullah) has declared the narrators of Musnad Ahmad reliable, together with pointing out some criticism on one narrator (رواه أحمد، وفيه قابوس وهو ثقة وفيه ضعف، وبقية رجاله رجال الصحيح).
(Targhib, vol. 3 pg. 510, Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6052, vol. 10 pg. 470, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 8 pg. 92)
The Hadith in question could be declared authentic.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar