Is this Hadith authentic?
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Befriend only those with Iman and and do not serve your food except to one with Taqwa”
Imams Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud (rahimahumallah) have recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2395, Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 4799)
Imam Tirmidhi (rahimahullah) has declared the Hadith sound (hasan) and Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has declared the Hadith authentic.
(Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 554-555 and 560)
The commentators explain, that serving food in this Hadith refers to special invitations out of love for someone. As for general feeding like feeding the needy, this should be done without exceptions.
(Refer: Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 4832 and Tuhfatul Ahwadhi, Hadith: 2395)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar