What is the degree of authenticity

Q: Seiko Watch Corporation of Al-Huseiny and Partners distribute annual calendars for free as a means of propagating their products. To summarize, on the calendar paper showing the date of Muharram 23rd 1403 the following Hadith is written in bold print: Among the sayings of the Honorable Prophet: “Whoever falls passionately in love, but keeps chaste and hides love, will die as a martyr.” This Hadith seems unauthentic; and Allah knows best. Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means): ...but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allâh). I wrote to Your Eminence in order to be acquitted of blame before Allah (Exalted be He) bearing in mind the severe threat for those who ascribe false statements to the Messenger (peace be upon him). In fact, calendars, newspapers, publications and booklets should be carefully revised with regard to the authenticity of the Ayahs and Hadith they quote. May Allah guide us all to all that He likes and all that pleases Him! I also hope that Your Eminence would advise whoever it may concern to do what you deem fitting and good in this regard.

A: The above-mentioned Hadith is reported by Al-Khatib under the autobiography of `Atiyyah ibn Al-Fadl in the following wording: “Whoever falls passionately in love, but keeps chaste and then dies, will die as a martyr.” Its Sanad (chain of narrators) includes Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Masruq, who was listed among the weak narrators by Al-Dhahaby in his book "Al-Du‘afa’" (Weak Narrators). (Part No. 4; Page No. 461) He commented, "He is judged to be unreliable by Al-Daraqutny." The Sanad also includes Suwayd ibn Sa‘id Al-Daqqaq whose narration of Hadith is rejected. Although Muslim recorded Hadith on his authority in the Mutaba‘at [Da‘if (weak) Hadith based on authentic Hadith], Suwayd is judged by Imam Ahmad to be, "Matruk (a narrator whose Hadith transmission was discarded due to unreliability)." Its Sanad also includes Abu Yahya Al-Qattat, who is judged to be Da‘if by more than one scholar.He is also accused by Ibn Hibban to have committed serious mistakes due to a very weak memory that he was categorized among the unreliable narrators. Furthermore, the Hadith is recorded by Al-Khatib also under the autobiography of ‘Uthman Al-Marwazy with the following wording, "Whoever falls passionately in love but keeps chaste and hides love and then dies, will die as a martyr." Its Sanad includes Suwayd ibn Sa`id, about whom Ibn Ma`in said, "If I had a horse and a spear, I would fight against him." Moreover, Ibn Al-Jawzy said, "The Sanad of the Hadith relies heavily on him and is, therefore, unauthentic." Moreover, the Hadith is also recorded by Al-Hakim through many Sanads (chains of narrators), the most reliable of which is the one we have just dealt with. In addition, Ibn Al-Qayyim judged both the latter and former narrations of the Hadith to be fabricated.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.