Salman's Hadith on the excellence of Ramadan

Q: In one of his Friday Khutbahs (Sermons), a Khatib (preacher) mentioned the Hadith narrated by Salman who reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) gave them (his Companions) a sermon on the last day of Sha`ban etc. At that point, one of the attendees of the sermon went against the Imam publicly telling him that the Hadith narrated by Salman is a Mawdu` (fabricated) Hadith. From among what he (the Khatib) mentioned, "Whoever feeds a fasting person, Allah will make him drink from my Hawd (Prophet's lake in Paradise) a drink that quenches his thirst until he enters Paradise" and "Whoever relieves his slave, will be forgiven by Allah and protected from Hell-fire." The objecting person said that these sayings are falsely ascribed to Allah's Messenger and whoever ascribes lies to Allah's Messenger, will have his abode in Hell-fire etc. I hope your Eminence will explain whether what he has said is true or not. May Allah protect you.

A: The Hadith reported by Salman is recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih. He said: "Chapter on the merits of the month of Ramadan, if the narration is authentic", then added: `Aly ibn Hujr Al-Sa`dy reported that Yusuf ibn Ziyad reported that Hammam ibn Yahya reported from `Aly ibn Zayd ibn Jud`an from Sa`id ibn Al-Musayyib from Salman that he said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) (Part No. 10; Page No. 85) delivered a Khutbah on the last day of Sha`ban. The Prophet said, "O you people! A great and blessed month has arrived for you. A month in which there is a night which is better than one thousand months. Fasting during this month is an obligation, and the extra prayers during its nights are voluntary. Anyone who comes closer to Allah through a good deed during this month is as if he performed an obligatory duty during times other than Ramadan, and he who fulfils an obligatory duty in it will be like one who fulfils seventy obligatory duties in another month. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Paradise. It is the month of the visiting of the poor, the sick and the needy so as to share their sorrows. It is the month where the nourishment, the sustenance and the income of the believing Muslim increase and they are blessed. Anyone who invites others to break their fast at Iftar will be provided with forgiveness of his sins and be saved from hellfire, and will receive reward equal to the fasting person without reducing his own reward in any respect. Some of the Companions of the Prophet said: Not all of us may find food to share with one so that he could break his fast. The Prophet said: Allah will reward you even if you help the fasting Muslim to break his fast with a date, a sip of water, or a drink of milk. It is a month whose beginning is Mercy (Rahmah), and its middle part is Forgiveness (Maghfirah) and its last part is freedom from hellfire. Anyone who helps a slave to be freed, Allah will forgive him and free him from Hellfire. Increase in yourselves four characteristics: Two by which you will please your Lord, and two others by which you can not live without. The first two qualities to please Allah are to bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, and to ask forgiveness from Allah. However, the other two things that you can not live without are: To ask Allah for Paradise and to ask Him to protect you from Fire. Anyone who gives water to a Muslim at Iftar, Allah will give him water during the Day of Judgment from the fountain of the Prophet Muhammad which will make him not feel thirsty until he enters Paradise. (Part No. 10; Page No. 86) Its Sanad (chain of narrators) includes `Aly ibn Zayd ibn Jud`an who is a weak narrator because of bad memorization. Its Sanad also includes Yusuf ibn Ziyad Al-Basry whose narrations are Munkar (rejected Hadith reported by a weak narrator whose narration conflicts with an authentic Hadith). The Sanad also includes Hammam ibn Yahya ibn Dinar Al-`Awdy about whom Ibn Hajar said in Al-Taqrib: A reliable narrator who may have forgotten. Consequently, this Hadith with this Sanad is not Mawdu` but it is Da`if (weak). However, the merits of the month of Ramadan are mentioned in so many other authentic Hadith.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.