The Hadith mentioned by Ibn Kathir that there was a prophet with the name of Hanzhalah ibn Safwan

Q: It is mentioned in the book entitled Qasas Al-Anbiya’ (Stories of the Prophets) by Ibn Kathir that there was a prophet whose name was Hanzhalah ibn Safwan. It is well known that many books were published in this field without mentioning the name of this prophet. Could you enlighten us in this regard? Could you also tell us about any book in which we may find the name of this prophet? Could you also inform us about the first black slave who will be admitted to Paradise whom Al-Hafizh ibn Kathir referred to in the same mentioned book (Qasas Al-Anbiay’), Part 1, p. 239, Chapter on Ashab Al-Ras (the People of Ras), the volume issued by Misr publishing house.

A: Regarding what has been mentioned that Allah (Glorified be He) has sent a prophet whose name was Hanzhalah ibn Safwan (Part No. 4; Page No. 449) and his people killed him was transmitted by Ibn Kathir on the authority of Al-Suhayly in his book entitled Al-Bidayah. Neither Al-Suhayly nor Ibn Kathir mentioned the Sanad (chain of narrators) of this narration or ascribed it to anyone. So, this narration is not reliable. As for the Hadith that reads: "The first among people to enter Paradise on the Day of Resurrection will be the black slave", it is not Sahih (authentic) according to our knowledge. Ibn Kathir mentioned it in his book Al-Bidayah, and said: It is Mursal (a Hadith with no Companion of the Prophet in the chain of narration) because Muhammad ibn Ka‘b Al-Qurazhy did not live at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.