The Hadith: 'My Sahabah are like stars; whomever you follow, you will be guided'

Q 4: I heard a Hadith which was always repeated on the television during Ramadan of the year 1993. It was the first time for me to hear it and I did not find it in any reference. Some brothers told me that it has no origin. Its wording is as follows: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "My Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) are like (guiding) stars; whomever you follow, you will be guided (to the right path)." Is this a Hadith Sahih (authentic)? If it is so, who are its narrators? (Part No. 3; Page No. 217

A: This Hadith is Mawdu` (fabricated). It was narrated by Ibn `Abdul-Bar in (Jami` Al-`Ilm) on the authority of Sallam ibn Sulaym who said: "This Hadith was reported as Marfu` (a Hadith narrated from the Prophet with a connected or disconnected chain of narration) on the authority of Al-Harith ibn Ghasin from Al-A`Mash from Abu Sufyan from Jabir." Ibn `Abdul-Bar said: "This Sanad (chain of narrators) does not serve as evidence, because Al-Harith ibn Ghasin is Majhul (unknown)." However, its `Illah (defect) is graver when considering that Sallam ibn Sulaym was one of the narrators. He was Sallam ibn Sulaym Al-Tawil; and he was known as Ibn Sulayman and Ibn Sulaym. Imam Ahmad said about him that the Hadiths he used to narrate were Munkar (rejected Hadith reported by a weak narrator whose narration conflicts with an authentic Hadith). Ibn Hibban said about him that he narrated Mawdu` Hadith. The Hadith was reported by Ibn Hazm in Al-Ahkam and he commented on it, saying: "It is an invalid narration, because Abu Sufyan is Da`if (there is weakness in his narration), Al-Harith ibn Ghasin is Abu Wahb Al-Thaqafy, and Sallam ibn Sulayman used to narrate Mawdu` Hadith, and this is definitely one of them."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.