Is the Hadith “Paradise lies under the feet of mothers.” authentic?

الْجنَّة تَحت أَقْدَام الْأُمَّهَات

Quran

Hadith

Islamic Text

Classification: Munkar – Mawdu (Very Weak – Fabricated)
There is another stronger hadith with very similar wording.

This hadith in the wording above is found in a number of books that collect fabricated hadiths, amongst them al-Maqdisi’s al-Fawaid al-Mawdu’a (p120) and Muhammad Tahir bin Ali’s Tadhkirah al-Mawdu’at (p202). Also in Dhakhiratu al-Haufaaz (Vol. 2, p1232), Ibn Adi said this hadith is Munkar, as did al-Sakhaawi in Maqasid al-Hasanah (p287), he mentioned it is Munkar and the same is mentioned in Asna al-Mataalib (p121). So the hadith in this wording is considered to be either fabricated or very weak because when speaking about hadith authenticity, the word Munkar is often used to mean very weak.

However, there is a much stronger hadith with very similar wording. It is found in many books, such as Imam Hakim’s al-Mustadrak (Vol. 2, p114) Narration 2502:

عَنْ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنِ جَاهِمَةَ، أَنَّ جَاهِمَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، أَتَى النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَغْزُوَ فَجِئْتُ أَسْتَشِيرُكَ. قَالَ: «أَلَكَ وَالِدَةٌ؟» قَالَ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: «اذْهَبْ فَالْزَمْهَا، فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيْهَا» هَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحُ الْإِسْنَادِ وَلَمْ يُخَرِّجَاهُ “

“It was narrated from Mu’awiyah bin Jahimah, that Jahimah came to the Prophet ﷺ and said: ‘I want to go out on military expedition so I have come to ask your advice.’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Do you have a mother?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ He (ﷺ) said: ‘Go and be with her because Paradise is at her feet.'”

Imam Hakim considered this hadith to be Sahih (authentic) and Imam ad-Dhahabi who has footnotes on the Mustadrak of Imam Hakim agreed. However, other major scholars of hadith have disagreed with even this narration being Sahih. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his book Ithaaf al-Maharah (Vol. 3, p313) commented that he felt this hadith may be Mudtarib. This was also mentioned by Imam al-Ajluni in Kashf al-Khafa (p387) and al-Sakhawi in al-Maqasid al-Hasanah (p287). So even with this hadith we do have some difference of opinion. Some scholar considered it Sahih and others considered it Mudtarib which often means the hadith is very weak. Some contemporary scholars feel it may be something in between, most likely a weak hadith.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (05.01.2021)