The text of this hadeeth is as follows:
It was narrated that Salman (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“O Salman, do not hate me and give up your religion.”
I said: O Messenger of Allah, how can I hate you when Allah has guided us through you?
He said: “By hating the Arabs you would hate me.”
This hadeeth was narrated by al-Tirmidhi (no. 3927); al-Bazzar in his Musnad (2513); al-Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (6/238); al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (4/86); and others, via Abu Badr al-Shuja’ ibn al-Waleed, from Qaboos ibn Abi Zabyan, from his father, from Salman (may Allah be pleased with him).
This isnad (chain of transmission) is da’eef (weak) and has two faults:
1. Qaboos ibn Abi Zabyan. Ibn Ma’een said: his hadeeth is da’eef. Abu Hatim said: Reports narrated by him cannot be quoted as evidence. Al-Daraqutni and others classed him as weak. See: Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, 8/306.
2. The isnad is interrupted between Abu Zabyan – who is Husayn ibn Jundub – and Salman al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him). Al-Tirmidhi said, after narrating the hadeeth: I heard Muhammad ibn Isma’eel [meaning al-Bukhari] say: Abu Zabyan did not meet Salman; Salmaan died before ‘Ali. End quote. Ibn Abi Hatim said in al-Maraseel (50): I do not think that Husayn ibn Jundub heard it from Salman. See: Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, 2/380.
The hadeeth was also narrated by Abu Na’eem in Hilyat al-Awliya, 7/270, via Khalid ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman, from Mis’ar, from Abu Hashim al-Rummani from Zadan, from Salman.
This chain is da’eef jiddan (very weak) because of Khalid ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Khalid ibn Salamah al-Makhzoomi al-Makki, whose narration is worthless, and ‘Amr ibn al-Fallas accused him of fabricating hadeeth.
Hence al-Hafiz al-Mundhiri said in Ajwibah ‘ala Asilah fi’l-Jarh wa Ta’deel (p. 84): A munkar hadeeth (denounced narration). Al-Shaykh al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Its isnad is da’eef. End quote. Al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (no. 2029).
The weakness of this hadeeth does not mean that there is no virtue in the Arabs. There are many hadeeths concerning this matter, a few of which are saheeh (authentic) and many of which are weak or fabricated.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Concerning this matter there are reports other than those which I have mentioned. Some of them are subject to further examination and some of them are fabricated. End quote.
Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem, p.159
He also said, commenting on this hadeeth:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) described hating the Arabs as being a cause of leaving Islam, and he stated that hating them implies hating him.
Previously on our website we have spoken about the virtue of the Arabs and outlined the correct understanding of this issue. Please see the answer to question number 115934.
And Allah knows best.