There is a hadeeth about a righteous man who was called ‘Alqamah; he was on his deathbed and had not uttered the kalimah (declaration of faith). Then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) sent for his mother, who said that she was angry with him, because he used to favour his wife over her. Then after that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) gathered firewood and told his mother that he would burn her son before her very eyes. She said: O Messenger of Allah, he is my son and I cannot bear to see you burning him in front of me! The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O mother of ‘Alqamah, the punishment of Allah is more severe and longer lasting. If you want Allah to forgive him, then forgive him (yourself). By the One in Whose hand is my soul, his prayer, fasting and zakaah will not benefit him so long as you are angry with him.” So the woman forgave her son, and after some time he died, after uttering the shahaadatayn (twin declaration of faith). The hadeeth says that after that, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) called out to the Muhaajireen and Ansaar, saying: “If one of you gives precedence to his wife over his mother, Allah, the angels and all the people will curse him, and Allah will not accept his charity or righteous deeds unless he repent to Allah, may He be exalted, and seeks the pardon and pleasure of his mother. Allah remains angry because of her anger.” It was said that the hadeeth is in Musnad Ahmad, but I cannot find it. If it is saheeh, I hope you can tell me where it is.
This story was narrated by Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) in his Musnad when he first collected hadeeths for his book; the first compilation contained many da‘eef (weak) and rejected hadeeths. Then Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) began to eliminate these hadeeths from his book, and this story is one of the things that he eliminated.
In Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (32/155 – Mu’sasat ar-Risaalah edition) it says the following:
Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan said: In my father’s book there was the hadeeth of Yazeed ibn Haroon: Faa’id ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan said: I heard ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa say:
A man came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, there is a young man here who is dying. He was told: Say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah, but he could not say it. He said: “Did he not say it during his lifetime?” He said: Of course. He said: “Then what is preventing him from saying it at the time of his death?” … And he narrated the hadeeth at length.
My father did not narrate these two hadeeths – two hadeeths via Faa’id from Ibn Abi Awfa – and he crossed them out from his book, because he did not approve of the hadeeth of Faa’id ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan; in his view his hadeeth was to be rejected.
End quote from al-Musnad.
With regard to the rest of the hadeeth, as it appears in other sources that mention it, it is as follows:
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) got up, and we got up with him, and he went to the young man and said: “O young man, say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.” He said: I cannot say it. He said: “Why?” He said: Because I disobeyed my mother. He said: “Is she still alive?” He said: Yes. He said: “Send for her.” So they sent for her; she came and the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him said): “Is he your son?” She said: Yes. He said: “What do you think, if a fire was lit, and it was said to you: if you do not intercede for him, we will throw him into this fire?” She said: Then I would intercede for him. He said: “Then call upon Allah to witness, and call upon us to witness with you, that you are pleased with him.” She said: I am pleased with my son. He said: “O young man, say Laa ilaaha ill-Allah.” He said: Laa ilaaha ill-Allah. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has saved him from the Fire.”
This was narrated by al-‘Aqeeli in ad-Du‘afa’ al-Kabeer, 3/461; and via him by Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawdoo‘aat, 3/87. More than one attributed it to at-Tabaraani. It was also narrated by al-Kharaa’iti in Masaawi’ al-Akhlaaq, no. 251; al-Bayhaqi in Shu‘ab al-Eemaan, 6/197 and in Dalaa’il an-Nubuwwah, 6/205; al-Qazweeni in at-Tadween fi Taareekh Qazween, 2/369
All of them narrated it via Faa’id ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan from ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Awfa.
This isnaad is very weak (da‘eef jiddan), because of Faa’id ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan. Imam Ahmad said concerning him: His hadeeth is to be rejected.
Ibn Ma‘een said: He is nothing. Ibn Abi Haatim said: I heard my father say: Faa’id’s hadeeth is worthless; his hadeeths should not be written down, and his hadeeths from Ibn Abi Awfa are false and you can hardly see any basis for them; they barely sound like the hadeeth of Ibn Abi Awfa. If a man swore that all of his hadeeths were lies, he would not be breaking his oath. Al-Bukhaari said: His hadeeth is objectionable .
See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb, 8/256
Ibn Hibbaan said:
He was one of those who narrated munkar (objectionable) hadeeths from famous narrator and narrated very flawed hadeeths from Ibn Abi Awfa. It is not permissible to quote his hadeeth as evidence. End quote.
Abu ‘Abdullah al-Haakim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
He narrated fabricated hadeeths from Ibn Abi Awfa. End quote.
Al-Madkhal ila as-Saheeh, 155
Ibn al-Jawzi mentioned this story in al-Mawdoo‘aat (3/87) and said: This hadeeth is not saheeh. End quote.
It was also mentioned in al-Mawdoo‘aat by Ibn ‘Iraaq (2/296), ash-Shawkaani (231), and al-Albaani (no. 3183); and by Shaykh Sulaymaan al-‘Alwaan in his essay, al-I‘laam bi Wujoob at-Tathabbut fi Riwaayat al-Hadeeth (p. 16-17).
See: Qasas la tathbut by Shaykh Mashhoor Hasan Salmaan (3/19-39, no. 21)
And Allah knows best.