There are a number of ahaadeeth which mention Haatim al-Taai, some of which are hasan (good), some da’eef (weak) and some mawdoo’ (fabricated).
(a) It was narrated that ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said: I said to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “My father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and do such and such… Will he have any (reward) for that?” He said, “Your father seeking something and he got it.”
This was narrated by Ahmad, 32/129, and classed and hasan by Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot.
(b) It was narrated that ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim said: I said, “O Messenger of Allaah, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and do such and such.” He said, “Your father wanted something and got it” meaning, fame.
Narrated by Ahmad (30/200); classed as hasan by Shaykh Shu’ayb al-Arna’oot, and classed as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan, 1/41.
(c) It was narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Saa’idi that ‘Adiyy ibn Haatim came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, my father used to uphold the ties of kinship, and spend on the needy, and feed people.” He said, “Did he live to see Islam?” He said, “No.” He said, “Your father wanted to be remembered.”
Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 6/197. Its isnaad includes Rushdeen ibn Sa’d, who is da’eef (weak), but it is supported by the report mentioned above.
The phrase translated above and “spend on the needy” means spending on the weak, the poor, orphans and dependents, etc.
(d) It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: Mention was made of Haatim in the presence of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he said, “That is a man who wanted something and got it.”
This was narrated by al-Bazzaar, and its isnaad includes ‘Ubayd ibn Waaqid al-‘Absi, who was classed as da’eef by Abu Haatim.
Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 1/119
But it is supported by the reports quoted above.
Ibn Katheer said:
We have mentioned the biography of Haatim Tay’ in the days of the Jaahiliyyah when we mentioned those who died of the famous people of that era, and we referred to his generosity and kindness to people. But generosity and kindness must be based on faith if they are to benefit a person in the Hereafter, but he never said one day, “O Lord, forgive me my sins on the Day of Judgement.”
Al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah, 5/67.
And Allaah knows best.