The following report was called into question by a particular brother commenting on Seekingilm. The following is the takhrij. Abu Nu’aym reports the following in his Hilyat Al-Awliyaa through Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal:
حدثنا أبو بكر بن مالك، حدثنا عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل، حدثني أبي، وإبراهيم بن زياد، قالا: حدثنا إسماعيل بن علية، عن خالد الحذاء، عن عكرمة. قال: قال أبو هريرة: إني لأستغفر الله وأتوب إليه كل يوم اثنى عشر ألف مرة، وذلك على قدر ديني، أو قدر دينه
From ‘Ikrimah that Abu Hurayrah said: “Verily, I turn to Allah asking forgiveness and repenting to Him 12,000 times every day.”
Takhrij: This hadith is reported by Abu Nu’aym this way in his Hilyat Al-Awliyaa’ 1/383, and mentioned by Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalaani in his Isaabah as being reported by Ibn Sa’ad. Al-Hafith declared this athar Sahih. A review of the chain will attest to such a grading:
حدثنا أبو بكر بن مالك، حدثنا عبد الله بن أحمد بن حنبل، حدثني أبي، وإبراهيم بن زياد، قالا: حدثنا إسماعيل بن علية، عن خالد الحذاء، عن عكرمة. قال: قال أبو هريرة
Ibrahim Ibn Ziyaad was declared Thiqah (impeccably trustworthy) by Ibn Ma’in, Abu Zura’ah and others. Ahmad said, “There is nothing wrong with him.” Next in the chain is Isma’il ibn ‘Ulayyah. He was a Hafith of his time. Shu’bah said of him, “…the master of the Muhadditheen!. Ibn Hajr said of him, “Thiqah, a specialist of hadith (Hafith).” The next in the chain is Khalid Al-Haththa’. He is Khalid ibn Mihraan Abul Manaazil Al-Haththa’. Ibn Ma’in, Nasaa’I, Al-‘Ijli, all deemed him thiqah. Ahmad said of him, “Established!” However Abu Haatim said of him, “Record his hadith [although] there is no support with him.” The majority deem him thiqah. Adh-Dhahabi says in his Mizan,
وكان ثقة مهيبا كثير الحديث
“And he was thiqah, awe-inspiring, with many hadith.” He reports this from ‘Ikrimah. He is the well known Barbari, mufassir, student of the Sahaba, and former servant of Ibn ‘Abbas. There is agreement of all Muslim scholars regarding his impeccable trustworthiness, righteousness, and fiqh. This chain is Sahih as you can see.
On another note, it is not recorded that the Nabi (‘alayhis salaam) sought istighfaar this many times a day, in fact he said He (‘alayhis salaam) only did this 70, and in another report 100 times in a day. Furthermore, Abu Hurayrah is specifying a number to do it, a definite bida’ah! Bida’ah hasanah! Shukran to Sidi Ibn Umer for the athar. May Allah bless our beloved Nabi Muhammad, his family, and his followers Amin!
Ya Rasulullah! ‘Alaykas-Salaam! Sallu ‘Alayk ya Habibullah!