Sheikh `Abdul-Majeed Subh, a prominent Azharite scholar, states: “Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) was a great Companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and a great narrator of hadith. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) supplicated Allah to grant him a good power of memorization and this had been achieved and witnessed by all the Companions of the Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them all). As for the incident you are talking about that the Caliph Umar was informed about his amassing great wealth and purchasing many horses and his response that he was given gifts this is authentic. But the details you mention regarding Umar beating him, lashing him or telling him you are enemy of Allah and enemy of His Book, or a liar, etc., are unauthentic.
It is worthy mentioning here that Umar had a general principle including Abu Hurairah that if a governor (waali) worked in commerce, he used to take half of his net profit to put it be distributed on poor Muslims. He based his ruling on the fact that the governor may abuse his post and thus the state has a right in taking a portion from his profit.
We should never forget that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) supplicated Allah for Abu Hurairah and the hadith reported by him were also reported on the authority of other authentic narrators of hadith and thus we cannot cast doubts on the authenticity of his hadiths. It is also among the traits of a good Muslim that we do not raise historical issues without having a definitive proof on their authenticity. This causes harm to the unity of the Ummah and it is far better to take a unified stance in confronting the plots and intrigues of the enemies of the Muslim Ummah who spare no efforts in raising such issues without having authentic and definitive proofs for them. Among such issues they raise is saying that Shi`ah are unbelievers and Muslims may have been drawn towards such sayings and thus the enemies of Islam reaches their aim with our own hands.
As for the saying that Imam Abu Hanifa said that he did not accept the hadith whose source is Abu Hurairah, Anas ibn Malik or Samura ibn Jundab, this generality of refusing to accept hadiths is false and not authentic. Abu Huraira’s hadiths were taken by the great Imams of Fiqh and when they refuse a hadith for Abu Hurairah, Anas, or Judub, they give preference to another hadiths based on their understanding to the hadiths and this is well known among all scholars who studies Hadith, its sciences and Fiqh.”
With the above in mind, we should be respectful towards all the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). We should be mindful of the books that raise historical issues without evidence. Elaborating on the authenticity of hadiths reported by Abu Huraurah, Sheikh Hamed Al-`Ali, instructor of Islamic Heritage at the Faculty of Education, Kuwait and Imam of Dahiat As-Sabahiyya Mosque, states:
“All the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them) are authentic, honest and trustworthy when it comes to reporting from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). `Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was very respectful to all the Sahabah. Yes, he used to urge them to authenticate everything narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) but he never accused any of the Sahabah of telling lies about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) was the most of the Companions who rep
orted Hadiths from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and he was the keenest in authenticating the Hadith. To accuse Abu Hurayrah of inauthenticity is in fact an accusation and doubt harbored against the Sunnah itself and the way it came to us.
Most of the doubts against the narrations of Abu Hurayrah are harbored by some fanatic Shiites and the secularists who show hatred to the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). One of the scholars of Islam have compiled a book under the title Bara’at Abu Hurayrah in which he mentions all the hadiths that have been rejected by the Shiites by quoting similar hadiths from their books but reported by other narrators. The book refutes all their arguments and shows the falsehood of their claims and accusations against Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him). As for secularists, they are known of their hatred and enmity against Islam.”