Is this authentic?
قال ابن سلام لقد عرفته حين رأيته كما أعرف ابني و معرفتي لمحمد أشد
This narration is recorded in Tafsir Tha’labi. Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) had questioned ‘Abdullah ibn Salam (radiyallahu ‘anhu) regarding his recognition of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
(Tafsir Tha’labi; Al Kashfu Wal Bayan, Surah: Al Baqarah, Verse: 146 with slight variation in the wording. Also see: Ad Durrul Manthur, Surah Al Baqarah, Verse: 146, vol. 2 pg. 32)
However, the chain consists of a narrator who has been accused of lying.
(Refer: Mizanul I’tidal, vol. 4 pg. 125, number: 7145 and Taqribut Tahdhib: 5901)
‘Abdullah ibn Salam (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “I recognised him [i.e. Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] when I saw him, just as I know my son. But my recognition of Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was even greater.”
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.