I have found a Hadith in Tafsir Ibn Kathir regarding a virtue of Surah Ikhlas. Please verify the authenticity?
Angel Jibril (‘alayhis salam) came to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) whilst he was in Tabuk and said: “O Muhammad! Witness/attend the funeral of Mu’awiyah Al-Muzani [radiyallahu ‘anhu].” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) set out with his companions and Jibril [‘alayhis salam] descended among [i.e along with] 70,000 angels. Jibril [‘alayhis salam] then stretched his right wing over the mountains and they lowered themselves in humbleness, and he stretched his left wing over the earth and it lowered itself in humbleness to the point where we could see Makkah and Madinah. Then the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam), Jibril, and the angels offered prayer [Janazah Salah] on that companion. When he [i.e Nabi – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) finished the prayer, he said: ‘O Jibril! What elevated Mu’awiyah ibn Mu’awiyah [enabling him] to reach this status?’ Angel Jibril replied: “By reciting Qul Huwallahu Ahad whilst sitting, walking and riding.’”
(Sunanul Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 50, Mizanul I’itidal, vol. 5 pgs. 39-40, number: 8628; Also see Ibn Kathir, preface of Surah Ikhlas)
This Hadith has been recorded on the authority of both Sayyiduna Anas and Sayyiduna Abu Umamah (radiyallahu ‘anhuma), with various chains, all of which have been considered either weak or very weak.
Although some of the Muhaddithun had reservations regarding the authenticity of this narration or some of its chains, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has mentioned that all of these narrations collectively lend strength to one another (i.e. through corroboration).
(Lisanul Mizan, vol. 6 pg. 467, number: 6315; Also see: Sunanul Kubra, vol. 4 pg. 50 along with Al-Jawharun Naqiyy, Dalailun Nubuwwah, vol. 5 pg. 245-246, Al-Isti’ab, tarjamah of mu’awiyah bin mu’awiyah al-muzani, Al-‘Ilalul Mutanahiyah, vol. 1 pg. 298, Hadith: 479, Talkhis Kitabil ‘Ilal, pg. 103, Hadith: 252, Tajridu Asma-is Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 83, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, preface of Surah Ikhlas, Al Bidayah wan Nihayah, vol. 4 pg. 668-669, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 3 pg. 37-38, and vol. 9 pg. 337, Al-Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 126-127, Lisanul Mizan, vol. 8 pg. 297-298, number: 8182, Al-Matalibul ‘Aliyah, Hadith: 3792 along with the footnotes, Matba’ah Al-‘Asimah)
Translation of another version
It has been reported on the authority of Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that he said: “Jibril (‘alayhis salam) descended upon Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and said:
“Mu’awiyah ibn Mu’awiyah Al-Laythi has passed away. Would you like to perform Janazah Salah over him?”
He [i.e Nabi – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam] said: ‘Yes’
He [i.e Angel Jibril – ‘alayhis salam] then struck the earth with his wing. Thereafter, there wasn’t a single tree or hill except that it lowered itself in humbleness [i.e enabling Nabi – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam to see without blocking his vision]. His [i.e Mu’awiyah – radiyallahu ‘anhu] bed was then raised.
He [i.e Nabi – sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam] then recited the takbir upon him whilst [suddenly] behind him there were [i.e there appeared] two rows of Angels; each row had 70,000 angels!
Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) then asked: ‘O Jibril [‘alayhis salam]! Through what [action] did he obtain this rank before Allah Ta’ala?’
He [i.e Angel Jibril – ‘alayhis salam] replied: “Through his love for Qul Huwallahu Ahad [i.e Surah Ikhlas], and his recitation of it going and coming, standing and sitting, and in every condition.” [i.e through his love for the Surah and his constant recitation of it in all conditions]
(Musnad Abi Ya’la, Hadith: 4268; Also see: An-Nihayah, Letters: ضعضع, and Al-Isabah, vol. 6 pg. 127)
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Farhan Shariff
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar,
Such a miraculous spectacle is considered to be the specialty of this Sahabi (radiyallahu’anhu) as well as that of Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam), as is clearly evident from the narration.