Praise be to Allah.
Abu Daawood (5096) narrated via Shurayh ibn ‘Ubayd, from Abu Maalik al-Ash‘ari who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “When a man enters his house, let him say: ‘O Allah, I ask You for good when entering and when exiting. In the name of Allah we enter and in the name of Allah we exit, and in Allah our Lord we put our trust,’ then let him greet his family.”
This hadith is da‘eef (weak), because of the interruption (in the chain of narration) between Shurayh ibn ‘Ubayd and Abu Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him). Abu Haatim said: The link “Shurayh ibn ‘Ubayd from Abu Maalik al-Ash‘ari” means that the report is mursal.
Shaykh al-Albaani had previously classed this hadith as saheeh, but when it became clear to him that the chain of narration was interrupted, he deemed it to be da‘eef, as he (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
I had narrated this hadith in as-Saheehah (no. 225), but one of my students – may Allah reward him with good – drew my attention to the fact that there is an interruption in its chain of narration between Shurayh and Abu Maalik. And I have noticed the same issue in another hadith that I quoted as corroborative evidence for the hadith quoted in as-Saheehah (no. 1502). Glory be to the One Who does not err or forget; I ask Allah, may He be exalted, to forgive me in this world or the next.
To support that we may cite the words of Ibn Abi Haatim in al-Maraaseel (p. 60-61), narrating from his father:
Shurayh ibn ‘Ubayd al-Hadrami did not meet Abu Umaamah or al-Haarith ibn al-Haarith or al-Miqdaam; his report from Abu Maalik al-Ash‘ari is mursal.
This was confirmed by al-‘Allaa’i in Jaami‘ at-Tahseel (237/238).
Something similar was stated by Muhammad ibn ‘Awf to the one who asked him whether Shurayh heard hadith [directly] from any of the companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). He said:
I do not think so, because he does not say in any of his reports, “I heard”. But he is thiqah (trustworthy), as it says in at-Tahdheeb.
End quote from Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth ad-Da‘eefah (12/731-732).
Nevertheless, the hadith was classed as hasan by more than one of the scholars, such as Ibn Muflih in al-Aadaab ash-Shar‘iyyah (1/400) and Shaykh Ibn Baaz in his Fataawa (26/35). So if anyone accepts the verdict of those scholars who classed it as hasan and acts upon it, he is not to be criticised, because the classing of such hadiths as saheeh or da‘eef is the matter of ijtihad, and the scholars stated both views concerning it, even though in this case it is most likely that the hadith is da‘eef.
The same applies if someone acts upon this hadith on the basis that its weakness is not severe, or because there is a reference to the text of this hadith in another, saheeh hadith which speaks of the virtue of remembering Allah when entering the house.
See the answer to question no. 44877.
What is proven in the Sunnah and in the views of the scholars is that upon entering the house, one should mention the name of Allah, remember Allah and give the greeting of salaam, even if there is no one in the house.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
It is mustahabb to say Bismillah when entering the house, and to remember Allah, may He be exalted, a great deal, and to give the greeting of salaam, whether there are any humans in the house or not, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “But when you enter houses, give greetings of peace upon each other - a greeting from Allah, blessed and good” [an-Noor 24:61].
End quote from al-Adhkaar (p. 23).
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (8/92):
Many of the fuqahaa’ are agreed that saying Bismillah is prescribed when beginning any matter of importance, whether it is an act of worship or otherwise. End quote.
See also: Tafseer Ibn Katheer (1/120).
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2018) from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdillah that he heard the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “When a man enters his house, and mentions Allah when he enters and when he eats, the Shaytaan says: ‘You have no place to stay and no dinner.’ But if he enters and does not mention Allah when he enters, the Shaytaan says, ‘You have found a place to stay.’ And if he does not mention Allah when he eats, he says: ‘You have found a place to stay and dinner.’”
Al-Qaari said in Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (7/2693):
Al-Qaadi said: He [the Shaytaan] is addressing his helpers and is saying: you will have no share or opportunity tonight with the people of this house, for they have protected themselves and their food from you. What this means is that the Shaytaan only has an opportunity to take advantage of a person at moments of heedlessness when he forgets to remember the Most Gracious. But if a person is alert and prudent and remembers Allah in all situations, then the Shaytaan has no way to tempt him or mislead him, and he gives up hope of doing so altogether. End quote.
And Allah knows best.