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I have asked this question in a different context. Now I need to know its authenticity. Google search gives various slightly different versions. For example:

The people of Mecca asked the Prophet to change [Mount] Safa into gold, and to move away the hills for them so that they could cultivate the land. Thus, he was told [through revelation]: "If you so desire, We shall give them respite for a time [and] perhaps some of them will choose [to believe]; and if you so desire, We shall give them what they want, but if they were to disbelieve, they shall be doomed as were those before them." The Prophet said, "Rather give them time."

Or from Imam Ahmad.

What is the authenticity of this hadith? What is the most reliable version?

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In his tafsir, Ibn Kathir رحمه الله quotes some different versions and mentions more narrated by others.

Most scholarly sources I've seen quote the Ahmad hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه‎.

عن ابن عباس قال: قالت قريش للنبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم -: ادع لنا ربك أن يجعل لنا الصفا ذهبا ونؤمن بك! قال: وتفعلون؟ ، قالوا: نعم، قال: فدعا، فأتاه جبريل فقال: إن ربك عز وجل يقرأ عليك السلام ويقول: إن شئت أصبح لهم الصفا ذهبا، فمن كفر بعد ذلك منهم عذبته عذابا لا أعذبه أحدا من العالمين، وإن شئت فتحت لهم باب التوبة والرحمة، قال: بل باب التوبة والرحمة

Ibn Abbas reported: The Quraysh said to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, “Call upon your Lord to turn the mount of Safa into gold for us and we will have faith in you.” The Prophet said, “And you will do so?” They said yes. The Prophet supplicated to Allah and Gabriel came to him and he said, “Verily, your Lord Almighty greets you with peace. He says that if you wish, I will turn the mount of Safa into gold for them, but whoever among them disbelieves after that will be punished with a great punishment like no one else in the worlds. And if you wish, the door of repentance and mercy will be opened for them.” The Prophet said, “Rather, the door of repentance and mercy.”

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 2167

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Ahmad Shakir

Above Source: Hadith on Mercy: Rather, the gate of repentance and mercy

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