The Number Forty in the Ahadith
Here are a few ahadiththat use the number forty
1. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said, “There isn’t any Prophet between me and him – meaning Jesus on whom be peace. He is sure to descend. When he comes you will recognize him. He will be of average height, between red and fair (of color); wearing two yellowish cloaks. His head, as if dripping droplets even though not wet. He will fight the people for Islam, break the cross, kill the swine, annul Jizyah, and in his time Allah will destroy all other religions except Islam. He will also kill Dajjal the Anti-christ. He will tarry in the earth for forty years and then die. Muslims will pray over him.” (Abu Da’ud).
2. On the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, the Prophet said, “Whoever drank wine and got drunk, his Prayers of forty days is not accepted. If he died, he will enter the Fire. If he repents, Allah forgives. But if he returned, drank and got drunk, his forty days of Prayers are not accepted. If he died, he will enter the Fire. If he repents, Allah forgives. But if he returned and got drunk, his Prayers of forty days is not accepted. If he died, he will enter the Fire. If he repents, Allah forgives. But if he returns, then it is Allah’s right that He should make him drink the Radgha of Khabaal on the Day of Standing.” They asked, “What is Radgha of Khabaal, O Messenger of Allah.” He answered, “It is the wastes of the inhabitants of the Fire.” (Ibn Majah)
3. The Prophet said, “The inhabitants of Paradise will be one hundred twenty rows of which eighty rows will be from this Ummah, and forty from the rest of the nations.” (Ibn Majah).
4. The molar tooth of the unbeliever (in Hellfire) will be the size of Uhud (Mountain) and the thickness of his skin forty yards by the yard of the Subduer. (Al-Jami‘ Saghir).
5. ‘Abd al-Rahman said: Three men came to ‘Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘Aas while I was with him. They said, “O Abu Muhammad. To Allah we belong; we have nothing: neither provision, nor beast (for ride), nor any possessions.” He replied, “What will you prefer? If you wish you come and join us and we will offer you what will make things easy for you. If you wished, we could mention your situation to the ruler. But if you wished, you observe patience for I have heard the Prophet say, ‘Verily the poor of the emigrants will overtake the rich on the Day of Standing to Paradise by forty years.’” They said, “We shall be patient.” (Muslim)
6. That a capital punishment be executed in the earth is better for the people of the earth than that they should be given rains for forty mornings. (Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir).
7. Wine is the mother of all evils. Whoever drank it, will have his Prayers rejected for forty days. If he died with wine in his stomach, he died the death of Pagandom. (Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir).
8. Dreams are of three kinds. Some are phantoms from the Devil in order that he may aggrieve the son of Adam. Of them are some that a man is worried about during the time he is awake. It is reflected in the dream. Some are one-forty-sixth part of Prophethood. (That is, they come out true) – Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir).
9. He who went to a fortune-tellers, and asked him anything, will have his Prayers rejected for forty days. (Al-Jami‘ al-Saghir).
10. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Ka‘b b. Malik said: “I used to be my father’s guide after he had lost his eyesight. Now, whenever I went out with him on a Friday, and he heard the Adhan, he would seek forgiveness and supplicate for Abu Umamah, i.e., As‘ad b. Zurarah. I remained a while hearing him. Then I said to myself, ‘By Allah, I am not a clever man. I hear him seeking forgiveness for Abu Umamah and supplicate for him every time Friday Adhan is said but I do not ask him why?’ So, when I came out with him as I used to come out for Fridays, and when he heard the Adhan and sought forgiveness as he used to do, I asked him, ‘O my father. I hear you saying supplications for As‘ad b. Zurarah every time you hear the Friday Adhan. Why is it?’ He replied, ‘Yes my son! He was the first to Pray Friday with us (i.e., lead us in the Prayers), before the Prophet came down from Makkah – that was (in a place called) Naqi‘ al-Khadamaat, in the flat grounds of Banu Bayaadah.’ I asked, ‘How many were you then?’ He replied, ‘Forty.’” (Ibn Majah)