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  • 2/10/2009

The secret of Number 40


“Whoever dedicates himself to Allah for forty days, will find springs of wisdom sprout out of his heart and flow on his tongue.”

The fashioning of the clay of Prophet Adam (A.S.) was completed in forty mornings:  And “I fashioned Adam’s clay with My Hands in forty days.” In this number [of days] he crossed a world from among the worlds of potentiality, and, according to a tradition, his body lay for forty years between Mecca and Madinah and the rains of divine mercy poured upon him so that in this number [of days] he became capable of receiving the Holy Spirit.

So for forty days Adam remained in prostration, weeping for the loss of paradise. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 5, p. 43

Adam wept for Habil for forty nights. Ikmal al-Din, p. 13.


* Regarding the flood of Nuh (A.S.) it is said: So for forty days water continued to pour from the heaven and to stream out from the earth.

* The duration of the promised meeting of Prophet Musa (A.S.) was completed in forty nights, and his people were delivered from their wanderings after forty years.

* Rasulullah (pbuh) rose for service after forty years.

* The period of the journey through the realm of this world, from the first manifestation of potentiality to the end of its completion in this world is forty years, as it has been narrated that the human being’s intellect attains maturity in forty years, everyone according to his capacity. He grows from the outset of his entry into this world until the age of thirty years, and thereafter for ten years his body is remains in a halted condition. And at forty years he completes his journey through the world of nature and commences the journey towards the world of the Hereafter. And it is for this reason that it has been said:  One who reaches forty years and does not take up a staff has surely disobeyed. That is because the staff is a sign of a traveller and it is desirable for the traveller to carry a staff. And when forty years are over, it is the time for journey, and the taking up of the staff signifies preparation for the journey of the Hereafter and collecting oneself for departure (and whoever does not carry a staff is neglectful of the impending journey). Similarly, the body attains maturity at this age and so also does the status of goodness or wretchedness.  When a man reaches forty years without ever repenting, Satan strokes his face with his hand and says, "May my father be your ransom, it is the face of one who will not prosper!" Safinat al-Bihar, vol. 1, p. 504; in Ihya’al -Ulum, vol. 3, p. 25

* “One who assists a blind man for forty steps becomes worthy of entering Janna,” Literally means someone who lacks eyesight, and its interpretation is someone who is blind due to the lack of inner sight, because the blind man lacking eyesight does not reach actuality from potentiality after completing forty steps, though he may come near it, and if left to himself he would return to his earlier state And the completion of spiritual excellence and the attainment of guidance is realized on completion of forty [steps] and in this respect results in worthiness for Janna.

When a man enters his fortieth year, it is said to him, "Now be careful, because (henceforth) you will not have any excuse.”. Saduq’s al-Khisal, p. 545

* From Imam Sadiq (A.S.): When a human being reaches 40 Allah reveals to his angels: "Indeed, I have made My abd come of age, so now be strict and severe with him and record and write down his every action, whether it is a minor one or a major one, and whether his works are abundant or sparse." 

* When an abd reaches thirty? Three he comes of age, and when he reaches forty years, he attains to his ultimate maturity. Hence as he enters forty, one his powers are on decline, and it is befitting for one at fifty to consider himself like someone nearing his death.

* The Prophet (S.A.W.) has said: Persons of fifty years are like a field ready for harvest. Jami al-akhbar, 76, p. 140


* Indeed, if one recites the Suratul Hamd forty times on water and pours it on someone suffering from fever, God shall cure him.

* Imam Baqir (A.S.) has said: “The Duas of someone who drinks wine are not accepted for forty days” al-Kafi, vol. 6, p. 401

* Rasulullah (pbuh) has said: “For forty days and nights, Allah does not accept the prayers and fasts of someone who backbites a Muslim man or woman unless that person pardons him.”

* “When a believer dies and forty men from among the believers attend his funeral and say, "O God, we know nothing about him except goodness, and You know him better than we do." Allah says, "Your testimony suffices Me, and I forgive him what I know of things that you do not know.   Al-Khisal, p. 538, al-Saduq

* “If someone brings forward forty believers and does Dua, his Dua is answered.” ‘Uddat al-Dua, p. 128

* Imam Ali (A.S.) has narrated from Rasulullah (pbuh): "One who preserves for the sake of my ummah forty ahadith relating to their religious needs shall be raised by Allah as a learned scholar on the Day of Resurrection.


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