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Compilation of Chihil hadith and the HadIth of “Al-Arba‘īn”

Author : Nad Ali Ashoori
Subject : Hadith Bibliography
Translator : Ahmad Rezwani
Editor : Mahdi Baqi

25 Oct 2011
Hadith Sciences 3


Key Words


Compilation of arba‘īn or chihil ḥadīth (forty traditions) is of an old age history, which has been practiced since the early centuries of the Islamic history. This sunna originates from a statement by the Holy Prophet of Islam who said:

"Everyone from among my umma who preserves forty of our traditions for the people who require them in their religion, Allah will raise them up on the Resurrection Day as a learned scholar."[1]

Relying on the above ḥadīth, the Muslim scholars have considered compilation of "forty traditions" as one of the worth-endeavoring value principles. The best testimony to this approval and endeavor is the authoring (compilation) of hundreds of books of arba‘īn on tens of doctrinal, ethical, devotional and other topics.

One of these arba‘īns written in contemporary era is Sharḥ-i Chihil Ḥadīth or Arba‘īn Ḥadīth of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (ra), who finished its authoring in 1358/1939.

This volume – apparently written by the Imam in the thirty-eighth year of his blessed life – contains the most sublime mystical comments and the most accurate ethical truths, the content of which the Imam had presented as lectures to his students in Madrasa Fayḍiyya and Madrasa Mulā Ṣādiq of Qum and then decided to publish a book on the same.[2]

This exquisite work is introduced in the publisher's note as follows:

Thirty three of the traditions in this volume concern ethics, muhlakāt (what causes perditions), and munjiyāt (what ensures salvations), and the other seven traditions are on tenets of religious doctrines (i‘tiqādāt) and doctrinal knowledge (ma‘ārif). The procedure adopted by his Excellency for exposition of the aḥādīth is as follows: first, he would relate the ḥadīth; then, he would translate it into Persian; and after that, he would explicate and interpret the major words of the ḥadīth and sometimes most of the phrases and terms; in rendering the meaning of the ḥadīth, he would touch upon its syntactic points; and finally, having finished with the explication of the phrases and terms and the necessary preparations, he would turn to the exposition of the text, bringing the exposition of the ḥadīth to an end in several chapters.[3]

Dealing with the ethico-mystical dimensions of this dignified work and the thorough study of its lofty content and profound themes (which have impressive impacts on the soul and spirit of the readers and unveil the most hidden aspects of their being, bringing before their eyes the fallacies of their lower self and the ethical evils and blameworthy acts) is beyond the scope of one or more articles; rather, it demands independent and separate volumes to undertake the study of various dimensions of it as befitting this book and the high status of the Imam (ra).

Since on the commemorative occasion of the one hundredth birth anniversary of that great reviver of the century and as paying homage to his life-long scholarly and for his practical endeavors in acquiring excellences and dissimilating them as well as his struggle against tyranny and injustice, numerous articles have been dedicated in special issues of periodicals and journals to discussions and reviews of these topics including the publication of several articles concerning the Imam (ra)'s Arba‘īn, I undertake the task of expanding on just two discourses from among numerous discourses concerning arba‘īns and compilation of arba‘īns without dealing with the topics brought up in Sharḥ-i Chihil Ḥadīth and simply by inspiration from the succinct preface the Imam (ra) had written to his book. Thereby, I would both contribute (however little) to the commemoration of that great man of the contemporary history of Iran and have a more profound look at the reasons and motivations that prompted his Excellency to write the arba‘īn.

In a brief explanation at the beginning of the book, the late Imam (ra) has delineated the purpose of writing this volume as follows:

I, a humble servant of God, was contemplating for some time to select forty ḥadīthsfrom among the aḥādīth of the Infallible and purified members of the Household of the Prophet (S.A.W.) (recorded in authentic books of the saḥāba and scholars – may Allah be pleased with them), and to try to compile them each with an appropriate explanation that can be applied to the general conditions of the people. To this end, I chose to write them in Persian, so that the Persian speakers may also benefit from them. Perhaps, God willing, [by this compilation] I would be included in the noble ḥadīth of the Seal of the Prophets (S.A.W.) who said: “Everyone from among my umma who preserves forty [of our] ḥadīths for the people to benefit from, Allah will raise them up on the Resurrection Day as a learned scholar.”[4]

As it is noted, the late Imam (A.S.) regards ḥadīth of arba‘īn from among the reliable traditions related from the Prophet (S.A.W.). Thus, he has related it without the slightest dispute and inquiry into the chains of transmission and rijāl of ḥadīth (narrators of traditions); and as he definitely believed in its content, he has expressed hope that God may include him in this noble ḥadīth.

Since some scholars have harbored doubt in the genuineness of the above ḥadīth and called its validity into question, this article undertakes an intensive enquiry into the truth or falsity of this ḥadīth and then touches upon a brief history of writing arba‘īns by the Shī‘as and Sunnīs.

First of all it is to be noted that although some scholars have considered the ḥadīth of arba‘īn to be among the widely-transmitted (mutawātir) traditions;[5] most Muslim scholars believe that this ḥadīth is among the diffused (mustafīḍ) and generally accepted (mashhūr) traditions, which is related from the Prophet (S.A.W.) through sound sanads and in various ways, even though it may not have reached the level of tawātur (uninterrupted transmission). Expression of definite opinion on the validity and authenticity of this ḥadīth seems to be a little difficult, requiring more discussion and enquiry. Perhaps it was for this same reason that it found proponents as well as opponents among the scholars and each group took a different side. Some of these groups’ views are pointed out as follows:

The Validity and Authenticity of Ḥadīth of Arba‘īn

A. The Proponents’ View

1. Al-Shahīd al-Awwal wrote in his Al-Arba‘īn:

The early scholars and literati have been much interested in compilation of the Prophet’s arba‘īn (forty traditions); and the words of Imāmī scholars, as it has become renowned in sound narration from the Prophet, is also compatible, by various wordings, with this same number of forty.[6]

2. Al-Shakh al-Bahā’ī wrote in this respect:

It is to be known that this ḥadīth [preserving forty ḥadīth] is generally accepted among the opponent and proponent scholars, as some have [also] judged for its tawatur (uninterrupted transmission).[7]

3. Mullā Muḥsin al-Fayḍ al-Kāshānī[8] wrote:

This ḥadīth is popular among the Sunnīs and Shī‘as as mustafīḍ (diffused), yet some talked of its tawātur. Shī‘a scholars have related this ḥadīth in many ways with different wordings.[9]

4. ‘Allāma al-Majlisī also believes that the ḥadīth of arba‘īn has been related as mustafīḍ both by the Sunnīs and the Shī‘as and that it has even reached the level of semantic tawātur.[10]

5. Also, the late author of Al-Dharī‘a said in this respect:

Our martyred master has said at the beginning of his Arba‘īn in 786/1389: “The tradition of Chihil Ḥadīth is a generally accepted (mashhūr) one that is related from the Prophet (S.A.W.) and ‘Allāma al-Majlisī has dedicated a chapter in his Biḥār al-Anwār to those who preserve (memorize) forty traditions. In that chapter, he has related the aḥādīth which he could find in many books, using various chains of transmission and comparable texts. He has said in another chapter: This subject is popular among the Sunnīs and Shī‘as as mustafīḍ (diffused), yet it is said to be mutawātir.”[11]

6. Although the late Imam Khomeini (ra) has not provided a separate discussion in this respect in his Sharḥ-ḥ Chihil Ḥadīth, while stating his intention for authoring the arba‘īn, he has given an explanation as to the purpose of this compilation, which denote his acceptance of this ḥadīth and its approbation with him, which was already pointed out.

7. The author of Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn al-Nabuwwiyya has related:

There is a consensus among the scholars of ḥadīth that the traditions of arba‘īn are valid and that they can be relied on and referred to, either for their ishtahār (general acceptance), or being mustafīḍ (diffused), or their tawātur (uninterrupted transmission).[12]

After quoting the exact views of al-Shahīd al-Awwal, ‘Allāma al-Majlisī, and the author of Al-Dharī‘a, he goes on to write:

That is how we see the dignitaries regarding the aḥādīth of arba‘īn as being beyond isolated traditions, having felt needless of discussing their chains of transmissions (sanads).[13]

B. The Opponents’ View

In contrast to the first group, there is another group who believe that the above-mentioned ḥadīth is weak and there are unknown people in its chains of transmission[14] which makes it weak. In the following we mention a few views in this regard:

1. Ḥāfiẓ Sharaf al-Dīn al-Nawāwī (d. 676/1277) from among the Sunnī scholars – whose commentary on Ṣaḥīḥ of Muslim is among the well-known and valid commentaries in the Sunnī world – wrote in his Arba‘īn:

It is related to us from ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib (A.S.) on the authority of ‘Abd Allāh b. Mas‘ūd, Mu‘ādh b. Jabal, Abī al-Dardā, Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn al-‘Abbās, Anas b. al-Mālik, Abī Hurayra, Abī Sa‘īd al-Khudrī (may Allah be pleased with them), in many ways and through various traditions, quoting the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.) as saying: “From among my followers, one who shall preserve and protect my forty ḥadīths, so that my people may be benefited from them, Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Resurrection with the scholars and jurisprudents." It is related in a ḥadīth: “Allah will raise them as a learned scholar.” It is related in Abū Dardā’s ḥadīth: “And I will be his intercessor and witness on the Day of Resurrection.” It is related in Ibn Mas‘ūd’s ḥadīth: “he will be told: Enter the Paradise from whichever door you wish.” It is related in ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Umar’s ḥadīth: “He will be listed as among the scholars and will be resurrected with the martyrs.”

The preservers of the ḥadīth all maintain that this ḥadīth is weak, although the ways (ṭuruq) of its transmission are plenty. And the scholars have authored an untold number of books on this topic.[15]

2. Ḥājī Khalīfa wrote in his Kashf al-Ẓunūn:

It is related in many ways and through various traditions from the Apostle of Allah who said: “From among my followers, one who shall preserve and protect my forty ḥadīths…” and it is agreed upon that this ḥadīth is weak despite its plenty ways (of transmission).[16]

3. Mullā Ismā‘īl al-Māzandirānī al-Khājū’ī (d. 1173/1759), from among the Imāmī scholars of the 12th/18th century, in one of his two quotations and after detailed discussion in this respect, considers it [the ḥadīth of arba‘īn] as weak in chain of transmission (although he believes that this weakness can be compensated, which will be referred to further on).

C. The Third View

A group of the Muslim thinkers have inclined towards a third view in their devising a midway between the above two views. Mentioning some reasons, this group believes that even if the rijāl of this ḥadīth are weak, yet it can be trusted for some other reasons, including:

1. Contrary to the second group, not all the rijāl of ḥadīth can be regarded as unknown and untrusted; rather, there are many who are renowned and trustable.[17]

2. On the assumption of accepting the weakness of the sanad, the popularity that this ḥadīth has had among both the Sunnīs and Shī‘as since past and at present would compensate this weakness and as Mullā Ismā‘īl al-Khājū’ī put it: “Its weakness is compensated with its popularity.”[18]

3. How can it be accepted that a ḥadīth is related from many of the renowned transmitters of ḥadīth and popular companions such as Imam ‘Alī (A.S.) and others – as al-Nawāwī has forthrightly stated – and its content has been practiced by scholars throughout the fourteen hundred years of Islamic history, and yet no trust is placed in it and all its sanads regarded as weak?

4. That the content of this ḥadīth has been accepted and practiced by scholars and many books of “forty ḥadīths” have been written on that basis, is in itself the best indication and evidence that the above ḥadīth in some way enjoys validity and acceptance, and this degree of validity is sufficient as argumentation;[19] because, what reason is more compelling than the fact that al-Nawāwī, who maintains the weakness of the sanad of this ḥadīth, has compiled an ‘arba’īn and the author of Kashf al-Ẓunīn names tens of ‘arba’īn compilations, too? And before these two scholars, Ibn ‘Asākir al-Damishqī al-Shāfi‘ī besides having written “arba’īn al-ḥadīth” has named about 20 Sunnī scholars who had undertaken to compile arba‘īns.[20] Similarly, before them Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal had quoted al-Shāfi‘ī as saying:

What is meant is preserving forty ḥadīths on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn.[21]

This indicates that besides accepting the ḥadīth of arba‘īn, they have specified its referents as well.

5. Another point is that examining the rijāl of a ḥadīth is only one way of distinguishing a sound ḥadīth from a weak one. An even more significant way is to examine the text of the ḥadīth, or to use what is known as fiqh al-ḥadīth or dirāyat al-ḥadīth (contextual study of ḥadīth). Relying on the rules and standards of this science, it is concluded that the context and meaning of the ḥadīth of arba‘īn is such that it is by no means rationally rejected or improbable or can be traditionally (on the basis of aḥadīth) denied. Rather, by deliberation and scrutiny, we can find out the soundness of its content.

6. As it is explicitly stated in books on ḥadīth sciences, neither is a sound ḥadīth obligatory to follow nor is a weak ḥadīth to be disregarded. Many of the weak aḥādīth can be accepted by applying rules of ‘ilm al-dirāya (contextual study of ḥadīth) along with other evidences and act according to their content. However, claiming the ḥadīth of arba‘īn to be mutawātir is too bogus to be readily accepted,[22] because if it had really reached the level of tawātur, first of all there would be no need to talk of the sanad and applying rules of ‘ilm al-rijāl; secondly, despite the frequency of its ways (of transmission), labeling as weak was not justifiable and accepted. Whereas, we know that some have regarded it as weak and yet some others have deemed the study of its sanads as necessary.[23] Unless we say what is meant by tawātur is not literal tawātur; rather, it is tawātur in meaning, namely, its content is somehow renowned and popular, which makes it acceptable (as pointed out before).

In conclusion, we quote Mullā Muḥsin al-Khājū’ī in summing up this ḥadīth who said:

I have achieved what is quoted by Shī‘a scholars of ḥadīth in three ways:

1. First: our martyred Shaykh has mentioned this ḥadīth on page 19 of his Arba‘īn, and the beginning of his sanad up to Sayyid Faḍl Allāh al-Rāvandī are all among the eminent, the rest of the sanad up to Imam al-Riḍā (A.S.) are unknown. There are five transmitters in the sanad, some of whom are unknown and some others are neither approved nor disapproved by rijāl experts.

2. Second: our martyred Shaykh has further related it with generally accepted (mashhūr) sanad up to al-Ṣadūq, all of whom are reliable. Ibn al-Bābwayh has attributed it to Imam al-Ṣādiq (A.S.) as mursal (incomplete in chain of transmission). [Al-Khiṣāl, p. 543]

3. The prominent Shaykh, Abū Sa‘īd Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ḥusayn al-Nayshābūrī has related it in his Arba‘īn, in which there are also unknown transmitters.

But what al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī has related in his Arba‘īn (on page 7) is between weak and unknown.

In general, in this respect we rely on the ḥadīth: “Whoever hears something of reward …” [Al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 87]; and it is sound in sanad, as we stated in our ta‘līqāt (additional notes) to Al-Shaykh Bahā’ al-Dīn’s Arba‘īn.[24]

Narrators of the Ḥadīth of Arba‘īn

It was briefly said before that according to some Muslim scholars the ḥadīth of arba‘īn is invalid and inauthentic because of the existence of a number of unknown or weak narrators in its chain of transmitters.

Without intending to deal with ‘ilm al-rijāl and prove or disprove the above claim, we only assert the fact that an outright and absolute negation of the ḥadīth of arba‘īn cannot be based on strong arguments; and although we do believe that some of the transmitters of this ḥadīth may be unknown and weak, there are also sound and authentic transmitters found among them as well, relying on whom we can, or rather, should accept the content of the above ḥadīth. To prove this, we name some transmitters of the ḥadīth of arba‘īn according to Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Shūshtarī – who is himself among the scholars of ilm al-rijāl:

1. Mu‘ādh b. Jabal, ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Abbās, and Anas b. Mālik from the Prophet (S.A.W.);

2. Muḥammad b. Muslim, Ḥannān b. Sadīr, Ismā‘īl b. Faḍl, and Ismā‘īl b. Muslim from Imam al-Ṣādiq (A.S.);

3. ‘Āmir b. Sulaymān al-Ṭā’ī, Aḥmad b. ‘Abd Allāh Shaybānī, and Dāwūd b. Sulaymān (nicknamed as Farā’ or Ghāzī), from Imam al-Riḍā (A.S.).[25]

Although it is possible that the Sunnīs do not accept the second and third ṭarīq (chain of transmitters), all those who have related the ḥadīth of arba‘īn have accepted the first ṭarīq;[26] furthermore, they name other people such as Abū Dardā’, Abū Wā’il, et al.[27] As such, al-Nawāwī – a claimant of the weakness of the sanad of the ḥadīth of arba‘īn, wrote:

It is related to us from ‘Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, ‘Abd Allāh b. Mas‘ūd, Mu‘ādh b. Jabal, Abī Dāwūd, Abī al-Dardā’, Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Abbās, Anas b. Mālik, Abī Hurayra, and Abī Sa‘īd al-Khudrī – may Allah be pleased with them – in many ways and through various traditions, quoting the Apostle of Allah (S.A.W.) as saying: “Everyone from among my umma who preserves forty [of our] traditions…”[28]

The Beginning of Compiling Arba‘īns

As it was pointed out, the Muslims’ endeavor in compiling forty traditions led to compilation of various arba‘īns, which are referred to as arba‘ūniyyāt or arba‘īniyyāt.

Although it is not so easy to determine the exact date of the beginning of compilation of arba‘īns, Ḥāfiẓ Sharaf al-Dīn al-Nawāwī (d. 676/1277) and after him Ḥājī Khalīfa, wrote that ‘Abd Allāh b. Mubārak (d. 181/797) has been one of the first individuals who had undertaken to compile arba‘īn.[29]

Thus, it can be said that compilation of arba‘īns began since the late 2nd century AH, which in itself is another response to those who claim that the ḥadīth of arba‘īn is weak, hence invalid.

How can it be approved that arba‘īns based on a weak ḥadīth appear in the early centuries? And yet, some of these arba‘īns (like the arba‘īn of Ḥāfiẓ al-Nawāwī) are – according to Ḥājī Khalīfa in his Kashf al-Ẓunūn – expounded by the eighteen eminent Sunnī scholars?![30]

Interestingly enough, the compilers of these volumes have made serious attempts to use the term arba‘īn at least once or even more times in choosing a name for their books, which, in itself, indicates their attention to ḥadīth of arba‘īn and the validity they accorded to it.

For instance, many of them have preferred to choose the title Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan by once using the term arba‘īn for their books; others, however, have used the term arba‘īn twice, like: Al-Arba‘īn ‘an al-Arba‘īn fī Faḍā’il Amīr al-Mu’minīn compiled by Ḥāfiḍ Abū Sa‘īd Muḥammad b. Ḥusayn al-Nayshābūrī, Abū al-Futūḥ al-Rāzī’s ancestor, or Al-Arba‘īn ‘an al-Arba‘īn, compiled by Ḥātam al-Shāmī.

Another group have chosen such title as Al-Arba‘īna ‘an al-Arba‘īna mina al-Arba‘īn compiled by Muntajab al-Dīn ‘Alī b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Ḥasan b. Ḥusayn b. al-Bābwayh (of course, the full name of the book is: Al-Arba‘īna Ḥadīthan ‘an Arba‘īna Shaykhan min Arba‘īna Ṣaḥābiyyan).[31]

It is worth mentioning that in the end of his book, he says that he would compile another arba‘īn entitled: Al-Arba‘īna ‘an al-Arba‘īna mina al-Arba‘īna ma‘ al-Arba‘īn fī Faḍā’il Amīr al-Mu’minīn (in which the term arba‘īn is repeated four times. It is not clear whether he has succeeded in this task or not).[32]

Similarly, Ḥāfiẓ b. ‘Asākir (d. 571/1175) has entitled his arba‘īn as such: Al-Arba‘īna al-Buldāniyya ‘an Arba‘īn min Arba‘īn li Arba‘īn fī Arba‘īn, and comments of the above title as follows:

I gathered in it [in Al-Arba‘ina al-Buldāniyya] forty traditions, from forty Shaykhs, from forty cities, for forty Ṣaḥābīs, on forty subjects.[33]

Some of the Compilers of Arba‘ins

After ‘Abd Allāh b. Mubārak, a large group of scholars undertook compiling arba‘īn,[34] such as Muḥammad b. Aslam al-Ṭūsī and Ḥasan b. Sufyān al-Nisā’ī;[35] however, the pinnacle of this endeavor is to be regarded since the 4th century AH onwards.

Of those among the Sunnīs who undertook compiling arba‘īns since this date onwards the following scholars can be named:

- Aḥmad b. Ḥarb al-Nayshābūrī (d. 234/848)

- Ḥāfiẓ b. Ḥasan b. Sufyān al-Nasawī (d. 303/915)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū Bakr Kalābādī (d. 380/990)

- Ḥāfiẓ ‘Umar b. Aḥmad b. Mahdī al-Baghdādī al-Dārquṭnī (d. 385/995)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū Bakr al-Jawzaqī (d. 388/998)

- Ḥākim al-Nayshābūrī (d. 405/1014)

- Abū Sa‘īd al-Mālīnī (d. 412/1021)

- Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī (d. 412/1021)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū Na‘īm al-Isfahānī (d. 430/1038)

- Ismā‘īl b. ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Ṣābūnī al-Nayshābūrī (d. 449/1057)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū Bakr al-Bayhaqqī (d. 458/1065)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Isfahānī (d. 466/1073)

- Ḥāfiẓ ‘Abd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad al-Nayshābūrī (476/1083)

- Ḥāfiẓ Abū ‘Abd Allāh al-Thaqafī (d. 489/1095)

- Naṣr b. Ibrāhīm al-Muqaddasī (d. 490/1096)

- Imam Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (505/1111)

- Ḥāfiẓ b. Asākir (d. 571/1175)

- Badr al-Dīn Abū Mu‘ammir Ismā‘īl al-Tabrīzī (d. 601/1204)

- Imām Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1209)

- Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, known as al-Baṭṭāl al-Yamanī (d. 630/1232)

- Muḥyī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. ‘Abd Allāh, known as Ibn Zuhra al-Ḥalabī (d. 639/1241)

- Ḥāfiẓ Yaḥyā b. Sharaf al-Dīn al-Nawawī or al-Nawāwī (d. 676/1277)[36]

- Ibrāhīm b. Ḥasan al-Mālikī (d. 744/1343)

- Muḥibb al-Dīn Aḥmad b. ‘Abd Allāh al-Ṭabarī (d. 794/ 1391)

- Ḥāfiẓ Shams al-Dīn b. al-Jazarī (d. 833/1429)

- Ḥāfiẓ b. Ḥajar al-‘Asqalānī (d. 852/1448)

- Ḥāfiẓ Jalāl al-Dīn al-Siyūṭī (d. 911/1505)

- Ibn Kamāl Pāshā (d. 940/1533)[37]

The noble Sh‘īa scholars have also left behind eminent volumes in this respect, of which we suffice to introduce just a few as follows:

1. Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn Faḍl Allāh b. ‘Alī b. Habbat Allāh al-Ḥasanī al-Rāvandī (d. 547/1152).

2. Al-Arba‘īn, Shaykh Muntajab al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 585/1189), on the virtues of Imam ‘Alī (A.S.). in the beginning of his book, he wrote:

Forty traditions are related in it from forty Shaykhs, from forty companions, from forty books, which are all on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn (A.S.) and his excellences.

3. Al-Arba‘īn, Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Shahrāshūb Sāravī al-Māzandarānī (d. 588/1192). This arba‘īn includes forty traditions on the virtues of Ḥaḍrat Fāṭima (S.A.).

4. Al-Arba‘īn, Shaykh Jamāl al-Dīn Abū ‘Abd Allāh Miqdād b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Muḥammad, known as Fāḍil Miqdād (d. 826/1422), a disciple of Shahīd al-Awwal.

5. Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan fī al-Faḍā’il, Shaykh Zayn al-Dīn b. ‘Alī b. Aḥmad b. al-Shāmī (d. 966/1558), consisting of forty ḥadīths on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn and other Shī‘ite Imams (A.S.).

6. Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, compiled by Shaykh ‘Izz al-Dīn Ḥusayn b. ‘Abd al-Ṣamad (d. 984/1576), al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī’s father (d. 1030/1620), along with scholarly exposition of its aḥādīth. Apparently, he had constantly been carrying this book with him both on his travels and at home, using it to instruct his students and enjoin them to memorize it.

7. Arba‘īn, compiled by Mullā ‘Abd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Sa‘īd al-Shushtarī al-Khurāsānī (d. 977/1569), which consists of forty ḥadīths on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn (A.S.) and other Shī‘ite Imams (A.S.).

8. Arba‘īn, compiled by Muḥammad b. Shaykh ‘Izz al-Dīn Ḥusayn al-‘Āmilī, known as al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī (d. 1030/1620) along with scholarly exposition of its aḥādīth and marginal notes and commentaries on them. Apparently, he had constantly been carrying this book with him both on his travels and at home, using it to instruct his students and enjoin them to memorize it.

9. Al-Arba‘īn, Mullā Muḥammad Taqī al-Majlisī, known as al-Majlisī al-Awwal (d. 1070), ‘Allāma Muḥammad Bāqir Al-Majlisī’s father.

10. Al-Arba‘īn, compiled by Mullā Muḥsin al-Fayḍ al-Kāshānī (d. 1091/1680). This volume contains forty traditions on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn ‘Alī (A.S.).

11. Arba‘īn Ḥadīth, compiled by Mullā Muḥammad Ṭāhir b. Muḥammad al-Shīrāzī (d. 1098/1686), the Shaykh al-Islām and Friday prayer leader of Qum and one of the masters of ‘Allāma al-Majlisī and Shaykh al-Ḥurr al-‘Āmilī. In this volume, he has cited forty reasons as proof of Imamate, especially the Imamate of ‘Alī (A.S.).

[1] Al-Ṣadūq, Al-Khiṣāl, 319-320; a-Wāfī, vol. 1, p. 136; Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 2, pp. 153-158; ‘Awālī al-Li’ālī, vol. 1, p. 95; Kanz al-‘Ummāl, vol. 10, pp. 224-225; Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol.2, pp. 1036-1039; Mawsū‘at Aṭrāf al-Ḥadīth al-Nabawī, col. 8, pp. 236-238.

[2] Sharḥ-i Chihil Ḥadīth, Publisher's Note.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] See: Al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī, Tarjuma wa Sharḥ-i “Arba‘īn”, p. 41; Muḥammad Bāqir al-Majlisī, Al-Arba‘īn, p. 10; Dā’irat al-Ma‘ārif-i Tashayyu‘, vol.2, p. 52.

[6] A-Shahīd al-Awwal, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 17.

[7] Al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī, Tarjuma wa Sharḥ-i “Arba‘īn”, p. 41; ‘Allāma al-Shūshtarī [Al-Tustarī] Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 3.

[8] He has compiled an arba‘īn called Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan on the virtues of Amīr al-Mu’minīn ‘Alī (A.S.); see: Al-Dharī‘a, vol. 1, p. 424.

[9] Al-Wāfī, vol. 1, p. 136.

[10] Al-Majlisī, Al-Arba‘īn, p. 10; Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 2, p. 156. It is related in the latter: “This content is popular among the Sunnīs and Shī‘as as mustafīḍ; it is even said it is mutawātir.” (Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 2, p. 156.). It is not clear whether the late al-Fayḍ has adopted his statement from ‘Allāma al-Majlisī or vice versa; however, since al-Fayḍ has died in 1091/1680 and ‘Allāma a-Majlisī has died in 1111/1699 or 1110/1998, it may be conjectured that ‘Allāma al-Majlisī has adopted the above-mentioned material from al-Fayḍ; but it seems better to say since both have been al-Shaykh al-Bahā’ī’s disciples, they have both adopted from him. God knows best.

[11] Al-Dharī‘a, vol. 1, p. 17.

[12] Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn al-Nabuwwiyya, p. 476.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Al-Bayhaqqī says: “All its asānīd are weak.” It is related from Ibn al-‘Asākir: “Its sanads are all controversial.” ‘Abd al-Qāhir al-Rihādī says: “All its sanads are weak; because each of their sanads includes either a transmitter who is unknown or if he is known, he is weak.” (Al-Khājū’ī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 6)

[15] Al-Arba‘īn al-Nawawiyya, pp. 3-4.

[16] Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol. 1, p. 52.

[17] Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn al-Nabawiyya, pp. 481-487; Al-Khājū’ī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 8.

[18] Al-Khājū’ī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 6.

[19] Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn al-Nabawiyya, p. 487.

[20] Al-Arba‘īn al-Buldāniyya, p. 33.

[21] Al-Dharī‘a, vol. 1, p. 410; al-Shūshtarī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 7.

[22] Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 480.

[23] Sharḥ al-Arba‘īn al-Nabawiyya, p. 480.

[24] Al-Khājū’ī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 8-9.

[25] Al-Shūshtarī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 3.

[26] See: Mawsū‘at Aṭrāf al-Ḥadīth al-Nabawī, col. 8, pp. 236-238

[27] Al-Arba‘īn al-Baldāniyya, p. 40; Kanz al-Ummāl, vol. 10, pp. 224-225; ‘Awālī al-Li’ālī, vol. 1, p. 95.

[28] Al-Arba‘īn al-Nabawiyya, pp. 3-4.

[29] Al-Arba‘īn al-Nawawiyya, p. 4; Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol.2, p. 1036.

[30] Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol.1, pp. 59-60.

[31] Muntajab al-Dīn, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 7; Al-Shūshtarī, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, pp. 3-4.

[32] Muntajab al-Dīn, Al-Arba‘ūna Ḥadīthan, p. 73; Al-Dharī‘a, vol. 1, p. 433.

[33] Al-Arba‘ina al-Buldāniyya, p. 83.

[34] As al-Nawāwī put it: people from among the earlier and the latter [scholars]. (Al-Arba‘īn al-Nawawiyya, p. 5)

[35] Al-Arba‘īn al-Nawawiyya, p. 5.

[36] As asserted by Ḥājī Khalīfa, eighteen of the Sunnī scholars have expounded Nawawī’s Arba‘īn. (Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol. 1, pp. 59-60)

[37] Kashf al-Ẓunūn, vol. 1, pp. 52-61; also see: Al-Arba‘īn al-Buldāniyya, pp. 33-38; Al-Arba‘īn al-Nawawiyya, pp. 4-5. However, the number of written arba‘īns and the scholars who have undertaken their compilation are certainly more than what the author of Kashf al-Ẓunūn has listed; nevertheless, there are 59 arba‘īns by Sunnī scholars mentioned in Kashf al-Ẓunūn and 26 other arba‘īns appended to it and the late Shaykh Āghā Buzurg has also enumerated in his Al-Dharī‘a about ninety arba‘īns compiled by Shī‘a scholars. (Al-Shahīd al-Awwal, Al-Arba‘īna Ḥadīthan, p. 104)

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