40The number 40 is significant in Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other Middle Eastern traditions. It can represent an estimate, or many of something. Judaism Rain fell for "forty days and forty nights" during the flood Spies explored the land of Israel for "forty days." (Numbers 13) The Hebrew people lived in the Sinai desert for "forty years". This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise. Moses' life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his fleeing from Egypt, and his return to lead his people out. Several Jewish leaders and kings are said to have ruled for "forty years", that is, a generation. (Examples: Eli, Saul, David, Solomon.) Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him. Moses spent three consecutive periods of "forty days and forty nights" on Mount Sinai: He went up on the seventh day of Sivan, after God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, in order to learn the Torah from God, and came down on the seventeenth day of Tammuz, when he saw the Jews worshiping the Golden Calf and broke the tablets He went up on the eighteenth day of Tammuz to beg forgiveness for the people's sin and came down without God's atonement on the twenty-ninth day of Av He went up on the first day of Elul and came down on the tenth day of Tishrei, the first Yom Kippur, with God's atonement A mikvah consists of 40 se'ah (approximately 200 gallons) of water 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin, though in actual practice only 39 lashes were administered. One of the prerequisites for a man to study Kabbalah is that he is forty years old. Christianity Before the temptation of Christ, Jesus fasted "Forty days and forty nights" in the Judean desert. Forty days was the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus. In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much of Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included. Islam Masih ad-Dajjal roams around the Earth in forty days, a period of time that can be as many as forty months, forty years, and so on. Muhammad was forty years old when he first received the revelation delivered by the archangel Gabriel. The Quran says that a person is only fully grown when they reach the age of 40. The Significance of the Number 40 in Islam MV: The number 40 is repeated in Islam a lot of times. Only Allah knows the answer, so gathering a lot of information I have found lots of things that took place with the number 40. Musa Alahi salam traveled 40 years in the desert. Musa spent 40 days on Mount Sinai where he received the 10 commandments. Prophet Ibrahim spent 40 days in a fire and lived because Allah made the fire like flowers. Prophet Yunus was in a whales mouth for 40 days. On the 40th ayat of surah baqarah Allah changes the topic. Forty was the number of days that Prophet Ilyas spent in the wilderness before God appeared to him in a cave on Mount Horeb. Forty was the number of days that Prophet Isa was tempted in the desert by Satan. Muhammad was praying and fasting in the cave for 40 days. Muhammad then had 40 followers to spread the religion of Islam. Prophets Dauud and Suleiman each ruled for forty years. Regarding the flood that Noah encountered, it is said that for forty days water continued to pour from the heavens and to stream out over the earth. Prophet Isa walked the desert and fasted in the wilderness for forty days. There is also a hadith from Mohammad that the prayers of a person who gossips would not be accepted for forty days and nights. (Al-Kafi, Vol. 6, p. 400) Imam Ali has narrated from Mohammad that one who memorizes and preserves forty hadith relating to their religious needs shall be raised by Allah as a learned scholar on the Day of Resurrection. It is said that a person’s intellect attains maturity in forty years, everyone according to his own capacity. It is believed that one who assists a blind man for forty steps becomes worthy of entering heaven. Imam Baghir has said: “The prayers of someone who drinks wine are not accepted for forty days.” Believers have also been encouraged to devote themselves to God Almighty for forty days to see the springs of wisdom break forth from their hearts and flow from their tongues. Mourning period officially last for 40 days Yazidism In the Yazidi faith, The Chermera temple (meaning “40 Men” in the Yazidi dialect) is so old that no one remembers how it came to have that name but it is believed to derive from the burial of 40 men on the mountaintop site. Russian folklore Some Russians believe that ghosts of the dead linger at the site of their death for forty days. Hinduism In Hinduism, some popular religious prayers consist of forty shlokas or dohas (couplets, stanzas). The most common being the Hanuman Chalisa (chaalis is the Hindi term for 40).
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