There are some famous hadith saying if one drink wine, God does not accept his prayer until 40 days.

What is significance of number 40? why not less or more?

  • 4
    You would do well to find that hadith and quote/link it in your question.
    – ashes999
    Oct 17, 2012 at 16:47
  • 1
    I heard that it is because alcohol content will remain in the body for 40 days,.
    – Tachyons
    Oct 18, 2012 at 0:55
  • 3
    It doesn't have to need a reason. Similar to asking what's the significance of fasting 6 days in Syawal, or the significance of why solat in a group gives 27 times the rewards.
    – Muz
    Oct 28, 2012 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


First of all, these hadiths the question talk about needs good understand, and don't just mean what they appear to mean.

According to this page from Zad Al-Mi'ad زاد المعاد by Imam ابن قيم الجوزية Ibn Qayyem Al-Jawziah (may Allah be merciful to him):

كما قيل في قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( من شرب الخمر لم تقبل له صلاة أربعين يوما ) : إن أثر الخمر يبقى في جوف العبد وعروقه وأعضائه أربعين يوما ، والله أعلم .

And it was said in explaining the Hadith by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم: "Whoever dirnks wine, his prayer will not be accepted for 40 days". The effect of wine remains in the body, veins and organs of the person for 40 days, and Allah knows best.

Zad Al-Mi'ad زاد المعاد

As it's obvious Imam In Qayyem narrated that, but he didn't mention its source. However, Imam Sindi said in his explanation of Sunan Ibn-Majah حاشية السندي على ابن ماجه that Imam Ibn Qayyem narrated that from the Explanation of Imam Soyuti for Sunan Al-Tirmithi حاشية السيوطي عل سنن الترمذي, as comes here:

قوله : ( أربعين صباحا ) قال السيوطي في حاشية الترمذي : ذكر في حكمة ذلك أنها تبقى في عروقه وأعضائه أربعين يوما نقله ابن القيم

حاشية السندي على ابن ماجه

In explaining "Forty days": Soyuti said in his explanation of Sunan Al-Tirmithi: "The reason of that is because the effect of wine remains in person's veins and organs for 40 days". And Ibn narrated that.

The explanaiton of Sunan Ibn-Majah by Al-Sindi

However, I don't know if this is proven scientifically, (nor that's important for me to accept that Hadith, although I would like to know if it's scientifically proven out of curiosity).

  • Some quick Googling says that 10ml of alcohol takes 1 hour to leave the system, and all of it is undetectable by 3 days. Extrapolating, this would mean that if it took 40 days, you'd need to drink around 9 liters of pure alcohol, which would be fatal.
    – Muz
    Oct 28, 2012 at 7:44
  • 1
    10 * 40 = 400 / 3 = 133ml can be detected for 40 days, isn't this the correct computation? Regardless, I didn't claim that was correct, the answer is only quoting. Oct 28, 2012 at 10:57
  • none of your calculations hits the point: since alcohol basically will be digested partially like sugar and whatever the body digests will be used in the bodily processes (growing hair or producing bloodcells etc.) it takes fourty days until any part (chemically speaking) that came from this alcohol originally will be disposed of (like blood cell have a limited lifetime etc.)
    – Yahia
    Feb 13, 2013 at 19:23

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