Is this narration authentic:
تمام الرباط أربعون يوما
Imam Tabarani (rahimahullah) and others have recorded this narration as a Hadith of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), as part of a longer narration.
(Al Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 7606 and Musnadush Shamiyyin: 3440)
However, the Hadith has been reported by a narrator who has been declared extremely weak. Some Muhaddithun have also declared him a liar.
(Refer: Lisanul Mizan, vol. 2 pg. 254, number: 1382, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 5 pg. 290)
Imam Abu Bakr Ibn Abi Shaybah (rahimahullah) has actually recorded the following similar narration as the statement of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu), with a weak chain.
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said: “Complete ribat is for forty days.”
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah: 19804)
Ribat refers to guarding the Muslim army and keeping a look out for enemy. In this particular narration, it could also refer to suppressing one’s nafs and desires since doing something repetitively for forty days causes the habit to be ingrained.
(Refer: Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 3361)
The narration may be quoted as the statement of Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.