Al-Arba'in of Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani - Forty Hadiths From Forty Companions Through Forty Shuyukh
This is an opuscule of forty hadiths by Imam Ibn Hajar which he narrates from forty different Companions through forty shuyukh in a myriad of places; from the old Salihiyya quarter of Damascus to the Riyad al-Jannah in the Prophets (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) mosque. The book is a joy (al-Imta) to read since not only the subject matter is interesting but the actual isnads of the hadith with their special features. Writing forty hadith collections has been an old scholarly tradition tracing its origins to Abdullah ibn Mubarak and its justification going as far back as to the Prophet . In this respect, the reader becomes a part of this blessed historical tradition, especially with Ibn Hajars intiation of the book with the hadith al-musalsal bi al-awwaliyya.
Imam Ahmad ibn Ali al-Asqalani (d. 852/1448), famously known as Ibn Hajar after one of his ancestors is arguably the best hadith scholar of the Mamluk period. The Dhahabi of his time and the amir al-muminin of the hadith scholars. Suyuti says that he drank from the well of zamzam and prayed to Allah to give him more knowledge than Shams ad-Din adh-Dhahabi. He is the author of over 300 books some going into lengthy volumes. He died on Friday 28 Dhi al-Hijja 852 hijri and was buried in al-Qarrafa, Cairo, now famously known as the City of the Dead (madinat al-mawta).
Edited & annoted by Dr. Mansur Ali.