orginally posted by Brother Shahid
Bismillah Walhamdulillah Was Salaatu Was Salaam 'ala Rasulillah
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu
The chainning up of the devils in Ramadaan
We know that in Ramadaan the devils (we seek refuge with Allaah from them) are chained up. And I would like to know whether the practitioners of sihr (magic, witchcraft) – may the curse of Allaah be upon them – practice their craft in this month?
Yes, the devils may whisper to man in Ramadaan, and the practitioners of witchcraft may practise their craft during Ramadaan, but that undoubtedly happens to a lesser extent than at times other than Ramadaan.
It was proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3277; Muslim, 1079. According to al-Nasaai: “The most evil jinn are chained up.” This does not mean that the devils have no influence at all, rather it indicates that they become weaker in Ramadaan and are not able to do what they are able to do at times other than Ramadaan.
It may be interpreted as meaning that the ones who are chained up are the most evil devils, not all of them. Al-Qurtubi said: If it is said, how come we see many evil actions and sins being committed in Ramadaan, for if the devils were chained up, that would not happen?
The answer is that (evil actions) are reduced on the part of those who fast meeting all the conditions of fasting and paying attention to the etiquette of fasting.
Or some of the devils – namely the most evil ones – are chained up, not all of them, as previously mentioned in some reports.
Or it may mean that evil actions are reduced in Ramadaan, which is something that we can see. Even though evil actions happen in Ramadaan, they are less than at other times. Even if all of the devils were to be chained up, that does not mean that no evil action would happen, because there are other causes of evil action besides the devils, such as evil souls, bad habits and the human devils.
What do you say about the devils being chained up in Ramadaan?.
Al-Bukhaari (1899) and Muslim (1079) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” The scholars differed as to the meaning of the devils being chained up in Ramadaan.
Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said, quoting al-Haleemi: It may be interpreted at meaning that the devils are not able to tempt the Muslims as they are at other times because they are busy with the fast which controls their desires, and with reading Qur’aan and dhikr (remembrance of Allaah). Another scholar – someone other than al-Haleemi – said that what is meant by the devils is some of them, namely the maarids (strong devils), who are chained up.
Iyaad said: it may be interpreted in a literal sense, and that is as a sign to the angels that the month has begun, and in veneration of its sanctity, and so as to prevent the devils from harming the Muslims. And it may be interpreted as referring to the great amount of reward and forgiveness, and that the devils tempt people less, so it is as if they are chained up. This second interpretation is supported by the fact that according to a report narrated by Yoonus from Ibn Shihaab which is recorded by Muslim it says “the gates of mercy are opened”. The chaining up of the devils may also be understood as a metaphor for them being unable to tempt people and make their whims and desires attractive to them. Al-Zayn ibn al-Muneer said: The first view is most likely to be correct, and there is no need to try to understand it in anything other than the literal sense.
Fath al-Baari, 4/114.
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “and the devils are chained up,” – yet we still see people suffering from epilepsy during the day in Ramadaan, so how can the devils be chained up when some people are suffering epileptic fits?
He replied: In some versions of the hadeeth it says “and the strong devils (maarids) are chained up” – this is narrated by al-Nasaa’i. This hadeeth is speaking of matters of the unseen, so we have to accept it and not discuss it any further. This is safer for a person’s religious commitment. Hence when ‘Abd-Allaah, the son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said to his father, “Some people suffer epileptics fits during the day in Ramadaan,” the Imam said: “This is what the hadeeth says and we do not discuss this.”
Moreover it seems that what is meant by their being chained up is that they are prevented from tempting people, based on the fact that there is a great deal of goodness and many people turn to Allaah during Ramadaan.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 20.
Based on this, the chaining up of the devils is something that happens in a real sense, about which Allaah knows best. This does not mean that evil things do not happen or that people do not commit sin.
I heard the imam mention that the shaytan is not present in the month of Ramadhan. If this is true why is it hard for a Muslim to stay away from sins during the month of Ramadan even if the Muslim is performing his or her regular duties.
The idea that the devils are not present in Ramadaan is not correct. What is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is that the devils are chained up during Ramadaan.
Al-Bukhaari (1899) and Muslim (1079) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
If it is said, How come we see many evil actions and sins happening in Ramadaan? If the devils are chained up that would not happen.
The answer is that evil actions are reduced on the part of those who fast meeting all the conditions of fasting and taking care to observe the proper etiquette; or that only some of the devils are chained up, namely the maarids (strong ones), and not all of them, as it says in some reports; or that evils are reduced in this month, which is something noticeable – fewer evils happen in this month than in others. If all of them were to be chained up that does not mean that evil and sin would not happen, because there are other causes of evil apart from the devils, such as evil souls, bad habits and human devils.
From Fath al-Baari.
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen was asked in Fataawa al-Siyaam (p. 466):
How can we reconcile between the idea that the devils are chained up in Ramadaan and the fact the people commit sin?
The fact that sin happens in Ramadaan does not contradict the report that the devils are chained up in Ramadaan, because the fact that they are chained up does not prevent them from moving. Hence it says in the hadeeth: “And the strong devils are chained up, and they cannot achieve what they usually achieve (at other times).” Narrated by Ahmad, 7857; this hadeeth was mentioned by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Targheeb, 586; he said: it is da’eef jiddan (very weak).
It does not mean that the devils do not move at all, rather they can move and lead people astray, but their activities during Ramadaan are not like their activities at other times.