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The Chaining of the Devils in Ramadan


 عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ
إِذَا جَاءَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ ، وَسُلْسِلَتْ الشَّيَاطِينُ 
  رواه البخاري (3277) ومسلم (1079) وعند النسائي (2106) وَتُغَلُّ فِيهِ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ

From Abu Hurayrah radhiyallahu'anhu, Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
“When Ramaḍān begins, the gates of the heavens are opened, and the gates of the Hell-fire are closed, and the Shayātīn (devils) are chained.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3277), Muslim (1079) & al-Nasaa’i (2106), and it contains (al-Nasaa’i) : “The most evil jinn are chained up.” 



1) Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani in Fath al-Baari, 4/114


قال الحافظ ابن حجر نقلا عن الحليمي : " يحتمل أن يكون المراد أن الشياطين لا يخلصون من افتتان المسلمين إلى ما يخلصون إليه في غيره لاشتغالهم بالصيام الذي فيه قمع الشهوات وبقراءة القرآن والذكر 

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).


وقال غيره - أي غير الحليمي - المراد بالشياطين بعضهم وهم المردة منهم .... وقوله صفدت ... أي شدت بالأصفاد وهي الأغلال وهو بمعنى سلسلت

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.

 قال عياض يحتمل أنه على ظاهره وحقيقته وأن ذلك كله علامة للملائكة لدخول الشهر وتعظيم حرمته ولمنع الشياطين من أذى المؤمنين ، ويحتمل أن يكون إشارة إلى كثرة الثواب والعفو وأن الشياطين يقل اغواؤهم فيصيرون كالمصفدين ، قال ويؤيد هذا الاحتمال الثاني قوله في رواية يونس عن بن شهاب عند مسلم فتحت أبواب الرحمة

‘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”.

 تصفيد الشياطين عبارة عن تعجيزهم عن الإغواء وتزيين الشهوات 

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.

قال الزين بن المنير والأول أوجه ولا ضرورة تدعو إلى صرف اللفظ عن ظاهره

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.


2) Al-Imam an-Nawaawi in Sharh Shohih Muslim, 7/186


قال الإمام النووى رحمه الله 
وأما قوله صلى الله عليه و سلم: فتحت أبواب الجنة وغلقت أبواب النار وصفدت الشياطين

al-Imām al-Nawawī rahimahullah said:
And sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said: “…the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of the Hell-fire are closed and the Shayātīn are locked up.

فقال القاضي عياض رحمه الله : يحتمل أنه على ظاهره وحقيقته وأن تفتيح أبواب الجنة وتغليق أبواب جهنم وتصفيد الشياطين علامة لدخول الشهر وتعظيم لحرمته ويكون التصفيد ليمتنعوا من إيذاء المؤمنين والتهويش عليهم 

Al-Qāḍī ‘Iyāḍ rahimahullah says: ‘It is possible that this is literal, and that the opening of the gates of Paradise, the closing of the gates of the Hell-Fire, and the chaining of the Shayātīn are signs of entering Ramaḍān and magnification of its sanctity; and that they (the Shayātīn) are chained up to prevent them from harming the believers and inciting them.’

قال: ويحتمل أن يكون المراد المجاز ويكون إشارة إلى كثرة الثواب والعفو وأن الشياطين يقل إغواؤهم وإيذاؤهم ليصيرون كالمصفدين ويكون تصفيدهم عن أشياء دون أشياء ولناس دون ناس

He also said: ‘And it is possible that what is intended is a figurative meaning, and that it means an abundance of reward and forgiveness, and that the temptation and harm of Shayātīn is decreased so they become as if they are locked up; and that they are locked away from some things as opposed to others, and some people as opposed to others…’”

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