An Explanation for the Hadith

The Devils are chained in Ramadan

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ ، رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، يَقُولُ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم : إِذَا دَخَلَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with) said, the Prophet (ﷺ) said :” When Ramadan Begins the gates of Paradise open up, the doors of Hell are locked and the devils are chained[1]

Benefits of this subject:

  • This hadith was only reported by Abu Hurayrah through the books of Hadith.
  • Imam Qadi Al-Iyyad said this hadith shows the chief virtue of Ramadan and its holiness. [2]
  • This Hadith proves that Jannah and Jaheem exist now and that they both have doors that open and close.[3]
  • This Hadith establishes the existence of the devils and that they have bodies which can be shackled and bound up.[4]
Fence Padlock Chain Gate Outdoor Security Lock
  • When Ramadan begins… These words prove that it is allowed to say Ramadan without attaching the word month to it, and then saying, “The month of Ramadan.”  Imam Malik held the view that it was required to add the word month to Ramadan ;as it is considered a name of Allah. The hadith Imam Malik used to support that view is weak. [5]
  • The gates of Paradise open…this proves that Jannah is above us in the heavens.[6]
  • The devils are chained. This has two possible meanings.
  1. The devils are actually shackled and confined to Hell. Therefore, their harm and whispers during Ramadhan aren’t like any other month. The gates of Paradise are open is the literal meaning.
  • Some scholars say this is in the figurative sense. Hence it means Allah has opened up the doors of Jannah by opening up the actions that lead us to Jannah. For instance, praying, fasting, and reading the Quran are actions that assist a person to enter Jannah. The road to Paradise during Ramadah is easier; since deeds practiced during this month are more likely to be accepted.

The doors of Hell are locked…infers that the avenues to sin are shutdown, and for that reason, a person leaves off the actions that would land him in the Hell-fire. Allah doesn’t take a person to account for his bad deeds; and He saves him by blessing the servant with a month full of blessings. Allah exchanges the person’s bad deeds with good ones, and pardons him for his previous sins. This is one interpretation for the meaning of the phrase. “the doors of Hell are locked

  • The doors of Hell are locked… This shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that if a disbeliever dies in Ramadan that he won’t punished during this period.[7]
  • The devils are chained…this implies that Allah protects the majority of the Muslims from committing acts of disobedience, giving ear to the whispers of Satan and his comrades.[8]

There is another hadith also reported by Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) collected by Imam An-Nasa’I in Al-Kubara # 2421

   أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِذَا دَخَلَ رَمَضَانُ ، فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الرَّحْمَةِ ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said :”When the month of Ramadan begins the doors of mercy are opened up, the doors of Hell are locked and the devils are chained.”. 

This hadith is what some other scholars have used to interpret the figurative meaning for the hadith in the wording, “the doors of mercy are open.”  and in another narration, “the doors of the heavens are open..”

  • Imam At-Tibee said: When doors of the Heavens are open this means that the Angels stand to praise the actions of the people fasting and this holds a great status in the sight of Allah.

A person might still say that either way we know that the devils are either locked up literally, or figuratively ,thus they can’t harm us as much during Ramadan as compared to the other months of the year. Consequently, why do we notice some people continuing to sin a lot ?

The answer to this is easy. The devils are chained up from harming the people who are fasting correctly by following its conditions and manners. The person not fasting correctly then the devil isn’t isolated from him.  Moreover, it is that some of the devils are locked up and these are the worst of the Jinn. For the reason that, we notice that sins are still lesser practiced during the month of Ramadan.[9]

In conclusion, after looking at the different Imans’ views and opinions for the Hadith’s meaning then Imam Ibn Abdul Bar’s words strike me the most.

“Allah pardons the faster for his bad deeds and rewards him for his good ones, and based on that the doors of Hell are closed. In addition to this Fasting is a shield (as mentioned in authentic hadith) and this shield protects the servant from Hell. The doors of Paradise are opened as their good deeds cleanse them and are accepted during Ramadan.” [10]

And Allah the most High knows best

Prepared by the one in need of His Mercy

Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Ramadan 1st, Quarantined by COVID-19

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[1] Al-Muwatta 862, Bukhari 1899, Muslim 2548, An-Nasa’I 2105, Ahmed 2/281 all by way of Abu Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه)

[2] Refer to Imam An-Nawawi’s explanation for Sahih Muslim vol4/pg 46

[3] Bahrul Muheet, by Shaykh Muhammad Adam Al-Ethiopian vol 20/pg 371

[4] ibid

[5] Refer to Imam An-Nawawi’s explanation of Sahih Muslim, vol 4/pg46 and Anwar Kashmir in Faydul Qadir vol 4/pg 300

[6]Ibn Battal explanation for Sahih Al-Bukhari/vol4,pg 20

[7] Imam As-Sindhi’s commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari vol 1/pg 252

[8] ibid

[9] Bahrul Muheet, by Shaykh Muhammad Adam Al-Ethiopian vol 20/pg 371

[10]At-Tamheed vol 16 / pg 151

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