What is the meaning of the hadith that mentions the 'chaining of
shaytan during Ramadhan'? Is this simply metaphorical or are we to
take this literally?
Ustadh Abdullah responds to this question.
I have a question regarding a Hadith where the Prophet (pbuh)
mention during Ramadan month "the gates of paradise are Wide open and
the Gates of Hell are Shut and the Devils are chained."
The "Devils are chained" is this Statement Metaphorical in its
meaning or Literal? Becuase even during Ramadan Muslims Still commit
Personally I still get Waswassa (Whispering) when I am offering my
Salaah even during this Month.
Inshallah you can clear this question for me.
Ustadh Abdullah's Answer:
Imam Muslim reports by way of Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah
(pbuh) said, "When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are flung
open, the gates of Hell are slammed closed, and the devils (shayatin)
are fettered." [Hadith #1079]
Imam Nawwawi states in his Sharh (commentary) of Sahih Muslim,
"Qadi 'Iyad - may Allah - High is He - show him mercy - said: "It is
possible that it is construed according to its literal and true
meaning, and that the opening up of the gates of Paradise, the locking
of the gates of Hell, and the shackling of the devils is a sign of the
entering of the month and a magnification of its sanctity.
Consequently, the shackling (tasfid) would be so that they are kept
from harrassing and agitating the believers." He said: "And it is
possible that the intent is the figurative mean.
Consequently, it would be an allusion to the copiousness of the reward and the pardon, and that the devils - their enticement and harrassment is light so that they become like those who are shackled. And they'd happen to be shackled from (doing) somethings while not (shackled from doing) other things, and to (some) people while not to (other) people. And the second version (The gates of mercy are flung open) supports this (position). And it has come in another hadith (reported by Ibn Majah with a sahih chain): 'The rebellious among the devils are fettered." Qadi said: "And it is possible that the opening of the gates of Paradise is an expression of what Allah - High is He - opens up for His slaves of acts of obedience during this month, which don't occur in other than it in general such as fasting, standing (in prayer), performing good acts, and desisting from many of the infractions (sins).
And these are reasons for entering Paradise and gates
of it. Likewise is the locking of the gates of Hell. And the shackling
of the devils is an expression about what they desist from of
infractions. .." [Sharh Sahih Muslim: 4/157]
http://www.lamppost productions. com/node/ 198
So, we must take advantage of this chaining of the shaytan and weakness of the evil temptations and overcome the urge to sin and try to leave as many sins as possible for good. It's more easy to become pious now than outside of Ramadhan. So, lets not miss this golden chance.