Ramadan: “And the devils are chained up…”


“And The Shaytans are Chained up…”


( إِذَا جَاءَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ، وَسُلْسِلَتْ الشَّيَاطِينُ )

“When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained up”[1]


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، وقال غيره – أي غير الحليمي – المراد بالشياطين بعضهم وهم المردة منهم … وقوله صفدت … أي شدت بالأصفاد وهي الأغلال وهو بمعنى سلسلت … 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، قال ويحتمل أن يكون … تصفيد الشياطين عبارة عن تعجيزهم عن الإغواء وتزيين الشهوات

“[…] it may be interpreted as meaning that the shayatin are not able to tempt the Muslims as they are able to do to others because they [s: the believers] are busy with the fast which controls their desires (qam` al-shahawat) by reading the Qur’an and dhikr. Another scholar – i.e. someone other than al-Halimi – said that what is meant by the shayatin is some of them [s: and not all the devils], namely the ‘marid’ [s: a type of strong and pernicious devil], who are chained up. By صفدت is meant tightly chained up and is synonymous with the word سلسلت. [al-Qadi] `Iyad said: it may be interpreted in a literal and apparent sense and that is as a sign to the angels that the month has begun, or veneration of its sanctity or to prevent the devils from harming the believers. And it may be also be interpreted as indicating the abundant reward and forgiveness and so [s: as a result] the devils are diminished in their ability to tempt [the believers], so it is as if they are chained up [s: because they are powerless]. This second interpretation is supported by what was narrated by Yunus from Ibn Shihab which is recorded by Muslim which says: “the gates of mercy are opened”. The chaining up of the shayatin may also be understood as a figurative expression for them being unable to tempt people and make their whims and desires attractive to them (ta`jizihim `an al-ighwa’ wa tazayyun al-shahawat)…”[2]


  • The text can either be taken literally or non-literally – both types of interpretations were held by the scholars of Islam.
  • Literally: the devils or shaytan’s cohorts are chained up and hence prevented from harming the believers in the blessed month of Ramadan.
  • Figuratively: an expression that refers to the inability of the devils to tempt a believer or make sin seem attractive to them.

Possible causes of sin during Ramadan:

  1. Insincerity in the fast.
  2. Fasting without knowledge of the realities of the fast.
  3. One’s inner whispering as opposed to external influence.
  4. Human negative influences.


[1] Bukhari (#1899) and Muslim (#1079) in their Sahihs.

[2] Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, vol.4, p.114.


One thought on “Ramadan: “And the devils are chained up…”

  1. Pingback: Ramadan: “What makes the month Special…” | دار نيـقـوسـيــا

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