Assalamu‘alaikum SS Datuk Mufti. What does the hadith that states the gates of heaven will be opened and the gates of hell are closed and the shaytan are chained means?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
إِذَا جَاءَ رَمَضَانُ فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ وَغُلقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ وَصُفِّدَتِ الشَّيَاطِينُ
“When Ramadan comes the gates of the Garden are opened and the gates of the Fire are locked, and the shayatin are chained.”
Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim (1220)
Al-Qadhi ‘Iyadh said: “It can be literally understood where the gates of heaven are opened, the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained as an honour for the blessed month of Ramadhan. Furthermore, the devil is prevented from whispering and influencing the believers.”
Ibn Hajar al-Haitami in Ittihafu Ahlu al-Islam bi Khususiyat al-Siyam said: “The wisdom from the above hadith is literal, where the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed. This is a representation of how great the month of Ramadhan and rewards of it is to the angels.”
The devil is chained (the meaning is literal) all the time or as a metaphor (majaz kinayah) of doing evil deeds of influencing and deceiving humans.
In Ahkam al-Siyam, by Dr. Muhammad Uqlah, he said: “It means a tether or tying that would result in the decrease of the influence and whispers of the shaytan and the devil’s ability to harm the believers.”