What is meant by the devils being chained up in Ramadaan

Following is the fatwa of shaykh Zubair Ali Zai Rahimullah.


It is mentioned in the hadith that the the devils are chained up in the month of Ramadan, But it is proven from the Quran Surah al-Anfal verse 48 that at the battle of Badr (in Ramadan) Satan came with his followers (Mushrikeen of Makkah) as their helper but he ran away. Is there possibility to reconcile between hadith and Quran?


There are three types of Devils

1. Biggest Satan Iblees who refused to bow Adam peace be upon him.
2. Mardatul Shiyateen, extremely rebellious Shiyateen who are leaders of other devils.
3. General Shiyateen.

Biggest Satan Iblees asked Allah to reprieve him till the day of Judgment and Allah reprieved him as it is proven from Quran [Surah al-Araaf verses 14-18].

It is narrated from Abu Huraira ra that Prophet peace be upon him said:
“In it (Ramadan) Mardatul Shiyateen are chained up.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i 4/129 hadith 2108 with weak chain, Musnad Ahmad vol 2 page 230 hadith 358 and 425]

All the narrators of this narration are trustworthy but it is not proven that the Tabiyee Abu Qilaba hear anything from Abu Huraira. [see at-Targheeb wal Tarheeb vol 2 page 98]

But there are many shawahid of this hadith like the hadeeth of Atba bin Farqad which states:
“And in it (Ramadan) every Maarid devil (extremely rebellious devils) are fettered.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i hadith no. 2110, Musnad Ahmad 4/311-312 the Chain is Hasan]

It is proven from these ahadeeth that extremely rebellious devils are chained up in the month of Ramadan. This is also the tahqiq of Imam Ibn Khuzaima [see Sahih Ibn Khuzaima vol 3 page 188 before the hadith 1883]

This is a proven reality that Khas has priority over general (aam) and Muqaiyyad has priority over Mutlaq.

I don`t know any clear evidence that the general Shiyateen are chained up or not. So, we come to know after this explanation that there is no contradiction in Quran and hadeeth, Wal Hamdulillah. [Fatawaa Ilmiyyah, Vol. 2, Pg. 137-138]

Note: Imam Ibn Khuzaima said in his Saheeh (3/188):
باب ذكر البيان أن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – إنما أراد بقوله : ” وصفدت الشياطين ” مردة الجن منهم ، لا جميع الشياطين ” إذ اسم الشياطين قد يقع على بعضهم ،
“Chapter which explains that what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) meant when he said that “the devils are chained up” is the maarid (rebellious) jinn among them, not all the devils, because the word shayaateen (devils) only applies to some of the jinn….”

and he narrated the following hadeeth

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
….قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ” إذا كان أول ليلة من رمضان صفدت الشياطين مردة الجن
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “On the first night of Ramadan, the devils, the maarid (rebellious) jinn, are chained up….”