I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
“His companion (devil) will say: “Our Lord! I did not push him to transgression, but he was himself in error far astray.” Qur’an 50:27
Every man has a Qareen (a companion from among the devils) attached to him. The Qareen instigates him to disobedience and makes sin seemingly alluring to him. Imam Al-Shawkani said of Qareen in Nayl Al-Awtar that the Shaytan always accompanies man without leaving him.
Inherently, man has angelic qualities as well as Satanic inclinations. However, his success largely depends on which one he chooses to nurture. An authentic narration in Sahih Muslim indicates that “There is no one among you but a companion from among the jinn has been assigned to him.” They said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, “Even me, but Allaah helped me with him and he became Muslim (or: and I am safe from him), so he only enjoins me to do that which is good.” According to another report, “… There is assigned to him a companion from among the jinn and a companion from among the angels.”
The devil and his cohort are determined to mislead everyone especially those striving for piety. Without the help of Allaah, no man will survive their onslaught. All year around, the devils do have large followership with the exemption of the Month of Ramadan and this is because the Prophet (may peace be upon him) said in an authentic narration in Bukhari and Muslim on the strength of Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that: “When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”
Naturally, by implication it means that since devils are the major instigators to sin then there should not be the appearance of sins and evil during Ramadan simply because they have been chained up. However, this seems not to be the case which leads to a lot of questions running in the minds of people. Why do people experience waswas (insinuating whispers) during Ramadan, what becomes of a person’s Qareen (devil companion) during the chained period, why do some people experience black magic and satanic possession, why epileptic attacks and why? Well, in order to appreciate the words of the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and what they imply, the scholars of hadith have to be referenced otherwise the circle of confusion will never end.
Firstly, in the narration of Al-Nasa’i in his sunan, it states that Maarids (the strong devils) are chained up, which indicates that the influence of the devils on Muslims are tamed as explained by Imam Al-Qurtubi which was quoted by Ibn Hajr in Fath al-Baari that evil actions are reduced on the part of those who fast meeting all the conditions of fasting and taking care to observe the proper etiquette; or that only some of the devils are chained up, namely the Maarids (strong ones), and not all of them, or that evils are reduced in this month, which is something noticeable – fewer evils happen in this month than in others. If all of them were to be chained up that does not mean that evil and sin would not happen, because there are other causes of evil apart from the devils, such as evil souls, bad habits and human devils. Also, Shaykh Uthaymeen (a contemporary scholar) may Allaah have mercy on him in Fataawah al-Siyaam, said the fact that they are chained does not mean they cannot move but that they can move and lead people astray though their activities (of misguiding and beguiling) is not as much in Ramadan as during the other months.
Fasting when properly observed controls the lustful desires of man, it increases him in good deeds through various activities lined up on his timetable and these busy schedules make it difficult for the devils to tempt him. By implication he who does not observe the etiquette of fast exposes himself to being cajoled by those devils making their rounds. Scholars like ‘Iyad said the angels are alerted so as to prevent the devils from harming the Muslims. As for the Qareen, the scholars said he is always with man. The Qareen is not able to protect man nor is it permissible to seek aid from him. The scholars of Fataawa Lajnah-Ad-Daimah said: “It is not permissible to seek the help of the jinn to find out about the nature of the problem and the type of remedy with which to treat it, because seeking the help of the jinn is shirk. Allaah says: “And verily, there were men among mankind who took shelter with the males among the jinn, but they (jinn) increased them (mankind) in sin and transgression” Qur’an 72:6.
For Muslims to be successful and free from the evil schemes of the devil during or outside Ramadan, they must be dutiful to Allaah at all times and make a lot of supplication against the devil and his whispering. The waswas (insinuating whispers) of the devil comes to most people. However, scholars advised that such a person must strive to resist it and refuse to be controlled by it. The succour for this is found in the narration of ibn Abbas (may Allaah be pleased with him) in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad that a man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “I think thoughts to myself, which I would rather be burnt to a cinder than speak of them.” The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said’ “Praise be to Allaah, Who has reduced all his (the Shaytan’s) plots to mere whispers.”
We ask Allaah to safeguard us against the devil during and after Ramadan.
Mr Abdul (Penabdul), an architect, is the Chairman/CEO of Sustainable Project Works (SPW) Ltd. He can be reached on Twitter: @Penabdull and Instagram: @Penabdul