Sunday, May 29, 2016

Doors of Heaven Open, doors of hell fire close and the devils are chained.

Prophet Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, once said, 
“When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of the heaven are opened; the gates of Hell fire are closed, and the devils are chained.”  (Sahih Bukhari 1800)
أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ فُتِّحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَغُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ جَهَنَّمَ، وَسُلْسِلَتِ الشَّيَاطِين
1800 صحيح البخاري كِتَاب الصَّوْمِ إذا جاء رمضان فتح.
Obviously, this hadith explains some key concepts of Ramada in an allegorical manner using symbolic language. If they are read literally, they would sound a statement of blind faith reflecting the above mentioned understanding and if read allegorically, they would offer a logical and viable rationale for developing strong conviction and appreciation of the Prophetic wisdom.
We do not know if heavens or hell have gates like gates of a city or a building. None of us has ever witnessed or would ever witness them in or life time. So the meanings have to be found in the symbolism they represent. Opening of the gates of heavens means easy and smooth journey to a state of utmost peace and happiness under the divine grace because heavens is a place of utmost comfort and peace. The prophet is alluding to this journey during the month of Ramadan when believers have month long opportunities to change their life style and environment to attain a higher status of self consciousness. Such a journey would help them enjoy every moment of the month and qualify for an uninterrupted mercy and blessings of the divine in this life and the life hereafter as well. Every thing can change and with this change the blessings could multiply. This is what the opening the gates of heavens means.
Closing the gates of heavens mean that the Creator is eager and ready to forgive every sin committed by sinful beings  by anyone if sincere repentance is sought. Thus the month invites people to introspect and self evaluate them and identify every act that may appear to be deviant and seek forgiveness by pledging that they would not repeat it. In other words, forgiveness would be the the divine offering for this month. However, one must realize that represented and forgiveness has to be done in a manner that is suggested by God and his messenger. They are more than offering lip service. They mean that a person is consciously aware of the wrong committed and is willing to change the life style never to repeat it.
Chaining the devils means that individual would have the opportunities to control their behavior in the wake of all temptations, physical, social, spiritual and what not. In a moment of high self consciousness an individual would ensure that he/she does not commit any act that would either defy the divine or reject his mercy. In other word, each of the believing person has to have personal battle with one's own ego, the biggest satanic whisper that sits in the sub-consciousness of each one of us and win it..
Thus this month long opportunities to earn the boundless bounties, limitless forgiveness and reigning one's own ego are what the fasting offers in a tangible manner. The more intense a person becomes in seeking these goals, the more beneficial the month become to him or her. In other words, humans have the capacity to change them and earn the blessings of God through their efforts and good deeds and they would always be supported by the divine in this endeavor. But as for those who strive hard in Our cause -We shall most certainly guide them onto paths that lead unto Us: for, behold, God is indeed with the doers of good. (Quran 29:69)  

Ramadan, the month of fasting is no different than any other month as far as crimes are concerned. Every perceivable sin and crime takes places in this month all around the world. Does this hadith mean the deviations of this month would not count? Does it mean that every sin in this month would be forgiven or does it mean that people cannot commit sin in this month.
None of the above.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! we would have to find logical and viable rationale, because human beings have been given both khair and Shaar, and the ability to behave in any way they like. Islam and the wisdom of our Prophets give us controls needed to use or abuse. Thank you for reminding us that Islam is not a religion of blind faith. We have been given the faulty of thinking, and Allah Mighty God has told us to reflect and move forward and do good.