When I was young, one of the most frequently heard Hadith, at home, school, and on religious shows on TV was the one that explains how Satan is chained within the doors of hell during Ramadan. Accounts for why there’s an added value to each act of good for there’s no one to corrupt it.
Thanks to the naiveties of childhood, I took this idea literally as the whole world around me had actually transformed for the whole month. Worship and patience were on top priority in both practice as well as preaching where whole sermons are based on the ideals of charity, forgiveness, self-control t and be sensitive towards the plight of the poor.
However as I grew older (against my own will), the more I looked around, the more I realized that the world doesn’t really change or transform during the Ramadan. Wars are still been fought in parts of MiddleEast, sectarian differences were still burning. And that made me think whether the devil was actually chained, if yes, then how come so this evil still persist in the world.
However, I have only now come to understand that we cannot blame devil for all that plague the Muslim world. I believe that only the devil outside ourselves is actually chained by God in the doorways of hell (though I don’t know what is the proper theological interpretation of that hadith) but there is another devil, one, that within all of us and that seems to have constant victory over the collective good of humanity.
This Ramzan, especially as the last Ashra is already upon us, I hope that people are able to restrain the devil that is inside each of them; the devil behind all the ego, pride, injustice, greed and power; the one that forces us Muslims to kill, to discriminate amongst each other and the mankind, to be venomous, miser and unforgiving.
Otherwise, as another Hadith states, if we cannot restraint this devil, God doesn’t really care how much we restrain ourselves from food and drink. I hope Muslims all around the world, whether they are the oppressors or the oppressed are able to restrict this devil in such tight chains that it dies its own the end of this blessed month, and as a result our souls will be cleansed from its influence forever. Have a blessed Ramadan.