Report about devils chained by Sulaymaan in sea
Fatwa No: 337342

  • Fatwa Date:24-12-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Thank you for looking into my inquiry. There is a hadith that says that there are devils in the oceans that were imprisoned by Prophet Sulayman, peace be upon him, and that they will come out in the future and preach false revelation to the people. I heard this hadith was in Muslim and was narrated by Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas:
“There are some devils imprisoned in the ocean. They were imprisoned by Sulaymaan, peace be upon him. A time will come when they will come out, and they will recite (something resembling the) Quran to people and claim that it is Quran and Sacred Books.”
Can you please verify this? May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

The narration that you are asking about was cited in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, may Allah be pleased with him, as a Mawqoof report (hadeeth that is stopped at the level of the Companion) and not as a Marfoo’ hadeeth directly attributed to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It reads, "Indeed in the sea are devils chained up, whom Sulaymaan (Solomon) shackled, and they are about to emerge and recite a Quran to the people.

Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, “His words ‘they are about to emerge and recite a Quran to the people’ means that they will recite something that is not Quran and claim that it is Quran to mislead laymen with it, but they will not be misled...

Shaykh Muhammad Abu Shahbah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on this report saying:

It is a Mawqoof report and not a Marfoo’ hadeeth directly attributed to the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so it is of no harm to us. However, the report has no problematic issues for those who believe in the jinn, and it does not contradict reason. I am personally inclined to believe that it is from the books that he (‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas) obtained during the Battle of Yarmook from the People of the Book. None should suggest that the ruling of a Marfoo’ hadeeth applies to such a report. Scholars of Hadeeth underlined that the ruling of a Marfoo’ hadeeth applies to the Companion's statement on matters that are not subject to personal opinion as long as the Companion is not known for narrating and borrowing from the Israa'eeliyyaat (the body of narratives originating from Jewish and Christian traditions), like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas, for instance. Therefore, the rulings related to the Marfoo’ hadeeth definitely do not apply to this report...

Allah knows best.

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