Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,”After the sun sets, Hold on to your kids, as the Devils are spreading at that time. After an hour has gone past you can let them go, but keep your doors closed while making Dzikr (saying Bismillah), as the Devil does not open a closed door and close any water bottle, while making Dzikr and put the lid on any pan while making Dzikr, even if you cover them with anything and turn your lights off” (Bukhari no. 3280, Muslim no. 2012).
In the Hadith it says turn your lights off, does this mean at magrib time we should turn our house lights off and that we can turn them back on after one hour?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, this is not what is meant by the tradition (hadith).
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When the night darkens, or it is evening, then keep your children close. The Shaytans spread at that time. When an hour of the night has gone, then let them go, Lock the doors and mention the name of Allah. Shaytan does not open a locked door. Tie up waterskins and mention the Name of Allah. Cover up containers and mention the Name of Allah, even by putting something across it. Put out your lamps.” [Bukhari]
The commentators explain that the commands here are ones of general guidance and not obligation. And the specific reason for the putting out of lamps was due to the reason that it was feared that rodents, such as mice, may enter in the dark and cause a fire in the house. Munawi notes that this was from the loving care of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) towards his community of followers (umma). [Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir]
However, as for the standard light bulbs in our times, they don’t fall under the same category as the lamps of old; hence the specific instruction wouldn’t apply to them. [As understood from `Ayni’s comments in `Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari]
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani