Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
A non-muslim baffled me with a question when he said that our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to receive revelation, at times, in a sound like bells & then our Prophet said that bells sounds are from among the instruments of Shaytan.
In another report, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said that women shouldn’t wear things that produce the sound of bells because that sound is from Shaytan. Then that person said, “what if your Prophet received revelation from Satan”? Please clarify this doubt for me.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.
Had the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) received revelation from Satan, why would he warn people about using bell sounds from Satan, and why would he make his life’s mission to teach us not to be like Satan or obey him? Allah forbid. The revelation that the Prophet received is the Quran, the Speech of God, the revelation that guides, the revelation that teaches to take refuge from Satan before reciting it:
Allah says: “So when you recite the Quran, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].” [Quran, 16:98]
Did the Prophet Receive Revelation from Satan?
‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), “O Allah’s Messenger! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?” Allah’s Messenger replied, “Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all, and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me, and I grasp whatever he says.” ‘Aisha added: Verily, I saw the Prophet being inspired divinely on a freezing day and noticed the sweat dripping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).” [Bukhari]
The reference to a bell as an instrument of Satan is the physical musical instrument or sound. The Prophet’s description (Allah bless him and give him peace) of revelation being like the ringing of a bell was not the physical bell or its sound, but likely a reference to what it felt like, for example, the vibrations of a ringing bell.
Among many forms of evidence, every verse in the Quran that refers to the evil of Satan is proof that he had nothing to do with the revelation of the Quran, and Allah knows best.
I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.