What are Jinn?

Posted by on 24 Mar, 2012

What are Jinn?

Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

[May Allah's peace, blessings and mercy be upon you]

Praise be to Allah lord of the worlds and peace and blessings be upon the one whom was sent as a mercy to mankind, the rightly guided prophet and leader of the pious and God fearing.

 

T he world of Jinn and its mysteries is often a topic that excites people due to the unknown or unseen nature of these species.

Accepting the existence of Jinn is an integral part of Islam since the Holy Qur’an speaks about the existence of mankind and Jinn and there is even a chapter called ‘Al Jinn’ (Surah 72).

Here are some verses from the Holy Qur’an about the existence of Jinn:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

 ”And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [51:56]

وَالْجَآنَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ

And the jinn We created before from scorching fire.” [15:27]

There are also a number of authentic hadith from the Prophet (pbuh) mentioning the jinn. For example: “There are three types of jinn. One type flies through the air. Another type looks like snakesa nd dogs and the third type is one thats stops for a rest and then resumes its journey” (1)

Their Nature

Allah informs us in many ayats that the jinn are created from fire, specifically  ’smokeless fire’ (2). It is said that this form of fire is the purest of fire. Man was created from ‘smooth clay’ and Jinn from smokeless fire. However, just as manwas originated from mud or ‘smooth clay’, man has it’s own nature. Similarly the jinn were originated from smokeless fire but their actual form is not quite the same. This is why the fire and the fire of Hell will burn the evil or disbelieving among them. On one occasion when the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) was leading the prayer in the Masjid he took a step back. And the companions of the prophet that were following him didn’t know what happened but because of their devout  following they followed what the prophet did and also took a step back. He then stepped forward again and after finishing his prayer explained that during the prayer a shaytaan came to him brandishing a stick with the fire of hell so the prophet stepped back and sought Allah’s refuge and then he stepped forward to conquer him and control him and while I was throttling him I felt the coolness of his spittle between my thumb and index finger ..(and the hadith continues). The shaytaan’s spittle was cool so this proves that the jinn no longer have this ’fiery nature’.

Are they good or Evil?

The jinn have free will just as humankind do. They are good, bad, evil and they are of communities. They have families just as humans do. There are Christian, Jewish, Muslim and disobedient or disbelieving jinn. The evil or malicious among the jinn are known as shaytaan or shayateen (plural) and these are the followers of Iblees. Iblees is humankind’s sworn enemy and has vowed to do everything in his power to misguide man so he ends up in utter loss in the hereafter. Due to his pride he refused the command of Allah (SWT) to bow to our father Adam (as). Iblees is the only one of the jinn kind that will remain alive until the day of judgement. Other jinn life their expected lifespan and pass away.

Their Powers

The jinn have capabilities and powers that are beyond man. They see man where as man is unable to see them. Some have the ability to move extremely quickly and even transport large objects but this is the highest level of power that the jinn possess as we can see in the story of Suleyman when he asked them ‘who can bring me the throne of the Queen of Saba’. Suleyman (as) was asking who can bring him the huge throne of the Queen which is located in Yemen to him who is n Jerusalem. Only one among the jinn was able to reply and take up the challenge. This jinn as of the Ifrit type, which are known to be the strongest (and maybe most evil also) among their creation.

An Ifrit jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. I have the strength for it and I am trustworthy“. [27:39]

They also have the ability to take on the form of human beings, animals, birds and other things. They have the ability to rise u to high places outside of the earth’s atmosphere and eavesdrop on the conversations in the heavens.

Are the Jinn stronger than Humans?

As mentioned above, jinn have physical abilities that humans do not. However, humans are intellectually stronger. Allah has chosen the mankind above jinn in terms of knowledge and because of this reason Allah has preferred Adam and the children of Adam over jinn. And this shows the status of knowledge in front of Allah – that he has chosen the more knowledgeable being over the physically stronger one. The evidence for this is that Allah commanded Iblees to prostrate to Adam, to which his response was ‘I am better than him’ and he was jealous. The Prophets and Messengers of Allah have all been human, there are none from among the jinn. This is why the jinn follow our (humans) religions. They learn and speak our languages. The evil among them feel an immense jealousy and hatred towards man because they wanted this status of knowledge and rank but it is only the evil ones that oppose man.

The jinn are able to enter flow inside a man like a blood flows through his veins. When our father Adam was created but Allah had not yet blown the soul into him, Iblees saw Adam and ‘knocked’ on his body, which made a hollow sound (as we indeed are hollow because we have a hole(s) in us) and said “I will have control over this creature”.

Food of the Jinn

Jinn do eat food, in fact there’s a hadith in Sahih Muslim where the Prophet (pbuh) said that when you eat meat don’t defile the bone or put impurities on it because I have made a dua to Allah and this bone will become the food of our brothers from among the jinn. So, somehow Allah provides food for the Muslim jinn through the bones that we have eaten from. The non-muslim jinn attempt to eat or take from our food directly but if we say ‘Bismillah’ before we eat they are unable to eat with us.

Where do they live?

The jinn live all over earth but they mostly reside in derelict places such as deserts, ruins, and places of impurity like bathrooms, wastelands and graveyards (for the evil ones). They are frequently found in places where they can cause mischief and corruption, like markets or shopping malls. Shaytaan (malicious or evil jinn) also dwell in the homes of humankind. Saying ‘bismillah’ [In the name of Allah] before entering prevents them from entering the home or saying it in the home expels them.

A very important point I would like to make is that we should all build a fortress around our homes and protect them from shayateen. Following the Sunnah, saying the supplications (dua) of RasulAllah such as the dua before entering the toilet or entering and leaving the home is very important as a protection against shayateen.

Should we be scared of the Jinn?

A lot of people have superstitions or are scared of the jinn and this is NOT the purpose of discussing or learning about the jinn. The reality is that they are weaker than us IF we turn to Allah (glory be to Him). The muslim jinn do not harm us or interact with man. They our our brethren and they leave us be. As for the non-muslim jinn that wish us harm, their main method of harming us is by the whisperings or inner-thoughts (wasswassa) and we seek Allah’s refuge from the whispering of shaytaan. When we seek refuge and invoke the name of Allah or remember Allah the jinn will disappear as when we  they cannot bear to be in the presence of the name of Allah. When we recite the Qur’an, especially Surat Al Fatiha and Ayat-ul-Kursi they will disappear. When the athan is pronounced they cannot bear it -they turn and flee.

WE SHOULD NOT FEAR THE JINN! NOT AT ALL. We put our trust in Allah and we realise that Allah has created different species on this earth.

One of the benefits of learning about the jinn is that our emaan in Allah increases because we realise we don’t see the jinn we rely on Allah’s protection against the jinn. We need His protection and the closer we are to him and the better we understand Tawheed, the more thikr (remembrance of Allah) and the more Qur’an we recite, the more protection we have against the jinn (shayateen). The Prophet (pbuh) said that thikr is a fortress that protects you from shaytaan. We need to implement this in our daily lives. When we enter the house, when we enter the toilet, when we leave the house, when we eat we make thikr (remembering Allah). Knowing about the existence of jinn and knowing about this enemy out there (the evil jinn) keeps us on guard and prompt us to remember our Lord.

There are many weapons against the shaytaan and these will be covered in another article coming soon inshaAllah. In the meantime, I ask Allah (glory be to Him) to make us among those who remember him frequently throughout the day and to protect us against the evil of ourselves and the evil and of shaytaan and to guide us and make us haste in His remembrance. Ameen

 

Here’s a MUST WATCH Video if you’re interested in the topic. This is an excellently delivered short reminder (23 mins) which I used for parts of this article. Please watch!

END

REFERENCES

(1) [Shaykh al-Albaani said in al-Mishkaat (2/1206, no. 4148): al-Tahhaawi and Abu’l-Shaykh reported it with a saheeh isnaad]

(2) The Holy Qur’an, 55:15 

References: 

Book – ‘The Jinn in the Quran & Sunnah’ – Mustafa Ashour

Lecture – ‘Man Vs Jinn’ – Yasir Qadhi

One Comment

  1. May Allah reward you for highlighting this important topic.

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