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Jinn

The Qur'an and Sunnah indicate that the jinn exist, and that there is a purpose for their existence in this life, which is to worship Allah (swt) alone, with no partner or associate. Allah (swt) says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإنْسَ إِلا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

"And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). (51:56)

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالإنْسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي وَيُنْذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا قَالُوا شَهِدْنَا عَلَى أَنْفُسِنَا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ

"O you assembly of jinn and mankind! ‘Did not there come to you the Messengers from amongst you, reciting unto you My verses and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours'? They will say, ‘We bear witness against ourselves'. It was the life of this world that deceived them. And they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers". (6:130)

The world of the jinn is an independent and separate world, with its own distinct nature and features that are hidden from the world of humans. Jinns and humans have some things in common, such as the possession of understanding and the choice between the way of good and the way of evil. The word jinn comes from an Arabic root meaning "hidden from sight". Allah (swt) says:

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لا يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنْزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْآتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لا تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ لِلَّذِينَ لا يُؤْمِنُونَ

"O children of Adam! Let not Shaitan (Satan) deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa' (Eve)] out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment's, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and Qabiluhu (his soldiers from the jinn or his tribe) see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the Shayatin (devils) Auliya' (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not". (7:27)

وَالْجَانَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ مِنْ نَارِ السَّمُومِ

"And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire". (15:27)

وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ

"And the jinn He created from a smokeless flame of fire". (55:15)

According to a hadith narrated by A'isha radhiallahu anhaa, the Prophet (saw) said: "The angels were created from light, the jinn were created from fire, and Adam (as) was created from that which has been described to you". (Reported by Muslim, 5314)

TYPES OF JINN

Allah (swt) has created different types of jinn. Among them are some who can take on different forms, such as dogs and snakes; some who are like flying winds with wings; and some can travel and rest. Sayyidna Abu Tha'labah al-Khushani (ra) said: "The messenger of Allah (saw) said: The jinn are of three types: a type that has wings, and they fly through the air; a type that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its journey". (Reported by at-Tahhawi in Mushkil al-Aathar, 4/95, and by al-Tabarani in al-Kabeer, 22/214. with a saheeh isnad)

THEIR POWERS

Allah (swt) has given the jinn powers that he has not given to humans. Allah (swt) has told us about some of their powers, such as the ability to move and travel quickly. An ‘ifreet from among the jinn guaranteed to the Prophet Sulayman (as) that he would bring the throne of the Queen of Yemen to Jerusalem in a moment faster than that needed for a man to get up from where he is sitting. Allah (swt) says:

قَالَ عِفْريتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ

"An ‘Ifrit (strong one) from the jinn said: ‘I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work'." (27:39)

قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ قَالَ هَذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ

"One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: ‘I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!' Then when he [Sulaiman (Solomon)] saw it placed before him, he said; ‘This is by the Grace of my Lord - to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his own self; and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his own self). Certainly my Lord is Rich (Free of all needs), Bountiful'." (27:40)

THE FOOD AND DRINK OF THE JINN

The jinn eat and drink. Sayyidna Ibn Mas'ood (ra) said: "The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Someone from among the jinn called me, and I went with them and recited Qur'an for them'. He took us and showed us the traces of where they had been and the traces of their fires. They asked him for food and he said, ‘You can have every bone on which the name of Allah (swt) has been mentioned that comes into your possession, as meat, and all of the droppings as Allah (swt) revealed to His Prophet (saw) the words';

قُلْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ اسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا

"Say (O Muhammad (saw)): ‘It has been revealed to me that a group (from three to ten in number) of jinn listened (to this Qur'an)'. They said; ‘Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Qur'an)'!" (72:1) (reported by al-Bukhari, 731)

THEIR RECKONING ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION

The jinn will be called to account on the day of Resurrection. Mujahid (Rahmatullahi alayh) said, concerning the ayah:

وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَبًا وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ

"And they have invented a kinship between Him and the jinn, but the jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him) (i.e. they will be called to account)". (37:158) Sahih al-Bukhari, Bab Dhikr al- Jinn wa Thawabihim wa ‘Iqabihim.

PROTECTION FROM THE HARM OF THE JINN

Because the jinn can see us while we cannot see them, the Prophet (saw) taught us many ways to protect ourselves from their harm, such as seeking refuge with Allah (swt) from the accursed Shaytan, reciting Surah Al-Falaq and An-Nas (the last two Surahs of the Qur'an), and reciting the words taught by Allah (swt) in the Qur'an:

وَقُلْ رَبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ

"And say: ‘My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils)". (23:97)

وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ

"And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! Lest they should come near me". (23:98)

Saying Bismillah (in the Name of Allah (swt)) before entering one's home, before eating or drinking, and before having intercourse will also keep the Shaytan from entering the house or partaking with a person in his food, drink and sexual activity. Similarly, mentioning the name of Allah (swt) before entering the toilet or taking off ones clothes will prevent the jinn from seeing a person's ‘awrah or harming him, as the Prophet (saw) said, "To put a barrier that will prevent the jinn from seeing the ‘awrah of the sons of Adam (as), let any one of you say ‘Bismillah' when entering the toilet". (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 551; Saheeh al-Jami', 3611)

Strength of faith and religion in general will also prevent the jinn from harming a person, so much so that if they were to fight, the one who has faith would win. Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Mas'ood (ra) said: "A man from among the Companions (ra) of Muhammad (saw) met a man from among the jinn. They wrestled, and the human knocked down the jinn. The human said to him, ‘You look small and skinny to me, and your forearms look like the front paws of a dog. Do all the jinns look like this, or only you?' He said, ‘No, by Allah, among them I am strong, but let us wrestle again, and if you defeat me I will teach you something that will do you good'. The human said, ‘Fine'. He said, ‘Recite, Ayat al-Kursi':

اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ وَلا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

"Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. (This Verse 2:255 is called Ayat-ul-Kursi)

The human said, ‘Fine'. He said, ‘You will never recite this in your house but the Shaytan will come out of it'!"

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