The word jinn means to cover something lexically. As a term, it means the name of some invisible spiritual beings. Jinn are clever and invisible beings created from air and fire that can take different forms. (Dr. Süleyman Ateş, İslâm’a itirazlar ve Kur’ân-ı Kerîm’den Cevaplar, 34.) It is reported that they are seen in the form of various animals, often as snakes. (M. Vehbi, Hülâsatü’I-Beyân, 15, 6175.)
According to what Raghib al-Isfahani explains in his book, Mufradat, the word jinn is used in the following two meanings:
1) Jinn is the name given to spiritual beings that cannot be perceived by five senses; in this case, it covers angels and satans, too. In this sense, every angel is jinn but every jinn is not angel.
2) Jinn constitute some of spiritual beings, not all of them. Spiritual beings are divided into three:
a) Spiritual beings all of which are good.
b) Spiritual beings all of which are evil. They are satans that lead people to evil.
c) Spiritual beings some of which are good and some evil. They are meant when the word jinn is used.(Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat, “JINN” item)
Jinn are responsible for belief and worshipping like men. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was sent as a prophet to both human beings and jinn. In the Quran, there are verses that start as follows: “O ye assembly of Jinn and men!”(ar-Rahman, 33).
The word THAQALAN means in the verse: “Soon shall We settle your affairs, O both ye worlds”(ar-Rahman,31) two thaqals. One of those thaqals is jinn and the other is men. Thaqal means weight. It is said that they are given that name because Jinn and men apply weight on the earth or because they are loaded with sins. (Dr. Süleyman Ateş, ibid., 36)
There are believers and unbelievers, good ones and bad ones among jinn like among human beings. They will sow what they reap too; the good jinn will go to Paradise and the bad ones will go to Hell.
There is a separate chapter about jinn in the Quran. The following is stated in that chapter: here are believers and unbelievers, good ones and bad ones among jinn; none of them has power against Allah and all of them are weak and responsible; believers who believe in Allah should not be afraid of them; Jinn will not be able to do what they did during the period of ignorance and interregnum because after the advent of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), they cannot approach the upper layers of the sky in order to steal information from the sky and tell fortunetellers about them as they used to do because sparks of fires are sent over them; there may be some who want to continue to commit evil deeds but they cannot harm Allah and believers; on the contrary, they will be destroyed and be fuel for Hell; Muslim jinn will try to do good deeds not bad deeds; no one but Allah should be worshipped and prayed to in mosques and other places.
According to what is stated in the Quran, a group of jinn came and listened to the Quran and became Muslims; they went back to their nations and called them to Islam.(al-Jinn. 1 )
A narration from Ibn Abbas gives us the following information about the issue:
“Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) and several people from his Companions were on the way to the fair in Ukaz; in a place called Nahla, while the Prophet lead the morning prayer, a group from jinn came and listened to him. At that time, satans and jinn were unable to receive information from the sky; sparks of fire were sent over them. They talked about it and said, “Probably a new incident took place and a barrier was put between us and the news from the sky. They decided to go to the east and west of the world and searched about it.
When the group that went to the direction of Tihama heard the Quran that Hazrat Prophet recited in the morning prayer, they listened to it carefully and said, “this is what prevents you from receiving news from the sky”; after that, they went to their nation and said, “O people of our nation! We listened to the Quran, which was exemplary and strange and we believed in it. From now on, we will never attribute partners to our Lord.
Thereupon, God Almighty sent the chapter al-Jinn and reported what Jinn had said to the Messenger of Allah.”(M. H. Yazır, ibid VII, 5381 ff)
In addition, the Messenger of Allah recited the Quran to the Jinn several times. The most famous incident is the one reported by Ibn-i Mas’ud.
According to a narration, a group of Jinn went to the Messenger of Allah in order to recite the Quran and convey it to their own people; they learned the Quran and they were appointed by the prophet to teach their own nation.
* * *
Jinn do not know the ghaib (unseen- unknown) but since they live thousands of years and since they are immaterial and spiritual beings and since they eavesdropped the angels in the past and stole information from them, they may know some information about the past and present. It does not show that the jinn are superior to men. It is one of the characteristics of their structure and nature. In hadiths, an old believing jinn who lived during the time of Hazrat Moses and reached the period of our Prophet and believed in him is mentioned.
It was also shown to the jinn themselves that they do not know the ghaib really with Solomon’s (pbuh) death. (Saba’ 34/14).
The probability of being harmed by jinn is not higher than the probability of being harmed by other creatures and poisonous and predatory animals. Therefore, a conscious believer does not have to be afraid of jinn. No being (neither an animal, nor a microbe, nor jinn) can harm man without the permission of Allah. Man is informed about how to take refuge in Allah from harmful creatures. The same attitude should be shown to the jinn too. Our Prophet especially recommended reading the verse ayah al-kursi, and the chapters al-Falaq and an-Nas. (Bukhari, Wakale, 10; Tirmidhi, Tib 16) It is necessary for the believers who think they have been harmed by jinn to be contented with the measures that our Prophet taught and to be protected from being deceived by charlatans that abuse the issue of jinn.
• Some judgments about Jinn:
-No marriage takes place between men and jinn because one of the necessities of marriage is being together. However, it is not possible for men and jinn to be together. There are no common points between them in terms of eating, drinking and housing; so, they cannot be in harmony. Then, since there cannot be harmony and living together, there is no use in their marriage. Therefore, there is no marriage contract between them. If their marriage were deemed legitimate, the women who became pregnant due to fornication would claim that male jinn made them pregnant, causing the spread of mischief in the world. In order to eliminate that mischief, it is necessary that marriage with jinn be illegitimate.
One of the judgments about jinn is that when a person performs prayers with jinn, praying in congregation takes place. If someone performed a prayer by reciting adhan and iqamah while he was alone and swore that he performed the prayer in congregation, his swearing would not be a lie. It is possible that some jinn that were present in that place accompanied him in his prayer since he performed the prayer by reciting adhan and iqamah. (M. Vehbi, 15, 6176)
• Can Jinn be seen through eyes?:
Jinn are fine beings like light. They cannot be held by hand but they can be seen. Although it is reported that Imam Shafii said jinn cannot be seen based on the twenty-first verse of the chapter al-Araf and added, “the witnessing of a person who says, ‘I have seen jinn’ is not accepted”, Damiri, the writer of ‘Hayat-ul Hayawan’, said, “That sentence means jinn cannot be seen with their true nature.” Many companions and other people saw jinn that changed their appearance. (See Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1/279-280; Aliyyü’1-Kari, ibid, 1/738 ff)
Mentioning the same point, Imam Ghazali said that only prophets could see angels and jinn with their true nature and that other people, especially saintly people, could see them in different forms. (Imam Ghazali, Ihya Ulum ad-Din, 111/53, Egypt, 1387)
- Jinn and Satans
- Are angels Allah's daughters?
- Will you give information about the appearance (embodiment) of angels, jinn and devils?
- Can Jinn take the form of man?
- 5. Belief in Angels
- What are the jinn? What is their form, shape? What do they do?
- Could you please give information on the nature of Angels, their types and about the importance of belief in them? Why cannot we see them?
- How did Iblis (Satan) act when the order to bow down to Adam(PBUH) was given by Allah? What is the relationship between the devil and the angels in terms of creation?
- Attributes necessary to be present in Prophets
- What are the wisdoms behind the stories of Prophets?