What are the jinn? What is their form, shape? What do they do?

The Details of the Question
In the Glorious Quran it is mentioned that Allah has created Man and Jinn. The Jinn cannot be seen by men. What is their shape, form or appearance. What do they do?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The most noticeable meaning of the word jinn is covered or hidden. It indicates that the jinn cannot be perceived through sense organs.

Terminologically it means that they are a type of spirit beings unperceivable to our five senses, having freewill and reasoning, being held responsible for complying with the Divine Orders; there are believers and unbelievers among them. ( TDV. İslam Ansiklopedisi, VIII, Cin Maddesi, s. 5.) At the same time, they can be defined as conscious energy.

The word Jinn is used as a basis for other words originating from this word. It is known that in pre-Islamic years Arabic people used to call the angels as jinn.


Though their true nature is still mysterious to us, it is stated, according to our sources, that they are made out of smokeless, scorching fire (the Quran 15:27 and 55:15). Regarding the issue, our prophet says the angels are created out of light, and the jinn out of scorching fire. (2)

Abdullah draws our attention to the phrase from the fire of scorching wind for jinn in the verse in Chapter al- Hijr.

Jinn means covered or veiled. The phrases such as rays from fire, fire burning brightly, or scorching fire are not enough to reveal their true nature. The morphological structure of human being is collected from the surface of the earth in the form of a protein mixture; similarly, the jinn share the common features of the fire on the grounds that they are created from the essence of fire. We still do not know whether it is a material like flame which is a composition of air-fire or air and fire, a particle or light of sun. It might be a mixture of all of those materials. Maybe they are particles of atom, or waves, or an ionic alloy coming from the subatomic realm; ether or anti-material beings. What forms the visible material beings are atoms also called as quanta, which are energy particles; and yet they are dissolved at 5000 centigrade degrees and become separate atoms. However, there are millions of heavenly bodies living at millions of centigrade degrees in the cosmos. That is to say, there exist beings like energy that are resistant to high fire in the heavens but they are different in that they have conscious and free will.
Yes, indeed, the jinn may have been created out of the ether. They may the creatures hidden inside the light waves displaying the things in various dimensions. We do not know what the terms the fire free of smoke and fire and white heat are. Man who was created out of clay assumes the present shape; then who knows out of what sort of a fire the jinn were created?

(1) Rahman, 55/15; Araf, 7/11-12; Hijr, 15/27; Sad, 38/75-76.
(2) Muslim, Zuhd, 60.

Does Jinn have spirits just like us?

Jinn have spirits just like us. They remain alive thanks to their spirits. The difference between them and us is that our spirit is related to a mass of molecules, a material body and their spirit is related an energy, a current. When man dies, the spirit leaves the body and is sent to the realm of barzakh. The body that consists of flesh and bones is put into the ground. After a while, the body decays, turning to soil. It goes from one state into another by changing its form and nature. However, the number of atoms in the universe does not change; and the balance of constant mass is not disturbed. When a jinni dies, its spirit goes to the realm of barzakh; its spiritless body, that is, its energy remains in the world as energy in some other nature.

Can you inform us about the attributes of jinns?

According to Islam, jinn are beings with consciousness, reasoning and free will. Therefore, they are responsible to believe in Allah, adhere to His commands and worship Him. It is made clear in Chapter al-Jinn and other verses in the holy Quran.

The jinn were addressed by both our holy Prophet and Hazrat Moses and other prophets, listened to their messages, and some of them believed in Allah and some negated Him.

The following is stated in a hadith in Muslim : "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, `There is not one of you who does not have a jinn or angel appointed to be his constant companion. According to another hadith related by Jabir, our Prophet said: Do not pay a visit to the women whose husbands are not with them because the devil moves inside your veins just as your blood does.

Thereupon, the companions asked him you too, O Messenger of Allah?. He said, Me too, but Allah has helped me and the devil has submitted to me (became a Muslim). The phrase became a Muslim given in brackets in the hadith is another meaning that is preferred. However hadith scholars say that it is out of the question for the devil to become a Muslim and add that it is better to use the phrase submit. The problem will be settled if we think that the jinn mentioned here is an unbeliever one. As a matter of fact, the unbeliever jinn are called devils.

How they reproduce and their life span?

There are male and female jinn, they get married and reproduce as we do; they eat, drink and die. Their life span however, is far greater than ours. They are said to live between 1000 and 1500 years. It is because they live in a different dimension. The flow of time is different there. Therefore, it is quite obvious that the news received by means of jinn are not unseen knowledge but based on their age and experience.

Their state in terms of faith and unbelief

There are unbelievers, believers and hypocrites (munafiqs) among jinn; the unbeliever jinn are called Satan. The jinn are also subject to trial and testing in this world and will be held responsible for their acts in the hereafter; they will go either to Hell or to Paradise. Those having faith in Allah and doing good deeds will be rewarded with Paradise, and those negating Him, and not seeking repentance from Him will be punished with hell just like us. After all, in the Quran the following is stated:

Many are the Jinn and men we have made for Hell: They have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle,- nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning). (7:179; 72:5)

The decree of denying the jinn

As their existences are made clear through the Quran and the practices of our Prophet, not affirming their existence is regarded as negation.

Today, plenty of things not discovered in the past have been proven through science. The fact that people are unable to see them cannot be evidence for their non-existence because people are incapable of seeing not only the jinn but also many other things. Man is rather limited in seeing, hearing, and understanding. Moreover, considering that we can see merely five out of million things, that we cannot see pain, suffering, love, hatred, fear, mind, electricity, wind and so forth and that we believe in most of them, the invisibility of the jinn does not mean that they do not exist.

Their dwellings

It is understood that jinn are mostly found in ruins, and unclean places. As a matter of fact, our Prophet (pbuh) informed us that the garbage left at home is the place where they come together. Based on this statement, some scholars hold the opinion that our Prophet called our attention to the cleanness in Islam by the fact that, like invisible jinn, the unseen microbes which are fast to reproduce can cause some ailments. They say that some hadiths point out to some microbes by the use of the term jinn. Additionally, it is observed that there used to be a common opinion amongst our Prophets companions and their followers that the jinn would live inside the holes. A hadith relevant to this subject is as follows:

Abdullah b. Sarjis (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates: the Messenger of Allah enjoined us from pissing into holes of insects. The commentators of the Quran asked Qatada why it was rendered reprehensible. Those places are said to be the homes of the jinn he replied. (5)

(1) Muslim, Munafiqin, 69.
(2) Tirmizi, Rada, 17/1172; A. H. Musnad, III, 309; Darimi, Sunan, II, 320, Riqaq, 66.
(3) Tirmizi, Rada, 17/1172; İ. Jawzi, Talbisu Iblis, p. 34.
(4) Abdurrazzaq, Musannaf, XI, 32.
(5) Abu Dawud, Taharah, 16, (29)

What should be done in order to be able to see jinn?

To those who have thoughts like, “I want to see jinn”, “I want to talk to jinn”, “Is it possible to see and talk to jinn?” “I want to have jinn, too”, etc!!!

If your nature is suitable, you can contact jinn in accordance with your ability. However, it is not a virtue to be able to see jinn. That is, a person must not regard himself different and fortunate because he can see jinn. Unfortunately, many people use those abilities in order to deceive people. If man wants virtues and merits, he must show it in serving Allah and worshipping.

Abdullah says the following about the issue:

Having contact with jinn has some ways and requires a guide and being an expert. If ways, principles and guides are not used, there will be risks of getting into trouble. If those people are unaware about the spiritual world and do not know where to stand, they may be attacked by wicked souls; they can get under the control of them and turn out to be toys in their hands. The jinn sometimes lead those people into pride and arrogance and sometimes try to scare and threaten them and make them talk on their behalf and make them serve for themselves. In the 20th century, Gulam Ahmad Qadiyani became a victim of those wicked jinn. He wanted to struggle for Islam in the way of Fakirism against Yogizm but was attacked by wicked souls and became one of their toys. Wicked souls, at first, made him accept that he is a mujaddid and then Mahdi and later made him believe that he was Jesus. In the end, he said “God got into my body, was seen in my body”. Wicked souls can easily have contact with wicked people and can cause them to go crazy. (1)

So, we can understand that such events can happen and jinn can be contacted by experts and they can be made do something, but it is extremely dangerous to regard it as fun and become busy with it without having enough knowledge.

(1) Abdullah Qadir, S. Nur, p. 152

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