The Jinn

(something hidden or which cannot be seen)

The above is the root meaning of the word Jinn. The existence of the Jinn is firmly established by the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah and the consensus of the Scholars (Ijma’) It suffices to say that the word Jinn and its derivatives occur more than 29 times in the Qur’an. A related word "shaytan" and its plural "shaytana" together occur more than 80 times. In fact, there is an entire Surah called Surah Al-Jinn, which speaks in clear explicit terms about the Jinn.

The reality, which we have to affirm, is that the Jinn live in an established world unseen to us. They eat and drink, and procreate. Similar to Humans, some are righteous while others are not.

The Jinn were created before the creation of mankind. Their origin is from fire. The Qur’an verified these facts in Surah Al-Hijr:

"And verily, We created mankind from sounding clay of altered smooth mud and the jinn We created from smokeless fire."

(Qur’an 15:26-27)

The creation was also reported by Ibn Abbas (ra):

"Two thousand years before (mankind) was created, there were Jinn on (the Earth), and they caused corruption on it and shed blood. Then Allah sent against them a troop of Angels who beat them and cast them away to islands in the seas. So, when Allah said: ‘I am placing (mankind) generations after generations on Earth,’ They (the Angels) said, ‘Will You place therein one who will cause corruption and shed blood’ (Al Baqarah, 2:30), That is: Just as those Jinn did?? Then Allah said: ‘I know that which you do not know.’"


We can not ordinarily see the Jinn, unless they take a material form, which is usually in an unpleasant or ugly form such as a snake or a black dog, as opposed to angels who take pleasant and handsome forms. They can also take a human form. For example: In the battle of Badr, a kind of Jinn known as Iblis, assumed the form of a man named Suraqah Ibn Malik, and urged the disbelievers to move forward to the battle, saying:

"There is none who can overcome you today"

(Qur’an 8:48)

Then Allah sent the Angel Jibreel against him and when Iblis saw him, he cried out to the disbelievers: "I have nothing to do with you ! I see that which you do not see! I fear Allah, and Allah is severe in retribution," and then he fled.

There are 3 types of Jinn as described in the following authentic Hadith:

The Prophet Muhammad (saws) said:

"There are 3 types of Jinn; One type flies through the air, another type consists of snakes and dogs. A third is based in one place but travels about."

Tabarani and Buhaqi

Jinni:Is a term used by the Arabs to refer to one Jinn.

The 3 types of Jinn are as follows:

  • 1 Amir: (Resident Jinn) used to mean that he is one of those who lives with people.

    2 Shaytan: Used for a Jinni who is malicious and has become wicked.

    3 Ifrit: Used for a Jinni who is stronger and more powerful than a Shaytan.

  • The way of life for the Jinn is just like Human Beings. For Example: they are accountable for their actions, just as Human Beings are.

    Allah says in the Qur’an:

    "I created Jinn and Mankind only in order that they might worship Me."

    (Qur’an 51:56)

    There are believers amongst them, who will be rewarded, and disbelievers, who will be punished, as they admit in the following verse from the Qur’an:

    "And indeed there are amongst us, Muslims and amongst us, wrongdoers. As for those who accept Islam, they have sought out the right path. And, as for the wrongdoers, they will be firewood for Jahannam."

    (Qur’an 72:14-15)

    Whenever Allah sent a Prophet to mankind, the Jinn of that time could also receive his message. Thus, some Jinn came to Prophet Muhammad (saws) one night and he recited Qur’an to them, and taught them about Islam.


    They eat and drink, and have Fiqh regulations similar to ours. Just as we eat meat of animals slaughtered in the name of Allah, so do the believers among the Jinn . In addition, the Jinn are allowed to eat the bones of such animals.

    With regard to this, the Prophet (saws) has instructed us not to use animal bones for istinja (i.e. to clean the private parts after relieving one’s self).

    The Jinn also have conjugal relations; as evident from this verse:

    "Therein (in heaven) are (women) of modest gaze, whom neither human being nor Jinn have touched before."

    (Qur’an 55:56)

    Another verse establishes that they beget children:

    "Will you then take (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors in preference to Me, although they are an enemy to you?"

    (Qur’an 18:50)

    The Jinn, as any other living creature, will also die. This is mentioned in the Qur’an:

    "Allah will say, ‘Enter you in the company of nations who passed away before you, of men and Jinn, into the Fire."

    (Qur’an 7:38)

    Iblis, however, has been given respite up to the Day of Resurrection.

    "Allah said, you are, then, among those given respite up to the day of the time known (and appointed)."

    (Qur’an 38:81-82)

    Iblis is the Jinn who disobeyed Allah’s command to prostrate to Adam (as), and was consequently expelled from Heaven. Allah had promised him eternal Hell, but he had asked Allah to give him time before going to Hell to win over Adam’s descendants as their followers. Allah had granted him time, and Iblis has worked towards the destruction of mankind ever since. Shaytan is the term used to refer to Iblis and other disbelieving Jinn.

    Iblis has his throne in the sea, and he sends out his dispatchments of shaytan to aggravate people. The dearest of them to him is the one who causes the most fitna (tribulation).

    One of his workers comes and tells him "I did not leave (my victim) until I brought about separation between him and his wife." Iblis draws him near and says to him, "Yes, You (are the best)."


    Because of this evil nature of the shaytan, the term "shayatan" is also used for those disbelieving human beings that are active in corrupting and fighting righteousness. Allah has said:

    Thus, have We made, for every Prophet, an enemy, the shaytan of mankind and Jinn, inspiring one another with, adorned speech by way of deception."

    (Qur’an 6:112)

    One of the shaytan’s endeavors in their attempt towards human destruction is to go up to the heaven’s and eavesdrop any news to carry on to earth. This news will be passed on to the fortune-tellers.

    A’isha (ra) said that she asked the Prophet (saws) about how it is that the fortune-tellers sometimes foretell something which turns out to be true. He replied, that’s the word of truth that the Jinn manages to catch, and so he comes and whispers in the ear of the fortune-teller, and to one truth he adds one hundred lies.

    (Bukhari and Muslim)

    Man is always accompanied by a Jinn, who tries to incite him to evil, but the Prophet (saws) was protected from this harm.

    On the authority of Ibn Mus’ud the Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

    "There is not any one of you except that he has been assigned his companion from among the Jinn and his companion from among the Angels." They the Companions said, "Even you, O Messenger of Allah," He replied "Even me, except that Allah has helped me against the Jinn, so that I am unharmed, and so he orders me to do nothing but good."


    Thus terrible thoughts may sometimes occur to us, but we are not responsible for these prompting’s provided, we neither allow them to take root within us, nor act upon them. The fact that we recognise them as evil is itself a sign of faith. It is possible for Jinn to enter human beings and possess them as Allah says:

    "Those who consume interest (riba) do not arise except as the one whom Satan has driven to madness by his touch."

    (Qur’an 2:275)

    Seek protection from the Jinn. In an Authentic hadith related by Bukhari and Muslim, The Prophet (saws) has instructed us to recite some supplications to protect ourselves from the harm of Satan. These include:

  • 1. Before having sexual intercourse, we should say:

    "Bismillah, Allahumma jannibnash-shaytina wa jannibish-shaytina ma razaqtana."

    In the name of Allah. O Allah! Spare us from Satan and repel Satan from what you provide us with.

    Then, if a child is conceived, Satan will never harm


    2. The shaytan like to frequent filthy areas such as toilets. Thus we should ensure that we recite the sunnah supplication (narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim) before

    entering the toilet:

    "Allahumma inni a’uthu bika minal-khubthi wal-khaba’ith."

    O Allah! I seek refuge with you from male and female devils.

    3. Reciting Ayat al Kursi (the verse of the throne in Surat Al Baqarah, 2:255) at bedtime ensures that no devil comes close to you until the morning.

    Related by Bukhari

    4. Saying:

    "La ilaha illallahu wah-dahu la sharika lahu; lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu wa-hawa’ala kulli shay’in qadir."

    There is no God but Allah, alone, without any partner, His kingdom, and His

    is the praise, and He has power over all things.

    100 times in the morning provides protection till the


    Bukhari & Muslim

  • In General, frequent remembrance of Allah and obedience to Him provide immunity from the Shaytan.

    Allah Says:

    "Whoever withdraws himself from the remembrance of (Allah) most gracious, We assign to him a Shaytan to be his comrade."

    (Qur’an 43:36)

    In another verse Allah says:

    "Satan has no authority over those who believe and place trust in their Lord."

    (Qur’an 16:99)

    Amongst the things that will keep the believer far away from falling into the snares of Shaytan is to refrain from excess in glances, words, food and socialising with people. By these four doors Shaytan gains power over the son of Adam and obtains what he wants from him.

    As for looking, the Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

    "Do not follow a glance with a glance. You are allowed the first but not the second."

    Narrated in the Musnad (Hadith Book) of Ahmad B. Hanbal (Sahih)

    As for excess words, the Prophet (saws) said:

    "Part of the excellence of a Man’s Islam is that he leaves what does not concern him."


    As for excess food, the Prophet (saws) said:

    "A man does not fill a worse vessel than his belly."


    Luqman the sage used to say to his son, "My son, when the intestines are full, reflection goes to sleep, wisdom falls silent, and the limbs cease to worship."

    As for excessive socializing, it is a chronic disease, which attracts evil. How frequently are socializing and company empty of blessings! How often do the sow enmity! How often they plant rancor in the heart and as long as it remains in the heart it erodes firm mountains of good action! Excessive socializing contains loss for this world and the next world. The slave must only indulge in that amount of socializing which in necessary.

    One of the greatest fortresses, which protect the believer against Shaytan, is Knowledge.

    The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

    "One Faqih (Someone learned in Religious matters) is stronger against Shaytan than a thousand worshippers."


    The importance of knowledge for the believer in opposing Shaytan is well illustrated by the following story related by Ibn Abbass:

    The Shaytan says to Iblis, "Master we delight in the death of a man of knowledge more than we rejoice in that of a man of worship. We are harmed by the man with knowledge, but not harmed by the man of worship."

    Iblis says, "Come on, lets go." So off they go to a man of worship and they come to him while he is worshipping and tell him they want to ask him a question. Iblis says, "Can your lord put this world inside an egg?"

    "The worshipper replies, "I don’t know." Iblis says to the Shaytans, "Don’t you see there is disbelief in his answer?"

    They then go to a man of knowledge in his circle joking with his companions and say, "We want to ask you a question."

    He says, "Ask" so Iblis says to him, "Can your Lord put this world inside an egg?"

    He replies, "Yes."

    Iblis asks, "How?"

    The man of knowledge says,

    "His command when He desires a thing that He says to it ‘Be’ and it is." (Qur’an 36:82)

    Iblis says to the Shaytans "Don’t you see that, the man (the worshipper) does not have any effect beyond himself, while this man (the man of knowledge) estranges much of the world from me?"

    It is well known that Shaytan is with those who oppose the community. For that reason, the Muslim must keep to the Muslim community because that will keep him far from the errors and snares of Shaytan.

    The Messenger of Allah (saws) said:

    "Whoever of you desires the heart of the Garden should cling to the community. Shaytan is with the solitary person and further off from the couple."

    Timidhi and Ahmad

    The Messenger of Allah (saws) also said:

    "The hand of Allah is over the community. Shaytan is with the one who opposes the community."

    Ibn Sa’id

    References: The Jinn (In the Qur’an and Sunnah) by Mustafa Ashour

                            The Article on The Jinn by Abu Al Hasan (Al Jumuah Magazine)

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