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Food of Jinn

The jinn and shaytaan amongst them eat and drink. In Sahih-al-Bukhari it is recorded on the authority of Abu Hurairah (radiyAllahu ‘anhu) that the Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) told him to get some stones in order for Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) to clean himself after defecation. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) told Abu Hurairah (radiyAllahu ‘anhu), “Do not bring me bones or dung.” Abu Hurairah (radiyAllahu ‘anhu) then asked Nabi (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) why he specifically mentioned not to bring those two items. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) then replied, “They are food for the jinn. A delegation of Naseeb came to me, and what nice jinn they are, and asked me about their provisions. I supplicated to Allah for them that they would never pass by dung or bones except that they would find meat upon them. And it is recorded in Sunan-at-Tirmidhi, with a sahih chain, that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “Do not clean yourself with bones or with dung for they are food for your brothers amongst the jinn.”

In Sahih-ul-Muslim it is recorded from Ibn Mas’ood (radiyAllahu ‘anhu) that a messenger from the jinn came to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) and he went with them. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) read to them some verses from the Qur-aan. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) showed the people the remains of their embers. They asked Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) about their provisions and he told them, every bone on which the name of Allah has been mentioned will have meat on it for you and the dung a fodder for your animals.” Then he said, “Do not clean yourself with them as they are food for your brothers.”

Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) also informed us that the devils eat with their left hands and he ordered us to be different from them in this respect. Muslims recalled in this sahih, on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (radiyAllahu ‘anhu) that Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand and if he drinks, he should drink with his right hand. Verily satan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand.” In Musnad Ahmad, the following Hadeeth is recorded, “Whoever eats with his left hand, the devil eats with him and whoever drinks with his left hand satan drinks with him.” The following hadeeth is also recorded in Musnad Ahmad: “If the man enters his house and mentions the name of Allah upon entering it and upon eating therein Shaytaan says, ‘There is no lodging here and no meal here.’ But if a man enters his house and does not mention the name of Allah upon entering it, Iblees (the devil) says, ʻI have found lodging.ʼ And if he does not mention the name of Allahʼs name upon eating his meal, the devil says, ʻI have found a lodging and a meal.ʼ” This hadeeth was recorded by Muslim and clearly proves that devils, eat and drink.

In the same manner it is prohibited for man to eat any meat that has not had the name of Allah pronounced over it. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) permitted the believing jinn to eat any bone that has had the name of Allah pronounced over it. They are not permitted to eat meat over which Allahʼs name has not been mentioned. All that has been eaten without having the name of Allah mentioned over it provides food for the non-believing jinn who are the devils (Shayaateen- plural of Shaytaan- singular). In other words, the devils seek as permissible all the food that has not had the name of Allah mentioned over it. This is why many scholars are of the opinion that carrion (animals that have died by themselves) are food for the devils because the name of Allah was not mentioned over them.

Ibn Qayyim concludes from the verse of the Qur-aan: “O you who believe, strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satanʼs handiwork. Leave it aside in order that you might succeed” (Surah 05- al-Maaidah, v:90), that intoxicating liquors are the beverages of the devils.

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