Whenever the word jinn is mentioned, there are two reactions received from people… “Don’t tell me, I won’t be able to sleep at night”, or “It’s so cool, another world, tell me more”. It is part of our faith for Muslims to believe in the unseen. We believe in angels, Jannah (garden of Paradise), Jahannam (Hellfire), jinn and of course beyond any human perception- Allah. Only Allah has complete knowledge of the unseen (‘ilm ul ghaib).
What are jinn?
They are known by many names in many cultures. They are the creation of Allah made from a smokeless fire as Allah mentions in Surah ar Rahmaan “And the jinn He did create from a smokeless fire” [Verse 15] It is mentioned in Bidayah wa-n Nihayah, according to ibn Abbaas, Ikrimah, Mujaahid and al Hasan and others that the fire mentioned in this aayah is “مارج من النار” maarijin min naar refers to the extremity of the flame or the best and purest fire. They are an old creation, created before mankind as mentioned in Surah al Hijr “Verily We created man of potter’s clay of dark mud altered. And the jinn did We create aforetime of a flameless fire” [Verse:26-27] The mutawaatir opinion is as ibn Taimiya (rahimahullah) mentions in his Majmoo’al Fataawa “None of the different groups have differed about the existence of jinn, nor in the fact that Alah sent Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam as a Messenger to them as well. And the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) also accept their existence even though one may find some who deny their existence. It is also known with certainty that alive, thinking and acting by choice. They have been ordered to do certain deeds and have been prohibited from others”.
Jinn are both believing and disbelieving, although there are more disbelievers than believers. Shaytaan (plural- Shayaateen) are disbelieving jinn who may harm humans sometimes. Ibn Abdul Barr has stated that jinn who live among mankind is called ‘aamar (plural- ‘amaar) while the very powerful ones who antagonize Muslims are called ‘ifreet. Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) has said “There are three types of jinn: one who flies through the air, one that are snakes and dogs, and one which stay in places and travel about”. [Tabrāni, Hākim and Baihaqi with saheeh isnaad]
They are similar to man in that they have families and tribes. In Surah al-Jinn, Allah mentions what they said about themselves- “There are among us some that are righteous, and some having a different way (religious sect, etc.) And we think that we cannot escape from the punishment of Allah in the earth, nor can we escape fom the punishment by flight. And indeed when we heard the Guidance [Qur-aan], we believed therein and whosoever believes in his Lord shall have no fear, either of a decrease in the reward of his good deeds or an increase in punishment for his sins. And some of us are Muslims and of us some are al-qaasitoon (disbelievers who have deviated from the right way). And whosoever has embraced Islam then such have sought the Right Path And as for the Qaasitoon, they shall be firewood for Hell”. [Verse 11-15]
Their origin is from before Iblees. We do not have clear text that states that Iblees is the origin of all jinn. We believe that there were jinn before him and that he was simply one of them as mentioned from Surah al Kahf “Except Iblees and he was of the jinn” [verse 50] Earlier in Surah al Kahf, Allah makes mention “And remember when WE said unto the angels: ‘Prostrate before Adam’, and they fell prostrate, all except Iblees. He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against His Lord’s command”. [verse 20] We know the story of Iblees who was a noble jinn, allowed to dwell amongst the angels and directly with Allah. The devil Iblees is NOT a fallen angel as some Jewish and Christian people believe. We as Muslims have proof from the above aayah that he was in fact a jinn. Iblees had the nature of angels in that he was a devout worshipper of Allah but with respect to his origin, he was not created from celestial light (noor) as angels.
It is briefly described below where yet another verse from Surah Swawd serves as daleel (proof) that he was jinn wherein it is stated “(Allah) said: “O Iblees (Satan)! What prevents you from prostrating yourself to one whom I have created with both My Hands? Are you too proud (to fall prostrate to Adam) or are you one of the high exalted?” Iblees said” I am better than he, You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (Allah) said: “Then get out from here, for verily, you are outcast. And verily!, My Curse is on you till the Day of Recompense.” (Iblees (Satan) said: “My Lord! Give me then respite till the Day the (dead) are resurrected.” (Allah) said: “Verily! You are of those allowed respite till the Day of the time appointed.” (Iblees (Satan) said: “By Your ََََMight, then I will surely mislead them all except Your chosen slaves amongst them (faithful, obedient, true ￼believers of Islamic Monotheism).” (Allah) said: “The Truth is, and the Truth I say that I will fill Hell with you and those of them (mankind) that follow you.” [verses 75-85]
I do not want the posts to be too lenghthy so inshāAllah we will continue with our discussion on the jinn.