God Almighty has also informed us of other beings who cannot be perceived by us and who dwell in the unseen. Our inability to perceive them is similar to our not being able to see ultraviolet or infra-red rays, or hear sound waves or perceive flow of electricity. This special species, mentioned in earlier chapters, are known as Jinn. While, unlike belief in angels, belief in Jinn is not a basic tenet of faith, but since Jinn are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an they must therefore be taken note of.
The Qur’anic Views Regarding Jinn:
1). The Holy Qur’an informs us that jinn were created from fire. However, this does not mean that they are fiery bodies burning anything that comes into contact with them. It is quite possible that God may have changed them into a different form, as He did in the case of human beings. Man was created from clay, but transformed into a different entity -a structure consisting of bones, muscles, blood and a nervous system. This means, therefore, that all creations may change from one state of being to another, in accordance with God’s laws for this universe. In the same way, a single cell may be transformed into different living organs of varying qualities, shapes and sizes. Similarly, if God wills. He may create different kinds of metals from a single atom, and a lush green tree from a seed.
[A scientific speculation, not by the author but added here for general information: The renowned scientist Albert Einstein, through his famous ‘Special Theory of Relativity’ established the equitation of Mass and Energy, according to which the Energy (E) of a quantity of Matter, with Mass (m) , is equal to the product of the Mass and the square of the velocity of Light (c). This relationship is commonly expressed in the mathematical formula: E = mc 2. It can be deduced that the matter, light and energy are interchangeable or different forms of same thing. The crude example of three different forms of water, solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam or vapors) may be considered for understanding. Thus it may be reasonable presumption that the human are made of dust or ‘matter’ (m= a solid & liquid forms of material), then other creatures can also be made from other forms i.e. Angels from ‘light’ (c) and jinns from ‘energy’ (E) the parable of heat energy produced from the flame of fire!]
2). Jinn were created before man: “Whereas the jinn we had created, (long) before that, out of the fire of scorching winds”(Qur’an;15:27).
3). Even though jinn can see us, we cannot see them. But there is nothing strange about this. For example, someone looking through binoculars can see someone far from where he is standing, but that person, the object of his view, cannot see who is looking at him. Scientists have also invented equipment such as television which reflects the image of the speaker in TV studio to us, hence we can see the people in studio but they can’t see us. So it is therefore not beyond Divine power to create beings that can see us without us seeing them.
4). Jinn will also be judged on their actions, in the same way as humans, and will also be subject to reward and punishment. This means that hell will consist of both Jinn and human beings. And (tell them that) I have not created the Jinn and men to any end other than that they may (know and) worship Me”(Qur’an;51:56); “But (as for those who refuse to avail themselves to Divine guidance), that word of thy Sustainer shall be fulfilled: “Most certainly will I fill hell with jinns (invisible beings) as well as with humans, all together.” (Qur’an;11:119)
5). The Divine Message was also conveyed to jinn as revealed to both our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Prophet Moses (peace be upon him): “They said, “0 our people! Behold, we have been listening to a revelation bestowed from on high after (that of) Moses, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains (of the Torah): it guides towards the truth, and onto a straight way.”(Qur’an;46:30).
6). Like human beings, jinn have different characteristics; good, obedient as well as evil and sinful beings dwell among them. Just as (we do not know how it happens) that: “some from among us are righteous, while some of us are (far) below that: we have always followed widely divergent paths”(Qur’an;72:11); “ Yet (it is true) that among us are such as have surrendered themselves to God-just as there are among us such as have abandoned themselves to wrong doing. Now as for those who surrender themselves to Him – it is they that have attained to consciousness of what is right”(Qur’an;72:14).
7). God made them (jinn) submissive to the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him): “They worked for him as he desired: making arches, images (*tamathil), basins as large as reservoirs and built-in cooking cauldrons. We said: “O Family of David! Work gratefully.” Only a few of My devotees are truly grateful”(Qur’an;34:13).[*Many interpreters of the Qur’an have inferred form tamathil, the picture of inanimate objects and the natural scenery, and this is preferable because making of statues of living beings is forbidden even the Shari’a followed by Solomon but also in present Islamic Shari’a.]
8). Jinn do not have knowledge of the unseen. Therefore they continued to work for Solomon (Suleiman) even after his death: “When We decreed Solomon’s death he was leaning on his staff. The jinns did not know that he was dead until the termite ate away his staff and fell down. Thus it became clear to the jinns that if they had known the unseen, they would not have continued in the humiliating punishment of their task”(Qur’an;34:14).
9). God also challenged the jinn, in just the same way as He challenged human beings, to produce a work similar to the Holy Qur’an: “Say: Verily though mankind and the jinn should assemble to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof though they were helpers one of another”(Qur’an;17:88).
10).Jinn were curious to find out more about the nature of the heavens and tried to pick up information from Angels; However, after the advent of Islam, they were prevented from doing so and whenever they tried to find out more, they were confronted with a blazing fire: “And we used to sit on places (high) therein to listen. But he who listens now finds a flame in wait for him”(Qur’an;79:9).
Unbelievers among jinn are known as devils, and their Chief is Iblis (Lucifer). Some people believe that Iblis (Lucifer) is an angel, but in fact he is a Jinn. The reasons to support that are:
1). God has said so in the Holy Qur’an: “Behold! We said to the angels, bow down to Adam. They bowed down, except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn and he broke the command of his Lord.”(Qur’an;18:50).
2). “Iblis disobeyed his Lord Whereas angels flinch not from the commands they receive from God”.(Qur’an;66:6).
3). The Holy Qur’an states that Iblis (Lucifer) was created from fire: God said, “What prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?” He said, “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire and him from clay”(Qur’an;7:12).
Qur’an on Devil:
The Holy Qur’an mentions many things about Devil, some are mentioned below:
1). The devil is enemy number one to mankind: “Surely Satan is your enemy: so take him as an enemy. He is inviting his adherents towards his way so that they may become companions of the blazing fire”.(Qur’an;35:6). It is he who caused the banishment of the Adam (the father of all mankind) from paradise. His main aim is to prevent people from entering paradise, so he tries to lead us into temptation and the path of hell. Unfortunately, many of us succumb to his temptation and are led away from the path of God, therefore disregarding the guidance shown by the prophets. God has reprimanded man for his foolishness in giving in to temptation in such a way, instead of following His path, which ensures mercy and forgiveness: “Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would he the exchange for the wrong doers!”(Qur’an;18:50).
2). The above verse indicates that the devil has offspring, and these offspring are from Iblis.
3). While God has made the devil a predominant source of evil influence on mankind. He has not granted him the power, has granted him is cunning: “… feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan”.(Qur’an;4:76); “… but he (the devil) cannot harm them in the least, except as God permits”.(Qur’an;58:10); “even though he (devil) had no authority over them. It all happened because We wanted to see who among them believed in the hereafter and who is in doubt concerning it. Your Lord is watching over all things”.(Qur’an;34:21). “Surely he has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. His authority is over those only who take him as patron and who join partners with Allah.”(Qur’an;16:99-100).
4). The devil’s sole occupation is to cast doubt on man’s mind that the path of God is the right one to follow, and therefore the devil will try to mislead him and ultimately cause him the greatest harm. “The evil one threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly (acts)”(Qur’an;2:268). “Satan makes them promises, and creates in them false desire. But Satan’s promises are nothing but deception.”(Qur’an;4:120); “O believers! Intoxicants and gambling (games of chance), dedication to stones (paying tribute to idols) and division by arrows (lottery) are the filthy works of Satan. Get away from them, so that you may prosper…”(Qur’an;5:93). The devil’s main task is to spread evil, immorality and dissent among all human beings. The basic rule he has laid down is to tempt man towards exhibitionism – to give up modesty and resort to crude behaviour: “O children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that be migh1 manifest their shame to them. Lo! He sees you, he and his tribe, from whence you see them not. Lo! we have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not.” (Qur’an;7:27). The devil also strives to make what is bad appear good in the eyes of his followers: “… and the devil made all that they used to do seem fair unto them”(Qur’an;6:43). He also instigates his followers to spread doubts among believers and to turn their attention away from following the way of truth by provoking arguments and disputes. God has warned us against this: “… and eat not of that where on God’s name hath not been mentioned, for lo! it is abomination. Lo! the devils do inspire their minions to dispute with you. But if you obey them, ye will be in truth idolaters.”(Qur’an;6:121) The devil also persistently tries to persuade the believer to forget God and to embark on acts which lead him away from truth: “The devil hath engrossed them and so hath caused them to forget remembrance of God. They are the devil’s party. Lo! is it not devils party who will be the losers.”(Qur’an;58:19). Lo! Those who ward off (evil), when glamour from the devil troubles them, they do but remember (God’s guidance) and behold them seers!”(Qur’an;7:201).
5). Even though the devil, with his persistent tricks and intrigues is our greatest enemy, ultimately, he can neither help nor harm us. He may try his best to influence us regarding everything we do, but in fact this influence is only temptation. In the end, the choice is ours: we either give in to his temptations or disregard them and rise to sublime heights, which in turn, affect the way we conduct ourselves in our lives. This is what is meant: “Once the matter has been decided, Satan will say: “In fact, the promises which Allah made to you were all true; I too made some promises to you but failed to keep any of them. However, I had no power over you. I just invited you, and you accepted my invitation. Now! Do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor you can help me. I reject what you did before; that you associated me with Allah. Certainly such wrongdoers will have painful punishment.”(Qur’an;14:22). When Iblis begged God to grant him respite until the Day of Resurrection and God agreed. “Iblis said: … “My Lord! Because Thou has sent me astray, I verily shall adorn the path of error for them on earth, and shall mislead them every one.” (Qur’an;15:39) And God the Almighty said: … This is a right course incumbent upon Me. Lo! as for My servants, thou hast no power over any of them save such of the forward as follow thee.” (Qur’an;15:41-42). “And when thou recite the Qur’an, seek refuge in God from Satan the outcast. Lo! he hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord. His power is only over those who make a friend of him, and those who ascribe partners unto him”(Qur’an;16:98-100).
6). The devil abandons his followers in their hours of need and betrays them: “Remember Satan made their (sinful) acts seem alluring to them and said(to the polytheists of Mecca on the day of the. battle of Badr), “No one among men can overcome you this day, while I am near to you.” But when the two forces came in sight of each other, he turned on his heels and said, “Lo! I am clear of you. I see what ye see not. I fear God!”(Qur’an;8:48). “Their parable is like the Satan who says to man disbelieve, but when man becomes a disbeliever, he says: “I have nothing to do with you; I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”(Qur’an;59:16).
The Human Devils:
Human beings can acquire devilish characteristics when they spend their time talking against God, behaving immorally and inducing others to wear indecent clothing. Such people provoke arguments which are not founded on truth and create disharmony within the Muslim community and we should be wary of them. They Holy Qur’an says: “Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of mankind, the King (or Ruler) of mankind, the God (or Judge) of mankind, from the mischief of the whisperer (of evil) who withdraws (after his whisper the same) who whispers into the hearts of the people whether he be from among the jinn or from the mankind.”(Qur’an;114:1-6). Therefore anyone who places importance on the spread of immorality in any form whatsoever is a ‘Human Devil’; that also includes anyone who supports racialism or diverts people from their religious path: “O my Lord! I seek refuge in You from the prompting of the satans, and O Lord! I seek refuge in You even from their coming near me.”(Qur’an;23:97-98).
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Islam-A General Introduction: “Ta’rif-e-Aam bi-Din il-Islam” By: Shaikh Ali Al-Tantawi تعریف عام بدین الاسلام