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Archive for August, 2015

The Bottled Up – Jinn or Genie? Arabian Nights Refuted!

Saturday, August 8th, 2015
The Bottled Up – Jinn or Genie? Arabian Nights Refuted! 

To understand the intended use of the term jinn in Quran, reader is referred to the book ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali under its chapter ‘Angels’ and in sub-section ‘The Jinn’. The discussion at hand serves a different purpose which is to rebut the myths of Jinn accredited to Quran. 

The fanciful jinns that are misattributed to Quran are actually found in New Testament:

The Quran and Traditions do not speak of jinn as they exist in popular imagination, interfering in human affairs or controlling the forces of nature or assuming human or any other shape or taking possession of men or women and affecting them with certain diseases. Such ideas are unfortunately associated with the existence of jinn in the Gospels. The stories of Jesus casting out devils are more wondrous than fairy tales: "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God" (Luke. 4:41). A devil was cast out of a dumb man and he began to speak (Mattew. 9:33); a woman from Canaan had a daughter possessed with the devil and Jesus at first refused to cast out the devil because she was not an Israelite (Matthew. 15 22-24); as many as seven devils went out of Mary Megdalene (Luke. 8:2); the devils cast out of another two men were sufficient for a whole herd of swine: "They went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters" (Matthew. 8:32). And this power of casting out devils was given to all those who believed in Jesus (Mark. 16:17).[1] 

Even though Quran uses the term jinn for an all encapsulating meaning for its attributes, still, for the sake of discussion and to develop an understanding, if one is to arbitrarily classify the jinns in Quran, then there is the main jinn, the Iblis also known as the Satan and the common jinns that are erroneously equated with genii of the fairytales. We will try to deal with these two categories of jinn separately but before it is demystified, inevitably their understanding will merge into one common entity, the humans. While discussing jinn, it is stipulated that all its connotations must emerge from within the Quran and no extraneous insinuations will be entertained. To understand jinn in Quran, we have to understand the human, the ins or nas, first because jinns are not only a subset of the latter but the implications of jinn are for the ins. Simply put, if there are no ins then there would be no jinn either. The terms used for humans in Quran are explained in “Dictionary of Quran” by Abdul Mannan Omar: 

Insun (collective noun): Mankind; Human being. Insân (common gender): One having attachments; Fellowship; Love; Affection; Human being. Its plu. is Unâs which is commonly contracted into Nâsun. Insyyun: Human being plu. Ânâsî and Unâs. Ânasa: To perceive with love. Musta’nisîn: Seekers of familiarity. Seeking to listen. (L; T; LL) The root with its above seven forms has been used about 97 times in the Holy Qur’ân.[2]

Nâsa To swing, halt in a place, move, toss. Al-Nâsun: Collective noun regarded as the plu. of Insân (human being). According to some its root is Unâs. Its first letter Hamzah is taken off when preceded by Al. According to others it is derived from Nasiya (to forget, forsake), and its origin is Insiyân on the measure of Ifilân. It is also said its origin is Nâsa (to swing, halt in a place, move, toss.) All these meanings describe the human being. Al-Nâs (collective noun): Human being; Mankind. (L; R; T; LL) The word is used in the Holy Qur’ân as many as 241 times.[3] 

Before we start the discussion centered on the term Mega-jinn or Mahajinn[4] it must be stated from the outset that the core message of Quran is, without exception, for all humanity to submit to Him and His laws which is expressed in the term ‘worship’: 

51:56. And I have created the jinn (fiery natured and houghty) and the (ordinary) people [Arabic: insa] only that they may worship Me.[5]

In historical perspective the jinns addressed in verse 51:56 were none but the opposing forces of Arabia led by their prominent chieftains against the Prophet, which are identified in the verses preceding it:

51:54-55. So turn away from them (and their foul way of talk). There lies no blame on you (for what they do). Yet keep on exhorting (the people), for, verily, exhortation proves useful to the believers.[5a]

Quran is cognizant of the segmentations in the society led by its ideologies, institutions and institutional heads that act as power brokers and trend setters for the common citizenry. It is these who create and/or nurture false beliefs and values for the ins or nas, which in due course defocus the objective of worship (v. 51:56) by the people who come under their sway. Such leadership is addressed in Quran head-on for their false creeds: 

6:123. And thus have We made in every town the leaders of its guilty ones, that they may make plans in it. And they plan only against themselves, and they do not perceive.[6] 

More so, Quran stresses its message with an emphasis on the ordinary people and their beliefs as it is they who by their numbers alone make the fabric of the culture. On the other hand, the privileged classes, even though in minority, try to keep the status quo intact through which they enjoy the perks of their esteemed status. For example, ordinary citizens, at any given time are subjugated in their thoughts and actions by ruling class, financial institutions, clergy, trend setting socialites etc. This breakdown of the society into rulers and the ruled, leaders of dogmas and those led into such dogmata are addressed as jinns or shayatan on one hand and the ‘nas’ or the ‘ins’ on the other hand in Quran. It is the misleading satanic forces and their engendered values in the society that Quran admonishes humankind against: 

35:5-6. Humankind! the promise of Allâh is undoubtedly true, so do not let the present life deceive you, and do not let the avowed seducer [Arabic: taghurra] seduce you away from Allâh. Surely, satan [Arabic: shayatan] is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He calls his party only (to follow him) with the result that they become of the inmates of the blazing Fire.[7] 

43:62. Do not let the satan turn you away from following it [–the Quran], for he is your an enemy cutting off (your) ties (with God).[8] 

Historically, across the board, every prophet faced opposition from the privileged classes, their doctrines and those under their sway, the examples of which we find in narratives about – Noah & the tribal chiefs, Hud & tribe of Ad, Salih & tribe of Thamud, Abraham & Nimrod, Lot and Sodomites, Moses & Pharaoh and his courtiers, David & Goliath, Jesus & Pharisees along with Romans, and Prophet Muhammad and the idolaters of Arabia:

6:112-113. And in the same manner have We made the evil ones from among (ordinary) human beings and the jinns enemies to every prophet; some of them suggest one to another gilded speech to beguile (them). Had your Lord (enforced) His will, they would not have done so; so leave them alone with what they forge; And the result (of their so doing) is that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are inclined to it (- their guile), and they take pleasure therein and they continue committing their (evil) deeds as they are doing

6:130. `O multitude of jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and (ordinary) peoples! did there come to you no Messengers from among yourselves who related to you My Messages and warned you that you would face this your day?' They will say, `(Yes,) we bear witness against ourselves.' And the present life has beguiled them. And they will bear witness against themselves (on that day) that they were disbelievers.[9] 

As a case in point, in early Islamic history it were the elites of Makkah, the shayatan, the metaphorical devils, and all those under their influence who resisted the message of Islam, whereas it were the ordinary folks, the nas, who accepted Islam:

 2:13-14.And when it is said to them, Believe as the people [Arabic: l-nāsu; Companions of the Prophet] believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they are the fools, but they do not know. And when they meet those who believe, they say, We believe; and when they are alone with their devils [Arabic: shayāṭīnihim; evil companions, ring-leaders], they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.[10]

Ultimately, it were the ordinary people, the nas, that created the momentum in the Arabian society to achieve the equality of mankind. In this struggle of jinns with nas or ins, a time came when the rule shifted from Makkah to Medina. Despite the power they gained later, the Prophet and his successors, the future righteous Caliphs, remained in Medina as ‘ordinary people’ and never segregated themselves into the ‘jinns.’ As is evident from history, their holding the higher office as rulers was essentially a burden rather than a reward for them in which they served the people, unlike the jinns that make the ins serve them. After the death of the righteous Caliph Ali, the Muslim society too then segmented into the elites and ordinary folks, the jinns and ins respectively. On the reverse it is also true that once jinn class is established in the society, it is the ins class that in order to share the perks of the jinn class tries to associated themselves with them, which then in turn further empowers the jinn. For example, Communism found its foothold with the prime objective to eliminate the jinn class, but ironically it too then evolved its own jinn class, the sacrosanct politburo, and soon the proletariat, the ins under them transformed into sycophants to seek the favors of the jinns, which in turn only empowered the types of ‘Stalins’ amongst them who further tightened their vice like grip on the body and souls of the masses that they ruled:

 72:6. "The fact is that some humble and lowly men from among the common folk used to seek refuge with some (big and influential) men from among the jinns and (thus) they increased these (jinns) in arrogance (and conceit).[11]

This cabal of relationship between jinns and ins in the power structure is further elucidated in Quran in which both selfishly benefit from each other:

6:128. Beware of the day when He will gather them all together (and say), `O multitude of jinn! you made a great many of the (ordinary) people subservient to yourselves (in disobedience).' And their votaries from the people will say, `Our Lord! some of us benefited one from another…[12] 

Thus it could be safely stated that the purpose of Quran is to nullify the exploitative influence of jinn class on the ins and even to transform the jinns into ins as well, so that human intellect and values, both individually and collectively in the society can evolve to their intended righteous perfection. 

Practically speaking, if there were no ins, then there would be no contrasting jinn either. The jinn class needs the ins class under it to thrive. On the evolutionary timeline, in Quran, this struggle between jinn and ins started with the metaphorical creation of Adam. It is this resistance from the jinns to be assimilated into ins and to serve the ins, the ordinary citizenry, that is referred to in the parable of Adam, the symbol of humankind. In this parable all the good forces in human nature symbolized as angels, submitted to Adam, whereas the jinn, the rebellious and disruptive tendencies, both within a person and in the manipulative segments of the society, did not. Reader should bear in mind that Iblis, the Satan in Quran belongs to jinn class: 

18:50. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam.' So they all submitted (bowing), but Iblîs (did not); he was one of the jinn, he disobeyed the command of his Lord…[13] 

On the other hand the Adam is the ordinary human, the ins. The said parable reads as follows: 

7:11. We did determine you, then We gave you shape, then said to the angels, `Make submission to (the Children of) Adam,' so they all submitted. But Iblîs (did not), he would not be of those who submit. 

7:12. (God) said, `What prevented you from submitting when I commanded you (to submit)?' (Iblîs [–the jinn]) said, `I am better than he (- the human being). You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay.'[14] 

On the reverse, as stated before, the jinn class that considers itself better than he (- the human being) will always strive for the status quo and will make each and every effort, deception and lure and by every means to keep itself in a select status, be it the jinns of the ruling class, the financial elites or the clergy, that we find in the example given by Quran of Pharaoh, Korah and the Haman respectively and how all three networked together against the ordinary Israelites. The parable for Adam thus continues: 

7:13. (God) said, `Get down from this (haughty state) for it is not proper for you  [–Iblis, the jinn] to behave proudly here, so be gone. Surely, you are of those who have agreed to remain in an abject position.' 

7:14. He (- Iblîs, in impertinent defiance) said, `Grant me respite till the day when they are raised up again.' 

7:15. (God) said, `Surely, you are of those (already) given respite.'[15] 

Thus far, according to Quran there will be a never ending struggle between the privileged and the ordinary classes. In this tug of war, the privileged, symbolized as Iblis, will try to influence and control the rest: 

7:16. (Iblîs) said, `Now, since You have adjudged me to be perverted and lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them (- the Children of Adam) on the straight and exact path that leads to you. 

7:17. `There will I come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left so that You will not find most of them grateful (to You).' 

7:18. (God) said, `Get out from this (state), despised and driven away. Be sure, whosoever of these (human beings) follows you I will certainly fill Gehenna with you all.'[16] 

Stripped of the jinn class, the humanity, the ins class symbolized as Adam, naturally lives in a blissful paradise in this world. But unbeknownst to Children of Adam, the jinn class is ever sneaky: 

7:19. And (We said), `O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden, then eat you both when and where you like but do not (even) approach this tree or you both will become of the transgressors.' 

7:20. Then satan made an evil suggestion to them both, with the result that their shortcomings which were hidden from them, became manifest to them, and he said, `Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest you should become angels or become of the immortals [i.e. a self-serving taunt of Satan for its lures to the mankind of power, haughtiness, selfishness, greed, conceit and immorality – the deceptions of Satan].' 

7:21. And he ardently swore to them both (saying), `Most certainly, I am one of your sincere advisers [and leading you into e.g. correct political thought, financial system, religious doctrine, racial identity, gender bias and social status].' 

7:22. Thus he led them on the way of guile and deceit. And when they tasted of the tree [symbolic of satanic attributes] (and committed the things forbidden to them), their shortcomings became manifest to them [of how powerless they were without an association with a political identity, economic order, clerical thought and social circle]. They (in order to cover themselves) began to stick the leaves of the garden [–the ‘band aids’ of spiritual/economic/social life] over themselves and their Lord called out to them both (saying,) `Did I not forbid you from (approaching) that tree, and tell you that satan is to you an enemy disuniting (from Me)?'[17] 

The divisive forces of jinn classes divide the society across its various segments – politically, economically, spiritually, racially and socially, to the level that each segment and its sub-segments becomes an enemy of one to another and in due course lose their God given heavenly state. The jinn classes rule and maintain their influence by divide and rule of the ins classes. Further: 

7:23. Both of them [–Adam and his wife] said, `Our Lord! we have done injustice to our souls, and if You do not protect us (against the consequences of our faults) and do not have mercy on us, we shall surely be of the losers.' 

7:24. (God) said, `Get down (from this land). Some of you [–humankind] are (indeed) enemies of others, and there will be for you on this earth a habitation and (enjoyment of) provision for a while.' 

7:25. And (He added), `In this (very universe) you shall live and therein you shall die and from it you shall be brought forth (in the Hereafter).'[18] 

Thus we see that following the lures of Iblis, the jinn, ordinary citizenry is deprived of their peace. Interestingly, humanity symbolized by Adam and his wife when thrown out of their paradise were not thrown into hell, instead they only lost their heavenly state. It is to this disruption of heaven on earth by the Satan, the jinn class, that Quran admonishes the humanity, the ins, against: 

7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment [symbolized by worldly attire and resources] that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment [symbolized by Divine Guidance, Quran] that guards against evils [of the selfish allures of the jinn class], that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence [individually and collectively as a society]. 

7:27. O Children of Adam! do not let satan put you in trouble (in the same way) as he turned your parents [i.e. the generations before] out of the garden [i.e. the blissful state], stripping them of their raiment (of innocence) with the result that their shortcomings were made manifest to them both. Verily, he (- satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not. Verily, We have made satans friends of those who do not believe. [19] 

It is against such kind of deep manipulation and incessant attacks of the jinns on the ins, subtle or obvious, by the doctrines which are perverted and lost (7:16) Quran warns the Children of Adam (7:27) against that in which shayatan, the jinn will lie in wait for them (- the Children of Adam) and come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left (7:16-17) with the sole purpose that You [–Allah] will not find most of them grateful (to You) (7:17). The jinn class – he (- satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not (7:27) by what is hidden in the temptations of a gilded speech to beguile (6:112) that it offers to the ins by its veritable marketing arms through the media, lectures, literature, pulpits, advertisements, analysts, think-tanks, interest groups, lobbyists, ‘wall streets’, the portfolio managers, the banks – usury and interest, national interests, political expediencies, diplomacy etc. In another place, Quran repeats the same about the modus operandi of the Iblis, the jinn

17:61. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam!' Then they all submitted. But Iblîs (who too was told to do the same, did not), he said, `Shall I submit to one whom You have created out of clay?' 

17:62. And he added, `What do You think? This is he whom You have honoured and placed above me. If You grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will most certainly bring his progeny under my sway, having overpowered them, I shall destroy them for sure, except a few.' 

17:63. `Be gone!' said He; `As for those of them who follow you, Gehenna is the recompense of you all, an ample recompense. 

17:64. `And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your speech and rally your horsemen against them, and your foot men (- fast riders and slow walkers in disobedience, with all your might) and share with them their wealth and children and hold out promises to them (what you like).' Indeed, satan promises them nothing but mere fraud. 

17:65. `As to My true servants, you shall have certainly no authority over them. And sufficient is your Lord as Disposer of affairs.'[20] 

It is to this sneaking, enticing, guiling and pressure tactics of jinn that draw away the mankind from their straight and exact path that leads to you [–Allah] (7:16), that Quran draws attention of the ins. In the Chapter Nas (‘The People’) of Quran, the ins are told to seek the protection of Allah in all spheres of their lives from all varities of jinns, be they in the garb of apparent lordships, sovereigns, controllers or false gods. In doing so Quran reminds the ins that it is none but Allah who is their Lord, Sovereign, Controller and God

114:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of People [Arabic: nāsi],

114:2. `The Sovereign, the Controller of all affairs of People,

114:3. `The God of People,

114:4. `(That He may protect me) from the evil (of the whisperings) of the whisperer, the sneaking one.

114:5. `Who whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of People,

114:6. `From among the jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and the (ordinary) people.'[21] 

It is a common daily experience that various self-serving power centers at the helms of affairs of politics, military, economics, clergy, crime, indecencies, intoxicants, and even the mind of the individual itself under the lures of hedonism as influenced through whisperings of the media, marketing, sale pitches, sermons, hate-speeches etc. that carry forward the influence of the jinn or even the ins, when it whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of People

With the discussion of the Mega Jinn, the Iblis, the Satan in Quran out of the way, now we turn our attention to refute the myths about jinns attributed to Quran of the type which are found in folklore, lullabies, Arabian Nights, Hollywood productions and Disneyland stories. Jinns are ordinarily equated to as some kind of non-human ‘ethereal beings’ whose existence is separate from humankind. However, without exception, Quran sets in stone the basics of all forms of life, be it the humans, animals, fish, birds, fish, microbes i.e. 

21:30…And it is from water that We created all life…[22] 

Specifically, to creation of humans and their certain attributes that distinguish them from animals, Quran mentions: 

55:14. He created human being from the essence extracted from dry ringing clay like a piece of baked pottery [that can make a sound] (-with the faculty of speech and possessing pliant and submissive nature).[23] 

15:26. Surely, We created human being from dry ringing clay, (transformed) from black mud moulded into shape [i.e. essentially possessing a moldable character, of both body and mind].[24] 

Then in another place in Quran humans are created of haste

21:37. …Man [Arabic: insānu] is created of haste…[25] 

However, we also read in Quran that apparently other “beings” i.e. the jinn are made of destructive nature like that of fire and hot wind: 

15:27. And We created the jinn before (him) from the fire of intensely hot wind. [26] 

55:15. And He created the jinn from a flame of fire (- possessing fiery nature). [27] 

With the above statements of Quran about role of water, fire, clay and haste in creation of beings, the concept of jinn can be further analyzed. At least from the superficiality of things, water and clay are compatible. Test of this compatibility survives the challenge of human experience of daily living as well the principles underlying the science of evolution. In the former case, clay pottery can only take shape in presence of water. Whereas, in the latter the clay signifies the earthly elements that when blended in presence of water, evolves into life forms, which includes humans. Thus it can be safely cocluded that man is made from water and clay. We know that haste is both a noun and a verb, but for sure it is not in the domain of matter or energy and it only signifies the natural behavior of a being. We also know that humans have a hasty nature. 

One combination of above mentioned things is not reconcilable i.e. water and fire as both cannot exist together, though one can be a product of the other. For example, in the earth's environment the bye product of fire is water. Yet, when water is decomposed into its component hydrogen and oxygen, which when burnt together give back the water. Thus fire is only a transitory stage between water and its component gases, but a non-entity itself, just like electricity, where it could be created but nothing can be made of it. With these basics of physics and chemistry out of the way then it becomes quite clear that if jinn is made from fire, then it cannot be a living being as all life is made from water – it is from water that We created all life (21:30). Obviously, either Quran is self-contradicting by actually making a living jinn out of fire and not water or our interpretation of nature of what jinn stands for in Quran is incorrect. 

Through the lens of Quran it becomes obvious that jinns are not a separate living entity from humans, but are categorized as jinns due to their attributes. For example, in daily life we find the ordinary people, the nas or ins, being quite hasty in their thinking and decision making to buy a product or following a doctrine. At the same time we do not find haste as an attribute of the jinns who are at the helm of a political thought, religious ideology or economic order. Instead, in jinn we find patience and a modus operandi of fire and hot wind in their canvassing the ordinary people, the ins, to follow whatever they have to sell to them. Thus we can quite easily concur that humans, both jinns and ins, have a fiery and hasty nature respectively. 

If someone still insists that jinn are non-human intelligent beings, then by Quran, those jinn are not living because they are not made from water. And a non-living thing cannot interact with humans in the manner that such advocates of jinn assume jinns to act and behave, e.g. listening to Quran from Prophet Muhammad or being subjugated by Prophet Solomon. It only proves that jinns of Quran are not the genii of the bottle. It was the Arab mind who believed in the tales of genie found in Arabian Nights and mistook it for the jinn in Quran. 

Even though the burden is not on Quran to disprove the fairytale genii, but if read intelligently, it even does that as well: 

7:179. And, verily, We have created many of the jinns and the ordinary people whose end is Gehenna. They have hearts wherewith they do not understand and they have eyes but they do not see with them (the truth), and they have ears but they do not hear (the Messages) with them. They are like cattle, nay, they are (even) worse. It is these who are utterly heedless (to the warnings).[28] 

At least the above verse makes jinn synonymous with people as both have same intelligence and are endowed with physical and intellectual faculties of hearts, eyes and ears

As to what is that jinn of Quran that we are arguing about, can be quite clearly elucidated from its meaning, as excerpted, from the 'Dictionary of Quran' by Abdul Mannan Omar: 

Janna: To be dark, cover, wrap, conceal, be mad; dark; covered (with plants), be mad (with joy or anger), be hidden to, be excited. It is used in transitive and intransitive sense. Junnatun: Covering; Shield; Protective. Janîn plu. Ajinntun: Embryo; Fetus; Anything hidden. Janûn : Madness; Insanity; Diabolical fury; Passion. Majnûn: Mad; Possessed; Luxuriant (plant). Jannatun : Garden; Paradise. Jinn : Genius; Any hidden thing; Intense or confusing darkness; Evil spirits which inspire evil thought; Germ; Insect; Imaginary beings whom the infidels worshipped; Peoples of different far flung countries living detached from other civilized peoples; People who inhabited the earth in prehistoric times, subjected to no laws or rules of conduct, before the birth of Adam who laid the foundation of the civilization and Sharî‘at; Jews of Nasîbîn; Stalwarts whom Solomon had taken into custody and having subjected them and made them work as constructors of huge buildings and who were experts divers. Ibn Manzûr in his Dictionary Lisân al-‘Arab has quoted a verse of an ancient poet in which he calls his beloved by the word of Jinnî. Zuhair ibn Abî Sulmâ has used the word Jinn for people who are peerless, having no match or equal. Tabrîzî writes in his book Sharh al-Hamâsah that Jinn is a being who is highly potent, shrewd and possessed of great powers and abilities; Whatever hides or conceals or covers; Whatever remains hidden or becomes invisible; Such thing or beings that remain aloof from the people as if remaining concealed from eyes of the common folk, as Kings and other potentates generally do. It is in this sense that the word is used by Zuhair. The primary meaning of the word Ma‘shar in the verses 6:128, 130; 55:33 also reinforce this interpretation. Ash‘arahû means he lived in close communion with him and was on intimate terms. Thus by calling Jinn and Nâs (human beings) as a single community clears that here Jinn and human beings are not two different kinds of beings. 

Janna (prf. 3rd. p. m. sing): Overshadowed; Covered. Jinn (n.): Definite order of conscious being, intelligent, corporal. They eat and drink and propagate their species and are subjected to death. Jânnun (n.): Jinn. Jinnatun (n. plu.): Madness. Majnûn (pat. pic. m. sing.): Mad one. Jannatun (n.): Enclosed garden. Paradise. Jannatân (nom.) Jannatayn (acc/ n. dual): Two gardens; Two paradises. Jannâtun (n. plu.): Gardens; Paradises. Junnatun (n.): Shield; Shelter. Ajinnatun (n. plu.): Embryos. (L; T; R; Jawharî; Tabrîzî; LL) The root with its above forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 201 times.[29]

Quran is very clear and so is the Prophet that he was exclusively sent as a guide to mankind and not to any other entity:

4:170. O mankind! this Messenger has indeed come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe, it will be better for you…[30] 

7:158. Say, `O mankind! I am a Messenger to you all from Allâh to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth…[31] 

34:28. (Prophet!) We have sent you not but towards entire mankind.[32] 

Nowhere humans have worshiped jinns, but for sure they have worshiped humans e.g. Pharaoh and Jesus, perceiving them to have godly attributes: 

6:100. Yet they ascribe to Allâh as (His) associates the jinns, although He has created them also. And they falsely ascribe to Him sons and daughters without any knowledge. Glory be to Him. And He is far beyond and above all the things that they attribute (to Him).[33] 

Where it all got mixed up was when the following verses are misread for jinn in the Chapter ‘The Jinn’ in Quran. The historical details in this chapter most likely refer to party of Jews and possibly Christians (72:1-15), though the former is more likely in reference to verses 46:29-31: 

72:1. Say, `It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn (- the non-Arab Jews of Nasîbîn, called Jinn because of their being strong, sharp and effective in affairs) listened (to the Qur'ân), so they said (to their people on their return), "Surely, we have heard a wonderful Qur'ân, 

Side note: Nasîbîn[34] is in the border region of modern day Turkey and Syria. These ‘jinn’ from Nasîbîn visited the oasis of Nakhlah located between the cities of Makkah and Taif for its annual market and poetry festival of Souk Oakz that is held annually even today[35]

“…it transpires that the jinn in question were followers of the Mosaic faith, inasmuch as they refer to the Qur'an as "a revelation bestowed from on high after [that of] Moses", thus pointedly omitting any mention of the intervening prophet, Jesus, and equally pointedly (in verse 3 of the present surah) stressing their rejection of the Christian concept of the Trinity. All this leads one to the assumption that they may have been Jews from distant parts of what is now the Arab world, perhaps from Syria or even Mesopotamia. (Tabari mentions in several places that the jinn referred to in this surah as well as in 46:29 ff. hailed from Nasibin, a town on the upper reaches of the Euphrates.) I should, however, like to stress that my explanation of this occurrence is purely tentative.”[36] 

72:2. "It guides towards righteousness, so we declare our faith in it. We shall no longer worship any god besides our Lord.[37] 

The next verse squarely points towards Jewish faith of the party of the jinn that listened (to the Qur'ân) and concurred that Jesus Christ was not son of God: 

72:3. "And the truth is that the Majesty of our Lord is exalted. He has taken to Himself no consort nor (has He begotten) a son [–a reference to the Christian faith of Byzantines, under whose rule the visitors to Souk Oakz/Makkah lived]. 

72:4. "And (we admit) that the foolish among us used to say many exaggerated and blasphemous things against Allâh. 

Side note: The above verses 72:3-4 also refer to Jews themselves who according to Quran used to attribute son-ship to Ezra[38]

9:30. There are some of the Jews who say, `Ezra is the son of Allâh,' while the Christians say, `The Messiah is the son of Allâh.' These are mere words that they speak. They only imitate the words of the infidels of old. Allâh assail them! Whither they are deluded away![39] 

The claim of son-ship (9:30) also implies the preferential status attributed by people of Scripture to themselves: 

5:18. The Jews and the Christians say (in respect of each of themselves), `We are the sons of Allâh, and His loved ones.'…[40] 

72:5. "And (we acknowledge) that (we believed in them because) we never thought that men and jinn could ever possibly utter a lie about Allâh. [41] 

The next verse separates the common folk from the jinns, the segmentation of any society: 

72:6. "The fact is that some humble and lowly men from among the common folk used to seek refuge with some (big and influential) men from among the jinns [–the Byzantine rulers and their Christian clergy] and (thus) they increased these (jinns) in arrogance (and conceit). [42] 

Side note: the use of the phrase – men from among the jinns, clearly refers to a certain class of the society different from the common folks. Essentially, implying that jinns are humans but for certain unique attributes are counted as different from the ordinary people, for example, clergy, bureaucracy, establishment and nobility. This kind of segmentation is starkly clear when travelling by an airline where the society is segmented into economy class and first class. 

The Jews never expected a prophet from non-Israelites: 

72:7. "These men (from the jinn) believed even as you believe that Allâh would raise no one (as Messenger). 

72:8. "And we (- the non-Arab Jews, the jinn who had listened to the Qur'ân, as diviners and astrologers) had primarily sought to probe the secrets of space above but we found it teeming with strong guards and shooting stars (a phenomenon which generally occurs before the advent of a divine Reformer). 

Side note: This seems to be a reference to Old Testament where the ‘Prophet like me’[43] foretold by Moses, Muhammad, is prophesized whose advent was to coincide with appearance of ‘A Star’ which was awaited as a heavenly sign and was misattributed to birth of Jesus: 

Numbers 24:17. “I [–Moses] see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter [–a King] shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.[44] 

This fallacy of awaiting ‘A Star’ from House of Jacob and actually looking towards the heavens for its arrival is rebutted by Quran and even by the Jews of Nasîbîn themselves who after listening to the Prophet realized that it was Prophet Muhammad that the prophecy referred to: 

72:9. "And that we used to sit in some of the observatories to listen to something. But he that tries to listen (in order to forecast some event) now (with the advent of Islam) finds a shooting star in ambush for him. [45] 

Side Note: Quran mocks such beliefs in heavenly signs. It forewarns that rather than paying attention to the Message, such seekers of spiritual light and guidance focusing on appearance of nonsensical Zodiacal signs will be misled and destroyed by such pursuits. That we see in attributing birth of Jesus to the appearance of mythical star at his birth by the three travelers, the ‘wise men,’[46] the astrologers who were the only ones to see the heavenly sign, and who interpreted it to his imminent birth. The dogma of son-ship attributed to Jesus turned out to be – a shooting star in ambush for him (v. 72:9), the believer of such dogmata. What a misleading star which led the ‘wise’ astrologers to the court of Herod rather than to the crib of baby Jesus! 

After reading the above verse, readers have to ask themselves as to have there existed non-human observatories? The topic of shooting star is dealt in a separate chapter of this book. The Jews of Nasîbîn converted to Islam after meeting with the Propet that is referred to in next verses: 

72:10. "(We confess that) we do not know whether evil is (hereby) augured for those who are on the earth or whether their Lord (thereby) intends to bestow right guidance for them. 

72:11. "And some of us are righteous and some of us are otherwise. We follow different ways. 

72:12. "And we have come to know for certain that we can never frustrate the purpose of Allâh in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight (in any direction). 

72:13. "No sooner did we hear the guidance (contained in the Qur'ân) than we believed in it. And he who believes in His Lord does not have to fear that his reward will be reduced or injustice will be (done to him). 

72:14. "And some of us submit (to the will of God) while some of us are deviators (from the right course)".' (It has also been revealed to the Prophet that) those who submit (to God's commandments) are actually those who earnestly aim at the right way and find it out; 

72:15. And that the deviators from the right course are the fuel of Gehenna. [47] 

One is constrained to ask in light of the above verse (72:15) that if jinn are made from fire, then Gehenna, the hell and its fire must be a reward not punishment for the jinn, because by common perception jinn are made from fire themselves. Rather, for punishment they must land in a freezing heaven. 

The following sets of verses clearly identify jinn as Jews, the people who were follower of Moses. These Jews of Nasîbîn who were referred to in verses 72:1-15 before, met the Prophet and held with him a night long discourse on the outskirts of Makkah and on their return conveyed the Message to their own people:

46:29. And (Prophet! recall the time) when We brought some people from among the jinns to you. They wished to listen to the Qur'ân. When they attended it (- its recitation) they said (one to another), `Be silent (and listen).' When this (recitation) was over they went back to their people as warners.[Emphasis added] 

46:30. They (having gone there) said, `O our people! we have listened to a Book which has been revealed after (the time of) Moses confirming that (divine Scripture) which is before it. It guides to the truth and to the right and straight path. 

46:31. `O our people! accept the call of one calling to Allâh and believe in Him. (If you do so) He will keep you safe from (the woeful consequences of) your sins and will screen you from the woeful punishment.[48] [Emphasis added] 

Maulana Muhammad Ali explains the events in reference to party of jinn in Quran as follows: 

The jinn mentioned in the first section of ch. 72 are evidently foreign Christians, since they are spoken of as holding the doctrine of sonship (72 3, 4). In 72:6, they are called rijal (pl. of rajul) , which word is applicable to the males of human beings only (LA.). Again, in the 46th chapter the word jinn has been used in the sense of foreigners when a party of the jinn is stated to have come to the Prophet and listened to the Holy Book and believed in it (46:29), because all the injunctions contained in the Qur'an are for men, and there is not one for the jinn. This was evidently a party of the Jews of Nisibus as reports show, and the Qur'an speaks of them as believers in Moses." Commenting on this incident, Ibn Kathir has quoted several reports from the Musand of Ahmad, which establish the following facts. The Prophet met a party of jinn at Nakhla when returning from Ta'if in the tenth year of the Call. These are said to have come from Nineveh. On the other hand, there is a well-established story that the Prophet on his way back from Taif took rest in a garden where he met a Christian who was a resident of Nineveh; and the man listened to his message and believed in him. It may be that he had other companions to whom he spoke of the Prophet, and that these came to him later on. Another party of jinn is said to have waited on him when he was at Makkah, and he is reported to have gone out of the city to a lonely place at night time, and to have spent the whole night with them. And we are told that their traces and the traces of the fire which they had burned during the night were visible in the morning. When prayer-time came and the Prophet said his prayers in the company of Ibn Mas'ud, the narrator, two of them are said to have come and joined the service. They are supposed to have been Jews of Nisibus and were seven in number (IK. 29). The Prophet went to see them outside Makkah, evidently because the Quraish would have interfered with the meeting and ill-treated any who came to see him.[49] 

The following set of verses lump jinn and ins (ordinary people) into one community of mankind, the disobedient, who will suffer in the same fire of hell: 

6:128. Beware of the day when He will gather them all together (and say), `O multitude of jinn! you made a great many of the (ordinary) people subservient to yourselves (in disobedience).' And their votaries from the people will say, `Our Lord! some of us benefited one from another but (at last) we have reached the end of the (appointed) term which You determined for us.' He will then say, `The Fire is your lodging, therein to abide, unless Allâh wills (otherwise).' Verily, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. 

6:129. In the like manner do We let some of the unjust have power one over another because of their (wrongful) deeds.[50] 

In the above verses unless both jinn and ins (ordinary people) are the same community, then at least there is no human experience of humans ever being under subjugation or ruled over by the jinns. Only humans ruled over the humans and will continue to do so in the matters political, social, economic and spiritual etc., in each of which the society can be misled by its leadership. For example, in political domain a dictator needs support from the masses to remain in power. In the social matters there are trend setters and celebrities that can lead the way for common folks to a life of hedonism. In economic aspects our lives are overrun by usury and speculative institutions in the garb of banks and stock-markets and the ordinary people are consumed by these practices. In the matters spiritual it is everyday experience of how a few from the pulpit can mislead the masses into ignorance. 

In another place Quran gives the commonality of both jinn and ins of their being able to read, write and even publish: 

17:88. Say, `If there should join together all human beings and the jinn to produce the like of this Qur'ân, they would never be able to produce anything like it, even though some of them might be the helpers of others.'[51] 

If the jinn were a separate entity, rather than a category of ins, then the next verse alludes to same jinns as helpers. Even to entertain an idea of non-human helpers in history is ridiculous as there is no such recorded event: 

2:23. And if you have any doubt as to (the truthfulness of the Qur'ân) which We have revealed to Our servant from time to time, produce a single Sûrah (- Qur'ânic chapter) like any of (the chapters of) this, summoning (to your assistance) all your helpers (that you have) beside Allâh, if you are truthful (in your doubts)…[52] 

Clearly, the helpers in the both the above verses 17:88 and 2:23 are the jinns, the human scholars and experts. 

The next verse draws attention to the historical fact that Messengers were sent to all mankind, the jinn and ins

6:130. `O multitude of jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and (ordinary) peoples! did there come to you no Messengers from among yourselves who related to you My Messages and warned you that you would face this your day?' They will say, `(Yes,) we bear witness against ourselves.' And the present life has beguiled them. And they will bear witness against themselves (on that day) that they were disbelievers.[53] 

If jinn that are considered to be separate and superior entity from ins, then why do they need Messengers (6:130) from lower degree of ins? Should it not be the opposite? 

In another place in Quran it is evident that jinn and ins are alike subjected to the same laws of physics and restricted by escape velocity, essentially implying that both are the same people: 

55:33. O body of jinn (- fiery natured) and (ordinary) the people! If you have the power and capacity to go beyond the confines of the heavens and the earth, then do go. But you will not be able to go unless you have the necessary and unusual power.[54] 

There is also an interesting commonality to both jinns and ins in which they can land in Hell: 

7:179. And, verily, We have created many of the jinns and the ordinary people whose end is Gehenna [i.e. Hell] [55] 

50:30. On that Day We will ask Gehenna, `Are you filled up (with the inmates of the hell)?' It will go on saying (expressing its state), `Are there anymore (that I can take)?[56] 

11:119. …`Verily I will fill Gehenna with the (rebellious) jinn and (ordinary) people all together,'…[57] 

32:13-14. Had We (enforced) Our will We would have (already) given every soul its (appropriate) guidance. But (as it is) the word from Me has come true (that) I will surely fill Gehenna with some of the jinn (- houghty) and (ordinary) men, all (the erring ones) together. So suffer (the punishment for your evil deeds). Since you had given up (the idea of) the meeting of this day of yours so We too have forsaken you (now). Suffer therefore the long-lasting punishment because of the misdeeds you used to do.[58] 

Besides the above sets of verses mentioning jinns and ins in hell, nowhere in Quran is there corresponding mention of jinns ending up in heaven, while it is only the ins who are assured of it. Isn’t it unfair to those jinns who do good deeds to be rewarded? Yes, they are rewarded once they turn themselves into ins, that we see in early Islamic history when the chiefs of Arabia lived like a common man. 

To cap it all is the mother of all arguments, the Hell, which is termed as a destiny and a mother for both jinns and ins. 

101:1-11 The calamity! What is the calamity? And what will make you know how terrible is the calamity? The day when people will be as scattered moths, and the mountains will be as flakes of wool. Then as for him whose good deeds are heavy, he will live a pleasant life. And as for him whose good deeds are light, the abyss is a mother [Arabic: Ummu] to him. And what will make you know what that is? A burning Fire. [59] [Emphasis added] 

In light of the above verses it becomes obvious that for anyone to land in Hell, irrespective of one having been created out of water, clay, fire or haste, their common attribute is that of being evil in their thoughts, designs, intentions or actions, all of which are the sole prerogatives of a human mind. When the Hell calls out to wrongdoers to “come back to mama” for spiritual healing and purification it becomes obvious that no mother can breed two different species, the jinn or ins, rather she can have children of the same species but with different personalities, some being jinns and others ins.[60] Thus it could be safely stated that if Hell is like a ‘mother’ then, its children are only humans, but segmented into jinns and ins

The jinns of Prophet Solomon (PBUH) are covered in separate chapters elsewhere.


[1] ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Chapter: Angels, p. 146-147.
[2] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 35-36.
[3] ibid, p. 583.
[4] Maha: a Hindi term meaning mega, major or prominent. The term Maha-jinn, a derogatory term used for a major usurer, a source of evils in the society.
[5] Al-Dhariyat – The Scatters: Nooruddin
[5a] ibid
[6] Al-Anam – Cattle: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[7] Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
[8] Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
[9] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[10] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[11] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[12] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[13] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[14] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[15] ibid
[16] ibid
[17] ibid
[18] ibid
[19] ibid
[20] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[21] Al-Nas – The People: Nooruddin
[22] Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
[23] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[24] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
[25] Al-Anbiya – The Prophets: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[26] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
[27] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[28] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[29] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 104-105.
[30] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[31] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[32] Saba – Sheba: Nooruddin
[33] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[34] Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusaybin
[35] Saudi Tourism – “Souk Okaz is one of the markets where the Arabs met for trading and presenting poems and speeches in the past.   Today, it is revived at the same historical location to be a unique poetry, artistic, and historical meeting. Souk Okaz now combines the ancient history and the shining present. Here, the visitor will find the modern techniques and the location’s geography with its historical value. Also, folklore performances are organized in Souk Okaz. The visitor can reach the venue by using his own car or by accompanying a tourism group.” Link: http://www.sauditourism.sa/en/About/Pages/he-7.aspx. “It was a most popular forum for the Arabs coming to perform pilgrimage in the Pre-Islamic times. Today, just like the bygone days, it is a forum of intellectuals, literatis and poets. Folk performances are held in the central yard of Souk Okaz.” Link: http://sauditourism.sa/en/Events/Pages/Okaz.aspx. See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souk_Okaz
[36] Footnote 1 to verse 72:1 by Muhammad Asad.
[37] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[38] Explanation of the said verse by Nooruddin in his Urdu lectures published as “Haqaiqul Furqan”. Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=222&region=H4
[39] Al-Taubah – The Repentance: Nooruddin
[40] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[42] ibid
[43] Deuteronomy 18:15-19. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+18%3A15-19&version=NKJV
[44] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers+24%3A17&version=NKJV
[45] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[46] Matthew 2:1-12. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=+Matthew+2%3A1-12&version=NKJV
[47] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[48] Al-Ahqaf – The Sand Dunes: Nooruddin
[49] ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Chapter: Angels, Sub-section: Jinn p. 146
[50] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[51] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[52] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[53] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[54] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[55] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[56] Qaf – Allah is Almighty: Nooruddin
[57] Hud – Hud: Nooruddin
[58] Al-Sajdah – The Prostration: Nooruddin
[59] Al-Qariah – The Calamity: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[60] See also the explanation for the verse 15:27 – Haqaiq ul Furqan (Urdu) by  Nooruddin