World of Jinn (part 1 of 2)


Description: An introduction to Allah’s creation known as the “jinn.”  Part 1: Their life, abilities and weaknesses. 

By Imam Mufti (© 2013 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 18 Feb 2013 - Last modified on 17 Oct 2022

Printed: 493 - Emailed: 2 - Viewed: 35,994 (daily average: 9)


·To learn about the lives and abilities of the jinn.

·To learn about the weaknesses of the jinn.

Arabic Terms

·Jinn - A creation of Allah that was created before humankind from smokeless flame.  They are referred to at times as spirit beings, banshees, poltergeists, phantoms and so forth.   

·Sunnah - The word Sunnah has several meanings depending on the area of study however the meaning is generally accepted to be, whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved.

Jinn1.jpgThe “jinn” are a separate creation of Allah like the human beings and angels.  They can think like human beings and choose the path of good or evil, but, unlike human beings, the jinn are created from fire (Quran 15:27, 55:15).  Also, the jinn are generally invisible to human beings (Quran 7: 27) and have some special abilities that human beings simply do not have.

Believing in jinn is not optional.  Since they are mentioned in the Quran and in the Prophet’s Sunnah, a Muslim is required to believe in their existence and whatever information we find about them in the two Islamic sources. 

Life of the Jinn

The jinn live on earth like human beings do, but they are found more often in ruins and impure places like toilets and cemeteries.  They love to sit between the shade and sunlight.

All jinn are not equal.  Among them are good jinn and among them are evil ones.  Allah mentions in the Quran what the jinn said about themselves:

“There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary.  We follow divergent paths.” (Quran 72:11)

There are Muslim and non-Muslim jinn

“And among us are Muslims and among us are disbelievers (who have deviated from the Right Path).  And whosoever has embraced Islam, then such have sought the Right Path.” (Quran 72:14)

The jinn eat and drink, sometimes with us.  It is easy to keep them away from eating and drinking with us as we will learn later.   They also marry and have children.  Allah has mentioned the children of the jinn in the Quran, “...Will you then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me?...” (Quran 18:50)

Jinn do not live forever, they do die.  The Prophet used to say in one of his prayers, “I seek refuge with Your Glory, there is no true God other than You, the One Who never dies, and the humans and the jinn die.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

The jinn can take the shape of snakes, black cats, black dogs, and sometime they can assume human form. 

The jinn also have riding animals as mentioned in the Quran:

“And incite [to senselessness] whoever you can among them with your voice and assault them with your horses…” (Quran 17:64)

Abilities of the Jinn

Compared to human beings, the jinn have some special abilities. One, they can travel very fast.  Allah tells us in the Quran:

"lfreet of the jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you can rise from your place.  Surely, I am strong and trustworthy for such work.” (Quran 27:39)

They can reach the skies as they are quoted to say in the Quran:

“And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires.“ (Quran 72:8)

They can take different shapes as mentioned earlier.  The evil jinn – the devils – can possess the human body.  They can also whisper thoughts and influence human beings:

“From the evil of the whisperer (devil who whispers evil in the hearts of men) who withdraws (from his whispering in one’s heart after one remembers Allah).” (Quran 114:4)

Jinn’s Weaknesses

Even though the evil jinn – the devils – have special abilities, a believer is protected by Allah.  The devils cannot harm a righteous Muslim by Allah’s permission. 

“Surely, My (faithful) slaves - over them you have no power; and your Lord suffices as (their) guardian.” (Quran 17:65)

The following are some examples of their limited powers:

1.    They fear some believers. 

“Surely, My (faithful) slaves – over them you have no power, and your Lord suffices as (their) guardian.” (Quran 17:65)

“The believer emaciates his devil in the same way that one of you weakens his camel during travel.” (Musnad)

2.    The Prophet said that if we cover our plates and say ‘Bismillah,’ the devils cannot take off the cover.  Similarly, they cannot enter a house if we close the door saying ‘Bismillah.’

“If the man enters his house and mentions the name of Allah upon entering it and upon eating therein, Satan says, ‘There is no lodging for you here and no meal here.’ But if the man enters his house and neglects to mention the name of Allah upon entering it, Satan says, ‘I have found lodging for you.’ And if he does not mention Allah’s name upon eating his meal, Satan says, ‘I have found lodging and a meal.’ (Saheeh Muslim, Musnad)

3.    They can take different forms, but they can not take the form of Prophet Muhammad.  The Prophet said,

“Whoever sees me in a dream will have indeed seen me, for Satan cannot mimic my appearance.” Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Ibn Sirin said, ‘Only if he sees the Prophet in his (real) shape.’” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

4.    They cannot gather information from the sky since they are stopped from reaching that far, as Allah says:

“Indeed they have been removed far from even (a chance of) hearing it.” (Quran 26:212)

5.    Like human beings, the jinn were also challenged to produce something similar to the Quran, but they could not and will not be able to do it:

Say: “If the whole of mankind and jinn were to gather together to produce like of this Quran, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.” (Quran 17:88)

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