Invisible dimension of existence: jinn
Posted December 16, 2011on:
The Characteristics of Jinn
Jinn are conscious beings charged with Divine obligations. The word jinn literally means something hidden or veiled from sight. As mentioned earlier, jinns are a species of invisible beings. A short Qur’anic chapter is named for them, and in it we learn that a band of jinn listened to Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, and some became believers: Say:
“It has been revealed to me that a company of the jinn gave ear, and they said: ‘We have heard a wonderful Qur’an, which guides to righteousness, so we believe in it and we shall not join (in belief and worship) any (Gods) with our Allah. And (we believe) that He-exalted be the glory of our Allah-has taken neither wife nor son …. Among us there are righteous folk and among us there are far from that. We are sects having different rules.,” (72:1-2, 11)
From this, we understand that jinn are conscious beings charged with Divine obligations.
Recent discoveries in biology make it clear that Allah created beings particular to each realm in the universe. Jinn might have been created while the Earth was still a body of some sort of fire. They were created before Adam and Eve, and were responsible for cultivating and improving the world. Although Allah later superseded them with us, He did not exempt them from religious obligations.
Jinn are created from smokeless fire
The Qur’an states that jinn are created from smokeless fire (55:15). In another verse, it clarifies that this fire is scorching and penetrates as deep as the inner part of the body (15:27).
Jinn, like angels, are not bound by the constraints of time and space within which we move
Like angels, jinn move extremely fast and are not bound by the time and space constraints within which we normally move. However, since the spirit is more active and faster than jinn, a person who lives at the level of the spirit’s life and who can transcend what we know as limits of matter and the confines of time and space, can be quicker and more active than them. For example, the Qur’an relates that when Prophet Solomon asked those around him who could bring the throne of the Queen of Saba’ (Yemen), one jinn answered that he could bring it before the meeting ended and Prophet Solomon stood up. However, a man with a special knowledge from Allah replied: “I can bring it to you quicker than the blink of an eye,” and he did so (27:38-40).
Jinn can do more difficult things than human beings
Nothing is difficult for Allah Almighty. It is as easy for Him to create the universe as it is for Him to create a tiny particle. He has provided human beings, jinn, and angels with the power and strength appropriate for their functions or duties. As He uses angels to supervise the movements of celestial bodies, He allows humanity to rule the Earth, dominate matter, build civilizations, and produce technology.
Power and strength are not limited to the physical world, nor are they proportional to bodily size. We see that immaterial things are far more powerful than huge physical entities. For example, our memory is far more spacious and comprehensive than a large room. Our hands can touch a very near object, but our eyes can travel long distances in an instant, and our imagination can transcend time and space all at once. Winds can uproot trees and demolish large buildings. A young, thin plant shoot can split rocks and reach the sunlight. The power of energy, whose existence is known through its effect, is apparent to everybody. All of this shows that something’s power is not proportional to its physical size; rather the immaterial world dominates the physical world, and immaterial entities are far more powerful than material ones.
Appearance Of Angels And Jinn In This World
Angels and jinn can assume a form and appear in this world in the shape of any being. Here, we observe movement from the visible to the invisible: water evaporates disappears into the atmosphere, solid matter becomes a liquid or a gas (steam), and matter becomes energy (nuclear fission). Likewise, we observe movement from the invisible to the visible: gases become fluids, evaporated water becomes rain (as well as snow or hail), and energy becomes matter. Similarly, intangible thoughts and meanings in our minds can appear in the tangible form of letters and words in essays and books.
In an analogous way, such invisible beings as angels, jinn, and other spirit entities are clothed in some material substance, such as air or ether, and then become visible. According to Imam Shibli, if Allah wills, He allows them to assume a form when they utter any of His Names, for this functions like a key or a visa enabling them to assume a form and become visible in this world. If they try to do so without Allah permission, by relying on their own abilities, they are torn into pieces and perish.
We read in Qur’an 19:17 that the spirit Allah sent to Mary (the mother of Jesus), and whom Muslim scholars say is the Archangel Gabriel, appeared before her as a man. When Gabriel came to Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, with Revelation or Allah Messages, he rarely appeared in his original form. Rather, he usually came as a warrior, a traveler, or a Companion named Dihya. For example, he came as a warrior on horseback following the end of the Battle of the Trench and told the Prophet, upon him be peace: “O Messenger of Allah, you have taken off your armor but we, the angels, have not yet done so. Allah orders you to march upon the Banu Qurayza.” Once he came as a traveler dressed in white and, in order to instruct the Companions in religion, asked the Prophet such questions as: What is belief? What is Islam? What is ihsan (excellence or perfection of virtue)? When is the Day of Judgment?
Like angels and jinn, Satan (who belongs to the jinn) also can appear in different forms. It is narrated that before the Battle of Badr, he appeared to the leaders of the Quraysh as an old man from Najd and gave them some advice. Likewise, a Companion guarding the spoils of war caught a disguised Satan trying to steal some of the booty (most probably to lead other Companions to suspect that Companion). He entreated the Companion to release him, which he did-twice. On the third time, the Companion tried to take him to Allah Messenger. But Satan appealed: “Release me, and I will tell you how you can secure yourself against me.” The Companion asked what that was, and Satan replied that it was the Verse of the Throne (2:255). When informed of the event, Allah
’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, commented: “That wicked one is a liar, but on that occasion he told the truth.”
The Qur’an relates that a group of jinn listened to Allah Messenger reciting the Qur’an and, when they returned to their people, said: “O people! Surely we listened to a Book that has been revealed after Moses, affirms what precedes it, and guides to right and the Straight Path” (46:30). The sura continues with what they thought about what they had heard. There are also Traditions that tell us that the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, recited parts of the Qur’an and preached his Message to the jinn.
Jinn can also appear as snakes, scorpions, cattle, donkeys, birds, and other animals. When our Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, took the oath of allegiance from them in the valley of Batn al-Nakhla, he wanted them to appear to his community either in their own form or in other agreeable forms, not in the forms of such harmful animals as dogs and scorpions. He warned his community: When you see any vermin in your house, tell it three times: “For Allah sake, leave this place,” for it may be a friendly jinn. If it does not leave, it is not a jinn. If it is harmful, you may kill it.
The jinn who gave allegiance to Allah Messenger promised him: “If your community recites the basmala (In the Name of Allah
, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate) before anything they do and cover their dishes, we will not touch their food or their drink.” Another Tradition says: [When you have relieved yourselves] do not clean yourselves with bones and dried pieces of dung, for they are among the foods of your jinn brothers.
Contact With Jinn And Their Influence On Human Beings
Some people have an innate ability to go into trance and contact beings from the invisible realms of existence. However, it should not be forgotten that whether these are angels or jinn, invisible beings have their own conditions of life and are bound to certain limits and principles. For this reason, one who gets in touch with jinn should be careful, for one may easily fall under their influence and become their plaything.
Some assert that the Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839-1908) of Qadiyan (India), fell victim to such tricks of jinn. He attempted to serve Islam by struggling against Hindu Yogism through the way of Fakirism, but evil spirits got control of him. First they whispered to him that he was a reviver (of religion), then that he was the Mahdi (Messiah), and when he was finally under their influence and control, told him to proclaim that he was an incarnation of Allah.
Sins and uncleanliness invite the influence of evil spirits and unbelieving jinns. People of a susceptible nature, those who tend to be melancholy, and those who lead a dissipated and undisciplined life are their primary targets. Evil spirits usually reside in places for dumping garbage or other dirty places, public baths, and bathrooms.
Do jinn cause certain illnesses?
Jinn can penetrate a body even deeper than X-rays. They can reach into a being’s veins and the central points of the brain. They seem to be like lasers, which are used in everything from computers to nuclear weaponry, from medicine to communication and police investigations, and to removing obstructions in our veins and arteries. So, when we consider that Satan and all jinn are created from smokeless fire that penetrates deep into the body, like radiation or radioactive energy, we can understand the meaning of the Prophetic Tradition: Satan moves where the blood moves.
Jinn can harm the body and cause physical and psychological illnesses. It might be a good idea for medical authorities to consider whether jinn cause certain types of cancer, since cancer is an unordered and diseased growth in the body that we describe as a kind of cellular anarchy. Maybe some jinn have settled in that part of the body and are destroying its cellular structure.
Although science does not yet accept the existence of invisible beings and restricts itself to the material world, we think it is worth considering the possibility that evil spirits play some part in such mental illnesses as schizophrenia. We constantly hear of cases that those who suffer from mental illness, epilepsy, or even cancer recover by reciting certain prayers. Such cases are serious and significant, and should not be denied or dismissed by attributing them to “suggestion” or “auto-suggestion.” When science breaks the thick shell in which it has confined itself and accepts the existence of the metaphysical realm and the influence of metaphysical forces, it practitioners will be able to remove many obstructions, make far greater advances, and make fewer mistakes.
The Employment Of Jinn In Different Tasks
Today, the doors to the metaphysical worlds are only slightly ajar. We are barely at the beginning of contact with jinn and devils. However, one day we will feel constrained to enter these worlds to solve many of their problems pertaining to this world.
The Qur’an states that Allah bestowed upon the House of Abraham the Scripture, Wisdom, and a mighty kingdom (4:54). This mighty kingdom manifested itself most brilliantly through the Prophets David and Solomon, upon them be peace. Prophet Solomon ruled not only a part of humanity, but also jinn and devils, birds and winds: Allah subdued unto him devils, some of whom dove for pearls and did other work (21:82). Solomon had armies of jinn and birds, and he employed jinn in many jobs: They made for him what he willed: synagogues, fortresses, basins like wells and boilers built into the ground (34:13); and Wind was also subdued to him; its morning course was a month’s journey and the evening course also a month’s journey (34:12). As pointed out earlier, the throne of the Queen of Saba’ was carried from Yemen to Jerusalem in the twinkling of an eye (27:40).
The verses relating to Solomon’s kingdom point to the final limit of humanity’s use of jinn and devils. These also suggest that a day will come when we can use them in many jobs, especially in communication. It is quite probable that they also will be employed in security affairs, mining and metal-work, even in space studies and historical research. Since jinn can live about 1,000 years, they may be useful in establishing historical facts.