بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Most people think of jinns as paranormal creatures, very different from human beings. Common belief about jinns is that they can become invisible and attain any shape and form and even can get inside human bodies to possess them. They are free from material form and can fly in air or space. Their diet is different from humans, they eat bones and sweets. Their life span is different from human life span and a plethora of similar fantastic beliefs about jinns. The root word ج ن ن of ‘jinn’ imply meanings of ‘shielded’ or ‘covered’. In this post we will see what Quran tells us about jinns, and whether the concepts about jinns mentioned above are from Quran or are they from outside of Quran:
17:95 قُل لَّوْ كَانَ فِي الْأَرْضِ مَلَائِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ مَلَكًا رَّسُولًا
Say, “If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and tranquility, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger.”
The above ayat states a principle that messengers are sent in their kind to be an example for their kind. Ayat explains why a human messenger is sent on earth, because humans dwell on earth. Had the earth been inhabited by angels, then definitely an angel would have been sent to live among them and convey the message of God.
46:29-32 وَإِذْ صَرَفْنَا إِلَيْكَ نَفَرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ يَسْتَمِعُونَ الْقُرْآنَ فَلَمَّا حَضَرُوهُ قَالُوا أَنصِتُوا ۖ فَلَمَّا قُضِيَ وَلَّوْا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِم مُّنذِرِينَ قَالُوا يَا قَوْمَنَا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا كِتَابًا أُنزِلَ مِن بَعْدِ مُوسَىٰ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ وَإِلَىٰ طَرِيقٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ يَا قَوْمَنَا أَجِيبُوا دَاعِيَ اللَّهِ وَآمِنُوا بِهِ يَغْفِرْ لَكُم مِّن ذُنُوبِكُمْ وَيُجِرْكُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
And when We turned (O Prophet) towards you, a company from the jinns/the shielded ones, so that they hear the Quran. So when they were in it’s presence, they said “Listen quietly!” When it was completed they returned to their people as warners. They said O! Our people, we have heard a kitab/book revealed after Moosa/Moses confirming what is between his two hands, it guides towards the truth and the straight way. “O our people, respond to the one who invites (you) to Allah, and believe in him. He will forgive you your faults, and deliver you from a grievous penalty.
The above ayat states that a group of jinns, listened to Al-Quran and when they returned to their nation, they told them that they heard a book revealed after Moosa (a.s). It appears that this group of jinns used to believe in prophet Moosa (a.s).
72:1-4 قُلْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ اسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا يَهْدِي إِلَى الرُّشْدِ فَآمَنَّا بِهِ ۖ وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَا أَحَدًا وَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَىٰ جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَةً وَلَا وَلَدًا وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطًا
Say, It has been revealed to me that a company of jinns listened (to the Qur’an). They said, ‘We have really heard a wonderful recital! ‘It gives guidance towards righteousness, and thus we believed therein. We shall not join any with our Lord. ‘And exalted is the majesty of our Lord. He has taken neither a wife nor a son.’ ‘There were some foolish ones among us, who used to utter extravagant lies against Allah’
The above ayahs mention another group of jinns, who listened to Quran and they realized that it is a wonderful recital and it guides towards righteousness. It asks them to be pure monotheist as God does not have wife or a son. The fools of them used to attribute false things upon God. It appears that this group of jinns used to believe in Jesus as son of God, earlier.
From these two sets of ayahs it appears that jinns believe in human messengers. Is it not logical to deduce that if jinns were a different creature other than humans, there would be jinn messengers sent to them instead, as the principle in ayat 17:95 states? However what we see is that jinns believed in human messengers and more-over when they heard Al-Quran they believed in it as the way of guidance. Now we know that Al-Quran has all instructions for human beings e.g Salat, Zakat, Wadu, Haram/Halal food, and all do’s and don’ts and instructions for conducting life are for humans. For jinns to relate and believe in Quran, would strongly imply that they are not a structurally different creature than human beings.
55:14-15 خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ مِّن نَّارٍ
He created insan/human from sounding clay like pottery, and He created jinns from mixture of fire.
However we see that Quran mentions that Allah created ins/human from clay and jinns from mixture of fire. From above ayahs, it appears that physical creation wise they should be different from human beings. However, it may be possible that these ayahs are referring to their psychology and not their physical structure. Physically we don’t see any mud or clay in human bodies, similarly it could be that there is no fire in Jinn’s bodies and the ayat is actually referring fundamentally to their inherent nature or character traits rather than physical structure.
7:179 وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ
Many among the jinns and men we have made for hell. They have hearts with which they do not understand, eyes with which they do not see, and ears with which they donot hear. They are like cattle,- nay more misguided. for they are heedless (of warning).
The above ayat states that jinns like Ins (humans), have hearts, eyes and ears. So, physically they have organs and body parts like human beings. A strong indication that structurally humans and Jinns are not different.
114:4-6 مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَالنَّاسِ
From the mischief of the whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws. (The same) who whispers into the hearts of mankind,- among jinns and among people.
It is not only jinns who can do evil whisper in the hearts, but humans can do it too. So, in this regard both are same. Therefore, it is not a paranormal capability of jinns that they can go inside a human body. The jinns should be whispering in the hearts, in the same way as Ins/humans do.
15:26-27 وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ وَالْجَانَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ
We created insan/human from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape; and the jann, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind.
The above Ayas tells that jinns were created and therefore were existing before ins/humans.
7:11 وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ
And We created you all, then We gave you (all), your shapes; then We said to the angels to bow down to Adam, and they bowed down; except for Iblis; he was not to be of those who bowed down.
This ayat 7:11 informs that Allah has created us all and shaped us before he gave the order to angels to bow down to Adam. It appears that jinns and ins/humans were existing at the time when Allah breathed His spirit into Adam and after breathing His spirit asked angels to bow down to His spirit in Adam.
Of all the jinns and Ins, Allah chooses the one as his khalifa/vicegerent, who has the spirit/ruh of Allah in him. This khalifa/vicegerent with the spirit of Allah in him, does not cause blood shed and violence on earth. Those who do not understand true spirit of Allahs’ words, may understand instructions such as Qital/fighting to be physical fighting, and thereby assume that the khalifa will be doing wars and blood shed on earth. However, Allah dismisses these notions.
2:30 وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And when your Lord said to the angels. “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said. “Will You place therein one who will make violence therein and shed blood?- while we do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your Holyness?” He said. “I know what you know not.”
6:128 وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ قَدِ اسْتَكْثَرْتُم مِّنَ الْإِنسِ ۖ وَقَالَ أَوْلِيَاؤُهُم مِّنَ الْإِنسِ رَبَّنَا اسْتَمْتَعَ بَعْضُنَا بِبَعْضٍ وَبَلَغْنَا أَجَلَنَا الَّذِي أَجَّلْتَ لَنَا ۚ قَالَ النَّارُ مَثْوَاكُمْ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ
One day, He will gather them all together, (and say). “O you assembly of jinns! Much did you take of ins/humans.” Their friends amongst ins/humans will say. “Our Lord! we made advantage from each other and we reached our term – which You did appoint for us.” He will say. “The fire is your dwelling-place. you will dwell therein for ever, except as Allah wills.” for your Lord is full of wisdom and knowledge.
The jins and ins/humans, benefit with each other and jinns have taken a majority of the ins/humans. The traditional concept of jinns may not fit here, as we don’t see that most of the humans are possessed by jinns and we don’t see jinns and Ins corroborating and benefitting with each other on a mass scale. In fact majority of the people in the world have never seen a jinn in the traditional concept. So, jinns which Quran mentions here, should in all matters of form and structure, be like humans. It could be they may themselves not know that they are jinns. What we also observe is that the advanced nations of the world have subjugated the underdeveloped world by either colonization or by economic domination. Also, because of this domination, the advanced nations influence the less advanced world by their ideas and philosophies which are mostly atheistic or agnostic. So, it appears that Jinns, are that portion of developed and advanced nations of the world whose true personalities are hidden and whose secular ideas and philosophies have dominated over a majority portion of the people of the world. The hidden part is also implied from Ayat 53:32 which uses the work Ajinna for a child who is hidden in his mother’s womb.
6:130 يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي وَيُنذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَٰذَا ۚ قَالُوا شَهِدْنَا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِنَا ۖ وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ
“O assembly of jinns and humans! Didn’t messengers came to you from yourselves, relating on to you my ayahs/signs, and warning you of the meeting of this day of yours?” They would say. “We bear witness against ourselves.” It was the life of this world that deceived them. So against themselves will they bear witness that they were indeed kafreen/rejectors.
The above ayat addresses jinns and ins/humans and states that messengers have come amongst both. We saw in the first few sets of ayahs in the above post that jinns read the same Quran and believed in the messengers such as Moses and Jesus. Quran does not mention any jinn messengers. While this ayat states that the messengers came among themselves and related ayahs of Quran to them. While we don’t find any ayahs containing instructions of conducting life for paranormal invisible beings in Quran. This ayat supplements the concept that jinns are not supernatural, unseen creatures different from human beings.
72:4-7 وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطًا وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن تَقُولَ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ رِجَالٌ مِّنَ الْإِنسِ يَعُوذُونَ بِرِجَالٍ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَزَادُوهُمْ رَهَقًا وَأَنَّهُمْ ظَنُّوا كَمَا ظَنَنتُمْ أَن لَّن يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ أَحَدًا
(Jinns said) ‘There were some foolish ones among us, who used to utter extravagant lies against Allah.’ ‘And we used to assume that no human/ins or jinn would say any un-true thing about Allah’. And Indeed there are men among humans/ins who took shelter with men among the jinns, and they increased them in waywardness. ‘And they (came to) think as ye thought, that Allah would not raise up any one (to judgment).
The party of the jinns who believed in Quran after listening and pondering over it, further said that, in our group there were jinns who foolishly said un-true things about God, while we had assumed that no one would be deceiving in matters about God. (This is the same case we observe in people today).
It also appears that Jinns are more developed than humans in technology as the ayat further states that men from the human/ins group take shelter from men in jinn’s group. So, these men from human/ins group then grow more in waywardness. It could be that these men from Ins would copy men from jinn, and would adopt the ideas of the more technological advanced nations of jinns with inclination towards atheistic thoughts and general aversion towards religious beliefs such as the concept of God and afterlife.
72:8-9 وَأَنَّا لَمَسْنَا السَّمَاءَ فَوَجَدْنَاهَا مُلِئَتْ حَرَسًا شَدِيدًا وَشُهُبًا وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ ۖ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ الْآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا
‘And we pried into the sky; thus we found it filled with strong forces and fires. ‘We indeed, sat there in stations, for hearing; thus any who listens now finds a flaming fire following him.’
It is evident from above ayahs, that jinns are developed and technologically advanced nations. They have explored the skies and found it to be having strong forces and containing extreme heat and energy. The technological advanced nations send rockets and satellites in space. Any who goes in space has to use rockets which are followed by hot burning flames of fire.
72:10-16 وَأَنَّا لَا نَدْرِي أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ كُنَّا طَرَائِقَ قِدَدًا وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن نُّعْجِزَ اللَّهَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَن نُّعْجِزَهُ هَرَبًا وَأَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعْنَا الْهُدَىٰ آمَنَّا بِهِ ۖ فَمَن يُؤْمِن بِرَبِّهِ فَلَا يَخَافُ بَخْسًا وَلَا رَهَقًا وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ ۖ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَدًا وَأَمَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَكَانُوا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبًا وَأَن لَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاءً غَدَقًا
‘And we don’t know whether ill is intended to those on earth, or whether their Lord (really) intends to guide them to right conduct. ‘There are among us some that are righteous, and some to the contrary. We follow divergent paths. ‘But we think that we can by no means frustrate Allah throughout the earth, nor can we frustrate Him by flight. ‘And as for us, since we have listened to the guidance, we have accepted it. and any who believes in his Lord has no fear, either of a short (account) or of any injustice. ‘Amongst us are some that submit their wills (to Allah), and some that swerve from justice. Now those who submit their wills – they have sought out (the path) of right conduct. ‘But those who swerve,- they are (but) fuel for hell-fire’- (and Allah’s message is). “If they had (only) remained on the (right) way, We should certainly have given them water in abundance to drink“
So the group of jinns who accepted the message after listening it, continued their speech; that previously without divine knowledge they did not know actually what the worldly life is about? Among the developed nations people are allowed to follow different paths. However, with increasing advanced knowledge about the Universe, they realized that there is no way that this grand scheme of the Universe can be defeated and escaped from. And when they listened to the message of guidance from the Lord they believed in it that whoever believes in this message of the Lord and corrects his conduct will be led to the right path. Also please note in above Ayahs, water is mentioned as a bounty for jinns
55:10-13 وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ وَالنَّخْلُ ذَاتُ الْأَكْمَامِ وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ وَالرَّيْحَانُ فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
It is He Who formed the earth for (His) creatures. Therein are fruits and date-palms, producing sheathed clusters. Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants. Then which of the favours of your Lord will you two (kinns and ins) deny?
In sura Rahman the Lord says that Allah made the earth, provided fruits, dates, sweet smelling flowers and crops in it. These are blessings for both jinn and ins. A lot of blessings are mentioned in this sura with a question that which of the blessings you two (jinns and ins) will deny? While we can relate these blessing to humans, we can not relate all these blessings to a non human, non physical mythical creature of Jinn. So, this sura also supports that jinns are no different than ins/human in physical structure.
37:158 وَجَعَلُوا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجِنَّةِ نَسَبًا ۚ وَلَقَدْ عَلِمَتِ الْجِنَّةُ إِنَّهُمْ لَمُحْضَرُونَ
And they have invented a relationship between Him and the jinns. but the jinns know (quite well) that they have indeed to appear (for judgment)!
While we don’t know of any one making relationship of God with jinns as supernatural non-human beings, however, some royalties were thought to be related to gods, such as Japanese royal family and early Egyptian royals.
55:33 يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ
O you assembly of jinns and ins/humans! If it be that you have the capacity to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass! not without authority shall you be able to pass!
Escape velocity which is the speed required to escape earth’s gravitational pull, is applicable to both Jinns and Ins. Does not make jinns any different than Ins/humans in physical characteristics. Also, as earth gravitation pull is much less than black holes, therefore light and energy don’t have any problem in escaping from the earth atmosphere. It implies that jinns would be possessing mass to feel the gravitational pull on them.
41:29 وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا رَبَّنَا أَرِنَا اللَّذَيْنِ أَضَلَّانَا مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ نَجْعَلْهُمَا تَحْتَ أَقْدَامِنَا لِيَكُونَا مِنَ الْأَسْفَلِينَ
And the rejectors will say. “Our Lord! show us those, among jinns and men, who misled us. We shall crush them beneath our feet, so that they become the vilest (before all).”
On the day of judgment the rejectors will be asking God to show them the jinns and ins who have caused them to be misled. We do see that from developed nations there comes a lot of philosophical and atheistic ideas denying existence of God. These ideas are causing a major portion of people therein to stay away from believing in God and hereafter. These ideas from developed nations are imported to all over the world. Otherwise we don’t see in common observation any mythical jinn creature misguiding people from path of Allah.
34:40-41 وَيَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ يَقُولُ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ أَهَٰؤُلَاءِ إِيَّاكُمْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِن دُونِهِم ۖ بَلْ كَانُوا يَعْبُدُونَ الْجِنَّ ۖ أَكْثَرُهُم بِهِم مُّؤْمِنُونَ
And the day He will gather them all together, and say to the angels, “Was it you that these men used to serve? They will say, “Glory to You! You are our protector not them. Nay, but they served the jinns, most of them believed in them.”
We don’t have accounts of any nation worshipping/serving the mythical jinn creatures. However, definition of jinns as technologically advanced, developed nations can fit here. As most of the people in modern world serve and believe in secular ideas and philosophies emanating from them.
Jinns and Shiateen with prophet Suleiman (a.s)
The description of reign of king Suleiman (a.s) appears to be the description of an advanced era. For better understanding, lets consider that era similar to modern times in order to relate to these ayahs better:
34:12 وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ غُدُوُّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْرٌ ۖ وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ ۖ وَمِنَ الْجِنِّ مَن يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ۖ وَمَن يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ
And to Suleiman (We made) the wind (obedient). Its early morning (stride) was a month’s (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month’s (journey); and We made stream of copper flow for him; and there were jinns that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from our command, We made him taste the penalty of the blazing fire.
In Suleiman’s reign we can relate to air travel, which made journeys which in earlier times could take months to complete, now can be done in matter of hours. The flow of stream of copper means flow of electrons in copper wires i.e electricity was available to him. And jinns i.e the technological advanced nations were working for him with the leave of Allah. If any of these jinns would try to evade Allah’s orders, he would face punishment.
34:13 يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِن مَّحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ ۚ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ
They worked for him as he desired, in architectural construction, entertainment industry, big boilers, and proportioned templates. “Keep on working, people of David, with thanks! but few of My servants are grateful!”
So these jinns, the developed and technological advanced people worked in constructions, industries, entertainment and innovations. Allah asks them to keep on working and be thankful to the resultant blessings. There is a warning also, that sooner or later when they will become un-thankful then these blessing would be taken away.
34:14 فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَوْتَ مَا دَلَّهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَوْتِهِ إِلَّا دَابَّةُ الْأَرْضِ تَأْكُلُ مِنسَأَتَهُ ۖ فَلَمَّا خَرَّ تَبَيَّنَتِ الْجِنُّ أَن لَّوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ الْغَيْبَ مَا لَبِثُوا فِي الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ
Then, when We decreed (Sulieman’s) death, nothing showed them his death except for a creature of earth, who was eating away at his stick/life span. Thus when he fell, it became clear to the jinns, that if they had knowledge of the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating penalty.
The jinns, the technologically advanced people take pride in their knowledge. They feel proud to have mastered most of the knowledge of the world. For things that cannot be seen they have developed scientific theories for explanation of these phenomena. Some of them drift towards atheism thinking that belief in God is a silly thing while our knowledge encompasses a lot. However, even with all the advanced knowledge available to them, they still lack basic facts of life and will never be able to comprehend and master life and death. They will always be captives to the rigors and vicissitudes of the worldly life. Can they tell what is that essence when it leaves the body, a fully functional body alive a moment ago, becomes dead while all the organs and ingredients are still intact in the body? The word ‘Minsat’ i.e the staff/stick, in this ayat denotes his lifespan. Prophet Suleiman’s life-span like everybody else, was being eaten away by creature of earth (bacteria/virus or natural progression towards death of any living being on earth), however the Jinns who are quite knowledgeable and capable otherwise, don’t have knowledge about essence of life and death? These mysteries of life will still remain despite advancement in knowledge.
Traditional concept associated with the ayat 34:14 is that king Suleiman died while leaning on his stick and did not fall until the stick was eaten away by a worm which must be substantial amount of time. When the stick gave way, only then he fell. Till that time nobody knew that he was dead. This concept is ridiculous as a dead man can not lean on a stick after his death, the body will definitely fall right away. Also, in addition to the jinns the king must have his family who cannot remain oblivion to him standing at one place for weeks without eating and drinking and coming to them. Also, a king has a lot of state duties which cannot allow the king to refrain from attending to the affairs of the state even for a short duration without raising concerns of the attendants and Government agencies.
27:16 وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَانُ دَاوُودَ ۖ وَقَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ الطَّيْرِ وَأُوتِينَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِينُ
And Suleiman inherited from David/Daud. He said. “O people! We have been taught the logic of flying, we have been given from all things (blessings). this is indeed a manifest grace (from Allah.)”
The technology of air travel and many of the blessings were bestowed on Suleiman (a.s)
27:17 وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ
And presented to Sulieman were armies of jinns and ins/people and fliers, and they were all kept in order
Suleiman’s reign was on both technological advanced nations of jinns, and on under-developed nations of ins /people and had an air force available to him.
27:39 قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن تَقُومَ مِن مَّقَامِكَ ۖ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ
One of the powerful jinn said. “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. indeed I am powerful and trustworthy.
When Suleiman (a.s) asked his councilors who can bring him the throne of queen of Saba, a very resourceful member of the technological advanced nation of jinns said that he can bring it to him in a matter of hours. Probably he intended to bring it with the help of fast air travel.
27:40 قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِندَهُ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ ۖ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
Said one who had knowledge of the book. “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Suleiman) saw it placed firmly before him, he said. “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own self; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs and is Gracious !”
There was another one in the council with knowledge of the book. With this knowledge this councilor was able to show to Suleiman what he was asking in a matter of seconds. In today’s world that is something which can be accomplished with the help of Internet and hologram.
38:75-76 قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ ۖ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
He (Allah) said: O’ Iblees, what prevented you to prostrate for what I have created with my hands. Did you seek greatness or are you from the higher class? He(Iblees) said. “I am better than him. You have created me from fire, and created him from clay.”
The rejectors/Kafirs among the Jinns are termed as ‘Shiateen’. They are also racist as they discriminate in creations of Allah on self made criteria (e.g fire is better than water or red color is better than black color) minus-ing the ‘Spirit’ of Allah in their comparisons.
So in below Ayat it is mentioned that Shiateen (of the Jinns) were in tethers in the reign of King Sulieman. The tethers may not mean actual physical tethers, they could be social and legal taboos not allowing those satans of jinns to show their racism and disdain for humanity per law of the land and if any satan Jinn would disobey and show public racism, he would have faced punishment.
38:37-38 وَالشَّيَاطِينَ كُلَّ بَنَّاءٍ وَغَوَّاصٍ وَآخَرِينَ مُقَرَّنِينَ فِي الْأَصْفَادِ
(Submitting to Suleiman were) also the mischievous ones, (including) every kind of builder and diver,- As also others bound in fetters.
While the resourceful Jinn mentioned in 27:39 was trustworthy, Suleiman (a.s), in his reign and control had mischievous ones termed as satans also, who did construction work and diving (diving could be in water and in space). They were however strictly controlled by Suleiman (a.s) and were bound by social and legal taboos as not to show publicly their mischievous characters and racism.
6:112 وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
“And likewise ,We have made for every Prophet the satans of mankind and the satans of jinn, an enemy. They inspire golden words on one another, for the purpose of delusion, and if your Lord had willed they would have not done it, so leave them and what they invent.”
The satan jinns and ins, have great fascination with golden words/zukhruf al Qaul/Aqwale Zareen. They spend much effort in collection, remembrance, authentication of the same and inspire each other with them.
Most of the concepts prevalent about jinns are not found in Quran. They are out of Quran which people know from hearsay and other books. When people read the word ‘jinn’ in Quran they automatically assume the conceptual creature they already know from previous knowledge. However, Quran does not mention jinns to be invisible creatures, that they can change shapes and forms, that they can get inside human bodies, that they eat bones and sweets, that they dwell in isolated places etc. Quran do mention that jinns have hearts, ears and eyes, that they believe in human messengers, that when they hear Quran they can relate to it, that messengers were sent amongst them, that they do physical work, art work, construction work etc. They travel in air and space with a blazing fire trailing them probably with the help of some equipment which burns fuel. All the blessings mentioned in Sura Rahman are for both jinns and ins. That they are answerable and will be judged for their deeds as are humans. They can relate to Quran as guidance while Quran has all the instructions for humans such as salat, zakat, wadu, eating, behavior, living etc. They are created as humans to serve Allah (56:51) and to serve Allah, they as well as humans have to serve according to instructions given in Quran. We don’t find any instructions for paranormal creatures which are normally believed to be ‘jinns’ in Quran, therefore this becomes the most convincing point towards the assumption that jinns are in all form and matter like human beings and are not the mythical, invisible creatures people usually think they are. Except for the Ayat which says that jinns are created from fire and humans from clay. However, considering other ayahs about Jinns, it is more likely that this Ayat is referring to their character traits rather than physical structure. Considering all of the above, Jinns are likely to be that portion of technologically advanced, developed nations of this world who hide their true personalities/psychology.
The other paranormal creatures may exist in the world which people know as aliens, spirits, demons, devils etc. Few people relate their experiences with these paranormal creatures as well. However, they are not the ‘jinns’ which the Quran describes. The ‘jinns’ which Quran describes are those whose traits and description is given in Quran.
Root word of jinn is ج ن ن. This root has meanings in the sense of veiled/concealed/covered/hidden/protected, invisible, become dark/posessed, darkness of night, bereft of reason, mad/insane/unsound in mind/intellect, confusedness. Become thick/full-grown/blossom, herbage, garden. Spiritual beings that conceal themselves from the senses (including angels), people who are peerless having no match or equal, a being who is highly potent, sometimes refers to kings because they are concealed from the common folk.
Was Iblis a Jinn or Angel?
2:34 وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ
And when, We said to the angels. “Bow down to Adam” and they all bowed down except for Iblis, he refused and was arrogant. He was from the kafireen/rejecters.
Allah ordered the angels to bow down to Adam so they all bowed down except for Iblis. The order to bow down was to angels and they all did so except for one of them who was Iblis. After that he was termed as a rejecter.
18:50 وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ….
And when! We said to the angels, “Bow down for Adam:” they bowed down except Iblis. He was/became from the jinns…..
So Iblis, after he disobeyed the order of the Lord he was termed as rejecter in 2:34 and a jinn in 18:50. He is termed a Jinn, because he hides his true personality of being an enemy to man and poses himself as his well wisher while suggesting evil to man.
The plural form Shiateen/satans refers to the tribe of Satan, i.e his like minded people. Satan took pride on a self made criteria i.e on appearance only of fire being superior to mud. On that self made criterial he thought himself superior to others. The tribe of satans similarly are those racists who take pride and think themselves of being a superior race.
Why jinns mentioned particularly with Suleiman (a.s)?
The mentions of jinns is particularly detailed with the reign of Suleiman (a.s) in Quran. It appears the reign of Suleiman (a.s) is a technologically advanced era, where the advancement in technology happened e.g electricity, air travel, industries, space age, entertainment industry, constructions, innovations etc. Before the era of Suleiman the world may not have seen a clear rise in the number of advanced nations, so we find most mention of jinns in Quran associated with the era of Suleiman (a.s).
A characteristic of advanced nations is to be politically correct even if they have to hide their true feelings about the issue. In some languages a phrase is used e.g he works like a Jinn, meaning, he works tirelessly and able to accomplish a lot more work than normally expected of a person.
As per Quran, Suleiman (a.s) has been granted a kingdom, the grandeur of which cannot be surpassed in present or future. No ruins of any ancient city gives indications of high-rise buildings which we see in present day mega cities, therefore no ancient city that we know today can be a candidate of the kingdom of Suleiman (a.s). A city representing king Suleiman’s kingdom, will have such grandeur which will be unsurpassable in all times to come (38:35).
38:35 قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لَّا يَنبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِّن بَعْدِي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
He (Suleiman) said, “O my Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom (likes of ) which is not attained by any one after me; for You are the grantor of bounties.
Another point to note is that no history book accounts for traditional mythical creatures of jinns working on a major scale in any era of time. If in such a grand kingdom, jinns worked on a large scale and were part of the state army as well, there has to be interaction of this kingdom with the rest of the world and then there should be accounts of them in other people history. The lack of such accounts reinforces the concept that jinns are not mythical supernatural creatures.
The Era of Suliman A.S could be a representative of the Modern world era. Quran mentions era of Prophet Noah comprising 950 years. Please see previous post ‘Age of prophet Noah’ for detail.