Jinns, Demons and Satan | Islam
Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, I will be putting everything “under the cut” so those who do not wish to read it, will not have too. I would like to say that I am not a scholar or anything. I am simply a student of Islam that has gathered knowledge from various sources (which will be cited) in order to present to those who wish to learn. If I have made a mistake, please inform me so I can make a correction.
I have included various sources at the bottom of the post, if I have not answered your question, then please try to refer to one of them. If you cannot find an answer, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Notes: In parts of this post, Shaytan is referred in the singular (Satan or Iblis) and as plural (Demons/Evil Jinns) depending on the context.
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Many people, past and present have disagreed about the existence of the jinn. Some completely reject their existence, whereas some claim that what is meant by the jinn are the evil inclinations and tendencies of the corrupt human soul.
Who are the Jinn?
The jinn (also spelled djinn), or genies, are spirits mentioned in the Qurʾān and Islamic theology who inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the jinn, humans and angels make up the three sentient creations of God. Like human beings, the jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent. The jinn are mentioned frequently in the Qurʾan, and the 72nd surah is entitled Sūrat al-Jinn.
The root meaning of the word Jinn is something hidden or which cannot be seen. The existence of the Jinn is firmly established by the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah and the consensus of the Scholars (Ijma’) It suffices to say that the word Jinn and its derivatives occur more than 29 times in the Qur’an. A related word “shaytan” and its plural “shaytana” together occur more than 80 times.
The reality, which we have to affirm, is that the Jinn live in an established world unseen to us. They eat and drink, and procreate. Similar to Humans, some are righteous while others are not.
The Qurʾan also mentions that Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a prophet to both “humanity and the jinn,” and that prophets and messengers were sent to both communities.
Similar to humans, jinn have free will allowing them to do as they choose (such as follow any religion). They are usually invisible to humans, and humans do not appear clearly to them. Jinn have the power to travel large distances at extreme speeds and are thought to live in remote areas, mountains, seas, trees, and the air, in their own communities. Like humans, jinn will also be judged on the Day of Judgment and will be sent to Paradise or Hell according to their deeds.
From what are the Jinn created?
The Jinn were created before the creation of mankind. Their origin is from fire. The Qur’an verified these facts in Surah Al-Hijr:
"And verily, We created mankind from sounding clay of altered smooth mud and the jinn We created from smokeless fire." [Qur’an 15:26-27]
Smokeless Fire means the tips of flames as Ibn Abbas, Mujiadhi and others have reported. One version says it means the purest and best of the sire. An-Nawawi says that smokeless fire is the flames mixed with the blackness of fire.
God informs us that the jinn are created from fire and also informs us that flames harm and burn them but how can fire burn fire? The answer to that is that God has related the shaytans (demons) and jinn to fire in the same way man is related to earth, clay and mud. What is meant by that in respect of man is that his origin is mud, not that he actually is mud. In the same way that jinn are fire in their origin.
The Types of Jinn
There are three types of Jinn as stated in the hadith of the Prophet Muhamamd (PBUH), in which he says.
"There are 3 types of Jinn; One type flies through the air, another type consists of snakes and dogs. A third is based in one place but travels about."
[Tabarani and Buhaqi]
In the One Thousand and One Nights are depicted several types of jinn that coexist and interact with humans: šayṭān, the ghūl, the marīd, the ‘ifrīt, and the angels. The One Thousand and One Nights seems to present ‘ifrits as the most massive and strongest forms of jinn, and marids are a type of jinn associated with seas and oceans.
Three classifications of Jinns:
- Amir: (Resident Jinn) used to mean that he is one of those who lives with people.
- Shaytan: Used for a Jinni who is malicious and has become wicked.
- Ifrit: Used for a Jinni who is stronger and more powerful than a Shaytan.
Do Jinns have bodies?
Those who acknowledge the existence of the jinn disagree aon this point and there are two positions about it. One grop says that the jinn do not have bodies of their own nor do they inhabit bodies and that they exist indepentandly.
The other group says that the jinn do have bodies, but those who say this have a further disagreement. Some say that they have definite bodies and personal forms and that it is quite possible that these bodies have some denisity.
Others say that their bodies are so subtle that our naked eyes are too wea to see them. That is the only reason we cannot see them.
Do the Jinn have the power to take on forms?
The jinn possess a great power to take on forms and change shape. They can take on the form of snakes and scorpions, the form of horses, cattle, camels and sheep and the form of birds. Indeed they have the power to appear in human form.
It is reported that Shaytan took on the form of an old man of Najd when the Quryash gathered in the Da al-Nadwa to discuss Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and whether they should kill him, imprison him or expel him. Shaytan suggested that they should kill him.
Abu Sa’id Khudri reported God’s Messenger having said:
There is a group of jinns in Medina who accepted Islam, so he who would see anything from these occupants should warn him three times; and if he appears after that, he should kill him for he is a satan.
(Muslim: Book #026, Hadith #5559)
In the following verse, the Qurʾan rejects the worship of jinn and stresses that only God should be worshiped:
“Yet, they join the jinn as partners in worship with God, though He has created them (the jinn), and they attribute falsely without knowledge sons and daughters to Him. Be He glorified and exalted above (all) that they attribute to Him.”
Do the Jinn feel envy? Can they harm us?
Yes. There are two sorts of evil eye – human and that of the jinn.
The evil eye from mankind is confirmed in many narrations, as Abu Sated (RA) said the Prophet (PBUH) said to seek refuge from jinn’s and the evil eye from mankind. (At-tirmidhi, 2058)
As for evil eye from jinn’s, it has been narrated by Umm Salamah (RA) that the Prophet (PBUH) saw in her house a slave girl and in her face was sa faa’ah. upon which the Prophet (PBUH) aid: ” Seek Ruqyah for her, for verily she is afflicted with a look (evil eye).” (Al-Bukhari, 5739)
The scholars have said “As-sa-faa’ah” is the evil eye from Jinn’s.
Can Jinn Marry and have children?
Yes, the jinn marry and have children.
“The jinn have children in the same way that the sons of Adam have children, but theirs are more in number”
This hadith was related by ibn Abu Haatim and Abu al-Shaikh in al-Udhma, on the authority of Qataada. (x)
Can Jinn and Humans Inter-marry?
Yes and no. It depends upon how one looks at it. It is a known fact in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Israa’ (17:64) that jinn may share with us our wealth and our children. The Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) reconfirms this concept when he says that when a man has marital relationship with his wife, he should mention the name of God. He should seek refuge in God from the outcast Satan. Otherwise, Satan folds himself up in the man’s urethra and shall have sexual relations along with him.
Despite the great number of reports that indicate that intercourse between humans and jinn does take place, some people maintain that since jinn are from the element of fire and humans are from the earth (clay, mud), the element of fire prevents human sperm from being in the womb of a female jinn since sperm is west and the fiery heat is too intense for it.
The answer to this objection is that the jinn were created from fire but they no longer have their fiery nature. They have been transformed by it from eating, drinking and procreation, just as the sons of Adam have been transformed from their earthly element in the same way.
Do the Jinn eat and drink?
The jinn eat and drink.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
That once he was in the, company of the Prophet carrying a water pot for his ablution and for cleaning his private parts. While he was following him carrying it (i.e. the pot), The Prophet said, “Bring me stones in order to clean my private parts, and do not bring any bones or animal dung.”
"What about the bone and the animal dung?" He said, "They are of the food of Jinns. The delegate of Jinns of (the city of) Nasibin came to me—and how nice those Jinns were—and asked me for the remains of the human food. I invoked God for them that they would never pass by a bone or animal dung but find food on them."
Bukhari Volume 5, Book 58, Number 200
The believing jinn may eat any bone on which the name of God has been mentioned, because the Messenger did not permit them to have anything on which God’s name has not been mentioned - those are for the disbelievers among the jinn.
The Homes and the Haunts of the Jinn
The jinn live all over the earth, although they are found mostly in deserts, ruins, trees and places of impurity like dunghills, bathrooms and graveyards.
They are frequently found in places where they can cause a lot of mischief and corruption, for example like markets. That is why the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave some advice to one of the Companions, saying,
“If possible, do not be the first to enter the market nor the last to leave it. It is the batte-ground of the Shaytan and he raises his banner there.”
Shaytan/Jinn also dwell in the houses of humans. Saying, “In the Name of God” expels them and drives them off.
Why do Jinn and Shaytans obey charms and talismans?
The unbelieving jinn and shaytans among them choose the path of misguidance, and of coughing error and wrong actions. Iblis (Satan) and his armies desire evil and plot with it and seek it out.
If the nature or temperament of a man is corrupt, then he desires what will harm him. Shaytan (Satan) has a corrupt soul. When someone draws near him through charms, oaths and books of spiritual magic that contain what he loves of disbelief and associating partners and things with God (shirk), it is like a bribe to him, and therefore he carries out some of man’s desires.
Do animals see Jinns?
Yes. Animals do see Angels, Jinns and Shaytan.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, “When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for God’s Blessings for (their crowing indicates that) they have seen an angel. And when you hear the braying of donkeys, seek Refuge with God from Satan for (their braying indicates) that they have seen a Satan.”
(Book #54, Hadith #522)
Who is Iblis?
Iblis is the Jinn who disobeyed God’s command to prostrate to Adam (AS), and was consequently expelled from Heaven. God had promised him eternal Hell, but he had asked God to give him time before going to Hell to win over Adam’s descendants as their followers. God had granted him time, and Iblis has worked towards the destruction of mankind ever since. Shaytan is the term used to refer to Iblis and other disbelieving Jinn.
Iblis has his throne in the sea, and he sends out his dispatchments of shaytan to aggravate people. The dearest of them to him is the one who causes the most fitna (tribulation).
The Actions which Iblis did before the sons of Adam (Man)?
- Al-Baghawi mentions that Iblis was the first to wail.
- Al-Hasan al Basri said that Iblis made analogies and the sun and moon were worshipped by way of analogies.
- This means that Iblis looked at himself and made a comparison between himself and Adam and thought that he was nobler than Adam. Therefore he refused to prostrate although he and all the angels have been commanded to do so.
- Jabir related in a marfu’ hadith that he was the first to sing.
- Ibn Abi Shayba related that Maymum b. Mahran said, “I asked Ibn Umar: Who was the first to call “Isha” (evening) “Utama” (darkness)?, He replied: “Shaytan.
Shaytan and Dreams
Shaytan tries constantly to cause harm to a man’s body and being. He harms his body by illnesses. He harms his being by various means. One of them worth mentioning is dreams. Shaytan shows man troublesome dreams in his sleep with the aim of causing him sorrow and psychological trouble (not implying that all mental health issues are caused by Shaytan).
Abu Hurayrah narrated Muhammad (PBUH) said, “There are three types of dreams: a righteous dream which is glad tidings from God, the dream which causes sadness is from Shaitan, and a dream from the ramblings of the mind. (Sahih Muslim)
What are Qarins?
A qarin according to Islamic literature, is a Jinn. Qarins are unique to each individual. Qarin literally means ‘constant companion’. A qareen pushes a person to do evil things and to disobey God, with the exception of Muhammad (PBUH).
Conflicting opinions exist on the faith of the Qarin. One opinion is that the qarin, being a jinn-type creature, if not guided by his human companion on the right path, becomes a shaytan by the command of God. The companion will be what its guide is or more than what the guide is. However the second opinion is that the Qareen is evil and having one’s Qareen become a Muslim was something that was unique to Muhammad (PBUH).
How to protect one’s self from Jinns, Shaytan and the Evil-Eye?