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The Divisions among the Jinn

Like the humans, the Jinn are also divided into different groups. Some of them are believers and Muslim, while, some others are infidels and idolaters. Similarly, while, some are virtuous and seekers of righteousness others are mischief-mongers and evil-doers. Some of them are devils while some others are demons. God Almighty says:

وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَداً (14) وَأَمَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَكَانُوا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَباً (15) (الجن : 14 ، 15)

(Translation of meaning) [“And there are among us some who have surrendered [to Allah] and there are among us some who are unjust. And whoso hath surrendered to Allah, such have taken the right path purposefully. And as for those who are unjust, they are firewood for hell” (Al-Jinn: 14-15)].

In another place it is said:

وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَلِكَ كُنَّا طَرَائِقَ قِدَداً (11) (الجن : 11)

(Translation of meaning) “And among us there are righteous folk and among us there are far from that. We are sects having different rules” (Al-Jinn: 11)]. Yet in another place it is said:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوّاً شَيَاطِينَ الإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُوراً وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ (112) (الأنعام : 112)

(Translation of meaning) [“Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet and adversary—devils of humankind and jinn who inspire in one another plausible discourse through guile. If thy Lord willed, they would not do so; so leave them alone with their devising” (Al-An’am: 112)].

Jinns of or different types, each of them having different characteristics. There are some who fly in the air and some who dive in the sea and others having other capacities.

The Power of the Jinn

Allah Ta’ala has endowed the jinns with power and capacity, which have not been given to humans. For instance, they can reach distant places in a flutter of eye. Similarly, they are possessed of extraordinary power and might. An indication of this is found in a narration in the Quran referring to the episode of Hadrat Suleiman (Alaihis Salam) and Queen Saba [Sheba]. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا المَلأ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ (38) قَالَ عِفْريتٌ مِنْ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ (39) قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنْ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ (40) ( النمل : 38-40)

(Translation of meaning)  [“He said: O chiefs! Which of you will bring me he throne before they come unto me, surrendering? A stalwart (giant) of the jinn said: I will bring it thee before thou canst rise from thy place. Lo! I verily am strong and trusty for such work. One with whom was knowledge of the scripture said: I will bring it thee before thy gaze returneth unto thee.”  (An-Naml: 38-40)].

The jinns are said to be penetrating the heavens and there tap the conversations of the angels and transmit them back to the priests on earth and sometimes mix them up with their own lies. Thus, when Allah the Almighty selected Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as his last Messenger to mankind, the cosmic changes involved with this decision are narrated in the Quran in the words of a jinn:

وَأَنَّا لَمَسْنَا السَّمَاءَ فَوَجَدْنَاهَا مُلِئَتْ حَرَساً شَدِيداً وَشُهُباً (8) وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ فَمَنْ يَسْتَمِعْ الآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَاباً رَصَداً (9) ( الجن: 8 – 9 )

(Translation of meaning) [“And (the Jinn who had listened to the Quran said): We had sought the heavens but had found it filled with strong warders and meteors. And we used to sit on places [high] therein to listen. But he who listened now findeth a flame in wait for him” (Al-Jinn: 8-9)].

Allah had made the jinns subservient to Hadrat Suleiman (Alaihis Salam) who for his sake delved deep into the seas, constructed lofty palaces for him and performed military service for him. The Quran says:

وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنْ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ (17) (النمل : 17)

(Translation of meaning) [“And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the jinn and humankind, and of the birds, and they were set in battle order” (An-Naml: 17)].

Other activities of the jinns have been described in the words of Quran thus:

وَمِنَ الْجِنِّ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَمَنْ يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ (12) يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِنْ مَحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَاسِيَاتٍ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْراً وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِي الشَّكُورُ (سبا 12 ، 13)

(Translation of meaning) [“and [We gave him] certain of the jinn who worked before him by permission of his LORD. And such of them as deviated from Our command, them We caused to taste the punishment of flaming fire. They made for him what he willed: synagogue and statues, basins like wells and boilers built into the ground. Give thanks, O House of David! Few of My bondmen are thankful” (Saba: 12-13)].

وَمِنْ الشَّيَاطِينِ مَنْ يَغُوصُونَ لَهُ وَيَعْمَلُونَ عَمَلاً دُونَ ذَلِكَ وَكُنَّا لَهُمْ حَافِظِينَ (82) (الأنبياء: 82)

(Translation of meaning) [“And of the evil ones [subdued We unto him] some who dived [for pearls] for him and did other work, and We were warders unto them” (Al-Anbiya: 82)].

The jinns have also been endowed with competence to change their figures. It is narrated through Hadrat Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu Anhu) that:

(Translation of meaning) Once Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) appointed him as a watchman to guard the assets confined to the Baitul Mal. He narrated that during the night some person came and began filling his sack with the grains. I caught him and said I will take you to Allah’s Messenger ) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He began entreating me saying he is in great need and has to feed the members of his household. On hearing this I let him go. When the morning came Allah’s Messenger) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked me: What about your last night’s captive? I replied that he mentioned his great need therefore I let him go. Allah’s Messenger) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said he told you a lie. He will come again tonight. Hadrat Abu Hurairah says I became assured that he will come again tonight therefore I sat in hiding for him. He came and began the same activity. I caught hold of him and threatened him to present him before Allah’s Messenger) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He again mentioned his penury and need and promised that if you leave me this time I will not come again. So I let him go. Again in the morning Allah’s Messenger) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked about my captive of the night. I told him of what had happened. He said he told you a lie and he will come again this night. Therefore, on the third night I again sat in hiding waiting for him. He came and started filling his sack with the grains. I caught him again and told him this is the third time you did it.  This time I will certainly produce you before Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). You had promised not to come again but you have come. Again he began beseeching me and said if I let him go he will teach me certain words which will benefit me greatly. I asked what those words are. He said that when you go to bed in the night recite the whole of Ayatul Kursi. On reciting it God Almighty will appoint a warder to take care of you and will not let any of the devils to come near you till the morning. On hearing this I let him go. Next morning Allah’s Messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) again asked me about that person. I narrated the event of the last night and submitted that I let him go because I thought these words will benefit me. Allah’s Messenger) sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that that liar has told you a truth.  O Abu Hurairah do you know whom did you talk to on three nights? He said no. Then the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said he was a devil (Al-Bukhari).