The Jinns in The Qur’an
Previously, we explained that God gave Prophet Solomon (pbuh) great support by putting the jinns under his command. Now, we must consider what we are told in the Qur'an. For example:
The Qur'an reveals that jinns live in their own societies, have formed communities, and that they have ancestors (Qur'an, 7:38; 18:50) Although they live in a different dimension, the jinns can see, watch, and listen to people.
A demon of the jinns told Prophet Solomon (pbuh) that he could bring the Queen of Saba's throne before he got up from his seat and said"I am strong and trustworthy enough to do it" (Qur'an, 27:39). These words may be alluding to the fact that he could move with great speed from one place to another and transport material objects.
God tells us why the jinns were created: "I only created jinn and man to worship Me"(Qur'an, 51:56). Just like humanity, they are warned by Messengers and divinely revealed Books, are tested in this world, worship and obey God, and will receive a reward from God. The Qur'an states:
O company of jinn and humanity. Did not Messengers come to you from among yourselves relating My Signs to you and warning you of the encounter of this Day of yours? They will say: "We testify against ourselves." The life of this world deluded them, and they will testify against themselves that they were unbelievers. (Qur'an, 6:130)
As the verse says, the jinns experience much the same testing as humanity does. Some of them are deceived by the world's temporary delights and ignore or reject the warning that they should follow the true path. The jinns, who can hear the Messengers' words and the Qur'an's recitation, and who can tell their own people what they have learned, listened to the words of Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace):
And We diverted a group of jinns toward you to listen to the Qur'an. When they were in earshot of it, they said: "Be quiet and listen." When it was over, they went back to their people and warned them. They said: "Our people, we have heard a Book that was sent down after Moses, confirming what came before it, guiding to the truth and to a straight path." (Qur'an, 46:29-30)
In several verses, God speaks to the jinns and human beings at the same time, advises them, and warns them against the pains of Hell. In Qur'an 7:38, God decrees:"Enter the Fire together with the nations of jinn and humanity who have passed away before you."Those jinn and human communities who deny the Qur'an's truth will meet with the following fate:
Say: "If both humanity and the jinns banded together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could never produce anything like it, even if they backed each other up." (Qur'an, 17:88)
Here are some verses in which God addresses jinns and human beings together:
Those are people of whom the statement about the nations, both of jinn and humanity, who passed away before them, has also proved true; truly, they were the lost. (Qur'an, 46:18)
We created many of the jinns and humanity for Hell. They have hearts with which they do not understand. They have eyes with which they do not see. They have ears with which they do not hear. Such people are like cattle. No, they are even further astray! They are the unaware. (Qur'an, 7:179)
Believers and Unbelievers
The Qur'an says that some jinns believe in God and follow His way, while others are godless and rebellious. Muslim jinns listen while the Qur'an is being recited, as the verses below reveal:
Say: "It has been revealed to me that a band of jinns listened and said: 'We have heard a most amazing recitation. It leads to right guidance, so we believe in it and will not associate anyone with our Lord. He—exalted be the Majesty of our Lord!—has neither wife nor son.'" (Qur'an, 72:1-3)
"The fools among us have uttered a vile slander against God. We did not think it possible for either humanity or jinn to tell a lie against God." (Qur'an, 72:4-5)
There are different groups of jinns: sincere Muslims, pagans and polytheists, and those who tell lies about God. Believers are told that:
"Among us [jinns] there are some who are righteous and some who are other than that. We follow many different paths. We realized we would never thwart God on Earth and would never thwart Him by flight, and when we heard the guidance, we believed in it…" (Qur'an, 72:11-13)
Like humanity, jinns are responsible for obeying God's book. They will have to account for all they said and did, and will obtain a reward that is completely appropriate to their actions. Believers are told that they will receive a fine reward from God:
"Anyone who believes in his Lord need fear neither belittlement nor tyranny. Some of us are Muslims and some are deviators. Those who have become Muslim are those who sought right guidance." (Qur'an, 72:13-14)
However, those who deny God's existence will meet with the following fate:
"The deviators will be firewood for Hellfire." (Qur'an, 72:15)
"I will fill up Hell with the jinn and humanity all together." (Qur'an, 11:119)
Their Communication with Human Beings
In some cases, certain people may communicate with the jinns and, if God wills, even control them. For example, God placed the jinns under Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) control, and he used them in all kinds of work.
Such communication needs to be analyzed, for today some people, especially young people, try to summon jinns. Even if some people call it calling up the heart or calling up the spirit, it is actually the jinns that are being summoned. In some situations, even if no jinn is actually summoned up, people believe that it is anyway.
Generally, the jinns who answer these summons do not believe in God. Their probable purpose is to make people waste their time in frivolous pursuits. Deceived by these jinns, individuals think that they can gain something from them and learn something about the Unseen. However, without God's permission, the jinns cannot provide any such information. For example, they did not know that Prophet Solomon (pbuh) had died: "When he [Solomon] fell down, it was made clear to the jinns that if they had truly had knowledge of the Unseen, they need not have stayed there suffering humiliating punishment"(Qur'an 34:14). Moreover, it must be remembered that "No one in the heavens and Earth knows the Unseen except God" (Qur'an, 27:65).
Those Who Associate Jinns with God
Some people believe that the jinns have a certain power of their own. However, this is quite wrong, for God created them and only He has real power. Apart from God's will, they cannot harm or benefit anyone. Despite this, some people hope for their assistance and regard them as their guardians:
Yet they make the jinns co-partners with God when He created them! And they attribute sons and daughters to Him without any knowledge. Glory be to Him! He is far above what they describe! (Qur'an, 6:100)
The Qur'an says that some people have been misled after making contact with the jinns:
"Certain men from among humanity used to seek refuge with certain men from among the jinns, but they increased them in wickedness." (Qur'an, 72:6)
In another verse, the Qur'an reveals that some people actually worship the jinns:
They [the angels] will say: "Glory be to You! You are our Protector, not them. No, they were worshipping the jinns. They mostly had faith in them." (Qur'an, 34:41)
A major reason why people associate the jinns with God and hope for their assistance is that they think that these beings know the Unseen. But this is a serious error, for they have no such knowledge (Qur'an, 34:14). The Qur'an says that they cannot guide human beings and may even make broad, yet empty, hints to lead people away from the true path. However, the jinns can influence people only if God wills it, for He created them and they move at His command:
In this way, We have appointed as enemies to every Prophet demons from both humanity and from the jinns, who inspire each other with delusions by means of specious words—if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so abandon them and all they fabricate. (Qur'an, 6:112)
Those jinns who lead people astray, as well as those people who associate the jinns with God, will be punished with the eternal pangs of Hell. Those who were deluded by the jinns' alluring words will, in the Hereafter, understand the enormity of their error. On the Day of Judgment, whatever they associated with God will be removed, and they will understand that they are totally alone in His presence. Upon learning that they will have to suffer the pangs of Hell, they will beg:
Those who do not believe say: "Our Lord, show us those jinns and men who misguided us, and we will place them beneath our feet so that they will be among the lowest of the low." (Qur'an, 41:29)
Another verse says that fire will be their endless dwelling place:
On the Day We gather them all together: "O Company of jinns, you gained many followers among humanity." And their friends among Humanity will say: "Our Lord, we benefited from one another, and now we have reached the term that You determined for us." He will say: "The Fire is your home. You will be in it timelessly, forever, except as God wills. Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing." (Qur'an, 6:128)
The Reward of the Rebellious
The Qur'an reminds us that jinns and human beings are weak creatures that move by God's inspiration. Furthermore, it states that their godless rebellion and denial of His signs will always fail, because God is the Lord of the worlds and Ruler of heaven and Earth:
O Company of jinns and humanity, if you are able to pierce through the confines of the heavens and Earth, pierce through them. You will not pierce through, except by a clear authority. (Qur'an, 55:33)
The reward for those who undertake such an enterprise is described as follows: "He will pursue you with a piercing flame and fiery smoke, and you will not be helped"(Qur'an, 55:35). Muslim jinns are aware of this reality and acknowledge their weakness by saying:"We realized we would never thwart God on Earth and would never thwart Him by flight" (Qur'an, 72:12). In addition, the end of such rebellious is Hell:
When heaven is split apart and goes red like dregs of oil. So which of your Lord's blessings do you both then deny? That Day no person or jinn will be asked about his sin. So which of your Lord's blessings do you both then deny? The evildoers will be recognized by their mark and seized by their forelocks and their feet. So which of your Lord's blessings do you both then deny? This is Hell, which the evildoers deny. (Qur'an, 55:37-43)
Throughout this section, we have described the jinns' characteristics. and have seen that although they have the same responsibilities as people, they are a different kind of creature. Indeed, having power over these very different creatures is a blessing from God given as a reward for strong, deep faith. Prophet Solomon (pbuh) was awarded this blessing from God, Who also showed His mercy by rewarding him with a mighty kingdom.