Jinn in the Quran

Jinn in the Quran

Table of Contents

One of the creatures of God is the jinn (جنّ). What is the goal of their creation? This and other questions regarding what they are made of and their attributes will be discussed in this article titled, Jinn in the Quran.

Purpose of the Creation of Jinn in the Quran

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ ﴿56﴾

I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship Me. 1

God’s creation is not in vain and without purpose. According to this verse, both jinn and human beings have been created so that they may worship God.

Through this, they will grow, attain perfection, and have their needs fulfilled.2

Jinn in the Quran and Their Substance Matter

وَالْجَانَّ خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ مِن نَّارِ السَّمُومِ ﴿27﴾

And We created the jinn earlier, out of a piercing fire. 3

According to the Quran, the jinn were created before human beings, and they are made of air and fire, as other verses also indicate.4 5

Satan Is From Among the Jinn in the Quran

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ ۗ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِي وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ ۚ بِئْسَ لِلظَّالِمِينَ بَدَلًا ﴿ ﴿50﴾

When We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam,’ they prostrated, but not Iblis. He was one of the jinn, so he transgressed against his Lord’s command. Will you then take him and his offspring for guardians in My stead, though they are your enemies? How evil a substitute for the wrongdoers! 6

According to Islam and in verses of the Quran, Satan or Iblis (ابلیس) is not an angel; rather, he is a jinn and made from fire; something which he himself testifies to in the following verse when God asks him why he did not prostrate to Adam: ‘I am better than him,’ he said. ‘You created me from fire and You created him from clay.’ 7

Jinn in the Quran and Procreation

لَمْ يَطْمِثْهُنَّ إِنسٌ قَبْلَهُمْ وَلَا جَانٌّ ﴿74﴾

Whom no human has touched before, nor jinn. 8

The verses in this chapter talk about the blessings of heaven, one of which is the Hur al-ʿĪn (حور العِین), heavenly wives that will be the reward of pious and virtuous believers.

The verse indicates that the believing jinn will also receive this reward in the Hereafter9 and shows that they, too procreate and have intimate relationships.

Jinn in the Quran and Intelligence

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ ۖ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَالْأَنْعَامِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ۚ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ ﴿179﴾

Certainly We have winnowed out for hell many of the jinn and humans: 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. They are like cattle; indeed, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless. 10

This verse explains that the inmates of hell are those for whom the potential for receiving God’s mercy has become invalidated. They are not affected by seeing God’s signs as though their eyes don’t see, and hearing the advice of people who are right does not have any effect on them as though their ears don’t hear. Similarly, the proofs and arguments that their innate nature (فطرة) impresses upon them do not affect their state, or it is as though they do not possess intellect.

No Change in God’s Creation

Although the intellect, eyes, and ears do not become corrupt and lose their faculties as the verse there is no altering Allah’s creation indicates, 11 another verse explains: That is because Allah never changes a blessing that He has bestowed on a people unless they change what is in their own souls. Therefore, if Allah changes a blessing, it is a punishment for one’s own evil acts, and people are the cause of change in God’s blessings.

As a result, they no longer understand what they must with their intellects, see what their eyes must see, or hear what their ear must hear. 12

The verse talks about both jinn and human beings, which shows both have been originally blessed with intelligence.

Jinn in the Quran and Receiving Guidance

يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي وَيُنذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَـٰذَا ۚ قَالُوا شَهِدْنَا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِنَا ۖ وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَشَهِدُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا كَافِرِينَ ﴿ ﴿130﴾

‘O company of jinn and humans! Did there not come to you apostles from yourselves, recounting to you My signs and warning you of the encounter of this Day?’ They will say, ‘We testify against ourselves.’ The life of this world had deceived them, and they will testify against themselves that they had been faithless. 13

Verses of the Quran indicate that Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and his progeny) was sent as a guide for both human beings and jinn, and they too would understand the Quran, and some of them became believers.

In short, both jinn and human beings are obliged to accept the invitations to religion by the prophets.14

Jinn in the Quran Will Face Punishment for their Evil Deeds

As indicated in one of the verses mentioned above,15 if the jinn perform evil deeds, they too will face punishment. Similarly, if they perform good deeds, they will also enter heaven and receive its blessings, as indicated in one of the verses discussed.

As the purpose of their creation, like human beings, is to worship God, they will be answerable for their deeds, face the Hereafter like human beings, and beheld accountable for what they performed in this world.

The Power of Jinn in the Quran

قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن تَقُومَ مِن مَّقَامِكَ ۖ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ ﴿39﴾

One audacious among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it. 16

This verse indicates that jinn possess a physical form even though we are usually unable to see them. It also shows that they are more powerful in some ways than human beings in that they could bring the throne of Bilquis (بلقیس), the Queen of Sheba, for Prophet Solomon (سلیمان) in the short period indicated in the verse.

Jinn were one of the creatures that this prophet had control and command over.

Surah Jinn in the Quran

One of the chapters of the Quran is named after this creation and is called surah Jinn. The verses of this chapter discuss that some of them are believers while others are disbelievers in Islam. And this and the fact that they would listen to the Quran and understand it shows that they are beings that possess intellect and reason, as indicated above.

A detailed discussion of this chapter has been separately discussed in the related article.

Summary

Jinn in the Quran are one of the creatures that God has created and who have the same purpose of creation as human beings, i.e., worship of God. As a result, they also have responsibilities to fulfill in this world, and in the Hereafter, they will be judged, and their deeds accounted for.


References

  1. [51: 56]. Qarai
  2. Translation of Tafsir al-Mizan [20 vols.]. Vol. 18, p. 579
  3. [15: 27]. Qarai
  4. See also [55: 15].
  5. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah al-Rahman. Verse 15
  6. [18: 50] qarai
  7. [38: 76]. Qarai
  8. [55: 74]. Qarai
  9. Qarashi, A. A. Tafsir Ahsan al-Hadith. Bethat Foundation. Vol. 10, p. 494
  10. [7: 179]. Qarai
  11. [30: 30]. Qarai
  12. Translation of Tafsir al-Mizan [20 vols.]. Vol. 8, p. 438
  13. [6: 130]. Qarai
  14. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah al-Anʿaam. Verse 130
  15. [7: 179]
  16. [27: 39]. Shakir
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