Throughout history man has always been attracted and fascinated with the supernatural and unseen more commonly called the spirit world. To some people they are spirits or ghosts or forces of good or evil. Many have seen people possessed but have no knowledge of what is processing the person and many movies are made about this. During the 70’s, films such as The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby were used to educate people about possession. However, because such institutions (the film industry) were heavily influenced by Christianity, knowledge of the subject was non-existent.
It is only in Islam where God describes Jinn and through the teaching of the prophet Mohammad (PBHUH) do we get more understanding about Jinn.
“Indeed WE created man from dried clay of black smooth mud. And WE created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire” (Quran 15:26-27)
The verse tells us that Jinn was created before that of man. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) narrates that Jinn is unseen to man but like man they too are created to worship God. Their purpose is exactly as that of mankind.
“I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship ME.” (Quran 51:56)
Jinns can thus be obedient or disobedient. However, due to their fiery nature the majority of them are disobedient. All these disobedient Jinns form a part of the army of the most famous Jinn, Satan. Consequently, these disbelieving Jinns are also called devils. Jinns also become Muslims, as they did in the time of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) when a group of them were touched by the recitation of the Quran. God orders the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to tell the people of this event:
“Say (O’ Muhammed): It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened and said; ‘Indeed we have heard a marvelous Quran. It guides unto righteousness so we have believed in it, and we will never make partners with our lord’.”(Quran 72:1-2)
In many aspects of their world, the Jinn are very similar to us. They eat and drink, they marry, have children and they die. The life span however, is far greater than ours. It is said that some jinns that lived at the time of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) still live today. Like us, they will also be subject to a Final Reckoning by God the Most High. They will be present with mankind on the Day of Judgment and will either be granted Paradise or The Hell Fire.
God has given Jinn certain powers and abilities as a test for them and they will be held accountable for how they use these powers. Jinns like angels can take on human form or that of animals, trees or other shapes.
Through Islam it is known that Jinn also poses people for various reasons. Sometimes it is because the Jinn or its family has been hurt accidentally. It could be because the Jinn has fallen in love with the person. However, most of the time possession occurs because the Jinn is simply malicious or evil.
To go even deeper into the creation of Jinn… The Lord of the worlds created the fire of Sammun. From this Fire of Sammun He created the Jinn.
“And the Jinn created We before of fire flaming” Quran:(Al-Hijr.27).
The first of the Jinn was named Marij and the Lord created second one to be his wife, and she was named Marija. They had a son and they called him Jinn. From them derived all the clans of the Jinn, including Iblis. And the Lord gave them the earth to dwell therein. And they lived and worshipped there for a long time.
So much did they worship that the angels grew amazed, and said to the Lord of the Heavens and Earth; Oh our Lord, raise them up to heaven, so that we might learn from them and follow their good example. So the Lord brought Iblis, then Azazil, up to be among the angels and he lived with them in the first heaven. Others remained living on earth and, remained righteous, while a number of them became sinners and transgressed the law, as did the children of Adam (A.S) after them.
And the earth began to complain of them to the Lord. Oh my Lord, have you created me that I should be peopled by disobedient-folk? The Lord answered Oh earth, be patient, I shall send prophets among them to lead them back to the straight path. Until that time no prophets had appeared among the Jinn. The Lord sent to them 800 prophets and they killed each one. At last the Lord spoke to Azazil in the first heaven. And He said to him Go. Azazil. Go and fight the unbelievers of your people living on earth. Azazil obeyed and descended onto earth and fought the unbelievers, vanquishing them and the Lord sent down a fire from the skies and it consumed them, so not a trace remained. The only Jinn left alive were the believing and worshipping Jinn.
Again Azazil prayed so eagerly that he was raised up into the first heaven, or according to one narration, he worshipped so much in the first heaven that he was raised up through all the seven heavens and above them. He worshipped on the earth. He worshipped in the heavens, until Adam (A.S) was brought into existence.
From Hassan Al Basri (R.A): Azazil worshipped above the seven heavens for more than 70 000 years, until he was raised to the station of Ridwan which is very high station, Ridwan being the guardian of Paradise. Azazil was the guardian of Paradise for 1000 years. Once he read an inscription on the gates of paradise, and it read: There is a servant among the most highly favored servants of the Almighty Lord, and for a long time he will be obedient and serve his Lord well; there will come a day, however, on which he will oppose his Lord and disobey, and he will be driven from His gates and be cursed. Iblis, Azazil, read and wondered at this prediction. How can that be! He asked that one of the closest servants to the Lord should grow disobedient to the Lord of the Worlds and be driven from His Holy Nearness? Oh Lord, he pleaded. Give me permission to curse that rebellious one, whoever he may be. The Lord gave him permission, and Azazil showered curses upon that future sinner for one thousand years, knowing not that it was to be himself.
Jinn were present before Adam (AS) and that is why God said
“Umma Khalaqna Tul Jinna Wal Insana” (“Jinn and Insaan (mankind) were created for God’s worship).
The stress is on Jinn first and then Insaan (mankind). For Jinn, God made separate rules and regulations. After 36,000 years of their existence they forgot to follow God’s law and so God destroyed them and made a new community of Jinn. Those who remained obedient, they went into the sea, air and jungles to secretly obey the law of God, out of the vision of the disobedient ones. From these obedient Jinn, God made a new nation of Jinn. Of these Jinn, God designated a leader (Nabi) amongst them who would make sure that these Jinn would follow God’s order. The name of this leader (Nabi) of the Jinn was Hilyanis. After another 36,000 years these Jinn again became disobedient and assassinated King Hilyanis, and so, God destroyed this community of Jinn. Again God saved the obedient Jinns and from them appointed another Nabi called Bilqiya. They again became disobedient and God destroyed them also. After having destroyed them for the third time, God appointed, from the families of those who were the followers of God, another leader called Hamus.
After another 36,000 years they killed Hamus and became disobedient of God. Finally it was the period of Shuma, and when again the Jinns disobeyed God yet again and the Angels came and destroyed this nation. The Angels found only 4 or 6 Jinns who were obeying God, who were hiding inside jungles engaged in duty. It is from these obedient Jinns that the descendants of Jinn remain today. From these obedient Jinns, the Angels found a boy called Azazil, whose fathers name was Khabis and mothers name was Nilbis. The face of Khabis was like a lion and his nature was alike. Nilbis’s face was like a tiger and so was her character. Azazil’s character and face was a mixture of his two parents. God took him to the place of Angels and he was appointed teacher to them. Azazil was given the title “Angel Makram” (Teacher to Angels). He was also referred to as ”Mu’ellim ul Malakut” (Master of Angels). During one event, the Angels saw written in the arsh (space), that one of the worshippers will be punished. When the Angels saw this, they became afraid of God’s punishment and, in fear and wonderment over who this could be, requested Azazil to pray for them (since he was their teacher). Azazil gave them consolation that he knew this fact long ago and that they shouldn’t worry – but they insisted that he should still pray and his Prayer was accepted. He then became known as “Mustajibul Wath” or “Those who’s Prayer, God accepts.” Interestingly, Azazil had prayed for everyone but himself. Some time passed, Azazil saw something written on the arsh again. The words “Authobillahi Minashaytaan Nirajim” was written in golden type. After uttering this Prayer, he requested to God, “Who is that outcast, Shaytan (Satan)?” God said that he was one of His worshippers. Then God said, “That is one of my worshippers, I have bestowed upon him much blessing and given him lots of honour but still he disobeys me.” Azazil replied, “Rabbiul Izzat” (God’s honour) “Who is that disobedient, can I see him?” God said, “In time you will meet him.”
However God knew the nature of Azazil before, but wanted to reveal his story of disobedience as a true lesson for all mankind.
It was this transgression of Azazil that made him deserving of the name ‘Al-Shaitaan’ (the Satan) also known as Iblis (also written as Iblees). As a result of this transgression, God turned Iblis out of His court and sentenced him to punishment. However, Iblis asked God for respite till the Day of Judgment and declared that because God had turned him out of his court and had sentenced him to punishment because of man, he would therefore always be an enemy to man. He, and those who become his agents, would do all that they can to turn man away from the path of God and as a consequence, suffer the everlasting punishment of hellfire.