Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Jinn - Demon - 3

Sajjada wrote:

This is why Allah made Muhammad the Final Prophet and sent him to all humans and Jinn. What are Jinns? Please let us know.


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Part - 3

The Jinn (demons) By Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

Refutation of the Evidence Against Possession:

Qur’ânic Evidence

The clear meaning of the verse concerning Satan’s denial of authority over man (Qur’aan, 14:22) is in reference to his inability to force them to evil. He is only capable of making the evil way seem attractive to man, while the actual act of evil is of man’s own choosing. In this verse “authority” (sultaan) has been interpreted by some classical exegetes as meaning “evidence.” That is, Satan stated that he did not have any authority (i.e. proof) for the false promises that he made those who followed him.[46]

Therefore, in this verse the devils denial of authority over man, whether physical or psychological, does not rule out the possibility of demonic possession.

It is not necessarily true that the Qur’aan only “appears” to confirm jinn-possession by using the
familiar style, terms, and false pre-Islâmic beliefs of the Arabs in order to assist them in their comprehension of a point. In reference to the comparison of the fruit of Zaqqoom tree of Hell to the imaginary heads of devils, some exegetes and Arab lexicographers have pointed out that “heads of devils” (“ru’oos ash-shayaateen” ) was the name of a tree which grew in the region between Makkah and Yemen. Others used the term to describe a species of ugly created snakes which were called shayaateen.[ 47] Therefore, the comparison of someone possessed would be with something known and real, just like many other similes in the Qur’aan. This was the position of those scholars, like Ibn Taymeeyah, ash-Shanqeetee and others, who held that whatever the Qur’aan used for comparison is real and true, because the Qur’aan emphatically describes itself as the book of truth, free from falsehood:

“It is He who revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming previous [scripture], and it is He who
revealed the Torah and the Gospel.” Qur’aan 3:3

“Those who reject the Message when it comes to them [are known]. And indeed, it is a Book of exalted power. No falsehood can approach it from before it and behind it. It is sent down by the Most Wise, Most Praised.” Qur’aan 41:41-42

Evidence from Hadeeth

Shaykh Ghazzaalee’s interpretation of Safiyyah’s hadeeth to mean demonic whispering and not to refer to the actual ability of the jinn to penetrate the human body is somewhat far-fetched, for demonic whispering is consistently described in the Qur’aan and Sunnah as taking place in the human heart or chest and not throughout the limbs of the body:

“Who whispers into the chests of men.” Qur’aan 114:5

Logical Evidence

In the first argument al-Jubbaa’ee sought to prove that jinn must have fine bodies, otherwise they would have to be visible. He then claimed possession could only take place if jinn had dense bodies. He further concluded that if jinn had dense bodies they could not enter human bodies because the human body does not have enough room to hold a jinnee. Abdul-Jabbaar’ s argument refutes this presentation using the same rules of logic. It may also be said that al-Jubbaa’ee’s argument assumes that man is capable of understanding the laws which govern the unseen. This is not the case. For example, we are informed that angels blow the human spirit into the embryo in the womb and that they sometimes fight along with the believers, but only Allaah knows how these things take place. Likewise, this could be the case for demonic possession. Also questionable is al-Jubbaa’ee’s point that if jinn were fine-bodied like air, they would not have solidity or power necessary to possess humans or kill them. The ability to knock down a human is not limited to dense bodies. The force of a powerful gust of wind or a jolt of electricity, which can knock over a man, is more powerful than that produced by many dense bodies.

The second argument claimed that if Satan and the jinn were able to possess humans it would enable them to imitate the miracles of the prophets, which would be a defamation of prophethood. However, the difference between miracles and satanic acts is great. The former are supernatural occurrences granted to prophets in order to confirm their prophethood and the divine origin of their message, while the latter are illusions and tricks performed by the evil human cohorts of the devils. It should also be notes that this argument is quite far-fetched, because possessed individuals do not exhibit any abilities even remotely resembling the miracles of the prophets. Furthermore, through deception, magicians of the past and present have done tricks which have convinced the masses that they possess supernatural abilities. According to prophesy, the false-Christ (Maseeh ad-Dajjaal) apparently will have supernatural abilities which will delude many.

In the third argument the question was raised: if jinn had these abilities, why do they not concentrate their attacks on the true believers. Since the evil jinn are the avowed enemies of the God-fearing, they should exclusively possess the pious and ruin their social and material lives, however, those who seem most frequently possessed are not from the true believers. The reason for this phenomenon may be due to the protection which Allaah granted the believers against much of the jinn’s harm. True believers closely follow the prophetic instructions for seeking refuge in Allaah and shielding themselves in righteousness and piety throughout their daily lives:[48]

“He has no authority over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord. His authority is only over those who take him as a patron and who join partners in Allaah.” Qur’aan, 16:99-100

“Can you not see that We have set the devils on the disbelievers, excitedly prodding them [to sin and disbelief].” Qur’aan, 19:83

The fact is that the jinn fear those who are strong among the righteous, and therefore avoid them. On one occasion the Prophet () said,

“Surely, I can see the devils among the jinn and among mankind fleeing from ‘Umar.”[49]


[1] Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hanbal (780-855 CE) was born in Baghdaad, but his travels in search of knowledge took him to Koofah, Basrah, Makkah, Madeenah, Yemen, Syria, Maghrib, Algeria, Persia, Khuraasaan, etc. He is the founder of one of the four main schools of jurisprudence and is noted for his hadeeth compendium called al-Musnad, which contain over 30,000 traditions. However, he wrote a number of other works. Among those which have been published are ar-Radd ‘alaa az-Zanaadiqah and az-Zuhd. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 1, p. 203.)

[2] Eedaah ad-Dilaalah fee ‘Umoom ar-Risaalah, p. 6.

[3] Majmoo‘ al-Fataawaa, vol. 24, p. 277

[4] ‘Abdur-Jabbaar ibn Ahmad al-Hamadhaanee (d. 415 AH) was a prominent Mu‘tazilee theologian and an outstanding Shaafi‘ee jurist. He was chief justice of Rayy and a prolific writer. Among his most famous published works are Tanzeeh al-Qur’aan ‘an al-Mataa‘in and Sharh al-Usool al-Khamsah. (Siyar A‘laam an-Nubalaa’, vol. 17, pp. 244-245.)

[5] Aakaam al-Murjaan fee Ahkaam al-Jaann, p. 108.

[6] ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd al-Basree (699-761 CE) was the leading Mu‘tazilee theologian of his time, a competent jurist and ascetic. Due to his knowledge, he was popular with the ‘Abbaasee caliphs, especially al-Mansoor (ruled 754-775 CE). He wrote a number of books and treatises, the most important among them are at-Tafseer and ar-Radd ‘alaa al-Qadariyyah. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 5, p.81.)

[7] Aakaam al-Murjaan fee Ahkaam al-Jaann, p. 109.

[8] Aboo Ja ‘far Muhammad ibn Jareer at-Tabaree (839-923 CE), the Arab historian and exegete, was born in Amul in the province of Tabaristan. He traveled extensively to Baghdaad, Basrah, Koofah, Syria and Egypt in search of knowledge in his early years; later he spent his time mainly teaching and writing. His great commentary on the Qur’aan, a standard work upon which later commentaries drew. His other major work was the 12 volume history of the world. Taareekh al-Umam wa al-Mulook. (Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, pp. 556-557.)

[9] Jaami‘ al-Bayaan ‘an Ta’weel al-Qur’aan, vol. 3, p. 101.

[10] ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Muhammad Abee Haatim (854-938 CE) was among the major scholars of hadeeth criticism. He contributed many works in various Islamic disciplines. His most famous published works are al-Jarh wa at-Ta‘deel in eight volumes, ar-Radd ‘alaa al-Jahmiyyah, ‘Ilal al-Hadeeth and al-Maraaseel. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 3, p. 324.)

[11] See Jaami‘ al-Bayaan, vol. 3, p. 102 for narrations of their comments on this verse.

[12] ‘Awf ibn Maalik al-Ashja‘ee al-Ghatafaanee (d. 692 CE) was a companion of the Prophet (), and he took part in the Battle of Khaybar and the conquest of Makkah. He lived in Damascus and is known to have transmitted 67 recorded traditions from the Prophet (). (Al-A‘laam, vol. 5, p. 96.)

[13] Sa ‘eed ibn Jubayr (665-714 CE), the most learned of the taabi ‘ees, was of Ethiopian origin. He was a pupil of both Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn ‘Umar, the leading scholars among the companions of the Prophet (). His home was in Koofah, and he was executed by al-Hajjaaj (661-714 CE) for taking part in the revolt of ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn al-Ash‘ath (d. 704 CE) against the Umayyad caliph, ‘Abdul-Maalik ibn Marwaan (646-705 CE). (Al-A‘laam, vol. 3, p. 93.)

[14] Ismaa‘eel ibn ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Suddee (d. 745 CE) was a taabi‘ee, originally from the Hijaaz, but he settled in Koofah. He was a noted Qur’ânic exegete and an historian and was a leading scholar of the time. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 1, p. 317.)

[15] Ar-Rabee‘ ibn Ziyaad ibn Anas al-Haarithee (d. 673 CE) lived during the time of the prophethood, but did not meet the Prophet () before his death. He was a successful leader of the Muslim armies during the righteous caliphate and was made the governor of Bahrain and later Sijistaan. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 3, p. 14.)

[16] Muqaatil ibn Hayyaan ibn Dawaal Door (died approx. 150 AH) was a reputable narrator of prophetic traditions from the major scholars among the pupils of the Prophet’s companions. He fled to Khuraasaan during the reign of Qutaybah ibn Muslim and settled in Kabul, where many converted to Islaam at his hands. (Siyar A‘laam an-Nubalaa’, vol. 6, pp. 340-341.)

[17] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, vol. 1, p. 487.

[18] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, vol. 1, p. 334.

[19] Ahmad ibn ‘Abdul-Haleem ibn Taymeeyah (1263-1828 CE) was born in Harraan. His father and grandfather were themselves leading scholars of the Hanbalee school of Islâmic Law. He grew up in Damascus, where he mastered at an early age the various Islâmic disciplines. Much of his time was spent defending the orthodox Islâmic position against the various deviations which were current at that time. A great deal of his latter life was spent in jail due to theological and philosophical clashes with scholars of his time. He was a prolific writer, even while in jail. Some of his more famous published works are as-Siyaasah ash-Shar‘eeyyah, al-Eemaan, Minhaaj as-Sunnah, al-Furqaan, Majmoo‘ ar-Rasaa’il, at-Tawassul wa al-Waseelah and Majmoo‘ al-Fataawaa. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 1 p. 144).

[20] Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab al-Jubbaa’ee (849-916 CE) is considered among the leading Mu‘tazilee theologians and the most outstanding scholastic theologian of his time. He held a number of opinions which differed from those of the theological school to which he belonged, so much so that his views formed an independent branch. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 6, p. 256.)

[21] Aboo Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyaa ar-Raazee (865-925 CE), a philosopher and among the leading medical scholars, was born in Rayy and studied there. At the age of 30 he traveled to Baghdaad, where he became famous and was given a number of leading scientific posts. In the West he was known by the Latin name Rhazes. The number of known titles of his written works is 232. His famous work is al-Haawee in medicine, which was translated into Latin. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 6, p. 130). See A History of Muslim Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 443.

[22] Majmoo‘ al-Fataawaa, vol. 19, p. 12. See also p.7 of Ibn Taymeeyah’s Essay on the Jinn. The Qur’ânic quotation is 2:275.

[23] Collected in the six authentic books of hadeeth with the exception of at-Tirmidhee. See Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, pp. 1187-1188, no. 5404. It is also narrated by Anas in Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, p. 1188, no. 5405.

[24] Collected by Ahmad (al-Musnad, vol. 4, p. 170) and al-Haakim, who declared it saheeh, and
adh-Dhahabee agreed with his assessment.

[25] See note 262, p. 78.

[26] Aakaam al-Murjaan fee Ahkaam al-Jaann, p. 108.

[27] Muhammad ibn ‘Alee al-Qaffaal (904-976 CE) was among the leading scholars of his time in law, hadeeth, grammar and literature. He was from the town of ash-Shaash in Transoxiana (maa waraa’ an-nahr) and was responsible for the spread of the Shaafi‘ee school of jurisprudence in the entire region. His travels in search of knowledge took him to Khuraasaan, ‘Iraaq, Hijaaz and Syria. The best known of his published works are Usool al-Fiqh and Sharh Risaalah ash-Shaafi‘ee. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 6, p. 274.)

[28] The Sunnee school of legal thought founded in the 9th century CE and named after its founder, Muhammad Idrees ash-Shaafi‘ee.

[29] Rooh al-Ma‘aanee, vol. 3, p. 49.

[30] At-Tafseer al-Kabeer, vol. 7, p. 89.

[31] Ibid., p. 88.

[32] Qur’aan, 2:275.

[33] Tafseer al-Kashshaaf, vol. 1, pp. 398-399.

[34] Muhammad ibn Muhammad (1493-1574 CE), a famous Qur’ânic exegete and poet, was born in Constantinople. He was fluent in both Arabic and Persian as well as his native Turkish, and he was a judge in Turkey. He is most well-known for his Qur’ânic exegesis, Irshaad al-‘Aql as-Saleem ilaa Mazaayaa al-Kitaab al-Kareem, which came to be known as Tafseer Abee Su‘ood.
(Al-A‘laam, vol. 7, p. 59.)

[35] Quoted from at-Tafseer al-Kabeer, vol. 7, p. 89.

[36] As-Sawdaa’ (melancholy) was considered to be one of the four humors (akhlaat) of the body. The others are yellow bile or choler (as-safraa’), blood and phlegm (al-balgham) . (Arabic-English Lexicon, vol. 1, p. 1463.) See also The New Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 6, p. 145.

[37] At-Tafseer al-Kabeer, vol. 7, p. 89.

[38] This is in reference to Qur’aan, 334:13.

[39] At-Tafseer al-Kabeer, vol. 7, pp. 88-89.

[40] As-Sunnah an-Nabawiyyah, p. 94 and 96.

[41] Muhammad ibn Rasheed ibn ‘Alee Ridaa (1865-1935), born in Tripoli (in Lebanon), was a writer and scholar in hadeeth, literature, history and Qur’ânic exegesis. He was a student of Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849-1905) and the editor of the Islâmic magazine al-Manaar. His most notable literary contribution as his Qur’ânic exegesis, Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-Kareem, which came to be known as Tafseer al-Manaar. (Al-A‘laam, vol. 6, p. 126.)

[42] Tafseer al-Manaar, vol. 3, pp. 95-96.

[43] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, vol. 1, pp. 3-6.

[44] Narrated by al-Miqdaam ibn Ma‘deekarib, collected by Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah (see al-Hadis, vol. 1, pp. 165-166, no. 106), and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood, vol. 3, pp. 870-871, no. 3848.

[45] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, vol. 1, p. 3.

[46] Tafseer al-Qur’aan al-‘Azeem, vol. 2, p. 529.

[47] Ibn al-Jawzee, Zaad al-Maseer fee ‘Ilm at-Tafseer, vol. 7, pp. 63-64. See also al-Jaami‘ li
Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, vol. 15, pp. 86-87.

[48] ‘Aalam al-Jinn fee Daw’ al-Kitaab wa as-Sunnah, pp. 284-286.

[49] Collected by Tirmidhee and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Jaami‘ as-Sagheer, vol. 2, p. 329, no. 2492.

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