In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

The World of Jinn and Its Secrets

The root meaning of the word Jinn is something hidden or which cannot be seen. The existence of the Jinn is firmly established by the Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah and the consensus of the Scholars (Ijma’). There is an entire Surah called Surah Al-Jinn, which speaks in clear explicit terms about the Jinn.

The reality, which we have to affirm, is that the Jinn live in an established world unseen to us. They eat and drink, and procreate. Similar to Humans, some are righteous while others are not.

The Jinn were created before the creation of mankind. Their origin is from fire. The Qur’an verified these facts in Surah Al-Hijr:

We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape; and the Jinn race, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind. [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 15:26-27]

However, nothing was mentioned about the duration of time of the Jinn's creation before Adam (as). There were Jinn on (the Earth), and they caused corruption on it and shed blood. Then Allah sent against them a troop of Angels who beat them and cast them away to islands in the seas. So, when your Lord said: ‘I am about to place a viceroy in the earth,’ They (the Angels) said, ‘Will You place in it one who will do harm in it and shed blood, while we, we hymn Your praise and sanctify You?’ He said: ‘Surely I know that which you know not’. [M.Marmaduke Pickthall translation, Al Baqarah 2:30]


Iblis is the Jinn who disobeyed Allah’s command to prostrate to Adam (as), and was consequently expelled from Heaven. Allah had promised him eternal Hell, but he had asked Allah to give him time before going to Hell to win over Adam’s descendants as their followers. Allah had granted him time, and Iblis has worked towards the destruction of mankind ever since. Shaytan is the term used to refer to Iblis and other disbelieving Jinn.

Iblis has his throne in the sea, and he sends out his dispatchments of shaytan to aggravate people. The dearest of them to him is the one who causes the most fitna (tribulation).

One of his workers comes and tells him "I did not leave (my victim) until I brought about separation between him and his wife." Iblis draws him near and says to him, "Yes, You (are the best)". [Sahih Muslim]

Because of this evil nature of the shaytan, the term "shayatan" is also used for those disbelieving human beings that are active in corrupting and fighting righteousness. Allah has said:

Likewise did We make for every Messenger an enemy - evil ones among humans and Jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception...

[A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 6:112]


The shaytan's eavesdrop of news from heaven's

One of the shaytan’s endeavors in their attempt towards human destruction is to go up to the heaven and eavesdrop any news to carry on to earth. This news will be passed on to the fortune-tellers.

Narrated A’isha (ra), I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The angels descend the clouds and mention this or that decreed in the Heaven. The devils listen stealthily to such matter, come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it one-hundred lies of the own". [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Hadith Number 432]

About time of the Prophet (saw) mission there were many meteors and other strange appearances in the heavens, which tradition says, frightened the astrologers from the high observatories where they used to watch at night, and threw out all their calculations.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

"And (the Jinn who had listened to the Qur'an said): We had sought the heaven but had found it filled with strong guardians and meteors. And we used to sit on places (high) in it to listen. But he who listens now finds a flame in wait for him".

[M.Marmaduke Pickthall translation, Qur'an Surah Al-Jinn 72:8-9]


Types of jinn

We cannot ordinarily see the Jinn, unless they take a material form, which is usually in an unpleasant or ugly form such as a snake or a black dog, as opposed to angels who take pleasant and handsome forms. They can also take a human form. For example: In the battle of Badr, a kind of Jinn known as Iblis, assumed the form of a man named Suraqah Ibn Malik, and urged the disbelievers to move forward to the battle, saying:

"...No one among men can overcome you this day..." [A.Yusuf Ali translation,Qur’an 8:48]

Then Allah (swt) sent the Angel Jibreel against him and when Iblis saw him, he cried out to the disbelievers: "...Lo! I am clear of you; lo! I see what ye see not; Lo! I fear Allah; for Allah is strict in punishment". [Qur'an 8:48] and then he fled.


There are 3 types of Jinn:

There are 3 types of Jinn; One type flies through the air, another type consists of snakes and dogs. A third is based in one place but travels about.

The 3 types of Jinn are as follows: (Jinni: Is a term used by the Arabs to refer to one Jinn)

1 Amir: (Resident Jinn) used to mean that he is one of those who lives with people.

2 Shaytan: Used for a Jinni who is malicious and has become wicked.

3 Ifrit: Used for a Jinni who is stronger and more powerful than a Shaytan.

The way of life for the Jinn is just like Human Beings. For Example: they are accountable for their actions, just as Human Beings are.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

"I created Jinn and Mankind only in order that they might worship Me".

[M.Marmaduke Pickthall translation, Qur’an 51:56]

Some Jinn's are Muslims and some are non-Muslims

There are believers amongst them, who will be rewarded, and disbelievers, who will be punished, as they admit in the following verse from the Qur’an:

And there are amongst us some who have surrendered (to Allah) and there are among us some who are unjust. And whoever has surrendered to Allah, such have taken the right path purposefully. And as for those who are unjust, they are firewood for hell. [M.Marmaduke Pickthall translation, Qur’an 72:14-15]

The food and drink of jinn

Whenever Allah sent a Prophet to mankind, the Jinn of that time could also receive his message.

They eat and drink, and have Fiqh regulations similar to ours. Just as we eat meat of animals slaughtered in the name of Allah, so do the believers among the Jinn. In addition, the Jinn are allowed to eat the bones of such animals.

With regard to this, the Prophet has instructed us not to use animal bones for istinja (i.e. to clean the private parts after relieving one’s self).

Ibn Mas`ud reports that the Prophet says: “There came to me an petitioner on behalf of the Jinn and I went along with him and recited the Qur’an to them”. He (the narrator) said: He then went with him and showed us their tracks and traces of their embers. They (Jinn) asked him (the Prophet) about their provision and he said: “Every bone on which the name of Allah is recited is your provision. The time it will fall in your hand it would be covered with flesh, and the dung of (camels) is fodder for your animals”. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Don't perform istinja with these ( things) for these are the food of your brothers (Jinn)”. [Reported by Muslim, Hadith no. 208, Narrated Ibn Mas'ud]


The dwelling-places of the jinn
The jinn live where we do live on this earth. They are mostly to be found in ruins and unclean places like bathrooms, dunghills, garbage dumps and graveyards. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us to take precautions when entering such places, by reciting the adhkar (mentioning Allah’s Name) prescribed by Islam.

The Jinn also have conjugal relations; as evident from this verse:

In it are those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor Jinn will have touched before them. [M.Marmaduke Pickthall translation, Qur’an 55:56]

Another verse establishes that they beget children:

...Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are an enemies to you!... [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 18:50]

The Jinn, as any other living creature, will also die. This is mentioned in the Qur’an:

He will say: "Enter ye in the company of peoples who passed away before you-men and Jinns - into the Fire..." [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 7:38]

Iblis, however, has been given respite up to the Day of Resurrection.

"Till the Day of the Time appointed", (Iblis) said: "Then, by Thy Power, I will put them all in the wrong". [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 38:81-82]


The Jinn and the sons of Adam

Man is always accompanied by a Jinn, who tries to incite him to evil, but the Prophet (saws) was protected from this harm.

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mus’ud the Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said:

"There is none amongst you with whom is not attache from amongst the jinn (devil)". They (the Companions) said, "Allah's Apostle (pbuh) with you too?" Thereupon he said: "Yes, but Allah helps me against him and so I am safe from his hand and he does not command me but for good". [Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 1308]

Thus terrible thoughts may sometimes occur to us, but we are not responsible for these prompting’s provided, we neither allow them to take root within us, nor act upon them. The fact that we recognize them as evil is itself a sign of faith. It is possible for Jinn to enter human beings and possess them as Allah says:

Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the Evil One by his touch hath driven to madness... [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 2:275]

Their powers
Allah has given jinn powers that he has not given to humans. Allah has told us about some of their powers such as the ability to move and travel quickly. One of the jinn guaranteed to Prophet Sulayman (Solomon, peace and blessings be upon him) that he would bring the throne of the Queen of Yemen to Jerusalem in a moment, faster than the time needed for someone to get up from where he was sitting or blink of an eye..

Said an 'Ifrit, of the Jinns: " I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy Council: Indeed I have full strengh for the purpose, and may be trusted". Said one who had knowledge of the Book: " I will bring it thee within the twinkling of any eye! Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, He said: "This is by the grace of my Lord! - To test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful!...” [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur'an 27:39-40]

Seek protection from harm of Jinn.

Because jinn can see us while we cannot see them, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us many ways to protect ourselves from their harm. They are seeking refuge of Allah from the accursed shaytan, reciting surah Al-Falaq and surah An-Nas, and reciting the words taught by Allah in the Qur’an.

And say: "O My Lord! I seek refuge with Thee from suggestions of the Evil Ones. And I seek refuge with Thee O my Lord! lest they should come near me”. [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur'an 23:97-98]

Saying Bismillah (in the Name of Allah) before entering one’s home, eating or drinking, and having intercourse will keep Satan from entering the house or partaking with a person in his food, drink and sexual activity. Similarly, mentioning the name of Allah before entering the toilet or taking off one’s clothes will prevent the jinn from seeing a person in a state of undress or harming him.

Narrated Ali ibn Abu Talib the Prophet said:

“The screen between the eyes of Jjinn and the private parts of the sons of Adam as one of them enters the pivy is that he should say: In the name of Allah". [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith no. 130]

In an Authentic hadith The Prophet has instructed us to recite some supplications to protect ourselves from the harm of Satan. These include:

1. Before having sexual intercourse, we should say:

"Bismillah, Allahumma jannibnash-shaytina wa jannibish-shaytina ma razaqtana." In the name of Allah. O Allah! Spare us from Satan and repel Satan from what you provide us with.Then, if a child is conceived, Satan will never harm him.

2. The shaytan like to frequent filthy areas such as toilets. Thus we should ensure that we recite the sunnah supplication (narrated by Al Bukhari and Muslim) before entering the toilet: "Allahumma inni a’uthu bika minal-khubthi wal-khaba’ith." O Allah! I seek refuge with you from male and female devils.

3. Reciting Ayat al Kursi (the verse of the Throne in Surat Al Baqarah, 2:255) at bedtime ensures that no devil comes close to you until the morning. Related by Bukhari

In General, frequent remembrance of Allah and obedience to Him provide immunity from the Shaytan.

Allah Says: "If anyone withdraws himself from the remembrance of (Allah) Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one, to be an intimate companion to him his comrade". [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 43:36]

In another verse Allah says:

"No authority has he over those who believe and put their trust in their Lord". [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 16:99]

Amongst the things that will keep the believer far away from falling into the snares of Shaytan is to refrain from excess in glances, words, food and socialising with people. By these four doors Shaytan gains power over the son of Adam and obtains what he wants from him.

As for looking, narrated Jarir ibn Abdullah,

I asked the Allah's Messenger about the sudden glance (that is cast) on the face (of a non-Mahram). He commanded me that I should turn away my eyes. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 1015]

As for excess words, the Prophet said:

"Part of a man’s good observance of Islam is that he leaves alone what does not concern him". [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 1245]

As for excess food, the Prophet said:

"A human being has not filled any vessel which is worse than a belly. Enough for the son of Adam are some mouthfuls which can keep his back straight: but if there is no escape he should fill it a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third empty". [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 1355]

Luqman the sage used to say to his son, "My son, when the intestines are full, reflection goes to sleep, wisdom falls silent, and the limbs cease to worship".

As for excessive socializing, it is a chronic disease, which attracts evil. How frequently are socializing and company empty of blessings! How often do the sow enmity! How often they plant rancor in the heart and as long as it remains in the heart it erodes firm mountains of good action! Excessive socializing contains loss for this world and the next world. The slave must only indulge in that amount of socializing which in necessary.


Knowledge against Shaytan

One of the greatest fortresses, which protect the believer against Shaytan, is Knowledge.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas the Messenger of Allah said:

"A single scholar of religion is more formidable against Satan than a thousand devout". [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 73]

Strength of faith and religion in general will also prevent jinn from harming a person, so much so that if they were to fight, the one who has faith would win.

Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) says: “A man from among the Companions of Muhammad met a man from among the jinn. They wrestled, and the human knocked down the jinn. The human said to him, ‘You look small and skinny to me, and your forearms look like the front paws of a dog. Do all the jinn look like this, or only you?’ He said, ‘No, by Allah, among them I am strong, but let us wrestle again, and if you defeat me I will teach you something that will do you good.’ The human said, ‘Fine’. He said, ‘Recite (the verse): “Allah! There is no God but He - the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory)”. Ayat al Kursi (The Verse of The Throne in Surat Al Baqarah, 2:255, A.Yusuf Ali translation)

The importance of knowledge for the believer in opposing Shaytan is well illustrated by the following story related by Ibn Abbass:

The Shaytan says to Iblis, "Master we delight in the death of a man of knowledge more than we rejoice in that of a man of worship. We are harmed by the man with knowledge, but not harmed by the man of worship."

Iblis says, "Come on, lets go". So off they go to a man of worship and they come to him while he is worshipping and tell him they want to ask him a question. Iblis says, "Can your lord put this world inside an egg?"

"The worshipper replies, "I don’t know". Iblis says to the Shaytans, "Don’t you see there is disbelief in his answer?"

They then go to a man of knowledge in his circle joking with his companions and say, "We want to ask you a question".

He says, "Ask" so Iblis says to him, "Can your Lord put this world inside an egg?"

He replies, "Yes".

Iblis asks, "How?"

The man of knowledge says,

"Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, ‘Be’ and it is!" [A.Yusuf Ali translation, Qur’an 36:82]

Iblis says to the Shaytans, "Don’t you see that, the man (the worshipper) does not have any effect beyond himself, while this man (the man of knowledge) estranges much of the world from me?"

It is well known that Shaytan is with those who oppose the community. For that reason, the Muslim must keep to the Muslim community because that will keep him far from the errors and snares of Shaytan.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar the Messenger of Allah said:

"Verily my Ummah, or Ummah of Muhammad, will not agree on error and the hand of Allah is upon the community; he who sets himself apart from it will be set apart in Hell Fire". [Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith no.57]




FAQ on Jinn


Question 1:  Who are the jinn?

The jinn are among the creatures that Allah (swt) created. Allah (swt) created angels, jinn, mankind, animals, plants and others. Jinn have some qualities like human beings. These qualities are intellect, discrimination, freedom, and the power to choose between right and wrong, between true and false, as well as between good and bad.

Question 2:  When did Allah (swt) create the jinn?

Allah (swt) created the jinn before Adam (pbuh) was created. Both were created in heaven and lived in paradise. One may read in Surah Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract) [Qur'an, 15:26-27] or [Al Baqarah 2:30]. However, nothing was mentioned about the duration of time of the jinn's creation before Adam (pbuh).

Question 3:  What are jinn created from?

Jinn are created from fire of hot wind [Qur'an, 15:27]; and from smokeless fire [Qur'an, 55:15]. They were originally made from fire and then molded and shaped in the form and shape that Allah (swt) wanted them to be. This means that they do not anymore possess their fiery nature. It is not known therefore, their final shape, form, and chemical composition. Since we cannot see them, therefore, it is not easy to do any analysis of their chemical nature. In contrast, mankind was created from soil, mud, and clay. They were molded as human beings. Our final form is no more mud or clay.

Question 4:  Do jinn have bodies?

Yes and no! It depends upon the information that one has. One group of scholars believe that jinn do not have bodies of their own. They also do not inhabit bodies of other creatures. However, they do exist independently by themselves. Therefore, they do not know how they exist without bodies: smoke, flame, fire or what?

The other group of scholars do believe that jinn do have bodies either definite or subtle. If their bodies are definite then they have some density; otherwise, if they are subtle, then they are so fine that our weak eyes cannot see them. One may read Surah Al-A'raf (The Heights) [Qur'an, 7:27]. Even if they are subtle they should have weight and density similar to that of the air itself.

Question 5:  Are there messengers and prophets from within the community of jinn?

Yes. Allah (swt) has sent prophets and messengers to jinn from within the jinn community. Also, Allah (swt) sent Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to mankind, to jinn, and to other creatures. In Surah Al-An'am (The Cattle), Allah (swt) explains that He sent messengers to men and to jinn. See Qur'an [6:130].

Question 6:  Do jinn marry and have children?

Yes. Jinn do marry and they do have children. The way they marry is not known to us yet. We may be able to know the future if Allah (swt) wants us to know.

People never knew about microbes, viruses, and the unseen micro creatures. Now we are able to know many things about their life cycles, their life duration, their methods of duplication or reproduction: sexually and asexually. The mere fact that we do not know how the jinn marry and reproduce does not negate their being married and reproduced. The Qur'an stipulates in Surah Al-Kahf (18:50) that they have offsprings. Similarly, the Qur'an states in Surah Al-Rahman (55:56) that jinn and human beings never touched (married) the ladies of paradise.

Question 7:  Can human beings and jinn inter-marry?

Yes and no. It depends upon how one looks at it. It is a known fact in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Israa' (17:64) that jinn may share with us our wealth and our children. The Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) reconfirms this concept when he says that when a man has marital relationship with his wife, he should mention the name of Allah (swt). He should seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the outcast shaitan. Otherwise, shaitan folds himself up in the man's urethra and shall have sexual relations along with him.

Moreover, when a man goes to his wife while she is in her menses, shaitan precedes him. She shall conceive and will bring forth a sterile person (Mukhannath). Such a sterile person is considered to be child of the jinn.

Question 8:  Do jinn have animals as pets?

Yes. Jinn do have animals or beasts of their own. The Prophet (pbuh) mentioned that every piece of dung is fodder for the beasts of the jinn. However, we do not know what type of beasts the jinn have. The same thing is to be said as to the varieties of beasts, their number, their shape, their size, their weight and so on.

Question 9:  Is it true that animals see jinn and angels?

Yes. Animals do see angels and shaitan. When a rooster sees an angel, it starts crowing. However, when a donkey starts braying it is seeing a jinn.



May Allah the Almighty forgive us for our shortcomings and guide us to that which He loves and is pleased with. Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, 11th edition 1429 AH / 2008 C.E with Revised English Translation, Commentary and Index by ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali.

The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an, New Modern English Edition, Second Print September 2005, An Explanatory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall.

Last updated 27th November 2013


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1 - Angels in Islam

2 - The World of Jinn and Its Secrets.

3 - Follow not the footsteps of Satan.

4 - The Traps of Iblees.