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The World of Angels (Malaikah) & Demon (Jinn) In Islam Religion

The World of Angels (Malaikah) & Demon (Jinn) In Islam Religion

By

Muhammad Vandestra

2017

Content

Preface

Belief In Angels (Malaikah)

The World of Angels (Malaikah)

The World of Jinn (Demon)

Fortunetelling In Islam

Sorcery/Magic from Islamic Perspective

Author Biography

Preface

In common folklore, angels or malaikah are thought of as good forces of nature, hologram images, or illusions.  Western iconography sometimes depicts angels as fat cherubic babies or handsome young men or women with a halo surrounding their head.  In Islamic doctrine, they are real created beings who will eventually suffer death, but are generally hidden from our senses.

They are not divine or semi-divine, and they are not God’s associates running different districts of the universe.  Also, they are not objects to be worshipped or prayed to, as they do not deliver our prayers to God.  They all submit to God and carry out His commands.

In the Islamic worldview, there are no fallen angels: they are not divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ angels.  Human beings do not become angels after death.  Satan is not a fallen angel, but is one of the jinn (demon), a creation of God parallel to human beings and angels.

Angels were created from light before human beings were created, and thus their graphic or symbolic representation in Islamic art is rare.  Nevertheless, they are generally beautiful beings with wings as described in Muslim scripture.

Angels form different cosmic hierarchies and orders in the sense that they are of different size, status, and merit.

The greatest of them is Gabriel.  The Prophet of Islam actually saw him in his original form.  Also, the attendants of God’s Throne are among the greatest angels.  They love the believers and beseech God to forgive them their sins. 

Throughout history humankind has been attracted to the supernatural.  Spirits, ghosts and many other strange creatures have filled our minds and captured our imaginations.  Strange and beguiling spectres have at times lead people to commit the greatest of all sins – Shirk. So are these spirits real?  Are they more than just figments of our imagination, or shadows moulded from smoke and illusion? Well, according  to Muslims they are very real.   Spirits, ghosts, banshees, poltergeists and phantoms can all be explained when one understands the Islamic concept of spirits – the world of the Jinn (Demon).

Jinn, is a word not completely unheard of by English speakers. Notice the similarity between Jinn and Geni. TV and the movies have all played their part in depicting genies as playful creatures able to fulfill all of humankind’s wishes. The geni in the television series “I Dream of Jeanie” was a young woman who always managed to create playful mischief, and in Disney animated film “Aladdin”, the genie was depicted as loveable rouge. Despite this the jinn are not part of a harmless fairy story; they are very real and can pose a very real threat to humankind.

However God, the Most Wise, has not left us defenceless. He explained the nature of the jinn very clearly. We know their methods and motives because God has revealed these things to us in the Quran and in the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. He has given us the “weapons” to protect ourselves and the means to resist his persuasion. First however, we must be clear about just exactly what jinn are.

The Arabic word Jinn is from the verb ‘Janna’ and means to hide or conceal. The Jinn or Demon are so called because they conceal themselves from people’s sight. The words janeen _](foetus) and [_mijann (shield) come from the same root. Jinn or demon, as the name suggests, are normally invisible to humans. The jinn are part of God’s creation. They were created from fire before the creation of Adam and humankind.

And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. And the jinn (Demon), We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire (Quran 15:26-27)

According to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad the angels were created from light, the jinn from fire and humankind from “what has been described to you”. (meaning clay) God created the angels, jinn and humankind for no other purpose then to worship Him.

“I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)

Jinn exist in our world but they live on their own. Jinn have their own distinct nature and features and they generally remain hidden from humankind.  Jinn and humans do have some common traits, the most important of which is free will and with it the ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. The jinn eat and drink, they marry, have children and die.

Belief In Angels (Malaikah)

In common folklore, angels or malaikah are thought of as good forces of nature, hologram images, or illusions.  Western iconography sometimes depicts angels as fat cherubic babies or handsome young men or women with a halo surrounding their head.  In Islamic doctrine, they are real created beings who will eventually suffer death, but are generally hidden from our senses.

They are not divine or semi-divine, and they are not God’s associates running different districts of the universe.  Also, they are not objects to be worshipped or prayed to, as they do not deliver our prayers to God.  They all submit to God and carry out His commands.

In the Islamic worldview, there are no fallen angels: they are not divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ angels.  Human beings do not become angels after death.  Satan is not a fallen angel, but is one of the jinn (demon), a creation of God parallel to human beings and angels.

Angels were created from light before human beings were created, and thus their graphic or symbolic representation in Islamic art is rare.  Nevertheless, they are generally beautiful beings with wings as described in Muslim scripture.

Angels form different cosmic hierarchies and orders in the sense that they are of different size, status, and merit.

The greatest of them is Gabriel.  The Prophet of Islam actually saw him in his original form.  Also, the attendants of God’s Throne are among the greatest angels.  They love the believers and beseech God to forgive them their sins.  They carry the Throne of God, about whom the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said:

“I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of God who carry the Throne.  The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.” (Abu Daud)

They do not eat or drink.  The angels do not get bored or tired of worshipping God:

“They celebrate His praises night and day, nor do they ever slacken.” (Quran 21:20)

The Number of Angels

How many angels there are? Only God knows.  The Much-Frequented House is a sacred heavenly sanctuary above the Kaaba, the black cube in the city of Mecca.  Every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, followed by another group.

The Names of Angels

Muslims believe in specific angels mentioned in the Islamic sources like Jibreel(Gabriel), Mika’eel (Michael), Israfeel, Malik – the guard over Hell, and others. Of these, only Gabriel and Michael are mentioned in the Bible.

Angelic Abilities

The angels possess great powers given to them by God.  They can take on different forms.  The Muslim scripture describes how at the moment of Jesus’ conception, God sent Gabriel to Mary in the form of a man:

“…Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” (Quran 19:17)

Angels also visited Abraham in human form.  Similarly, angels came to Lot to deliver him from danger in the form of handsome, young men.  Gabriel used to visit Prophet Muhammad in different forms.  Sometimes, he would appear in the form of one of his handsome disciples, and sometimes in the form of a desert Bedouin.

Angels have the ability to take human forms in some circumstances involving common people.

Gabriel is God’s heavenly messenger to mankind.  He would convey the revelation from God to His human messengers.  God says:

“Say: whoever is an enemy to Gabriel – for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by God’s will…” (Quran 2:97)

Tasks of the Angels

Some angels are put in charge of executing God’s law in the physical world.  Michael is responsible for rain, directing it wherever God wishes.  He has helpers who assist him by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as God wills.  Another is responsible for blowing the Horn, which will be blown by Israafeel at the onset of the Day of Judgment.  Others are responsible for taking souls out of the bodies at the time of death: the Angel of Death and his assistants.  God says:

“Say: the Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall you be brought back to your Lord.” (Quran 32:11)

Then there are guardian angels responsible for protecting the believer throughout his life, at home or traveling, asleep or awake.

Others are responsible for recording the deeds of man, good and bad.  These are known as the “honorable scribes.”

Two angels, Munkar and Nakeer, are responsible for testing people in the grave.

Among them are keepers of Paradise and the nineteen ‘guards’ of Hell whose leader is named ‘Malik.’

There are also angels responsible for breathing the soul into the fetus and writing down its provisions, life-span, actions, and whether it will be wretched or happy.

Some angels are roamers, traveling around the world in search of gatherings where God is remembered.  There are also angels constituting God’s heavenly army, standing in rows, they never get tired or sit down, and others who bow or prostrate, and never raise their heads, always worshipping God.

As we learn from above, the angels are a grandiose creation of God, varying in numbers, roles, and abilities. God is in no need of these creatures, but having knowledge and belief in them adds to the awe that one feels towards God, in that He is able to create as He wishes, for indeed the magnificence of His creation is a proof of the magnificence of the Creator.

The World of Angels (Malaikah)

Muslims believe in the existence of angels or malaikah.  In Islam there are six pillars of faith; belief in God, the One and Only, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists, belief in His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day and divine predestination.

Angels are part of the unseen world, but Muslims believe in their existence with certainty because God and His messenger, Muhammad, have provided us with information about them.  The angels were created by God in order to worship and obey Him..

“They, (angels) disobey not, the Commands they receive from God, but do that which they are commanded.” (Quran 66:6)

God created angels from light.  Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, “The angels are created from light,” We have no knowledge of when the angels were created, however, we do know that it was before the creation of humankind.  Quran explains that God told the angels of His intention to create a vicegerent on earth. (2:30)

Muslims know that angels are beautiful creations.  In Quran 53:6 God describes the  angels  as  dhoo mirrah, this is an Arabic term that renowned Islamic scholars define as,  tall and beautiful in appearance.  Quran (12:31) also describes Prophet Joseph as beautiful, like a noble angel.

Angels have wings, and can be very large.  There is nothing in either the Quran, or the traditions of Prophet Muhammad that indicate that angels are winged babies or have any form of gender. We do know however, that angels are winged and some are extremely large.  From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad we know that the angel Gabriel’s great size filled “the space between heaven and earth” and that he had six hundred wings.

“…Who made the angels, messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs)…” (Quran 35:1)

There are also differences in the status of angels.  Those angels who were present at the first battle, the Battle of Badr, are known to be the “best” of the angels.

“Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet and asked, ‘How do you rate the people among you who were present at Badr?’ Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, answered, ‘They are the best of the Muslims,’ or something similar. Gabriel then  said: ‘So it is with the angels who were present at Badr.’”

Muslims believe that angels have no need to eat or drink.  Their sustenance is glorifying God and repeating the words, there is no god but God. (Quran 21:20).

“. . . For in the presence of your Lord are those who celebrate His praises by night and by day. And they never flag (nor feel themselves above it).” (Quran 41:38)

The story of Prophet Abraham in Quran also indicates that the angels have no need of food.  When angels, in the form of men, visited Prophet Abraham to give him the good tidings of the birth of a son, he offered to them a calf in their honour.  They refused to eat and he became fearful, it was then that they revealed themselves as angels. (Quran 51:26-28)

There are many angels, but only God knows the exact number.  During his ascension to heaven, the Prophet Muhammad visited a House of Worship known as ‘the much-frequented house’, or, in Arabic  al Bayt al-Mamoor,  the heavenly equivalent of the Kaaba.

Then I was taken up to ‘the Much-Frequented House’: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another (group) coming after them.”

Prophet Muhammad has also informed us that on the Day of Judgement, hell will be brought forth and shown to the people.  He said, “Hell will be brought forth that day by means of seventy thousand ropes, each of which will be pulled by seventy thousand angels.”

The angels have great powers.  They have the ability to take on different forms.  They appeared before both Prophet Abraham and Prophet Lot as men.  The angel Gabriel appeared before Mary the mother of Jesus as a man, (Quran 19:17) and he appeared before Prophet Muhammad as a man, whose clothes were exceedingly white, and whose hair was exceedingly black.

The angels are strong.  Four angels carry the throne of God, and on the Day of Judgement their number will be increased to eight.  Among the traditions of Prophet Muhammad is a narration that describes one of the angels carrying God’s throne.  “The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.”

Angels carry out various duties and responsibilities.  Some are responsible for matters of the universe.  Some are responsible for the seas, or the mountains or the wind.  Once, after visiting the city of Ta’if, a town near Mecca, Prophet Muhammad was pelted with stones.  The angel Gabriel and the angel of the mountains paid him a visit.

The angel of the mountains offered to destroy the intractable people by burying them under the rubble of two nearby mountains. Prophet Muhammad declined the offer for he believed that if they had a chance to settle down and look at Islam, they would accept it band love God.

Angels carry out God’s commands without flinching or hesitating.  Each angel has a duty or function.  Some angels guard and accompany human beings, others are messengers.  In part two we will examine these duties and learn the names of some of the angels who perform them.

God Bestowed Might & Power Upon The Angels

Angels are beings created by God, from light.  They carry out the duties prescribed for them without flinching or hesitating.  Muslims gain their understanding of angels from the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad.  In part one we established that angels are beautiful winged creatures, which come in various sizes and by the permission of God, are able to change their form.  The angels have names and duties they are required to perform.

The name most familiar to Muslims and non-Muslims alike is Gabriel (Jibreel). The angel Gabriel is referred to in both Jewish and Christian traditions as an archangel and messenger of God, and he holds great status in all three monotheistic religions.

“Verily, this is the Word (this Quran brought by) an honourable messenger (Gabriel), from God to the Prophet Muhammad.  Owner of power, and high rank with (God, the Lord of the Throne).  Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there in the heavens.” (Quran 81:19-21)

Gabriel brought down the words of God – the Quran – to Prophet Muhammad.

“…Jibreel – for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by God’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings to those who believe”. (Quran 2:87)

Michael (Mikaeel) is the angel responsible for rain and Israfeel is the angel who will blow the trumpet on the Day of Judgement.  These three are from the greatest of the angels due to the great importance of their duties. Each of their duties deals with an aspect of life. Angel Gabriel brought the Quran from God to Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran nourishes the heart and the soul. Angel Michael is responsible for the rain, and it nourishes the earth and thus our physical bodies, Angel Israfeel is responsible for the blowing of the trumpet and it signals the beginning of life everlasting, either in Paradise or in Hell.

When Prophet Muhammad rose in the night to pray he would begin his prayer with the words, “O God, Lord of Jibreel, Mikaeel and Israfeel, Creator of heaven and earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen. You are the Judge of the matters in which Your slaves differ.  Guide me with regard to disputed matters of Truth by Your permission, for You guide whomever You will to the Straight Path.”

We also know the names of several other angels.` Malik, is the angel known as the gatekeeper of Hell. “They [the people in Hell] will cry: ‘O Malik! Would that your Lord put an end to us!’. . .” [*(Quran 43:77) *]Munkar and Nakeer are the angels responsible for questioning people in their graves. We know these names and understand that we will be questioned by angels in the grave as is mentioned in  the traditions of Prophet Muhammad.

“When the deceased is buried, there come to him two blue-black angels, one of whom is called Munkar and the other Nakeer. They ask him, ‘What did you used to say about this man?’ and he says what he used to say: ‘He is the slave and Messenger of God: I bear witness that there is no god except God and that Muhammad is the slave and Messenger of God. They say, ‘We knew beforehand that you used to say this.’ Then his grave will be widened for him to a size of seventy cubits by seventy cubits and it will be illuminated for him. Then they tell him, ‘Sleep.’ He says, ‘Go back to my family and tell them.’ They tell him, ‘Sleep like a bridegroom whom no-one will wake up except his most beloved,’ until God raises him up…”

In Quran we find the story of two angels named Haroot and Maroot, who were sent to Babylon to teach the people magic.  The use of magic is forbidden in Islam but these angels were sent as a test for the people.  Before revealing or teaching magic Haroot and Maroot clearly warned the inhabitants of Babylon that they were sent as a trial, and that the buyers of magic would have no share in the hereafter, i.e. they would go to hell. (Quran 2:102)

Although it is sometimes assumed that the Angel of Death is named Azraeel, there is nothing in Quran or the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad that indicates this.  We do not know the name of the Angel of Death but we do know his duty and that he has assistants.

“Say: “The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls. Then you shall be brought to your Lord.” (Quran 32:11)

Until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (i.e. the Angel of Death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to God, their Master, the Just Lord.” (Quran 6:61-62)

There are a group of Angels who travel throughout the world, seeking out people remembering God. From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad we know that, “God has angels who travel the highways seeking out the people of remembrance.  When they find people remembering God, they call out to one another, “Come to what you hunger for!” and they enfold them with their wings, stretching up to the lowest heaven. Their Lord asked then, and He knows better than them, “What are My slaves saying?” They say: “They are glorifying, magnifying, praising and extolling You.” He asks, “Have they seen Me?” They say, “No, by God, they have not seen You.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw Me?” They say, “They would be even more fervent and devoted in their praise and worship.” He asks, “What are they asking me for?” They say, “They ask You for Paradise.” He asks, “And have they seen it?” They say, “No, by God, O Lord, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more eager for it and they would beseech You even more earnestly.” He asks, “And what do they seek My protection from?” They say, “From the Fire of Hell.” He asks, “Have they seen it?” They say, “No, by God, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more afraid and anxious to escape it.” God says: “You are My witnesses that I have forgiven them.” One of the angels says: “So-and-so is not really one of them; he came (to the gathering) for some other reason.” Allah says, “They were all in the gathering, and one of them will not be excluded (from forgiveness).”

Muslims believe that angels have special duties to perform pertaining to human beings. They guard and protect them, and two angels write down good and bad deeds. They witness prayers and one is even responsible for the foetuses in wombs. 

The Connections Between Angels & Humankind

Muslims believe that angels play an active part in the lives of human beings.  This begins soon after conception and continues until the moment of death.  Angels and human beings even interact in the afterlife.  Angels usher people into Paradise and guard the gates of Hell.  Belief in the angels is one of the fundamental beliefs of Islam.

From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, we understand that a few months after conception life is breathed into it by the permission of God.  An angel then writes the answer to four questions in this human being’s book of deeds.  Will it be male or female?  Will this person be happy or sad?  How long will his or her life span be, and will this person perform good or bad deeds?

There are angels responsible for guarding people throughout their lives.

“For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him.  They guard him by the Command of God.” (Quran 13:10)

Each person has been assigned two recording angels.  These angels have honourable scribes and their duty is to write down all the good and bad deeds. 

[[“. . . and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you . . .” (Quran 6:61)
__
“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel?  (Yes We do) and Our Messengers (appointed angels in charge of humankind) are by them, to record.” (Quran 43:80)
__
*“(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being after he or she has attained the age of puberty), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions).  Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” (Quran 50:17-18) *
__
“But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of humankind) to watch you, Kiraaman (honourable) kaatibeen – writing down (your deeds).” (Quran 82:10-11)]]

The angels record in an honourable yet strict manner.  Not a single word is left unrecorded.  However, as always, God’s mercy is evident.  Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, explained that God has defined and given details about the methodology of recording good and evil deeds.  “Whoever intended to do a good deed, but did not do it, it is written for him as a complete good deed.  If he actually performed the good deed then it is written as ten good deeds, or up to seven hundred times or more.  If a person intended to do an evil deed, but did not do it, it is written as a good deed, while if he entertained the thought and acted on it, it is written as a single evil deed.”

The renowned Islamic scholar Ibn Kathir commented on Quran 13:10-11  by saying, “Each person has angels who take turns in guarding him by night and day, who protect him from evil and from accidents, just as other angels take turns in recording his deeds, good and bad, by night and by day.”

“Two angels, on the right and the left, record his deeds.  The one on the right writes down good deeds and the one on his left writes down evil deeds.  Two other angels guard him and protect him, one from behind, and one from in front.  So there are four angels by day and four others by night.”

Apart from the four angels constantly with each human being, guarding, and recording, other angels continually visit human beings.  In his traditions, Prophet Muhammad reminds his followers that they are constantly being visited by angels.  He said, “Angels come to you in succession by night and day and all of them get together at the time of the Fajr (early morning) and Asr (afternoon) prayers.  Those who have passed the night with you (or stayed with you) ascend (to the Heaven) and God asks them, though He knows everything about you well, “In what state did you leave my slaves?”  The angels reply: “When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.” [_ _]They gather to witness the prayer and listen to the recited verses of Quran.

It can therefore be understood that angels are very much involved with the life of human beings and this interaction does not end when the angel of death removes the soul, nor does it end after the angels question the deceased person is his grave.  Angels are the gatekeepers of Paradise.

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: Assalamu alaikum (May God’s peace be upon you!).  You have done well, so enter here, to abide therein.” (Quran 39:73)

“And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying), “Assalamu Alaikum (May God’s peace be upon you) for you persevered in patience!  Excellent indeed is the final home!” (Quran13:23)

Angels are also the gatekeepers of Hell.

“And what will make you know exactly what Hell-fire is?  It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburnt)!  Burning the skins!  Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell).  And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers – in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in Faith.” (Quran74:27-31)

God created the angels from light.  They are unable to disobey God and follow His orders without flinching or hesitating.  Angels worship God.  It is their sustenance.  These noble creatures play a significant role in the life of human beings.  They guard and protect, record and report, and gather with human beings who remember God. 

The World of Jinn (Demon)

Throughout history humankind has been attracted to the supernatural.  Spirits, ghosts and many other strange creatures have filled our minds and captured our imaginations.  Strange and beguiling spectres have at times lead people to commit the greatest of all sins – Shirk. So are these spirits real?  Are they more than just figments of our imagination, or shadows moulded from smoke and illusion? Well, according  to Muslims they are very real.   Spirits, ghosts, banshees, poltergeists and phantoms can all be explained when one understands the Islamic concept of spirits – the world of the Jinn (Demon).

Jinn, is a word not completely unheard of by English speakers. Notice the similarity between Jinn and Geni. TV and the movies have all played their part in depicting genies as playful creatures able to fulfill all of humankind’s wishes. The geni in the television series “I Dream of Jeanie” was a young woman who always managed to create playful mischief, and in Disney animated film “Aladdin”, the genie was depicted as loveable rouge. Despite this the jinn are not part of a harmless fairy story; they are very real and can pose a very real threat to humankind.

However God, the Most Wise, has not left us defenceless. He explained the nature of the jinn very clearly. We know their methods and motives because God has revealed these things to us in the Quran and in the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. He has given us the “weapons” to protect ourselves and the means to resist his persuasion. First however, we must be clear about just exactly what jinn are.

The Arabic word Jinn is from the verb ‘Janna’ and means to hide or conceal. The Jinn are so called because they conceal themselves from people’s sight. The words janeen _](foetus) and [_mijann (shield) come from the same root. Jinn, as the name suggests, are normally invisible to humans. The jinn or demon are part of God’s creation. They were created from fire before the creation of Adam and humankind.

And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire (Quran 15:26-27)

According to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad the angels were created from light, the jinn from fire and humankind from “what has been described to you”. (meaning clay) God created the angels, jinn and humankind for no other purpose then to worship Him.

“I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)

Jinn exist in our world but they live on their own. Jinn have their own distinct nature and features and they generally remain hidden from humankind.  Jinn and humans do have some common traits, the most important of which is free will and with it the ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. The jinn eat and drink, they marry, have children and die.

“And surely, We have created many of the jinn and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth).” (Quran 7:179)

Islamic scholar Ibn Abd al Barr said the jinn have several names and are of various types. In general, they are called jinn; a jinn who lives among people (a haunter or dweller) is called Aamir, and if it is the type of jinn that attaches itself to a child it is called Arwaah. An evil jinn is often called Shaytaan (devil), when they are more  than evil, demonic, they are called Maarid, and the most evil and strong jinn are called Ifreet (plural afaareet). In the traditions of Prophet Muhammad the jinn are divided into three classes; those who have wings and fly in the air, those who resemble snakes and dogs, and those who travel about endlessly.

Among the jinn are those who believe in God and the message of all the Prophets of God and there are those who do not. There are also those who will abandon their evil ways and become true believers, faithful and patient.

“Say (O’ Muhammad): 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)

The jinn are accountable to God and subject to His commands and prohibitions. They will be called to account and will enter either Paradise or Hell.  The jinn will be present with humankind on the Day of Resurrection and God will address them both.

“O you assembly of jinn and humankind! “Did not there come to you Messengers from amongst you, reciting unto you My Verses and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?” They will say, “We bear witness against ourselves.” (Quran 6:130)

So far we have learned that supernatural beings do exist. We are not alone. They are creatures that live with us, yet apart from us.  Their existence offers an explanation for many strange and unsettling occurrences. We know that jinn are both good and evil, although the mischief makers and evildoers far outnumber the believers.

The concept of Shaytaan being a fallen angel is from the doctrines of Christianity, but according to Islam Shaytaan is a jinn, not an angel.  God speaks about Shaytaan a great deal in the Quran.

Who Is Satan?

Is Satan (Shaytaan) one of the jinn? Satan, Shaytann, the devil, Iblees, the personification of evil, is known by many names.  The Christians usually call him Satan; to Muslims he is known as Shaytaan.  He is first introduced to us in the story of Adam and Eve and although the Christian and Islamic traditions have much in common there are certain glaring differences.

The story of Adam and Eve is well known and an in depth account of the Islamic version can be found on this website. Both the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in no way indicate that Satan came to Adam and Eve in the form of a snake or serpent.  Nor do they indicate that Eve was the weaker of the two who tempted Adam to disobey God.  The reality was that Adam and Eve had no experience of the whispering and ploys of -Satan and their dealings with him remain a vital lesson for all of humankind.

Satan became jealous of Adam and refused to obey the command of God to prostrate before him. God tells us of this in the Quran:

“The Angels prostrated themselves all of them together.   Except Satan, he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves.  God said: ‘O Satan! What is your reason for not being among those who prostrate?  ‘Satan said: ‘I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.’  God said: ‘Then get out from Here for verily you are an accursed one.   Verily the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Resurrection.’” (Quran 15:30-35)

Satan was arrogant then and he is arrogant now.  His vow from that moment on was to misguide and deceive Adam, Eve and their descendants.  When he was expelled from Paradise, Satan made a promise to God that if he would be kept alive until the Day of Judgment that he would work his utmost to mislead humankind.  Satan is crafty and cunning, but ultimately understands the weaknesses of human beings; he recognises their loves and desires and employs all manner of tricks and deception to lead them away from the path of righteousness.  He started to make sin attractive to humankind and tempted them with evil things and immoral actions.  

“Now, indeed, Iblees (Satan) did prove that his opinion of them had been right: for [when he called them,] they followed him – all but some of the believers [among them].” (Quran 34:20)

In Arabic, the word shaytaan can refer to any arrogant or insolent creature and it is applied to this particular creature because of his insolence and rebellion towards God.  Satan (Shaytaan) is a jinn, a creature who can think, reason and has free will.  He is full of despair because he understands the full significance of being denied God’s mercy.  Satan has vowed not to inhabit the depths of Hell alone; his wish is to take as many human beings with him as he can. 

“Satan said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me, if You keep me alive to the Day of Resurrection, I shall most certainly cause his descendants-all but a few-to obey me blindly (Quran17:62)

God warns us against the enmity of Satan throughout the Quran.  He is able to deceive, misguide and trick people with ease.  He is able to make sin look like a gateway to Paradise and unless each person is careful they can be easily mislead. God, Almighty, says:

“O children of Adam.  Let not Satan deceive you.” (Quran 7:27)

“Surely Satan is an enemy to you so take him as an enemy.” (Quran 35:6)

“And whoever takes Satan as a protector or helper instead of God, has surely suffered a manifest loss.” (Quran4:119)

As discussed, the ultimate aim of Satan is to lead people away from Paradise, but he also has short term goals.  He tries to lead people into idolatry and polytheism.  He entices them to commit sins and acts of disobedience.  It is correct to say that every act of disobedience that is hated by God is loved by Satan, he loves immorality and sin.  He whispers into the ears of the believers, he disrupts the prayer and remembrance of God and fills our minds with unimportant matters.  Ibn ul Qayyim said, “One of his plots is that he always bewitches people’s minds until they are deceived, he makes attractive to the mind that which will harm it”. 

If you spend wealth in charity you will become poor he says, migrating for the sake of God will lead to loneliness, he whispers.  Satan sows enmity between the people, instills doubt in people’s minds and causes rifts between husband and wife.  He has wide-ranging experience in the field of deception.  He has tricks and temptations, his words are smooth and enticing and he has troops of helpers both mankind and jinn.  Although, as we discussed in the last article, there are believers among the jinn, but the vast majority are mischief makers or evil doers.  They work willingly and happily with Satan to scare, trick and ultimately destroy the true believers in God.

Jinn (Demon) Exist Amongst Us But Apart From Us

We are not alone!  This statement sounds a little like an ad for a science fiction movie.  It could be just that, but it is not.  We really are not alone here on earth.  We are God’s creatures but we are not God’s only creatures.  In the past two articles we have learned a great deal about the jinn (Demon).  We established that they were created by God, before the creation of humankind, from smokeless fire.  We also established that the jinn are both male and female, good and bad, believers and non believers. 

Jinn exist in our world yet they are separate from it.  Shaytaan is from the jinn and his followers are from both the jinn and humankind.  Now that we understand that we are not alone, it becomes necessary to recognise signs indicating the presence of the jinn and know how to protect ourselves from their mischief and evil doing.

“And indeed, We created man from clay of altered mud.  And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.” (Quran 15:26-27)

“I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)

Because the jinn share this world with us we should know their dwelling places.  Jinn tend to gather together, sometimes in great numbers, in ruins and deserted places.  They tend to gather in places of filth, garbage dumps and graveyards.  Jinn at times congregate in places where it is easy for them to cause mischief and mayhem, such as market places. 

In the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, we find that some of the companions advised people not to be the first to enter or the last to leave market places because they were the battle grounds for the devils and mischief makers.

If a Shaytaan chooses a human dwelling as its own place of stay, we are given the “weapons” through which we can expel them from the homes. These include saying Bismillah (I begin with the name of God), remembering God frequently and reciting any words from the Quran but especially Chapters two and three.  The jinn also flee whenever they hear the call to prayer.

Prophet Muhammad explained that jinn congregate in great numbers and spread out as darkness falls.   He commanded us to keep our children inside at dusk for this reason. He also told us that the jinn have animals and that the food for their animals is the dung of our animals. 

Sometimes, animals that belong to humankind are associated with the jinn.  For instance, many of the jinn are able to take on the form of snakes and Prophet Muhammad referred to black dogs as devils.  He also said, “Do not pray in camels’ pens for devils dwell therein.” He associated camels with jinn due to their aggressive nature.

There are many ways that we can protect ourselves and our families from the mischief caused by the jinn.  The most important is to turn to God and seek his protection; we do this by adhering to the words of Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.  Seeking refuge in God will protect us from the jinn and devils.  We should seek His protection when we enter the bathroom, when we become angry, before sexual intercourse, and resting on a journey or travelling into a valley.  It is also important to seek refuge with God when reading Quran.

“So when you want to recite the Quran, seek refuge with God from Shaytaan (Satan), the outcast (the cursed one).  Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord.” (Quran 16:98-99)

Understanding the nature of the jinn makes it possible to understand some of the strange phenomena that occur in our world today.  People turn to fortune tellers and psychics to see into the future or the unknown.  Men and women on the television and internet claim to speak to dead people and relay secrets and mysterious information.   Islam teaches us that this is not possible.  Soothsayers and astrologists allege that they can predict the future and read personalities by the alignment of the stars and other heavenly bodies.  Islam teaches us that this too is not possible. 

However, in the ancient past the jinn were able to ascend into the heavens.  At that time they were able to eavesdrop and find out about events before they happened.  During the time of Prophet Muhammad heavenly protection was increased and remains so still.  The jinn are no long able to eavesdrop on conversations in the heavenly realm.

“And we have sought to reach the heaven; but found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires.  And verily, we used to sit there in stations, to (steal) a hearing, but any who listens now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.  And we know not whether evil is intended for those on earth, or whether their Lord intends for them a Right Path.” (Quran 72:8-10)

Prophet Muhammad explained the meaning of these verses. “When God has ordained some affair in the Heaven, the angels beat with their wings in obedience to His statement, which sounds like a chain dragged over a rock. They (angels) say, ‘What was it that your Lord said? Some answer, ‘The truth,And He is the Most High, the Most Great.’ (Quran 34.23) Then those who gain a hearing by stealing (i.e.  devils or jinn) stand one over the other.  A flame may overtake and burn the eavesdropper before he conveys  the news to the one below him, or it may not overtake him till he has conveyed it to the one below him, who in his turn, conveys it to the one below him, and so on till they convey the news to the earth.

The jinn are able to take a grain of truth and mix it with lies to confuse and confound people.  Strange phenomena though disconcerting and sometimes scary are nothing more than evil mischief making designed to tear people away from God.  Sometimes the jinn and human devils will team up to trick the believers into committing the sin of shirk –associating partners with God.

Sometimes in this strange and wonderful world we are confronted with trials and tribulations that often seem to weigh us down.  Dealing with the mischief making and evil intentions of the jinn seems to be an even bigger test. However it is comforting to know that God is the source of all strength and power and that nothing happens without his permission. 

Prophet Muhammad told us that the best words with which to seek God’s protection from the evil of mankind and jinn are the last three chapters of the Quran.  We may at times have to face the evil doing of the jinn but God is our safe haven, turning to Him is our rescue.  There is no protection except the protection of God, it is Him alone that we worship and it is to Him alone that we turn to for help.

Fortunetelling In Islam

There are among mankind, people who claim knowledge of the unseen and the future.  They are known by various names, among them: fortune-teller, soothsayer, foreseer, augur, magician, prognosticator, oracle, astrologer, palmist, etc.  Fortune-tellers use various methods and mediums from which they claim to extract their information, among them: reading tea-leaves, drawing lines, writing numbers, palm-reading, casting horoscopes, crystal ball gazing, rattling bones, throwing sticks, etc.

Practitioners of occult arts, which claim to reveal the unseen and predict the future, can be divided into two main categories:

1.    Those who have no real knowledge or secrets but depend on telling their customers about general incidences which happen to most people.  They often go through a series of meaningless rituals, then make calculatedly general guesses.  Some of their guesses, due to their generality, usually come true.  Most people tend to remember the few predictions that come true and quickly forget the many which do not.  This tendency is a result of the fact that after some time all the predictions tend to become half-forgotten thoughts in the subconscious until something happens to trigger their recall.  For example, it has become a common practice in North America to publish, at the beginning of each year the various predictions of famous fortune-tellers.  When a survey was taken of the various predictions for the year 1980, it was found that the most accurate fortune-teller among them was only 24% accurate in her predictions!

2.    The second group are those who have made contact with the Jinn.  This group is of most importance because it usually involves the grave sin of Shirk, and those involved often tend to be highly accurate in their information and thus present a real Fitnah (temptations) for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Realm of the Jinn (Demon)

Some people have attempted to deny the reality of the Jinn about whom the Quran has devoted a whole chapter, Soorah al-Jinn (Chapter 72).  By relying on the literal meaning of the word Jinn which comes from the verb Janna, Yajunnu: “to cover, hide or conceal”, they claim that the word Jinn really refers to “clever foreigners”.  Others have even stated that a Jinn is a human who does not have a true mind in his head but he has a fiery nature.  But, the reality is that the Jinn represent another creation of God, which co-exists with man on the earth.  God created the Jinn before He created mankind, and He also used a different set of elements than those used for man.  God said:

“And We did certainly create man out of clay from an altered black mud. And the jinn We created before from scorching fire.” (Quran 15:26)

They were named Jinn because they are hidden from the eyes of mankind.  Iblees (Satan) was in the company of the Angels who were commanded by God to prostrate to Adam.  When he refused to prostrate and was asked why, he said:

“He said, ‘I am better than he is.  You (God) created me from fire and You created him from clay!” (Quran 38:76)

Aisha reported that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, “The angels were created from light and the Jinn from smokeless fire.” (Saheeh Muslim[*)*]

God also said,

“And when We told the angels to prostrate to Adam, they all prostrated except Iblees.  He was of the Jinn.” (Quran 18:50)

Therefore it is incorrect to consider him a fallen angel or the like.

The Jinn may first be divided into three broad categories in relation to their modes of existence.  The Prophet said:

“There are three types of Jinn: One type which flies in the air all the time, another type which exists as snakes and dogs, and an earthbound type which resides in one place or wanders about.” (At-Tabaree and al-Haakim)

The Jinn may be further divided into two categories in relationship to their faith: Muslims (believers) and Kaafirs (disbelievers).  God refers to the believing Jinn in Soorah al-Jinn as follows:

“Say: It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened and said, ‘Verily 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.  He, may our Lord’s glory be exalted, has not taken a wife nor a son.  What the foolish ones among us used to say about God is a horrible lie.” (Quran 72:1-4)

“And there are among us Muslims and others who are unjust.  Whoever accepts Islam has sought out the right path.  As for those who are unjust, they will be fuel for the Hell fire.” (Quran 72:14)

The disbelievers among the Jinn are referred to by various names in both Arabic and English: Ifreet, Shaytaan, Qareen, demons, devils, spirits, ghosts, etc.  They try to misguide man in various ways.  Whoever listens to them and becomes a worker for them is referred to as human Shaytaan (devil).

God said:

“Likewise, we have made for every Prophet an enemy, Shaytaans from among mankind and the Jinn.” (Quran 6:112)

Every human has an individual Jinn accompanying him referred to as a Qareen(i.e. companion).  This is a part of man’s test in this life.  The Jinn encourage his lower desires and constantly try to divert him from righteousness.  The Prophet referred to this relationship as follows,

“Everyone of you has been assigned a companion from the Jinn.”  The Sahaabah asked, “Even you, O Messenger of God?” And the Prophet replied, “Even me, except that God has helped me against him and he has submitted.  Now he only tells me to do good.” (Saheeh Muslim)

Prophet Sulaymaan (Solomon) was given miraculous control over the Jinn, as a sign of his prophethood.  God said: “And, we gathered for Sulaymaan his army from the Jinn, mankind and the birds.” (Quran 27:17) and they were all kept in order and ranks.

But this power was not given to anyone else.  No one else is allowed to control the Jinn and no one can.  The Prophet said, “Verily an Ifr-eeit from among the Jinn spat on me last night trying to break my Salaah.  However God let me overpower him and I wanted to tie him to one of the columns in the masjid so that you all could see him in the morning.  Then, I remembered my brother Sulaymaan’s prayer: ‘Oh my Lord, forgive me and bestow on me a kingdom not allowed to anyone after me.’ (Quran 38:35)

Man cannot gain control over the Jinn as this 0was a special miracle given only to Prophet Sulaymaan.  In fact, contact with the Jinn in circumstances other than possession, or accident is most often made by the performance of sacrilegious acts despised and forbidden in the religion.  The evil Jinn summoned in this fashion may aid their partners in sin and disbelief in God.  Their goal is to draw as many others as they can into the gravest of sins, the worship of others besides or along with God.

Once contact and contract with the Jinn are made by fortune-tellers, the Jinn may inform them of certain events in the future.  The Prophet described how the Jinn gather information about the future.  He related that the Jinn were able to travel to the lower reaches of the heavens and listen in on some of the information about the future, which the angels pass among themselves.  They would then return to the earth and feed the information to their human contacts. This used to happen a lot prior to the prophethood of Muhammad and fortune-tellers were very accurate in their information.  They were able to gain positions in the royal courts and enjoyed much popularity and were even worshipped in some regions of the world.

After the Prophet Muhammad began his mission the situation changed.  God had the angels guard the lower reaches of the heavens carefully, and most of the Jinn were chased away with meteors and shooting stars.  God described this phenomenon in the following Quranic statement made by one of the Jinn, “We (the Jinn) had sought out the heavens but found it filled with strong guardians and meteors.  We used to sit on high places in order to listen, but whoever listens now finds a flame waiting for him.”

God also said,

“And We have guarded it (the heavens) from every cursed devil, except the one who is able to snatch a hearing and, he is pursued by a brightly burning flame.” (Quran 15:17)

Ibn Abbaas said, “When the Prophet and a group of his companions set out for the Ukaadh market, the devils were blocked from hearing information in the heavens.  Meteors were let loose on them, so they returned to their people.  When their people asked what happened, they told them.  Some suggested that something must have happened, so they spread out over the earth seeking the cause.  Some of them came across the Prophet and his companions while they were in Salaah and they heard the Quran.  They said to themselves that this must have been what blocked them from listening.  When they returned to their people they told them, ‘Verily we have heard a marvellous Quran.  It guides unto righteousness so we believed in it.  And we will never make partners with our Lord.’”

Thus, the Jinn could no longer gather information about the future as easily as they could before the Prophet’s mission.  Because of that, they now mix their information with many lies.  The Prophet said: “They (the Jinn) would pass the information back down until it reaches the lips of a magician fortune-teller.  Sometimes a meteor would overtake them before they could pass it on.  If they passed it on before being struck, they would add to it a hundred lies.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi[*)*]

Aisha reported that when she asked God’s messenger about fortune-tellers, he replied that they were nothing.  She then mentioned that the fortune-tellers sometimes told them things, which were true.  The Prophet said: “That is a bit of truth which the Jinn steals and cackles in the ear of his friend; but he mixes along with it a hundred lies.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim[*)*]

Once while Umar ibn al-Khattaab was sitting, a handsome man, Sawaad Ibn Qaarib passed by him.  Umar said: “If I am not wrong, this person is still following his religion of pre-Islamic times or perhaps he was one of their fortune-tellers.”  He ordered that the man be brought to him and asked him about, what he suspected.  The man replied, “I have never seen a day like this where a Muslim is faced with such accusations.”  Umar said, “Verily I am determined that you should inform me.”  The man then said, “I was their fortune-teller in the time of ignorance.”  On hearing that Umar asked, “Tell me about the strangest thing which your female Jinn told you.”  The man then said, “One day, while I was in the market, she came to me all worried and said, ‘Have you not seen the Jinns in their despair after their disgrace?  And their following of she-camels and their riders.”  Umar interjected, “It is true.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

The Jinns are also able to inform their human contact of the relative future.  For example, when someone comes to a fortune-teller, the fortune-teller’s Jinn gets information from the man’s Qareen (the jinn assigned to every human being) of what plans he had made prior to his coming.  So the fortune-teller is able to tell him that he will do this or that, or go here or there.  By this method, the real fortune-teller is also able to learn about a stranger’s past in vivid detail.  He is able to tell a total stranger of his parents’ names, where he was born, the acts of his childhood, etc.  The ability to vividly describe the past is one of the marks of a true fortune-teller who has made contact with the Jinn.  Because the Jinn are able to traverse huge distances instantaneously, they are also able to gather huge stores of information about hidden things, lost articles and unobserved events.  Proof of this ability can be found in the Quran, in the story about Prophet Sulaymaan and Bilqees, the Queen of Sheba.  When Queen Bilqees came to see him, he asked the Jinn to bring her throne from her land.  “An Ifreet from among the Jinns said, I will bring it for you before you can get up from your place.  Verily, I am strong and trustworthy for the assignment.

The Islamic Ruling on Fortune-telling

Because of the sacrilege and heresy involved in fortune telling, Islam has taken a very strong stance towards it.  Islam opposes any form of association with those who practice fortune-telling, except to advise them to give up their forbidden practices.

Visitation of Fortune-tellers

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, laid down principles, which clearly forbade any form of visitation of fortune-tellers.  Safiyyah reported from Hafsah (wife of the Prophet) that the Prophet said, [“The *]Salaah[ of whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for 40 days and nights.”(]Saheeh Muslim[)*] The punishment in this Hadeeth is for simply approaching a fortune-teller and asking him questions out of curiosity.  This prohibition is further supported by Mu’aawiyah Ibn al-Hakam asSolamee’s _]Hadeeth in which he said, “O Messenger of God, verily there are some people among us who visit oracles.  The Prophet replied, “Do not go to them”.  Such a severe punishment has been assigned for only visitation because it is the first step to belief in fortune-telling.  If one went there doubtful about its reality, and some of the fortune-teller’s predictions come true, one will surely become a true devotee of the fortune-teller and an ardent believer in fortune-telling.  The individual who approaches a fortune-teller is still obliged to make his compulsory [_Salaah throughout the 40 day period, even though he gets no reward from his prayers.  If he abandons the Salaah all together, he has committed another major sin.

Belief in Fortune-tellers

The Islamic ruling with regard to anyone who visits a fortune-teller believing that he knows the unseen and the future is that of Kufr (disbelief).  Abu Hurayrah and al-Hasan both reported from the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, that he said, “Whosoever approaches a fortune-teller and believes what he says, has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.”  Such a belief assigns to creation some of God’s attributes with regard to the knowledge of the unseen and the future.  Consequently, it destroys Tawheed alAsmaa was-Sifaat, and represents a form of Shirk in this aspect of Tawheed.

The ruling of Kufr includes, by analogy (Qiyaas), those who read the books and writings of fortune-tellers, listen to them on the radio or watch them on the T.V., as, these are the most common means used by 20th century fortune-tellers to spread their predictions.

God clearly states in the Quran that no one knows the unseen besides Him.  Not even the Prophet Muhammad.  God says: With Him are the keys to the unseen and none knows it except Him alone.”

Then he told the Prophet Muhammad, “Say! I have no power to bring good to myself nor avert harm but it is only as Allah wills.  If it were that I knew the unseen, I would have multiplied the good and no evil would have touched me.”

And he also says: “Say! None in the heavens nor the earth knows the ‘unseen except Allah’.”

Therefore, all the various methods used around the world by oracles, fortune-tellers, and the likes, are forbidden to Muslims.

Palm-reading, I-Ching, fortune cookies, tea leaves as well as Zodiacal signs and Bio-rhythm computer programs, all claim to inform those who believe in them about their future.  However, God has stated in no uncertain terms that He alone knows the future: “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with God alone.  It is He who sends down the rain and knows the contents of the wombs.  No one knows what he will earn tomorrow nor in which land he will die, but God is all-knowing and aware.”(Surah Luqmaan[* 31:34)*]

Therefore, Muslims must take utmost care in dealing with books, magazines, newspapers as well as individuals who, in one way or another, claim knowledge of the future or the unseen.  For example, when a Muslim weather-man predicts rain, snow, or other climatic conditions for tomorrow he should add the phrase, “In ShaaAllaah (If God so wishes)”.  Likewise, when the Muslim doctor informs her patient that she will deliver a child in 9 months or on such and such a day, she should take care to add the phrase “In ShaaAllaah”, as such statements are only estimations based on statistical information.

Sorcery/Magic From Islamic Perspective

Islam’s position on sorcery for both the one who practices magic and the one who believes in sorcery can be summed up in just one sentence.  Sorcery is absolutely forbidden.  However, let us try to discover why Islam forbids it.  Remembering that Islam is a way of life, not just a set of beliefs that people may or may not practice, we find that sorcery is forbidden because of the damage it can do to individuals, families and the community.

Since the dawn of time, human beings have been fascinated by sorcery in all its forms.  They have been mystified and awe inspired and often times unaware of the dangers inherent in sorcery.  Sorcery is known in Arabic as sihr and it is one of the tricks that Satan uses to lead humankind astray.  It is for this reason Islam warns against magic.  God warns against it in the Quran.

“And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter.  And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their own selves, if they but knew.” (Quran 2:102)

Sorcery is performed with the aid of the Jinn, whose help is attained when the sorcerer or sorceress does acts of disbelief and worships the Jinn and Satan.  Thus they take the Jinn and Satan as lords besides God.  Once the Jinn are pleased with the sorcerer or sorceress, they will do what they ask them.  Renowned Islamic scholar of the 20th century Sheikh Ibn Baz, may God have mercy on him, said, “Sihr (sorcery) is a word referring to something hidden.  It is real and there are kinds of witchcraft that may affect people psychologically and physically, so that they become sick and die, or husbands and wives are separated.  It is a devilish action, most of which is only achieved by means of associating others with God and drawing close to the minions of Satan”. 

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, counseled his followers to avoid the seven destructive sins.  “Making anyone or anything a partner with God; practicing sorcery; killing a living being without justification whose life has been declared sacred by Allah; practicing usury; misappropriating the property of an orphan; running away in a battle; and slandering chaste, innocent, believing women.”

During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad one of the most popular forms of sorcery was to tie knots in a rope and then recite incantations over knots, thus bewitching or harming another person.  This is mentioned in the second to last chapter of the Quran where we are encouraged to seek refuge from this evil.  “And from the evil of those who practise witchcraft when they blow on knots.” (Quran 113:4)

This form of sorcery was done to Prophet Muhammad but God did not allow it to cause him any harm. An evil man cast a spell on Prophet Muhammad using a hair that was caught in a comb along with a few fibers of a date palm. After the spell was cast the Prophet began to imagine that he had sexual relations with one of his wives when he had in fact not done so; The affect of the spell was limited and it did not in any way interfere with his responsibility of conveying the Divine Message.  His beloved wife Aisha narrates that, “One day he (Prophet Muhammad) made supplication to God and then he said, “Do you know that God has shown me where my cure is?  Two men came to me and one of them sat at my head and the other at my feet.  One of them said to the other, ‘What is ailing the man?’ He said: ‘He has been bewitched.’ He said, “who has bewitched him?’ He said: ‘Labeed ibn al-A’sam.’ He said, ‘With what?’ He said, ‘With a comb, a hair that was caught onto it, and the fiber of a male date palm.  He said, ‘Where is it?’ He said, ‘In the well of Dharwaan.’”  He went to the well, came back and said, “Its date palms are like the heads of devils.” I said: “Did you take it out?” He said: “No.  God has healed me, and I feared that that might bring evil upon the people.” Then the well was filled in. Prophet Muhammad again warns his followers about the dangers of magic (sorcery or witchcraft) when he states that, “Whoever ties a knot and then says incantations over it has committed sorcery and whoever commits sorcery has associated partners with God and whoever relies on something (other than God) will be turned over to it.”

Another form of sorcery that is extremely popular nowadays is listening to predictions made by fortune tellers and consulting horoscopes.  It is worth remembering what Prophet Muhammad said about these forms of sorcery, “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller and asks him about something, his prayer will not be accepted for forty days.”  This does not mean that a person is exempt from the prayer it means he will gain no reward from his prayer.

 “Whoever goes to a fortune-teller or soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.”

 “He does not belong to us who believes in good or ill omens or asks others to give their views on good or ill fortune based on the motion of worldly objects, or who seeks divination or who has that done for him, or who practices witchcraft or has that done for him.  Whoever goes to a soothsayer and believes what he says has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.”

Sorcery, sihr in Arabic, which includes witchcraft, fortune telling of any kind, astrology or divination is strictly forbidden in Islam.  In all cases it involves dealing with the unseen and in most cases it involves ascribing partners with God.  These are both very serious sins and will at the very least involve the person, who either practices or believes in sorcery, in behaviour that may lead to his or her eternal downfall.

Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, told us that sorcery was real, and that it was dangerous both physically and spiritually. However if we face a problem or become ill we should not immediately think we have been harmed by sorcery.  Often those who truly believe they are affected by sorcery one of the first things they think of doing, is using sorcery to heal themselves.  This is entirely incorrect.  Evil cannot, under any circumstances whatsoever, be removed by more evil.  Evil can only be cured or removed by good.

Many diseases of the mind and body mimic the effects of magic therefore a person should always seek help from qualified medical practitioners before jumping to the conclusion that they have had a spell cast on them.  However the reality is that God does allow these things into our lives, either as a test or as a means to greater reward.  It is wise to remember that nothing happens without the permission of God, and God may heal the person affected by sorcery, without any action on the part of the person affected, or others on his behalf, because He is Able to do all things, and He is Wise in all that He does. 

“Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is!” (Quran 36:82)

Prophet Muhammad told us that, “The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial.  When God loves a people He tests them.  Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” God does not leave us defenceless in the face of any danger, sorcery included.  There are many ways to protect ourselves from the ill effects of sorcery.  They begin as always with the words of God, the Quran.

Reciting verses from the Quran, certain supplications and words of remembrance will create a protective barrier between a person and the harms of sorcery, thus it is a very good idea to make this a regular practice.  The opening chapter of Quran is known as the greatest chapter and it one of the greatest forms of protection, along with other verses and chapters of Quran including the last three chapters, and Chapter 2, verse 255.  This verse is known as the greatest verse in Quran and Prophet Muhammad said that whoever recited this verse at night would be protected until morning and whoever recited it in the morning would be protected until nightfall.

The Quran talks extensively about sorcery in chapter 2 and this chapter is one of the greatest means of protection from evil of all kinds.  It is wise to recite or play this chapter in your home on a regular basis. 

“And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon.  It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut.  But the two angels did not teach anyone unless they said, ’We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].’  And [yet] they learned from them that which can cause separation between a man and his wife.  But they do not harm anyone through it except by the permission of Allah.  They learned what harmed them, not what benefited them, knowing full well that the buyers of it [magic] would have no share in the Hereafter.  And how bad indeed was that for which they sold themselves, if they but knew.” (Quran 2:102)

Every person, whether affected by sorcery or not, should try to depend on God alone and put his trust in Him in all affairs, knowing that God does not send a disease for which there is no cure.  God has given us permissible means for treating those who have been harmed by sorcery and for protecting ourselves from it.  A person should turn to God; beseech Him with supplication at the beginning of the day, at night and after every prayer.  For God is the One who removes harm and relieves distress and He is merciful; He answers the supplications of all those who call upon Him.  In addition, while holding fast to God, seeking refuge with Him, and putting our trust in Him, we can attain protection from sorcery by striving to do what is right in the sight of God, and turning away from sin. 

Finally let us discuss a few important points to bear in mind about the topic of sorcery.  Sorcery is often referred to as black magic.  This gives the false impression that there is something called white magic and thus not dangerous or as dangerous.  Magic is magic no matter what colour is used to describe it.  While the intent of the practitioner may range from evil to good, believers have been told categorically to stay away from magic in all its forms. 

There is a lot of information about curing a person affected by sorcery circulating on the internet that is downright dangerous, as dangerous as magic.  Some sites will tell you that physical symptoms of ill health are signs of a magic spell, this is often incorrect.  People suffering from flu like symptoms or strange conditions should seek the help of medical practitioners.   Well known and understood mental illnesses are often misdiagnosed as the effects of sorcery; this is particularly dangerous, especially when a person is suffering from delusions or hallucinations.   When medical efforts have been exhausted and the symptoms have not been explained then it would be wise to seek the help of a qualified person of Islamic knowledge.  However, be certain that any “cures” you are given must strictly be in accordance with the instructions given by God and His messenger, Prophet Muhammad.

Lastly remember that using the words of God, that is the Quran itself, as a shield from magic is at all times recommended for it achieves several purposes, including bring a person closer to God.

Author Biography

Muhammad Vandestra has been a columnist, health writer, soil scientist, magazine editor, web designer & kendo instructor. A writer by day and reader by night, he write fiction and non-fiction book for adult and children. He lives in West Jakarta City.

Muhammad Vandestra merupakan seorang kolumnis, editor majalah, perancang web & instruktur kendo. Seorang penulis pada siang hari dan pembaca di malam hari, Ia menulis buku fiksi dan non-fiksi untuk anak-anak dan dewasa. Dia tinggal di Kota Jakarta Barat.

Website: www.payhip.com/dragonpromedia

Blog: www.vandestra.blogspot.com

Email: [email protected]

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The World of Angels (Malaikah) & Demon (Jinn) In Islam Religion

In common folklore, angels or malaikah are thought of as good forces of nature, hologram images, or illusions. Western iconography sometimes depicts angels as fat cherubic babies or handsome young men or women with a halo surrounding their head. In Islamic doctrine, they are real created beings who will eventually suffer death, but are generally hidden from our senses. They are not divine or semi-divine, and they are not God’s associates running different districts of the universe. Also, they are not objects to be worshipped or prayed to, as they do not deliver our prayers to God. They all submit to God and carry out His commands. In the Islamic worldview, there are no fallen angels: they are not divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ angels. Human beings do not become angels after death. Satan is not a fallen angel, but is one of the jinn (demon), a creation of God parallel to human beings and angels. Angels were created from light before human beings were created, and thus their graphic or symbolic representation in Islamic art is rare. Nevertheless, they are generally beautiful beings with wings as described in Muslim scripture. The Arabic word Jinn is from the verb ‘Janna’ and means to hide or conceal. The Jinn or Demon are so called because they conceal themselves from people’s sight. The words janeen (foetus) and mijann (shield) come from the same root. Jinn or demon, as the name suggests, are normally invisible to humans. The jinn are part of God’s creation. They were created from fire before the creation of Adam and humankind. And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. And the jinn (Demon), We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire (Quran 15:26-27) According to the traditions of Prophet Muhammad the angels were created from light, the jinn from fire and humankind from “what has been described to you”. (meaning clay) God created the angels, jinn and humankind for no other purpose then to worship Him. “I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56) Jinn exist in our world but they live on their own. Jinn have their own distinct nature and features and they generally remain hidden from humankind. Jinn and humans do have some common traits, the most important of which is free will and with it the ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. The jinn eat and drink, they marry, have children and die.

  • ISBN: 9781370718368
  • Author: Dragon Promedia
  • Published: 2017-09-09 01:20:09
  • Words: 12551
The World of Angels (Malaikah) & Demon (Jinn) In Islam Religion The World of Angels (Malaikah) & Demon (Jinn) In Islam Religion