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Friday, April 30, 2004

The dwelling-places of the jinn

The jinn live on this earth where we do. They are mostly to be found in ruins and unclean places like bathrooms, dunghills, garbage dumps and graveyards. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us to take precautions when entering such places, by reciting the adhkaar (prayers) prescribed by Islam. One of these was reported by Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: "When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered the toilet, he would say, 'Allaahumma innee a'oodhu bika min al-khubuthi wa'l-khabaa'ith (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from the evil ones, male and female).'" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 142; and Muslim, 375). Al-Khattaabi explained that khubuth is the plural of khabeeth (evil or dirty - masculine form), and khabaa'ith is the plural of khabeethah (evil or dirty - feminine form), and that what is meant is male and female shayaateen.


Some jinns are Muslims and some are kaafirs

Allaah tells us that some of the jinn said (interpretation of the meaning):

" 'And some of us are Muslims, and of us some are al-qaasitoon (disbelievers - those who have deviated from the Right Path). And whosoever has embraced Islam, then such have sought the Right Path. And as for the qaasitoon, they shall be firewood for Hell.'" [al-Jinn 72:14-15]

The Muslims among the jinn are of different levels as regards righteousness and taqwa. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"[Some jinn said:] 'There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary; we are groups, each having a different way (religious sects, etc.)'" [al-Jinn 72:11]

The story of how the first jinn of this ummah became Muslim was narrated by 'Abd-Allaah ibn 'Abbaas, who said: "The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out with a group of his Companions heading for the marketplace of 'Ukaaz. This was when the shayaateen were prevented from getting any news from heaven, and shooting stars had been sent against them. The shayaateen went back to their people, who said, 'What is the matter with you?'
They said, 'We cannot get news from heaven, and shooting stars were sent against us.' Their people said, 'Nothing is stopping you from hearing news from heaven except some new event that must have happened. Go and look in the east and the west of the earth, and see if you can find out what it is that is stopping you from hearing news from heaven.'
Those who went out in the direction of Tihaamah came upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in Nakhlah, when he was on his way to 'Ukaaz, and found him leading his Companions in Fajr prayer. When they heard the Qur'aan, they listened to it and said, 'By Allaah, this is what is stopping us from hearing news from heaven.' When they went back to their people, they said, 'O our people, we have heard a wonderful Recital (the Qur'aan). It guides to the Right Path, and we have believed therein, and we shall never join (in worship) anything with our Lord (Allaah). [al-Jinn 72:2 - interpretation of the meaning].

Protection from the harm of the jinn

Because the jinn can see us while we cannot see them, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught us many ways to protect ourselves from their harm, such as seeking refuge with Allaah from the accursed Shaytaan, reciting Soorat al-Falaq and Soorat al-Naas (the last two Soorahs of the Qur'aan), and reciting the words taught by Allaah in the Qur'aan (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: 'My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the shayaateen (devils). And I seek refuge with You, my Lord, lest they may attend (or come near) me.'" [al-Mu'minoon 23:97-98]

Saying Bismillaah (in the Name of Allaah) before entering one's home, before eating or drinking, and before having intercourse will also keep the Shaytaan from entering the house or partaking with a person in his food, drink and sexual activity. Similarly, mentioning the name of Allaah before entering the toilet or taking off one's clothes will prevent the jinn from seeing a person's 'awrah or harming him, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "To put a barrier that will prevent the jinn from seeing the 'awrah of the sons of Aadam, let any one of you say 'Bismillaah' when entering the toilet." (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 551; Saheeh al-Jaami', 3611).

Strength of faith and religion in general will also prevent the jinn from harming a person, so much so that if they were to fight, the one who has faith would win. 'Abd-Allaah ibn Mas'ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: "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 Allaah, 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, 'Allaah! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Ever-living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.' [Aayat al-Kursi - al-Baqarah 2:255 -interpretation of the meaning]. The human said, 'Fine.' He said, 'You will never recite this in your house but the Shaytaan will come out of it like a donkey breaking wind, and he will never come back in until the next morning.'"
(Reported by al-Daarimi, 3247).

This is a brief summary about the jinn, and their nature and characteristics. Allaah is the Best of protectors and the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.

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