by Mawlana Qari Muhammad Tayyib al-Qasimi
Rights of Jinns
Jinns too live in this world having basic rights to food, shelter and security, which nobody can deny them. The way they live in desolate and deserted places, they have right to live in our houses too. Hadiths tell us that Jinns live in every house. We do not perceive them because they mind their own business and do not interfere with ours, and when a wicked one of them creates troubles in our lives, we say that this home or person is possessed and consult an exorcist who imprisons or burns the troublesome Jinns with his exorcism. However, we are allowed to stand against and even fight with Jinns, in case they persist in their wickedness.
Various Religions of Jinns
As for the pious and Muslim Jinns, we need not to worry about driving them out of our houses; rather their strength and goodness may come helpful for us. However, wickedness and trouble making is not tolerable even of human beings let aside of Jinns.
It is a fact that Jinns include all types of individuals: good and bad; Muslims and pagans; Jews and Christians as Qur’an clearly points out.
Before the prophethood of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, Jinns were allowed to go up near the doors of the heaven and eavesdrop on a few Diving words from angles’ conversation. Then back down on earth, they would pass on those words with lots of fabrications and concoctions to their followers, and they fooled common folk claiming that they knew the future. When after the prophethood of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم they got banned from climbing up to heaven, they grew anxious to know the main reason which restricted their eavesdropping. Some of the Jinns undertook to find out the actual reason for the restriction. They roamed around from east to west and north to south. A few of them happened to pass by the [city of Makkah] and heard Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم reciting the Glorious Qur’an. Hearing such unique, unprecedented and impressive words, they understood that it was the guidance that restricted their transgression. They went away and informed their brethren:
“Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation. It guides to the Right Path and we have believed therein (this Qur’an)” (Qur’an 72:1,2).
It shows that they [the Jinns] were disbelievers, who later accepted Islam. Thus, there emerged two categories of them: Muslims and non-Muslims. More they said:
“And we shall never join in worship anything with our Lord (Allah)” (Qur’an 72:2).
It indicates that some of them were monotheists and some polytheists.
Further it was said:
“And He, exalted is the Majesty of our Lord, has taken neither a wife nor a son (for offspring or children)” (Qur’an 72:3).
This tells that some of them were Christians, who believed that Allah Almighty has a wife and son.
More, they said:
“And that the foolish among us (i.e. Iblis or the atheists among the Jinn) used to utter against Allah that which was an enormity in falsehood” (Qur’an 72:4).
This verse clearly establishes that some of them, out of their foolishness, were habitual of attributing their false ideas to Allah and spread a set of lies [in] the name of religion and revelation.
From the above paragraphs, it has been proved that there are various sects and religions among Jinns; but still their basic rights are intact. All that could be done is to punish wrongdoers as in human cases, but their rights cannot be denied. There is even a juristic debate if humans and Jinns can intermarry.
Some jurists allow intermarriage between humans and Jinns arguing with the fact that Jinns are as sensible as humans and equally governed by the Islamic Shari’ah and its commandments. Moreover they can take human appearance too.
While some others, looking at the fact that marriage is permissible only between those who are genetically similar, deny it and say that marriage between Jinns and humans is like marriage between a goat or cow and a human being, which is not allowed, as partners are genetically dissimilar.
Prophet Muhammad Preaching to Jinns
It is narrated in a Hadith that once a delegation of Jinns from Nasībīn came to Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and requested, “O Messenger of Allah! A group of our brothers has assembled in a place, you are cordially requested to come over there and deliver some wise words and let us know commandments related to us as well as answer some of our queries.”
The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم went there with Abdullah Ibn Masood رضي الله عنه. When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم reached the foothill where the Jinns were assembled, he drew a circle and commanded Abdullah Ibn Masood رضي الله عنه to stay within it.
Abdullah Ibn Masood رضي الله عنه reports that he saw peculiar people passing by the circle but unable to enter, though their voices were heard. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم delivered to them words of wisdom and taught Islamic commandments, [amongst them] was that humans should avoid using bones to purify themselves after responding to [the call of nature], because bones serve as provision for Jinns. Violation of their rights to livelihood, therefore, [is] prohibited, as a Hadith says that when humans take meat off off bones and throw out [the bones], Jinns get them full of meat. The Hadith also states that humans used bones for purifying themselves after attending [to the call of nature]. Jinns complained about it to Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and he prohibited its use for this purpose. All this insures the protection of Jinns’ rights and we are not allowed to interfere with them. Likewise, it is unlawful to remove them from their abode unless they cause trouble.
Nature of Address to Jinns[…] Jinns are addressed like humans [and] not separately as they have no Shari’ah exclusively for them. They have to follow the same Shari’ah as humans. So the Jews among Jinns believe in Musa عليه السلام and follow the Torah that was sent to human Jews. Likewise, Jinns among Christians and Muslims do not have a book of their own, but follow Isa عليه السلام and Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم respectively and adhere to the books sent to human Christians and Muslims. So they are of course addressed and asked to follow Islamic commandments but through humans.
Why Prophets Not Sent Among Jinns?
Angels are all virtue with no shadow of vice, whereas Jinns are mostly rife with vice and possess little virtue; and for prophethood, not only dominance of virtue is required but a full portion of it. Therefore, no prophet was sent among Jinns lest they fail to pass on [practicing the Shari’ah], because of the [dominance of evil within] them. Jinns were addressed indirectly through humans so that they learn how to keep away from flaws and mistakes in understanding and conduct. Therefore, they were asked to follow the prophets sent among humans.