Thursday, October 8, 2009

Genie (Jin) in the Holy Quran

Genie (Jin) in the Holy Quran is not Ghost/Spirit/Satan, but Human Being

Maulana Muhammad Ali on his book The Religion of Islam, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam, USA, Sixth Edition (Revised) 1990, stated that Genie (Jin) is not sprit, but human being. Be ready to be surprised:

The other use of the word jinn is with regard to men of a certain class1. Even the word devil (shaitan) or devils (shayatin), has been applied to men in the Quran, and the leaders of evil are again and again called devils (2:14; 3:174; 8:48; 15:17; 21:82). But the use of the word jinn when speaking of men was recognized in Arabic literature before Islam. The verses of Musa ibn Jabir “fa ma nafarat jinn”, which would literally mean, and my jinn did not flee, has been explained as meaning, “and my companions who were like the jinn did not flee” (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon). Here the word jinn is clearly explained as meaning human beings. And Tabrezi says, further, that the Arabs liken a man who is sharp and clever in affairs to a jinni and a shaitan. There are other examples in pre-Islamic poetry in which the word jinn has been used to denote great or brave men. In addition to this the word jinn is explained by Arabic lexicologist as meaning mu’azzam al-nas (Qamu, by Allamah Shaikh Nasr al-Huraini, printed at the Maimana Press, Cairo; Taj al-Aru, by Abu-l-Faidz Sayyid Muhammad Murtadza al-Husaini), i.e, the main body of men or the bulk of mankind (Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon). In the mouth of an Arab, the main body of men would mean the non-arabworld. They called all foreigners jinn because they were concealed from their eyes. It is in this sense that the word jinn is used in Quran in the story of Solomon: “And of the jinn there were those who worked before him by command of his lord. They made for him what he pleased of synagogues and images” (34:12-13)2. The desciption of the jinn here as builder show them to have been men. And they are also spoken of as devils (shayatin) in 38:37, where they are called builders and divers and it is further added that some of them “fettered in chains” surely those who build buildings and dived in to the sea were not invisible spirits, nor do invisible spirits required to be fettered in chains. These were in fact the strangers whom Solomon had subjected to his rule and forced into service.

In one place in the quran jinn and men are addressed as one class or community (ma’shar)3. In this verse both jinn and men are asked the question: ”did there not come to you messengers from among you?” Now the messengers who are mentioned in the quran or tradition all belong to mankind, and the holy book does not speak of a single messenger from among the jinn. The jinn in this case, therefore are either non-arabs or the iniquitous leaders who mislead others. In one verse, it is stated that “if jinn and men should combine together to bring the like of Quran they could not bring the like of it” (17:88) while in another in an exactly similar challenge the expression “ your helpers” or “leaders” have been used instead of jinn (2:23). The jinn mentioned in the first section of ch. 72 are evidently foreign Christian since they are spoken of as holding the doctrine sonship (72:3,4). In 72:6, they are called rijal (pl. of rajul), which word is applicable to the males of human beings only (LA.). Again, in the 46th chapter the word jin has been used in the sense of foreigner when a party of the jinn is stated to have come to the the prophet and listened to holy book and believe in it4, because all the injunction contain in the quran are for men and there is not one for the jinn. This was evidently a party of the jews of Nisibus as reports show, and the quran speaks of them as believers in moses5. Commenting on this incident Ibn Kathir had quotes several reports from the Musnad of Ahmad, which establish the following facts. The prophet met a party of jinn at Nakla when returning from ta’if in the tenth year of call. These are said to have come from Nineveh. On the other hand, there is a well-established story that the prophet on his way back from Ta’if took rest in a garden where he met a Christian who was a resident of Nineveh; and the man listened to his message and believed in him. It may be that he had other companions to whom he spoke of the prophet, and that these came to him later on. Another party of jinn is said to have waited on him when he was at mekkah and he is reported to have gone out of the city to a lonely place at night time, and to have spent the whole night with them. And we are told that their traces and the the traces of fire which they had burned during the night were visible in the morning. When payer time came and the prophet said his prayers in the company of ibn mas’ud the narrator two of them them are said to have come and joined the service. They are supposed to have been Jews of Nisibus and were seven in number (IK. 46:29). The prophet went to see them outside Makkah, evidently because the Quraish would have interfered with the meeting and ill-treated any who came to seehim. At any rate the quran and tradition do not speak of the jinn as they exist in the popular imagination, interfering in human affairs or controlling the forces of nature or assuming human or any other shape or taking possession of men and women and affecting them with certain disease6.

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