Surah 72. Al-Jinn – The Unseen Beings
[Author’s Note] This is the 72nd Surah of the Qur’an. It has 28 verses. The term ‘Jinn’ is often misunderstood. It is supposed that they are unseen fiery creatures that live on earth and in the atmosphere and that they can possess people. The Qur’an does not condone the existence of any such thing as ‘demons’. And there is a reported saying of the exalted Prophet, “La Ghoul” = There is no such thing as ghoul, demons, Dracula, vampires, fairies, witches and wizards etc. All such things fall into the domain of superstition. Muhammad Asad wrote, “In order to grasp the purport of the term “jinn” as used in the Qur’an, we must dissociate our minds from the meaning given to it in Arabian folklore.”
“And the Jinns He has created from smokeless fire” (with a fiery disposition 55:15).
References to Jinn: 2:102, 6:76, 6:100, 6:112, 6:128-130, 7:12, 7:38, 8:27, 11:119, 15:17, 15:27, 21:82, 32:13, 34:12-14, 37:158, 38:76, 46:29-32, 55:15, 72:1-15, 75:2-6, 114:6 Jinn, in fact, implies something hidden, rarely seen. So, after using Tasreef, Al-Jinn = The nomads. Jannah from the same root means a garden hidden in foliage. When the Jinn or nomads move to dwell in towns and become civilized, they are referred to as Ins = Urbanites. Also see ayaat 6:130, 46:29, 72:1 and note that Rasools were sent only to bani Adam (humans). If JINN were a separate entity, they would have received their own Messengers. Ref: Ibn Faaras, Raghib Isfahani, Khateeb Baghdadi.
Among the verses referred to above, Jinn, at times, denotes the hidden evil prompting that goes on in the human mind. In the sense of flashes of evil prompting, Jinn can be understood as Satan in minor forms. Satan = Selfish or rebellious desires, works in concert with evil emotions which have been described as being fiery in the Jahilyah poetry. 'Emotions being fiery' stands up to reason.
Verse 21:37 convincingly shows what the ‘creation of Jinns out of fire’ actually means. Using exactly the same terms ‘khuliq’ and ‘min’ it states “KHULIQAL insanu MIN ‘ajal”. Literally that would translate as: He created man out of haste. Whereas the clear understanding is: Man has been created with a tendency to be hasty and looking for instant gains or results.
Such is the case with, “KHULAQAL jaanna MIN marijin MIN naar”. He created the nomads with a fiery disposition. (55:15)
Where is Satan? The exalted Prophet is reported to have said that everyone has a Satan/Iblis within. Sahaba Kiraam respectfully asked, “Even you O Rasullullah?” He said, “Yes, I have made him a Muslim (made the desires submit to God.)” This proves further that Satan is not an extrinsic entity.