By November 1, 2023 Read More →

Section The Jinn – Part 4

We will start to study section Al-Jinn of the Quran after our last few sessions that focused on the introduction to the existence and reality of such creatures. That foundation is necessary to proceed in understating the section Al-Jinn. Most of us go along with the general civilization and without realizing give much priority to the worldly life, worldly concerns, i.e. the material side of creation. Our feelings have become accustomed to the materialistic centered worldview. The meaningful side of creation, human feelings, the belief-oriented side of our life is being neglected in our current living. 

We quickly get disengaged with what the reality of this world is, what is my reality, i.e. what is going on with my existence. Can I really reduce myself to only bodily concerns? Can I reduce my existence to flesh and bones? Do I feel and experience in my life that I am a human being where my body is my vehicle only? Do I see that almost all of my life is involved with my feelings where my relationship with the universe is not only the material side of it but more so the meaningful side that the universe conveys. At first, it may seem to be a material connection only, such as I get hungry and eat food to fill my stomach. When I breathe air, I get it whether I breathe consciously or unconsciously. When I want something, I get it from the material side of it. I may not realize that all of my feelings are involved in getting that material thing. My feelings are always involved in my relationship with the rest of the things in the universe.

If I look at my life, the material side is just a small part as compared to the meaningful relationship that I have with the rest of creation. For example, if I am cooking a delicious meal, I want it to taste delicious, smell good, be beautiful and pleasing, satisfying and I may spend an hour or more in preparing it. Why? My feelings are involved with the non-material side of whatever it is that I am cooking. In fact, all my life, I am related to the meaningful side of creation, communicating with the non-material side of the universe. 

It is unfortunate that we may get carried away by the heavy influence of civilization that seeks to cater to only our bodily satisfaction. When we think about it, the material aspect makes up only a fraction of our life. For example, when a teenager is listening to music for hours, what does it have to do with their practical material life? Nothing at all, the music addresses the feelings, the spiritual side of the person. When we shop for clothes, it is based on how I would appear in it and relates with one’s spiritual side more than the physical clothing piece. What the product advertisements are trying to do is to attract our feelings into the product. It is because of the beautiful appearance which touches our feelings that we buy the things. That means that our lives are nothing but the spiritual relationship with the rest of the world.

The prophets come with the news that you have a spirit, which is the collection of human feelings, mind and intellect. They also give the news that the universe is declaring the qualities of its Creator. One would ask: “What is this news saying when we are only seeing matter?” This news brings a complete contradiction in our lives when we start to realize our spiritual connection with the rest of the universe. As long as we don’t get carried away with the material trend in civilization, we should appreciate the value being given to the collection of human qualities (spirit), appreciate the message of the prophets which saves us from falling into negligence and away from our reality. It is unfortunate that one may choose to live only with bodily satisfaction, being interested in the bodily side of the universe only. We have to watch out not to get carried away by the materialist scientists and their advertisements that interpret only the physical side of things. Their interpretation says that we are analyzing the matter and coming up with how it is happening, reducing the qualities to matter itself. All the qualities such as beauty, symmetry, decoration, intelligence, harmony, and perfect order are attributed to matter itself. This is a horrible indoctrination that we are bombarded with. The physical side of the universe is nothing when compared to the angelic (qualities manifested in them/meaning carrying) side of the universe.

When the Quran starts talking about Jinn, we have to have this understanding of our spiritual relationship with the universe. We will start to study section Jinn, which is approximated to be the 40th revealed section chronologically. There are varying opinions on the chronology of the sections in the Qur’an where some say it was arranged by God. Others say it was arranged by the companions of the prophet (pbuh) after his death. Soon after the prophet’s (pbuh) death, there were compilations of the verses in separate pieces written by scribes, unlike the book form of “Mushaf” that we have today. At that time of revelation, the literacy rate was low where many of the companions didn’t know how to read and write. The revelation of the Qur’an brought a revolution in the lives of people, the literacy rate went up, the way the people spoke changed, the way they walked on earth changed, the way they treated the plants and animals changed, they treated them with respect, similarly respect was given to each creation. Some of the companions were writing down the pieces of the scripture but those pieces were not compiled in the form of a book. About two years after Abu Bakr’s caliphate, Omar’s caliphate took over the responsibility to assemble all the pieces of the scripture under the supervision of his daughter Hafsa. During Osman’s caliphate, it was decided to compile the pieces of scripture into a book. We understand that the companions agreed upon this sequence that we currently find in the form of the book. 

Most of the companions didn’t follow the sequence of revelation as they joined the Muslim community later on in their lives, they didn’t know the time of the previous verses that were revealed in Mecca. It is known that the Quran was revealed piece by piece during the 23 years of the prophet’s (pbuh) life. Zayd bin Thabit (RA) among some others memorized the revelation according to when the verses were revealed from the beginning to the end. It was under Zayd bin Thabit’s supervision that the Quran was compiled into the form of the book that we now have. The order of the sections was given from the largest section to the smallest section, hence this section is 72 in the “Mushaf” book form of the Quran, and approximately 40th in chronological order.

Let’s study the section:

قُلْ أُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ أَنَّهُ ٱسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌۭ مِّنَ ٱلْجِنِّ فَقَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْءَانًا عَجَبًۭا

72:1 “Say, ‘It has been revealed to me that a group of the Jinn listened [to the Qur’an] and said, ‘Indeed, we have heard an amazing Recitation.

Historically, it is said that the prophet (pbuh) was coming from the city of Ta’if on his way to Mecca. He was disappointed as the Meccan people rejected him and the people of Taif also rejected him. The prophets are also human beings like us and as a person, he had to take precautions for his life. Although we understand that the message and its deliverance is guaranteed by God, the prophet (pbuh) practiced religion as a human being in his time and the later generations will take the lesson from that practice. The prophet suffered many difficulties; we have to understand that human life experiences are combined with many difficulties. If the prophet (pbuh) was exempted from life’s difficulties, he would never become a perfect guide and example for me in my life. If I am challenged in life with some difficulties, I can be comfortable in knowing that the prophets who are under the protection of God also went through many difficulties and search how they overcame their worldly problems so that we learn from them the right way of dealing with them. During that time of the prophet (pbuh), he was rejected from everywhere. I have to take my lesson when this rejection happens to me. This is how historians narrate  to us under what conditions this Section of the Qur’an was revealed.

Let’s study the verse as it relates to our living. The verse indicates that the prophet has been revealed that “you may not be seeing it but there are some immaterial spiritual beings out there, just like your spirit and feelings, who do not have a body, and these beings are the Jinn.”. Jinn means something hidden from our eyes, similar to the spirit which we do not see physically; realizing their existence is based on our experience. For example, we do not see beauty in a flower where beauty is an abstract notion. A classical example is when we look at a book, we see paper and shapes of ink. Human logic tells me that this is something to be read. When the intellect reads the book, we are communicating with something that does not exist physically. The only material side of the book we see is paper and some shapes on the paper. The physical eyes see the object but not the meaning which does not have a bodily existence. The Jinn are also beings that are hidden from our eyes. The word “Jannat” which is paradise comes from the same root word where the dirty side of the earth is covered up by plants, animals and water, similar to a garden. The use of “Jannat” in the Quran means that the ugly side of creation should not appear at all; every creation is pure beauty but I cannot see that beauty physically but definitely I experience it and appreciate it. Another example, when I look at a piece of art and see beauty in it through my eyes, the feelings are seeing the beauty as that art touches my feelings.

The Quran does not say that the prophet (pbuh) has physically seen the Jinn. The Jinn are covered up for the eyes but it is obvious to our intellect that they are existing beings. The meaning in the book, art in the painting, and enjoyable melody of music are all experienced through feelings, not by my eyes physically seeing those abstract notions. I am sure that there is beauty in art. When I take the canvas and paint away, where is the art? However, I am sure that the beauty of art is there but it wasn’t the canvas or the paint but beauty manifests itself in the art. 

Without the material body, we cannot communicate with the meaning which is manifested in physical beings, their qualities are non-material. In my existence I am experiencing the quality of seeing apart from the physical eyes. Even if the eyes are not functioning I still experience the independent existence of the power of sight in my being, though it does not have a physical body. Another example is the physical body of the food cannot be the source of existence of the quality of taste manifested in it; one of them is physical existence the other non physical. If something does not have a physical body doesn’t mean that it does not exist. This verse mentions to explain to people that God, the creator of everything is speaking, saying that He has revealed this revelation to not only the physical beings but the spiritual beings as well, called Jinn. We are indoctrinated with thinking that we are communicating with matter. The material side is insignificant compared to the spiritual side. We are always communicating with the spiritual side of things which are qualities manifested in their existence. They are called the angelic side of material existence pointing to the qualities of their Creator. Like art quality in the piece of an art points to the existence of the quality of the artistry of its artist. The information in the book is a sign that the author of the book has this knowledge, the quality of architecture of the building points to the quality of the architect and so on.

Some zealots love exaggerating the reality of the prophethood by saying that he must have seen the Jinn. If he (pbuh) saw the Jinn, it would be an exceptional case for him then his prophethood would not be an example for me. The intellect can grasp the existence of Jinn with no difficulty at all, it is logical and human. We need to train ourselves to understand the reality of this world. We studied that every being has its counterpart. The counterpart of human beings is Jinn. What makes me a human is my spirit, what makes the universe are the qualities manifested in it. If there was no meaning in the universe then the universe wouldn’t exist. The counterparts are complementing each other. If I had no spirit without that I would just be a living flesh. What gives meaning to me as a human is the spirit which does not have a physical existence. The universe is so wonderful that we should just prostrate before its Creator’s i.e. God’s power, knowledge, and wisdom.

Materialist science says that a person in a vegetative state is alive but has lost his awareness. Since they don’t see the spirit they declare the perfectly working body, including the eyes and ears which are still there functioning as dead when in fact they are alive. Life and body are there, whereas the spirit of the person is not functioning because consciousness, which is a part of human spirit, has a different existence. They speak in a very intelligent way but their interpretation has no bearing and makes no sense to any reasoning person. They try to deny the human spirit and the spirit of the universe.

The serious Muslim scholars say that the universe is alive, like a huge human being. The human being is like a micro universe. Among the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), Imam Ali was one of the first in his house to confirm the message of the Prophet (pbuh). Imam Ali says that the human being is a universe in himself, being the micro form of the universe. The macro form of the human being is the universe. Every human being has his own universe in his own perception. Both the human being and the universe perfectly match each other in spiritual and physical form, they are both in harmony  and communicating with each other. Everything in the universe is active and living. 

The verse in the Quran (75:22) “وُجُوهٌۭ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ نَّاضِرَةٌ”, translated as “On that Day, faces will be bright,” recounts the content feeling of beings in Paradise, where one would express: “Oh, that is what I was expecting”. That means that we are given the quality of loving the realization of the true nature of existence. In this world, we have to see the manifested qualities underneath the veil of physicality. In the hereafter, we must experience the qualities without veil, not just spiritually but physically as well. For this purpose we need to be given a new form of physical existence that recognizes the reality of existence without any veil of physicality. The Quran gives the example of the fruit, especially prepared for my pleasure, I eat the fruit and enjoy it for my experiencing taste and feelings. Whereas in the hereafter, any fruit I desire is directly presented to me by my Lord, the taste directly created by God. There would be no such idea of the taste coming from the fruit itself as I would be exposed to the direct manifestation of the qualities of God in it. There would be no doubt at all; all the nonsensical ideas, concepts invented by some people will be thrown into hell.

Coming back to the verse, we see that God is letting the prophet and now us to know that: “although you have not seen the group of Jinn, they have listened to the Qur’an and find it amazing”. I would ask what is there to make it amazing. Let’s look into the following verse:

يَهْدِىٓ إِلَى ٱلرُّشْدِ فَـَٔامَنَّا بِهِۦ ۖ وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَآ أَحَدًۭا

72:2 It [the Revelation] guides to the right course of perfection. We believe in it, and we shall (from now on) never associate anyone with our Lord.”

The word “رُّشْدِ” refers to “perfection” in one’s being. If one does not see the spiritual side of creation, what it means, what it refers to in my feelings, then it is not perfection. The revelation is guiding me to be a perfect human being as well as guiding his counterpart to become a perfect Jinn, as both have free will. The verse continues with describing believing in what the revelation guides to, seeing the Absoluteness and Oneness of the Creator of the universe to not associate anything to His Lordship. The phrase “وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَآ أَحَدًۭا” translated as “we shall never associate anyone with our Lord” indicates that we would not commit “شْرِكَ” from now on. The message is saying that there is no other creator in the universe except the Creator of the whole universe, no other being in the universe other than Him that can have any of His qualities, no being can be the source of existence of its qualities.

Question: The existence of Jinn has been presented based on a logical conclusion. Are we able to experience their existence? In contrast, the existence of angels such as beauty is experiential.

We touched upon this in our introductory sessions to this Section of Al-Jinn. The existence of angels and Jinn are introduced to us via the scriptures. They could have been called anything in the Qur’an. Human logic understands based on the observation of the universe where there are wonderful things happening in the universe, the things are in pairs yet complementing each other, there is more to the material side of the universe which is the meaning that my spiritual side receives. There is a spirit to spirit connection and communication that is happening in the universe. If we understand that the quality of power of sight has a separate existence than the physical eyes, then we can understand beauty must have its own existence separate from the beautiful flower. For example, the sense of loving beauty exists in me apart from my physical body. Of course, we need to understand that the news about the existence of human counterparts, Jinns, is not like seeing the beauty manifested in a flower. We are not expected to experience the existence of Jinn in physical form, but this is a logical conclusion detected from the comprehensive order of the universe.

This first verse informs the prophet (pbuh) and then me that a group of Jinn have listened to revelation. We learn from this that there are such beings. What we are familiar with from the Quran is the existence of Satan, who used to be one of the Jinn. Satan represents the denying side of people who reject the truth. The people who reject religion and deliberately make propaganda are among human beings representing the party of Satan and their counterpart among disbelieving Jinn in their rejection. All their illogical claims reject belief matters. 

Much of the understanding of Jinn in the Muslim population has been reduced to made up stories. Such understanding is appealing to much of the ignorant Muslim population. Anyone promoting false ideas, propaganda represents the human side of Satan, disbelieving people, with their counterpart being the denying Jinn. The Qur’an introduces the existence of Satan with warnings of his whisperings as telling us that he used to be a Jinn, representing the denying Jinn population. The denying humans who are following Satan, false claims, are also representing the denying human beings with their counterpart of denying Jinn. 

How do we experience Jinn? In our own being, we experience the whispering of Satan because of our free will to accept the truth or deny it. The counterpart of belief is disbelief. The usage of free will should not be confused with should I eat this fruit or some other which is also part of the choice that humans have. We are referring to free will as it pertains to belief matters. Satan’s whisperings come to me saying that look, your body is going to rot, how then do you think it will be renewed again? In reality, the new creation of my body will have nothing to do with my rotten body. Let’s say one’s existence is in the form of knowledge like a blueprint of a building which is not the building but a plan for the building, the DNA as coded information is not the person. The Creator of the universe says that “I am going to create a human being who will have these qualities. In the smallest being is loaded the human genome code demonstrating that He has full knowledge of what he is doing, what He is going to create, fully aware of all the details. There are billions of volumes of information available that have been discovered in the universe which are nothing but the manifestation of Absolute knowledge. One DNA is loaded with information that takes more than one hundred volumes of books. We can imagine how many cells have been created and will be created in the world!

We are given a physical existence while we are in the form of knowledge as referenced by DNA, which is God’s knowledge. The physical body develops over time in a perfect order where the educational process is happening to become acquainted with creation. Our feelings are improving and learning as they potentially have the ability to learn. Once one reaches a certain age, they realize that they have free will to choose: should I take the physical side of creation only or what these physical sides indicate in terms of their meaningful side of existence. 

The spirit represents the believing side, there is another option of disbelief, where is it? It is coming from Satan as the Qur’an presents as the representative of disbelieving Jinn. We are experiencing at every moment the influence of Jinn. For example, when I look at a painting, at every moment I am interacting with the beauty of the painting. I also experience the whisperings of the counterpart of my satanic side in terms of options. The inspirations that come from my spirit and feelings come from the angelic side of my existence, which has the counterpart representation in believing Jinn. We should understand that we are always under the influence of two sides. One is the false whisperings and the other is inspirations from the spirit representing the truthful, meaningful side of the universe. We need to be careful not to confuse the existence of Satan with the existence of the Satanic whisperings. One has existence and the other does not. Let’s have an example to demonstrate it. When I write a sentence like “2 + 2 = 5.” My sentence written on the paper exists but the content of my sentence does not exist. 


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