Those who reside in the world of the unknown

HAVE you ever been home alone and heard a strange sound that made you jump out of your skin? Or have the hairs on your neck ever stood up because you just "felt" a presence of someone or something near you?

By Sumayyah Meehan

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Published: Fri 11 Apr 2008, 9:46 AM

Last updated: Wed 19 Oct 2022, 12:21 PM

Don’t worry you’re not crazy and there are not any "ghosts" haunting your dwelling place! However, there is an entire world just like ours that remains unseen to humans and is under the control and care of Allah almighty. This world is mixed right in with ours, although at the same time it is completely separate, and it is comprised of beings called Jinns, or spirits.

Allah almighty says in the Holy Quran:

“And the Jinns did He create from a smokeless flame of fire.” (55:15)

The Jinns are not spirits or souls of dead humans as Islam rejects the concept of ghosts or the dead coming back to visit their loved ones in the form of apparitions. According to Islam, once a human being dies they are remanded to their graves where they are confined until the Day of Judgment.

Jinns are separate beings just like humans and angels are. However, the Jinns and humans are more similar in terms of characteristics. Both humans and Jinns have a limited free will, the ability to reason and choose right from wrong. Like humans, some Jinns are Christian, Muslim or even atheist. Many Jinns are evil and are the soldiers of the accursed Satan. The Jinn lives, eats, works and dies just like humans do.

The Jinn is a very unique being. Foremost, they are invisible to humans unless Allah decides to reveal them to us. And they have amasing powers that humans do not possess. The Jinns are extremely powerful and fast. Some fly and some can morph into different things.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“The jinn are of three types: a type that has wings, and they fly through the air; a type that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its journey.”

There is a notable story about the Prophet Suleyman (pbuh) who Allah gifted with the ability to understand the speech of animals and Jinns. Suleyman (pbuh) found the Queen of Sheba worshipping the sun instead of Allah. So, he sent her a message saying that she and her people should be worshipping the one and only creator Allah. The queen rejected the message and then Suleyman asked if there was anyone who would travel to the Queen’s land, which was a great distance away, and bring her prized bejeweled throne to him.

Allah almighty says in the Holy Quran:

“An Ifrit (strong one) from the Jinns said: ‘I will bring it (her throne) to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.’ One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: ‘I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!’ – then when Suleyman saw it placed before him, he said, ‘This is by the grace of my Lord... ’” (27:39-40) This ayah shows the speed and might of the Jinns. When the queen visited Suleyman and found her own throne in front of her she immediately declared her faith in Allah.

Just like humans the Jinn must eat to survive. However, their food is actually the left over scraps from humans. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could see the Jinns and saw where some of them lived. He permitted the Jinns who were Muslim to have whichever bones were leftover from our meals so long as Allah’s name had been pronounced over the meat before it was slaughtered.

The Jinn also live amongst humans and favour the dirtiest places. The homes of the Jinn include bathrooms, graveyards, garbage dumps and any place that is filthy. So, the Jinns are living right in our own homes! The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gave us detailed instructions for living amongst the Jinn who absolutely can harm humans by the Will of Allah. For example, before entering the bathroom Muslims should say ‘Bismillah’ (In the Name of Allah’ and upon exiting ‘AstfkrAllah’ (Allah forgive me). These may seem only mere words but they serve to protect us. There have been numerous verified reports of Jinns possessing a human’s body or doing some harm to humans by Allah’s leave. Most humans assume that their houses are haunted with ghosts having unfinished business when in reality it is simply Jinns. Also, the Muslim household must be impeccably clean so as not to entice the Jinn to reside in other places in our homes.

Besides living amongst us, every single human has a ‘Qareen’ or a companion in the form of a Jinn. Even non-Muslims have a companion Jinn as per Allah’s leave. The companion Jinn may be good or evil, follow our religious beliefs or not. There is no way of knowing. However, most Jinns that are companions to humans are evil and they try to lead us far away from Allah and straight to hell. That inner voice that we all have that coaxes us to look at something forbidden or to commit some evil action is actually the companion Jinn. All Muslims must adhere to the Quran and Sunnah and ignore their companion Jinn by enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil.

Allah almighty says in the Holy Quran:

“His companion (Qareen) will say: "Our Lord! I did not push him to transgress, (in disbelief, oppression, and evil deeds) but he was himself in error far astray.” Allah will say: "Dispute not in front of me, I had already, in advance, sent you the threat. The sentence that comes from me cannot be changed, and I am not unjust (to the least) to the slaves." (50:27-29)

The Jinns are very real beings and they are a part of our World. They do have an edge over us as they are invisible to us and can hurt us by Allah’s leave. As per Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) instructions we can protect ourselves from the Jinn by submitting our wills entirely to Allah and performing acts of worship like sincere prayers and reciting the Holy Quran regularly.

Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam. She can be reached at

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