Jinn – Satan and the Jinn
Satan, which Allah mentions to us many times in the Qur’an, is from the world of the jinn. He used to worship Allah at the beginning of his creation. He lived among the angels in the heavens. He entered Paradise. But then he disobeyed Allah when he refused to prostrate to Adam, out of pride, arrogance and envy. Therefore Allah cast him out of from His mercy.
Satan, in the Arabic language, is a general term for any arrogant rebel. It is used, in general, for that one specific being because he was so arrogant and rebelled against his Lord.
Taaghoot is a word that is well-known to many of the people of the earth, with exactly the same lettering, according to al-Aqaad in his book Iblees. He is called a taaghoot because he has transgressed the limits, rebelled against his Lord and tried to set himself up as a god to be worshipped. Satan has despaired of any chance of mercy from Allah and for that reason Allah has named him Iblees means (ابليس) he has no good in him. And means despaired and lost.
We have already stated that Satan is a jinn. Some modern and past writers have disputed this point. They use as a proof the statement of Allah in Surat Al-Baqarah 34:
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ أَبَىٰ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ.
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for Iblis. He refused and was arrogant and became of the disbelievers.
In many of the books of Qur’anic commentaries and books of history we find narrations from many scholars on this point. They mention that Satan was among the angels and that he was the treasurer of paradise or of the lowest heaven. He was the most noble and honorable of the angels and so forth. Ibn Katheer states in his commentary of the Qur’an:
These stories have been related from many of the early scholars. Most of them are from Jewish and Christian legends (Ar; Israaeeliyaat) which must be investigated more closely. Allah alone knows the truth of most of these types of reports. Many of them are clearly false since they contradict the truth that we possess in our hands [that is, the Qur’an and the hadith of the Prophet].
Allah said in Surat Al-Kahf 50 explaining to us that iblees is not one of the angels, but he is one of the jinn.
وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ اسْجُدُوا لِآدَمَ فَسَجَدُوا إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ ۗ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِي وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ ۚ بِئْسَ لِلظَّالِمِينَ بَدَلًا.
And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblis. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants (progeny) as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.
Furthermore, it has also been confirmed from an authentic text that the jinn are not the same as the angels or as the humans. The Prophet said, .The angels have been created from light, the jinn from fire and Adam was created from clay.. (This was recorded in Sahih Muslim.). Al-Hasan AL-Basri said, .Iblis was not from the angels even for the blinking of an eye.
The Food and Drink of the Jinn
The jinn, and Satan among them, eat and drink. In Sahih al-Bukhari it is recorded on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told him to get some stones in order for the Prophet (peace be upon him) to clean himself after defecation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told Abu Huraira, do not bring me bones or dung…
Abu Huraira asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) why he specifically mentioned not to bring those two items. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told him. They are food for the jinn. A delegation of Naseeb came to me, and what nice jinn they are, and asked me about their provisions. I supplicated to Allah for them that they would never pass by dung or bones except that they would find meat upon them…
And it is recorded in at-Timidity, with a sahih chain, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said; Do not clean yourselves with dung or with bones for they are food for your brothers among the Jinn. And in Sahih Muslim it is recorded from Ibn Masud that a messenger from the jinn came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he went with them.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) read to them some Qur’anic verses. The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed the people the remains of their embers. They asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about their provisions and he told them. Every bone on which the name of Allah has been mentioned will have meat on it for you. And the dung are fodder for your animals… Then he said: Do not clean yourselves with them as they are food for your brothers…
The Prophet also informed us that the devils eat with their left hands and he ordered us to be different from them in this respect. Muslim recorded in his Sahih, on the authority of Ibn Umar, that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said;
عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ : ” إِذَا أَكَلَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِيَمِينِهِ ، وَلْيَشْرَبْ بِيَمِينِهِ ، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَأْكُلُ بِشِمَالِهِ وَيَشْرَبُ بِشِمَالِهِ.
If one of you eats, he should eat with his right hand. And if he drinks, he should drink with his right hand. Verily, Satan eats with his left hand and drinks with his left hand. Recorded by Imam Ahmad
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، أَنَّهُ قَالَ : ” مَنْ أَكَلَ بِشِمَالِهِ أَكَلَ مَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ، وَمَنْ شَرِبَ بِشِمَالِهِ شَرِبَ مَعَهُ الشَّيْطَان.
Whoever eats with his left hand, Satan eats with him. And whoever drinks with his left hand, Satan drinks with him.
عن جابر بن عبد الله أنه سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إذا دخل الرجل بيته فذكر الله عند دخوله وعند طعامه قال الشيطان لا مبيت لكم ولا عشاء وإذا دخل ولم يذكر الله عند دخوله قال الشيطان أدركتم المبيت فإذا لم يذكر الله عند طعامه قال أدركتم المبيت والعشاء. ابن ماجه
If the man enters his house and mentions the name of Allah upon entering it and upon eating therein, Satan says; There is no lodging for you here and no meal here.. But if the man enters his house and neglects to mention the name of Allah upon entering it, Satan says; I have found lodging for you… And if he does not mention Allah’s name upon eating his meal, Satan says; I have found lodging and a meal… This hadith was also recorded by Muslim. These hadith are clear texts that definitely prove that the devils eat and drink.
In the same manner that it is prohibited for man to eat any meat that has not had the name of Allah pronounced over it, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) permitted the believing jinn to eat any bone that has had the name of Allah pronounced over it. They are not permitted to eat meat over which Allah’s name has not been mentioned.
Do the jinn marry and procreate?
It is apparent that the jinn do have sexual intercourse. To prove this, some of the scholars refer to the description of the spouses in paradise. Allah says concerning them in Surat Ar-Rahman 74;
لَمْ يَطْمِثْهُنَّ إِنسٌ قَبْلَهُمْ وَلَا جَانٌّ
Untouched before them by man or jinni.
Marriage between the jinn and humans
One still hears about some man marrying a jinn or some woman marrying one of the jinn or a woman being proposed to by one of the jinn. Al-Suyooti mentioned many such reports from the early generations and scholars pointing to the existence of marriages between humans and jinn. Ibn Taimiya said; Humans and jinn have gotten married and have had children; this has happened often and is well-known…
Assuming it is possible, many of the scholars showed a dislike for such a marriage. Scholars such as Al-Hasan, Qataada, and Ishaaq were known to have shown a dislike for it. Imam Malik could not find any text that would prohibit it but he himself did not like for it to occur and he gave his reason for saying so, .I hate that it would be the case that we would find a woman who is pregnant and we ask her. Who is your husband? And she replies; One of the jinn… Much evil would be the result of that…
A group of people are of the opinion that it is not permitted to marry from the jinn. From the blessings of Allah is that He created for mankind spouses of their own species. Allah says in the Qur’an in Surat Ar-Ruum 21:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ.
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.
Do the devils die?
There is no doubt that the jinn, and the devils among them, do die. The following Qur’anic verse applies to them in Surat Ar-Rahman 26-27;
كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ, وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ.
Everyone upon the earth will perish, And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. In Sahih al-Bukhari it is reported from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet used to say; .I seek refuge, by your Glory, the One, whom there is no other god but You, the One who does not die, and the jinn and mankind do die.
Concerning the length of their lives, we do not know much except what Allah has said concerning the accursed Satan who has been given respite and life until the Day of Judgment. Concerning other jinn or devils, we do not know their life spans. But we do know that their lifespan are longer than that of the humans.