Since the start of time, man has been fascinated by the idea of a parallel supernatural world and the existence of mystic creatures or ‘jinn’ that may be walking amongst us. So one is prompted to ask, are jinn real? The answer is yes, they are very much real and exist around us. The true nature and explanation of this supernatural reality can be found in the realm of Islam.

In Islamic thought, there are three categories of Allah’s (SWT) sentient creations: angels, jinn, and man. Both angels and jinn belong to the realm of the ‘Ghayb’ (unseen world). Jinn, by its very definition, means ‘hidden’ or ‘to be hidden’. The exact nature and features of the jinn and their world are hidden from humans but the basic essence of Islam rests upon the very belief in the unseen. In the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) explains a true God conscious Muslim as being the one

“who believe(s) in the Unseen” (Quran 2:2)

Allah (SWT) created the jinn from fire. Just like humans, they are gendered conscious beings who possess free will – they have a choice between doing right and wrong. Moreover, just like man, the jinn shall also be held accountable in front of Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment – they may be evil, neutral or righteous.

“Indeed We created man from dried clay of black smooth mud. And We created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire” (Quran 15:26-27)

Similarly, jinn were also created for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah (SWT) and not associating any partners with Him – just like man.

“And I (Allah) did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)

Amazingly, the jinn are also given a choice between being Muslim or non-Muslim. There are those jinn who are Muslims and believe in the commandments of Allah (SWT). These jinn vary on their levels of righteousness and taqwa as well. However, there are also those jinn who are non-Muslims and work under the influence of Satan, hence, these jinn are known as Shayateen (plural of Shaytaan). The Shayateen are geared towards misleading human beings and tempting them into falling into paths disapproved by Allah (SWT). They appeal to human desires and get them to engage in evil acts, which ultimately lead to the wrath of Allah (SWT).

“[Some jinn said:] ‘There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary; we are groups, each having a different way (religious sects, etc.)’” (Quran 72:11)

It seems the jinn are more similar to man than we realize. The jinn can also eat, drink, reproduce and die, but their lifespan is far greater than humans. What distinguishes jinn from us are their supernatural abilities. The jinn’s powers pose as a test for them – if they misuse their powers and dedicate their efforts towards spreading evil, Allah (SWT) will condemn them to Hell and if they choose the righteous path of Allah (SWT) and His commandments, they will be sent to Heaven.

There are several types of jinn. Some of them have the power to transform into other beings such as animals, flying beings, and even humans. Then there are those who also have the power of possession (taking possession of the mind and body of another being) but the act of possession itself is condemned by Allah (SWT). They are known to be able to move and travel at a lightning fast pace as well.

Jinn tend to reside in unclean and isolated areas such as graveyards, deserts, bathrooms, garbage dumps etc., hence the Holy Prophet (PBUH) warned his Ummah to adopt certain precautions while entering or exiting these places which include the recitation of Adhkar (words of remembrance) and Duas (supplication) as prescribed in Islam.

The existence of jinn in our world cannot be denied, as their truth has been revealed in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Hence, we must seek refuge from Allah (SWT) and ask for His refuge when it comes to the evil of His creations for only Allah (SWT) has the power to protect us.