The word Jinn comes from an Arabic root meaning “hidden from sight”. Jinn are intelligent living beings who have been exposed to divine revelation containing both commands and prohibitions, and are thereby eligible for either a reward or punishment in the next life.
To deny the existence of Jinn is an act of Kufr, apostasy, for it is denial of what is confirmed by the Qur-aan and the Sunnah. Belief in their existence is part of belief in the Unseen. Though we cannot see them, we believe in their existence through the truth conveyed to us; Allah says, “Lo! He [Jinni] seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not…” [Surah al-A’raaf/07, v:27]
Allah has provided the basis for understanding this issue by mentioning in the Qur-aan numerous statements addressed to the inhabitants of both worlds. For example, Allah says: “O assembly of Jinn and man, have messengers from among you not come to you, explained Our signs and warned you about meeting this Day of yours? They say, ‘We bear witness on ourselves.’ [Surah al-An’aam/06, v:130]
Denying possession of human bodies is denial of Shar‘i evidence. Those who deny the Jinn existence do not have evidence to support their denial. They merely have a lack of knowledge because the beliefs and experimental knowledge of their profession contain nothing which confirms the Jinn’s existence. Such is the case of a medical doctor who looks after the health of the body by treating the physical symptoms of its sicknesses from the point of view of changes in its physical make-up, without considering what may happen to the body from a spiritual point of view or what may happen to the body as a result of the effect of the Jinn, on it.
The Jinn most certainly do have an effect on humans according to the Prophet’s (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) clear statement in the following authentic narration, “Verily Satan flows in the blood stream of Adam’s descendents.” For, in the blood is the ether known to doctors as the ‘animal soul’ which is emitted by the heart and which moves throughout the body giving it life.
The fact that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was sent to both mankind and the Jinn can also be seen in the Qur-aan, wherein Allah has mentioned that a group of the Jinn heard the Qur-aan and believed in it. Allah addressed the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) saying: “Behold We turned to you a company of Jinns listening to the Qur-aan. When they came they said, ‘Listen in silence!’ When the reading was finished, they returned to their people to warn [them of their error]. They said, ‘O our people we have heard a book revealed after Moses, confirming what came before it and guiding to the truth and the straight path. O our people, respond to one who invites you to Allah and believe in him. He will forgive your faults and save you from a grievous penalty.’ Whoever does not respond to Allah’s missionary can not frustrate [Allah’s plan] on earth nor will he have any allies besides Allah. Such are in manifest error)”. [Surah al-Ahqaaf/46, v:29-32]
“Say, ‘It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinns listened and said, ‘Verily, we have heard an amazing recital. It guides to the right, we believe in it and we will not associate anyone or anything with our Lord. Exalted is our Lord’s majesty. He has taken neither a wife nor a son. There were among us some fools who lied about Allah. But we believe that no man or Jinn should lie about Allah’”.
[Surah Jinn/72, v:1-5]
The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was commanded to acquaint mankind with the world of the Jinn and to inform man that he was sent to both man and Jinn as a guide to what is required of them with respect to belief in Allah, His Prophets, the Last Day, and obedience to the Prophets. The command was also to prohibit Shirk (ascribing partners to Allah) with the Jinn or others, as Allah says:
“True, there were some among men who sought refuge in some among the Jinn, but they [the Jinn] only increased their fears”. [Surah Jinn/72, v:6]
Whenever a man of that time would enter a valley -and valleys are where Jinns were thought to reside, as they frequent valleys more than high ground – the man would say, “I seek refuge with the supreme master of this valley from its foolish inhabitants.” When the Jinns found men seeking refuge in them, they would terrorize humans and attack them with even more ferocity. Men would bring with them amulets and talismans (taaweez) using the name of the Jinn and their rulers and they would swear by the names of those among the Jinn and their rulers whom they held in high esteem. This resulted in man’s elevation and honour of the Jinns over themselves.
Consequently, the Jinn would often fulfil some human requests -especially since they knew that man is more noble and honourable than they are. If a man subordinates himself to them and seeks refuge in them, he becomes similar to an important person who ignorantly seeks help from an insignificant nobody in fulfilling his needs.
The point is that Allah has stated that Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was sent to both worlds and the Jinn heard his recital of the Qur-aan and returned to their people and informed them. These facts are agreed upon by all Muslims. Most of the Sahaabah (RadiyAllaahu ‘annum) and their students and the majority of later scholars also held that the Jinn came back to the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam), that he read more Qur-aan to them and that they took an oath of allegiance with him.
They also believed that the Jinn asked the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) to specify some food for them and their animals and he said to them: “You may have every bone on which Allah’s name has been mentioned as it will become covered with more than enough meat, and for your animals you may have animal droppings as feed.” The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) also said, “Do not clean yourselves with both of them (bones and dung) for verily they are provisions for your brothers among the Jinn.” This report is authentically reported in Saheeh Muslim and other books of hadeeth from the Sahaabi, ‘Abdullah Jbn Mas‘ood (RadiyAllaahu ‘anhu).
Jinn have been exposed to divine revelation containing both commands and prohibitions, and since Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) was also sent to them, it is therefore obligatory for Muslims to treat them as they would treat another human being with regard to commanding the good and prohibiting the evil. The Jinn should be invited to submit to Allah just as Allah ordained that His Messenger invite mankind to submit, and as the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam) invited them. Muslims should also admonish and treat the Jinn in the same way that they would treat humans who break the laws of God. That is, they should repel the tyranny of the Jinn by employing the same methods which repel the tyranny of men.