In the modern world, we have grown up with the concept of demons and devils – the evil beings of the spirit world, according to traditional Christian beliefs. Other religions around the world have their spirit beings, too, of course. In Islam, the djinn are a race of spirit beings that can be good or evil. (Djinn, or jinn, is the origin of the more familiar word "genie" in English.)
As we learned in the recent article "Exorcism is Islam," Muslims believe that evil djinn can sometimes possess human beings, as some Christians believe demons can possess people.
But what are the djinn? Our Muslim contact, who we identify only as M.M., and who provided the video of the exorcism, answers questions about these spirit beings.
Q: How were the djinn created?
A: Verses of the Koran and the Hadiths show unambiguously that the djinns were created of fire without smoke. According to Ibn ' Abbas, the expression "without smoke" means "end of the flame." Other scientists think that this expression means the purest of fires. What's important to know, quite simply, is that that the djinn were created of fire and therefore have a constitution completely different from ours.
The djinn were created before man. While the djinn were made of fire, man was made of clay and angels created of light.
In this way, the djinn are invisible. So if they are invisible how do we know they exist? Many things exist that our eyes do not see, but their effects are perceptible, such as the air and electrical current.
Also, this word was reported by Allah himself, and Allah does not lie.
Q: Where do the djinn live?
A: The djinn prefer to live in places not inhabited by man, such as deserts and wastelands. Some among them live in the dirty places (dustbins) and others live among man. The djinn live in these dirty places in order to eat the remainders of foods thrown away by people. Also, certain djinn live in cemeteries and ruins.
Q: Can djinn change form and appearance?
A: The djinn have the capacity to take many forms and to change appearance. According to the Imam Ibn Taymiya, they can take a human or animal, form such as a cow, a scorpion, a snake, a bird.... The black dog is the devil of the dogs and the djinn often appear in this form. They can also appear in the form of a black cat.
When a djinn takes a human or animal form, it obeys the physical laws of this form; for example, it will be possible to see it or to kill it with a gunshot or to wound it with a knife. For this reason, djinn remain in these forms for only a short time because they are vulnerable. In fact, they benefit from their invisibility to frighten people.
Q: Are djinn both male and female?
A: Yes, there are males and females among the djinn. According to the Koran, the djinn have the capacity to procreate and can have offspring.
Q: Are djinn responsible for their acts?
A: Just like humans, the djinn are responsible for their acts. Indeed, Allah will take the day of the last Judgement to them.
According to the Imam Ibn Taymiya, the djinn observe obligations in relation to their specific nature. Being different from the human beings, their duties are inevitably different, too.
They have religious beliefs, too. Like human beings, they can be Christian, Jewish, Moslems or non-believers. Some are pious, others are evil.
Q: Are djinn afraid of humans?
A: The djinn and men feared each other mutually, but the djinn were able to instil fear more intensely than men. The djinns are more fearful beings by nature, but they can also feel such human emotions as anger or sadness. In fact, the djinn benefit from these states, being better able to cause fear in the heart of man. Like bad dogs, when they sense your fear, they will attack.