By Al-Hajj Khalil Champsi
Reflecting during my childhood, while I was growing up in Zanzibar and we were told many stories of the Jinn and some were purely fantasy and fun and others mystical.
However, some communities around the world adopted use the black magic, Jin and Unscrupulous Scholars and corrupting Islamic teachings which is also defeats human intellect and runs in contrary to the teachings of our Ahulbayt.
I started looking at the Quran, the teachings of Ahlulbayt and many works of various scholars to seek better a understanding to know a little more of Jin as a creation of Allah and thus share with others and remove some misconceptions at the same time examine the ‘Power of the Man’ to get the handle of one’s own ability and reject to accepted certain myths. This also means to enhancing one’s mental health awareness and seek remedy by reinforcing relationships with God.
The words “satan” and “jinn” are repeatedly mentioned in the Qur`an. There is also a chapter in the Qur`an named “al-Jinn”. “Satan” is a common noun that denotes any creature that is mischievous, misleading, and delinquent, whether it be human or not. “Iblis” is a proper noun and is the ‘Arabic name of the particular satan who deceived Adam and Eve and even now lays in wait for any opportunity to deceive the sons of Adam.
The word “jinn” is etymologically derived from a word meaning “to hide” or “to be hidden.” It denotes a creature made of fire that possesses both a body and a soul. The jinn are held legally accountable before Allah and can choose to believe or disbelieve.
Some people’s understanding of the jinn is full of hyperbole and fantastic stories, while others reject their existence all together—repudiating even true accounts of jinn. The Qur`an and ahadith describe jinn as powerful creatures. For example, in Surat al-Naml (27), Verse 39, the Qur`an recounts the story of an ‘ifrit (one kind of jinn) who claimed to be able to bring the throne of Bilqis to Sulayman “quicker than you can stand up.”
It should be noted that Sulayman did not repudiate this jinn’s claim, thus indicating that he truly possessed the power. However, one must be careful not to exaggerate such information out of proportion, thereby claiming that jinn have infinite power. Such a belief is tantamount to shirk (the attribution of partners to Allah).
No creature, no matter how powerful, can act without Allah’s sanction. For this reason, Satan has power to misguide only those people who have relinquished their belief in one Allah and have surrendered to the temptations of Satan. Accordingly, Satan himself admits that he has no power over Allah’s sincere servants when he swears, “I shall misguide them all except Your sincere servants.”
Satan’s sole influence over man is by way of whispering temptations. He can never strip man of his free will. In philosophical terms, Satan’s non-materiality is not complete, therefore he cannot reach the lofty station that the spirit of the righteous enjoys. Giving into the temptation of the carnal soul (al-nafs al-’ammarah) opens the way for satanic influence thereby pulling man into Satan’s traps. The sole respite from his grasp is to turn one’s attention to Allah and seek his protection. Allah says, “You (Satan) have no power over my servants.”