ON THE QUR`AN
Chapter 72: Surat Al-Jinn
the name of Allah,
the Beneficent, the Merciful
Say, it has been revealed to me that some of the Jinn (unseen
beings) gave ear to this divine message and thereupon said to
their fellow beings, 'We have heard a wondrous discourse.'
so we have come to believe in it and we shall never ascribe
divinity to anyone beside our Lord (our Sustainer).
we know that exalted is our Sustainer's majesty. No consort has
He ever taken unto himself, nor a son.
The surah is
about the jinn. The word jinn refers to the beings who
dwell in the unseen. Janna means to hide, cover, conceal,
veil. The jinn are those entities, energies, or beings which are the
counterpart of ins, human beings, who appear in a physical
form on this earth. So the surah refers to those entities who
are in existence, but whose existence is not like that of the human
being, conditioned by the physical limitations of body and other
such aspects of physical existence. Jinnin means fetus,
because it is hidden, covered. So the jinn are covered in a sense,
they are not visible or discernible (that is to ins, to the
The surah is
about the cognizance of the jinn of the message to the Prophet,
peace and blessings of Allah be upon him; so it begins,
'Say, that I
have been inspired, or that it has been revealed to me that some of
the jinn, some of these entities which are in this creation, hidden,
unseen, have said that we have heard Qur`an.'
We have heard the Book, we have heard the revealed Book being
Some jinn had heard the
recitation of the Qur`an and they called it ajaban, wondrous.
They said it is wondrous because it reveals knowledges which they
recognize as knowledge, but of which they did not have cognizance
before. They said that this recitation of Qur`an leads us towards
rushd. Rashid is a person who is conscious of what is
right, he is sensible and well-guided. Rushd is the beginning
of wisdom, so they say the Qur`an leads to rushd, to the
consciousness of, to the awakening of, what is right; and therefore
we trust it, therefore we believe in it; and we will not associate (ashraka,
to make a sharer or associate) with our Sustainer anyone else.
Rabb is Lord, but Lord only in the sense of having that ability
to bring out the maximum potential in those who are lorded upon. The
lord of the house is a lord only if his duty and responsibility
bring up to full potential those elements which are under his
control. So the best description here is Sustainer, and the jinn
will not ascribe, we will not associate with our Lord anyone else,'
In other words, they confirm the unity of existence, waftahu
'Say there is only one Sustainer, and that we confirm that this
Sustainer is most exalted and has no sahiba, no wife, no
mistress or son.'
It is Oneness, Tawhid. Everything has come or burst forth
from that Oneness. He is the Cause of all. Everything else is only
And we thought that the foolish among us were saying outrageous
things about Allah.
But we thought that neither man nor jinn would ever tell a lie about
Yet, it has always happened that certain kinds of humans seek refuge
with certain kinds of jinn, but these are only increased in their
So that they come to think that Allah would never again send forth
These jinn who have
heard the Qur`an say that there are some human beings who are taking
counsel or seeking refuge with some of the jinn, who are using their
invisible forces. And because all human beings are basically
seekers, some are trying in this way, groping in the dark as to what
is the purpose of creation. This is still practiced everywhere in
the world, as it has been from the beginning of time. Up to this
time, the use of jinn was very commonly practiced for various
achievements in this life; and right now you will find this practice
still in use in many places. Whether this use of such supernatural
powers, this harnessing of these energies which are available, is
for good or bad makes no difference. The one who does so is at a
loss. If one develops the powers of using these invisible forces,
which as mainly jinn, then they are taking refuge in that. As
Muslims, we want to reach the Creator of it all. We do not want to
take refuge from a visible creational reality into an invisible
creational reality. So the implication is that all of those who do
so are at a loss. All that happens is that they are increased in
their tiredness and disillusionment. What do they gain? Maybe some
fantastic supernatural powers, but then what? Where is the
salvation? Where is the finality? Where is the inner refurbishing in
that? Fazadum rahaqan – 'Say:
If the ins take refuge in jinn, they will only increase in
their rahak (suffering, oppression and confusion).'
They will only be more confused, because they are moving into a dark
alley. They are not moving towards the light of the innermost,
towards the light of the Creator, which is everywhere, and from whom
came both ins and jinn. There is only one way toward full and
direct awakening and that Path starts with acceptance or belief in
Unity. Disregard for any other preoccupation, occult powers and all
the rest, is a necessary condition for beings, either ins or
jinn, devoted to discovering Reality.
And so we touched the
heavens, and we found it filled with mighty meteors and flames.
Notwithstanding that we
were established in positions, listening, and anyone who now tries
to listen will find the flames lying in wait for him.
Now what is this
business of flames and restrictions, and of heavens? What it means
is that every system in this creation has a boundary, whether it is
the human system which is conditioned by an unseen which we call
spirit and a seen which is the physical body, or the jinn system
which includes the hidden or unseen bodies in this realm of
creation. They too have their limitations. Every system of creation
has its limiting factors. We too have certain degrees of height that
we can go up to, beyond which we get burnt out. As they describe it,
there are meteors, there are lights. They are restricted to a
terrestrial situation. They cannot roam about into the beyond, into
this cosmic creation. In the same way, man is limited and he will
find the limits of the extent to which he can physically journey
through the use of power, through the use of spaceships. So the jinn
are saying, 'Look, there is a limitation.' The same way that there
is a limitation in this realm of existence of the jinn, there is
also in the realm of atoms. If you manage by some trick to take the
atom to a certain point, another system occurs and there we have the
meaning of the splitting of the atom. Every system has its own
limitations. If you transgress these, then that system is no longer
the same. It becomes another system. In the same way, if you like,
in describing our system of physics – you use a certain model up to
a certain point, but beyond that point you have to use another
model. For example, you may have to use thermo-dynamics up to a
certain point, then you may have to use relativity. Whether you are
describing speed, movement, light, or any other variable, you find
that one system cannot show us the whole thing, because the whole
transcends all systems. Perhaps you find something that has the
characteristics of a photon as well as a wave line. Sometimes it
looks more like that, sometimes like this, depending upon which side
of the system you are looking at. It is like the elephant and the
blind men. One feels the trunk and thinks it is a snake, another
feels a leg and thinks it is a tree. They are limited because they
cannot see the whole.
We do not know whether
evil is meant for the people on earth or whether it is that He
wanted for them consciousness of what is right.
The implication is that
the jinn are bewildered by the behavior of some of the men on this
earth. Their system is separate from ours, so there is no
interaction. There is a boundary which we must not transgress. We
must not dabble in that system, as they must not dabble in ours. If
we are correct, if we are strong, if we are on a Path, there can be
no interference. It is most unlikely for people like us to be
affected by the occultish madness of some others, because we are
conscious, we are alert, we are aware and we are in worship, so it
will not touch us.
The jinn are saying, as
a result of the behavior of some of the men whom they have observed,
who are making allies of some of their own people, 'We do not know
whether their Sustainer wanted them to have a bad time, a miserable
time, or whether He wanted them to have consciousness of what is
right.' They are saying, 'From our point of view, we are not certain
what is going on (with these humans).'
Just as we do not know
how it happened that some of us are good and some of us are below
that. We have always followed different paths.
And we have come to know
that we can never elude Allah on earth, and that we can never elude
Him by escaping any other way.
Hence, as soon as we
heard this guidance (or this call, or
this Qur`an) that has been recited, we came to believe in it,
and he who believes in his Sustainer
(or in his Lord) need never have fear of loss or justice.
These jinn were
basically believers in the Sustainer, that is, that there is
Lordship in this creation; that it is not in chaos; that they cannot
just fool around doing what they want in the way they want; that
they are under an overall constraint. And yet some of them are at a
loss and some of them are not, and they are following different
venues and ways. The voice here is the voice of the purer jinn,
because they say,
'When we heard
the Qur`an, the Huda, when we heard what is guiding us to the
right path, we believed it.'
Because the essence of belief was already there, so when it hit them
it was like a resounding echo and they recognized it. They said,