it is a fort of iron and it is the trust in Him; round it is a fort of stones and consists of thankfulness and being pleased with Him: round it is a fort of clay and consists of ordering to do lawful things, prohibiting to do unlawful things, and acting accordingly; round it is a fort of emerald which consists of truthfulness and sincerity toward Him; and round it is a fort of brilliant pearls, which consists of the discipline of the mind (soul). The believer is inside these forts and Iblis outside them barking like a dog, which the former does not mind, because he is well-fortified (defended) inside these forts. It is necessary for the believer never to leave off the discipline of the mind under any circumstances or to be slack with regard to it in any situation he may be in, for whoever leaves off the discipline of the mind or is slack in it, will meet with disappointment (from God), on account of his leaving off the best kind of discipline in the estimation of God, whilst Iblis is constantly busy in deluding him, in desiring for his company, and in approaching him to take from him all these forts, and to cause him to return to a state of unbelief. We seek refuge with God from that state!”.”

10 “Al Damiri – Hayat-ul-Hayawan.” Vol. I, p. 470. (English Translation by Jayakar.)


WHEN the Moslem loudly professes belief in the one true God, the second article of the creed adds that he also believes in the existence of God’s angels. The word here used for angels is mala’ikat, derived from the Arabic root “alaka,” which means to carry a message. The derivation therefore is similar to that of the English word angel. The Moslem term, however, covers three distinct orders of created beings.

First, angels proper. Heavenly messengers imbued with subtle bodies and created of light. They neither eat or drink or have any distinction of sex. Their general characteristic is complete obedience to the will of God. They are included in His army of slaves. Their place is in Heaven, and their general work consists in praising and executing His commands. Their forms are beautiful and they are divided into ranks and degrees. The four archangels whose names are well-known; two recording angels, one on the right shoulder and the other on the left, constantly watch the believer; the guardian angels; the cherubim; the angels of the tomb and the special guardian of Paradise called Ridwan. Another order of spiritual beings are the devils with their chief, Satan, whose original name was Azazil. The third class of supernatural creatures find their place between men and angels. They are called Jinn.

According to Moslem tradition the Jinn were created of fire some thousands of years before Adam. The Jinn are considered to be like men, capable of future salvation and damnation; they can accept or reject God’s message. They

are believers or non-believers. According to the Koran Mohammed was sent to convert the Jinn to Islam as well as the Arabs. (Suras 72: 1–7 and 15:27.) The Jinn are reported to be eaves-droppers and constantly trying to go behind the curtain of heaven in order to steal God's secrets. For this reason the good angels throw stones at them, that is shooting stars, and the common name given to these demonic transgressors is therefore “the stoned ones”— Ar-rajim. (See the commentaries on Suras 55:14; 51:56; 11: 120, etc.) The general abode of all of these spirits or demons is said to be the mountains of Qaf which are supposed to encircle the world. Although Mohammed destroyed polytheism with its priesthood and idols, the substratum of paganism remained and was incorporated into Islam by his revelations on Jinn. Wellhausen has shown how belief in Jinn was universal in Arabia before Islam. Men and Jinn are often spoken of as the Thaqalan, i.e., the two classes of material beings endowed with souls. The etymological derivation of the word is interesting and its cognate words such as those for garden, foatus, shield, show the same root meaning: to hide, cover. Among the names for Jinn the following are female: ghul, si’lat, 'aluq and 'auluq. The male Jinn are called 'afrit and 'azab, etc. The word 'afrit occurs in the Kor'an (Sur. 27:39). Professor Macdonald in his fascinating book, “The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam,” throws considerable light on the doctrine of Jinn both before and after the rise of Islam. He tells us how Hasan ibn Thabit, a close friend of Mohammed, and one who praised him in his poetry, was initiated into his verses by a female Jinn. “She met him in one of the streets of Medina, leapt upon him, pressed him down and compelled him to utter three verses of poetry. Thereafter he was a poet, and his verses came to him as the other Arab poets from the direct inspiration of the Jinn. He refers himself to his ‘brothers of the Jinn' who weave for him artistic words, and tells how weighty lines have been sent down to him from heaven in the night season. The curious thing is that the expressions he uses are exactly those used of the ‘sending down,” that is revelation of the Qur-an.” Dr. Macdonald points to the close parallel between the terms used in the story of Hassan ibn Thabit’s inspiration and the account we have of the first revelation of Mohammed. “Just as Hassan was thrown down by the female spirit and had verses pressed out of him, so the first utterances of prophecy were pressed from Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. And the resemblances go still farther. The angel Gabriel is spoken of as the companion (qarin) of Muhammad, just as though he were the Jinni accompanying a poet, and the same word, nafatha, “blow upon,’ is used of an enchanter, of a Jinni inspiring a poet and of Gabriel revealing to Muhammad.” In the preceding chapter on the Qarina this belief in a double or twin guardian soul was fully treated. Here we deal with the subject in general as unfolded in the Koran and in orthodox tradition. The Jinn are referred to in the Koran in the following passages: Chapter VI: 100: “Yet they made the jinn partners with God, though he created them ' and they ascribed to Him sons and daughters, though they have no knowledge; celebrated be His praise! and exalted be He above what they attribute to Him! The inventor of the heavens and the earth! how can He have a son, when He has no female companion, and when He has created everything, and everything He knows?” Chap. VI: 127: “And on that day when He shall gather them all together, “O assembly of the jinns ! he have got much out of mankind.’ And their clients from among mankind shall say, “O our Lord! much advantage had we one from another’; but we reached our appointed time when thou hadst appointed for us. Says He, “The fire is your resort, to dwell therein for aye! save what God pleases; verily, thy Lord is wise and knowing!'” Chapter VII: 36: “He will say, ‘Enter ye — amongst the nations who have passed away before you, both of jinns and men — into the fire'; whenever a nation enters therein, it curses its mate; until, when they have all reached it, the last of them will say unto the first, “O Our Lord! these it was who led us astray, give them double torment of the fire l’ He will say, ‘To each of you double! but ye do not know.’ And the first of them will say unto the last, ‘Ye have no preference over us, so taste ye the torment for that which ye have earned l’ Chapter VII: 177: “We have created for hell many of the jinn and of mankind.” Chapter XXIII: 70: “Is it that they did not ponder over the words, whether that has come to them which came not to their fathers of yore ? Or did they not know their apostle, that they thus deny him? Or do they say, ‘He is possessed by a jinn” Nay, he came to them with the truth, and most of them are averse from the truth.” Chapter XXXIV:45: “Say, ‘I only admonish you of one thing, that ye should stand up before God in twos or singly, and then that ye reflect that there is no jinn in your companion. He is only a warner to you before the keen torment.’” Chapter LV: 14: “He created men of crackling clay like the potters. And He created the jinn from smokeless fire.” Chap. LV: 32: “O assembly of jinns and mankind! if ye are able to pass through the confines of heaven and earth tnen pass through them! —ye cannot pass through save by authority!”

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