Religion of jinn before Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
Fatwa No: 330949

Question

I want to know what the religion of the jinn was before Muhammad's, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, mission? Did they believe in previous Holy Books or any other Prophets before Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam? Why do they have to consider themselves to rely on the religion whose leader is a man? Is their world not separate from ours?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Both the jinn and humankind have been assigned religious duties; they were both created for the purpose of worshiping Allaah; Allaah, The Almighty, says (what means): {And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.} [Quran 51:56]. There are among the jinn those who are righteous and those who are not; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And among us are the righteous, and among us are (others) not so; we were (of) divided ways.} [Quran 72:11] The righteous among the jinn believed in the divine messages revealed to the previous Prophets of Allaah before the mission of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, i.e. Islam. The disbelievers among the jinn are described in the verse (which means): {And among us are Muslims (in submission to Allaah), and among us are the unjust.} [Quran 72:14]

It is stated in the Quran that the jinn knew of the previous divine messages; some of them were guided to the Truth and believed in these divine messages; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {They said: O our people, indeed we have heard a (recited) Book revealed after Moosa (Moses), confirming what was before it which guides to the truth and to a straight path.} [Quran 46:30]

Scholars held different views as to whether there were messengers from among the jinn themselves or whether the human messengers were sent for the jinn as well. Dr. Al-Ashqar underlined the difference of opinion in this regard saying:

Allaah, The Exalted, sent down messengers to the jinn. Since they are competent for religious assignments, then the divine revelation must have reached them in order to educate them beyond the excuse of ignorance. How did the divine revelation reach them? Were there messengers from among the jinn sent to them by their Lord, or were the human messengers sent to both communities (jinn and humankind alike)? Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {O company of jinn and mankind, did there not come to you messengers from among you, relating to you My verses and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?} [Quran 6:130]

This indicates that Allaah, The Exalted, did send messengers to the jinn, but it is not clearly stated whether these messengers were from among the jinn themselves or from humankind. The pronoun used in the verse 'from among you', may denote both meanings. It may mean that Allaah sent messengers to human beings from among themselves and messengers to the jinn from among themselves. It may also mean that the human messengers were sent to both jinn and humankind.

Scholars held two scholarly views in this regard: Some maintained that the messengers sent to the jinn were from among themselves, and Adh-Dhahhaak  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was one of the scholars who held this view. Ibn Al-Jawzi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “This is the apparent indication of the texts." Ibn Hazm  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Allaah had not sent a human messenger to the jinn before the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam.

The second scholarly view suggests that the messengers sent to the jinn were human messengers and not from the jinn. As-Suyooti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote: "The majority of early and late scholars agreed that there was never a messenger or prophet sent from among the jinn. This view has been reported on the authority of Ibn ʻAbbaas, Mujaahid, Al-Kalbi, and Abu ʻUbayd.

What proves the view that the human messengers were sent to the jinn to be preponderant is the statement of the jinn upon listening to the verses of the Quran. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {They said: O our people, indeed we have heard a (recited) Book revealed after Moosa (Moses)...} [Quran 46:30] However, this verse is not decisive evidence in this regard. In any case, knowledge of this matter does not lead to doing any (good) deeds, and there is no decisive text in this regard.

Based on the scholarly view that the human messengers were also sent to the jinn, which is held by the majority of the scholars, this is an aspect of honoring humankind and favoring them above the jinn. The jinn are assigned with religious duties in a manner that suits their unique nature and creation.

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

The jinn are commanded to abide by both the fundamental and subsidiary religious rules of the Sharee'ah according to their distinct nature and creation; the jinn are different from humankind in terms of nature and creation and, accordingly, they are not required to abide by the religious rules like the human beings on the same terms. However, they are addressed with commands and prohibitions in accordance with their unique nature. I know of no difference of opinion among the Muslims in this regard.

Allaah knows best.

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