The supernatural is said to exist above and beyond nature. In philosophy, popular culture and fiction, the supernatural is associated with the paranormal, religions and occultism
It may come as a surprise, but Islam does not have much to say specifically about the supernatural phenomena. There are, however, a few hints that Islam gives on this topic. For instance, the Qur'an tells us that after a person dies, a curtain lies between the dead and the world (Al-Muminoon 23: 100), which, implies that the connection of the dead with this world is completely broken. The Qur'an has also informed us about two other beings - i.e. angels and jinn - that exist and can, at times, interact with humans.
Throughout history man has always had a deep attraction for the supernatural and the unseen. The existence of a world parallel to our own has always fascinated people. This world is commonly referred to as the spirit world, and almost every set of people have some concept of one. With some people, these spirits are no more then the souls of dead people- or ghosts. With others, spirits are either the forces of good or the forces of evil - both battling against one another to gain influence over humanity. However, both of these explanations are more in tune with folk tales and fantasy. The true explanation of such a world comes from Islam. Like every other way, Islam also claims to explain this realm of the unseen. It is from this realm that Islam explains to us about the world of the Jinn. The Islamic explanation of the Jinn provides us with so many answers to modem day mysteries. Without the knowledge of this world, the Muslims would become like the non-Muslims and be running around looking for any old answer to come their way. So, who or what are the Jinn?
The jinn and their evidence in quran
The Jinn are beings created with free will, living on earth in a world parallel to mankind. The Arabic word Jinn is from the verb 'Janna' which means to hide or conceal. Thus, they are physically invisible from man as their description suggests. This invisibility is one of the reasons why some people have denied their existence. However, (as will be seen) the affect which the world of the Jinn has upon our world, is enough to refute this modern denial of one of Allah's creation. The origins of the Jinn can be traced from the Qur'an and the Sunnah. Allah says:
"Indeed We created man from dried clay of black smooth mud. And We created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire"
[Surah Al-Hijr 15:26-27]
It is this description of the Jinn which tells us so much about them. Because they were created from fire, their nature has generally been fiery and thus their relationship with man has been built upon this. Like humans, they too are required to worship Allah and follow Islam. Their purpose in life is exactly the same as ours, as Allah says:
"I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me"
[Surah Ad-Dhariyat 51:56]
Jinns can thus be Muslims or non-Muslims. However, due to their fiery nature the majority of them are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim Jinns form a part of the army of the most famous Jinn, Iblis- the Shaytan. Consequently, these disbelieving Jinns are also called Shaytans (devils). As for the Jinns who become Muslims, then the first of them did so in the time of the Prophet (saws) when a group of them were amazed by the recitation of the Qur'an. Allah orders the Prophet to tell the people of this event::
"Say (O' Muhammed): It has been revealed to me that a group of Jinn listened and said; 'Indeed we have heard a marvellous Qur'an. It guides unto righteousness so we have believed in it, and we will never make partners with our lord"
[Surah Al-Jinn 72:1-2]
In many aspects of their world, the Jinn are very similar to us. They eat and drink, they marry, have children and they die. The life span however, is far greater then ours. Like us, they will also be subject to a Final Reckoning by Allah the Most High. They will be present with mankind on the Day of Judgement and will either go to Paradise or Hell.
The jinn and their existence according to Hadith
Thus the Jinn were created before man. As for their physical origin, then the Prophet (saws) has confirmed the above verses when he said:
"The Angels were created from light and the Jinn from smokeless fire"