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Types of Djinn

From the Islamic Perspective

Praise be to Allah (The Glorified and Exalted).

The existence of the Jinn race is based on the Qur’an and authentic hadith.

Similar to angels, jinns are part of the unseen world. The word “jinn” comes from

an Arabic root meaning “hidden from sight.” Jinn are commonly referred to as

spirits. The world of the jinn is separate from the world of man, with its own

distinct nature.

Their Creation:

The jinn race was created before mankind, but after the creation of the angels.

Iblis is the first jinn and is believed to be the father of the jinn race, just as Adam

(peace be upon him) is the father of mankind. This is mentioned in the following

verse of the Qur’an and hadith:

“And the jinn, We created aforetime from the smokeless flame of fire.” [15:27]

Qur'an - Ar-Rahmaan 55:15, 15

He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the clay of pottery.

And the jinns did He create from a smokeless flame of fire.

Their Purpose:

The jinn have the same destiny and fate as man. The jinn race has been given

the freewill to decide to submit to Allah or choose to be ungrateful. They have

also been sent Messengers from among their own, but the Prophet Muhammad

(peace and blessings be upon him) was the last prophet and messenger, sent to

both mankind and the jinn race.

“And I (Allah) created not the jinns and men, except that they should worship Me

(Alone).” [51:56]

Similar to man, the jinns will be reckoned on the Day of Judgment:

“‘O ye assembly of jinns and men! Came there not unto you Messengers from

amongst you, setting forth unto you My signs, and warning you of the meeting of

this Day of yours?’ They will say: ‘We bear witness against ourselves.’ It was the

life of this world that deceived them. So against themselves will they bear witness

that they rejected Faith.” [6:130]

They are Part of The Unseen:

Allah (The Exalted and Glorified) through His Mercy for man, has placed a veil

over the eyes of mankind, so they cannot see the jinn. However, animals may see

the jinn. For example, horses and dogs can see the jinn. It is also the case that

the jinn can see man. The jinn reside in their own realm on Earth, existing

parallel to the world of man. This is mentioned in the following verses of the


“Soon shall We settle your affairs, O both ye worlds!” [55:31]

“O ye Children of Adam! Let not Iblis (Satan) seduce you, in the same manner as

he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose

their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see

them: We made the devils [i.e. evil jinn] friends (only) to those without faith.”


Types of Jinn:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mentioned that there were three

different types of jinn:

Abu Tha’labah al-Khushani said:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “The jinn

are of three types: a type that has wings, and they fly through the air; a type

that looks like snakes and dogs; and a type that stops for a rest then resumes its

journey [i.e. they appear to be nomadic].” [Reported by al-Tahhaawi in Mushkil al-

Athaar, 4/95, and by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 22/214. Shaykh al-Albaani said in

al-Mishkaat (2/1206, no. 4148): al-Tahhaawi and Abu’l-Shaykh reported it with a

saheeh isnaad]

In Saheeh Muslim (2236) it is narrated that Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be

pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of

Allaah be upon him) say: “In Madeenah there is a group of the jinn who have

become Muslim, so whoever sees any of these creatures let him give it a warning

three times, then if it appears after that he may kill it, for it is a devil.”

The word translated as “creatures” here refers to kinds of snakes that appear in

houses; they are not to be killed until they have been given a warning three

times, because they may be jinn. See Ghareeb al-Hadeeth by Ibn al-Atheer.

Al-Nawawi said: What this means is that if they do not disappear after being

warned, then they are not the kind of creatures that inhabit houses and they are

not among the jinn who have become Muslim, rather that is a devil so there is no

sin on you if you kill it and Allaah will never give the Shaytaan a way to prevail

over you by taking revenge, unlike the creatures (snakes) and jinn who have

become Muslim. And Allaah knows best. Sharh Muslim, 14/236.

Their Abilities:

The jinns have abilities beyond that of human beings. Some jinn can fly, they can

appear in different forms, travel quickly, and have an extraordinary level of

strength. Their bodies can also be sustained underneath the ground, underwater,

or in outer space (i.e. flying near the Earth in the lowest heaven). The jinn have a

much longer lifespan than humans, but they eventually die. Due to the fact that

the bodies of the jinn were created from fire, when they die, their bodies

evaporate into the air. Unlike man, whose body was created from the Earth, this

is why humans decay and become one with the Earth when they die.

The jinn may also appear in the disguise of other creatures. For example, jinns

can take the form of humans. This is mentioned in the following hadith:

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) put me in

charge of guarding the zakah of Ramadan. Someone came to me and started

scooping up some of the food, and I said, “By Allah, I will take you to the

Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).”-He [the thief]

complained of being in need and having dependents, so Abu Hurayrah took pity

on him and let him go. This happened three times, and on the third occasion,

-Abu Hurayrah said: “I will take you to the Messenger of Allah. This is the third

time and each time you say that you will not come back, then you come back.” He

[the thief] said, “Let me go and I will teach you something by means of which

Allah will benefit you.” I said: “What is it?” he said: “When you go to bed, recite

Ayat al-Kursi, “Allah. There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting,

Eternal…” [2:255], until you complete the verse. Then you will always have a

protector [angel] from Allah, and no devil will come near you until morning

comes.” So I let him go, and the next morning I told the Messenger of Allah

(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) what had happened. The Messenger

of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “He told you the truth,

although he is a liar. Do you know who you have been speaking to for three

nights, O Abu Hurayrah?” He said: “No.” He said: “That was a devil [a shaytaan or

evil jinn].” [al-Bukhari no. 3275]

From the above hadith, various points are evident. Firstly, the conduct of the

shaytaan, an Arabic word which refers to the evil jinn, is that they frequently lie

and speak untruthfully in order to mislead people. Secondly, the jinn are only

unseen to humans when they are in the form in which they were created. When

the jinns appear in other forms in the world of man, then they can be seen.

Lastly, Ayat al-Kursi can be recited in order to protect an individual from the harm

of the shaytaan.

Their Dwellings:

The jinns usually live in unclean places, such as: garbage dumps, toilets, ruins of

buildings, etc. They also gather in the cemeteries during the night, reside in

buildings or homes that have been abandoned for over forty days, and they

congregate at construction sites. Besides these dwellings, the jinns are also

known to live underground and within water. Because of their dwellings most jinn

carry a foul stench. Many of them avoid the daylight and usually come out during

the night.

Zayd ibn Arqam reported:

The Apostle of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “These privies

[public bathrooms] are frequented by the jinns and devils [i.e. any jinn in

general]. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: ‘I seek refuge

in Allah from male and female shaytaan.’” [Dawud: Book 1: Hadith 6]

Narrated Jabir:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When night falls, then keep

your children close to you, for the devils spread out then. An hour later you can

let them free; and close the gates (i.e. doors) of your house (at night), and

mention Allah’s Name thereupon (i.e. Bismillah), and cover your utensils (i.e.

foods), and mention Allah’s Name thereupon, (and if you don’t have something to

cover your utensil) you may put across it something (e.g. a piece of wood, etc.).”

[Bukhari: Book 4: Volume 54: Hadith 500]

Their Needs:

Similar to humans, the jinns require food, water, and rest in order to survive. In

the following hadith, it is mentioned that some jinn eat bones:

Ibn Mas’ood reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“Someone from among the jinn called me, and I went with him and recited

Qur’an for them.” He [the Prophet] took us and showed us the traces of where

they had been and the traces of their fires. They [the jinn] asked him [the

Prophet] for food and he said, “You can have every bone on which the name of

Allah has been mentioned that comes into your possession, as meat, and all the

droppings as food for your animals.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be

upon him) said, “So do not use [these things] for cleaning yourselves [after

relieving oneself], for they are the food and provision of your brothers.’” [Muslim

no. 450]

Their Animals:

Similar to humans, the jinn have their own animals as part of their world. This is

alluded to in the following hadith, in which their animals eat droppings in order to

sustain themselves.

Ibn Mas’ood reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “…all the

droppings as food for your animals.’” [Muslim no. 450]

Their Civilization:

Similar to mankind, the jinn race has its own languages, nations, leaders,

cultures, customs, religions, and so forth.

Their Religions:

Some of the jinns are Muslims and others the contrary. In the following verses of

the Qur’an, Allah mentions a group of jinn who had become Muslims after hearing

the recitation of the Qur’an.

“Say: It has been revealed to me that a company of Jinns listened (to the

Qur’an). They said, ‘We have really heard a wonderful Recital! It gives guidance

to the Right, and we have believed therein: we shall not join (in worship) any

(gods) with our Lord. And Exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: He has taken

neither a wife nor a son.’” [72:1-3]

The Qareen:

Every human has a jinn companion throughout his or her life, which is called the

qareen. The qareen is different from other jinn, because it specifically stays with

its human host throughout the life of the human, by shadowing the person. The

man has a male qareen and the woman has a female companion. It is sometimes

the case that an individual will die and other will say, "I have seen the spirit (or

ghost) of so-and-so." What they have seen is either the qareen of the dead or

another jinn in the guise of the deceased. This life involves man being tested by

Allah (The Exalted). The qareen is evil (a shaytaan) and whispers for man to

commit sins and disobey Allah. Therefore, it is part of the trial in this life that

every individual must overcome and not engage in the evil temptations of his

constant companion. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also had a

qareen, but Allah made him become a Muslim:

Ibn Mas’ood said:

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “There is

not one of you who does not have a jinn appointed to be his constant

companion.” They said, ‘And you too, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said, “Me too, but

Allah has helped me and he has submitted, so that he only helps me to do good.”

[Muslim no. 2814]

The Believer suppresses his qareen by obeying Allah and adhering to His religion,

until the qareen becomes weak and unable to stop the Believer from doing good,

except what Allah Wills. The sinner, by his disobedience and evil actions, gives his

shaytaan the strength to encourage him to do evil and discourage him from doing

good. The Believer has to fear Allah and strive against his qareen, by obeying

Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). It is wisdom and

insight in a Believer to realize that the qareen of other individuals may succeed in

causing that person to falter at any moment. Therefore, the Muslim should not

place himself or his children in a vulnerable position, alone with other individuals,

which may lead to being harmed. After the human counterpart dies, it is possible

for the qareen to still live on, considering that jinns naturally live longer than

humans. The Muslim should be aware of his constant companion as much as

possible and resist his sinful temptations.

The weakness of science – could be Jinn as science does not believe on Jinn and

is not as advanced as the Quran and Sunnah – We can not trust on kuffar, Allah

knows best


The notorious American Bigfoot is considered to be a large hairy hominoid that

lives in the forest. This creature is known by numerous other names from around

the world: Yeti, Sasquatch, Yowie, Abominable Snowman, Skunk Ape, Barmanou,

etc. Long before modern Americans gave eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot, many of

the Native American tribes that had lived in North America were well acquainted

with the creature. Some tribes considered Bigfoot as their “brother” from the

forest, which was a spirit that lived underground and surfaced during the night, in

order to feed. Some Native Americans also mention in their legends that Bigfoot

was capable of making himself appear visible and invisible. Another tribe, the

Dakota Indians, considered Bigfoot to exist in another dimension and to appear in

the world of man when they had reason. This jinn is perhaps the third type

mentioned in the section “Types of Jinn,” the one that stops for a rest then

resumes its journey, living a nomadic existence.


Mothman was the name given to a creature that appeared in Point Pleasant, West

Virginia in the 1960s. The creature was man-like in appearance, possessed two

large wings on its back, and was excessively hairy. The persons who came into

contact with the Mothman, mentioned that it could travel quickly and fly. This

creature has been seen around the world. For example, in Zanzibar, there is a

creature known as “Bat Wings,” which is described as being similar in appearance

to the Mothman. This is the jinn that has wings and flies. This was mentioned in

the section “Types of Jinn.”

Werewolf of Wisconsin:

In the state of Wisconsin, there have been numerous sightings of a large creature

that walks erect and has the features of a dog, which include: claws, a snout, and

excessive hair. Among the first sightings was by a man who spotted the

“werewolf” east of Jefferson, Wisconsin. While driving during the night, the man

spotted the beast digging in an old Indian mound. He described it as standing

erect over six feet, having a muzzle, and claws with three fingers and a twisted

thumb. The man came back to the spot the next night and found the same beast.

In the second encounter, the man said he heard the creature utter something that

was not tangible. The beast went away from the man and eventually vanished

from sight.

The so-called “werewolf” or dog form of the jinn is well known around the world.

In fact, in Arabia, this was the manner in which the jinn were commonly seen

when they encountered Arabs in the world of man. This is the type of jinn that

looks like a dog and is mentioned in the section “Types of Jinn.” The jinn from

Wisonsin, is mentioned to have been seen digging in an Indian mound, which is a

graveyard, this is probably because he was searching for bones to eat. The

following account mentions the encounter of a Muslim with a jinn that appeared in

this form:

Strength of faith and religiosity in general will also prevent the jinn from harming

a person, so much so that if a Muslim were to fight with a jinn, the one who has

faith in Allah would win.

‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

A man from among the Companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah

be upon him) met a man [i.e. male] from among the jinn. They wrestled, and the

human knocked down the jinn. The human said to him, ‘You look small and skinny

to me, and your forearms look like the front paws of a dog. Do all the jinn look

like this, or only you?’ He said, ‘No, by Allah, among them I am strong, but let us

wrestle again, and if you defeat me I will teach you something that will do you

good.’ The human said, ‘Fine.’ He [the jinn] said, ‘Recite, “Allah! None has the

right to be worshipped but He, the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and

protects all that exists…”’ [2:255]. The human said, ‘Fine.’ He [the jinn] said, ‘You

will never recite this in your house but the Shaytaan will come out of it like a

donkey breaking wind, and he will never come back in until the next morning.’”

[al-Darimi no. 3247]

Narrated ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ubayy ibn Ka’b that his father told him that he had a

vessel in which he kept dates. He used to check on it and found that the number

was decreasing. So he kept guard on it one night and saw a beast that looked like

an adolescent boy. He said: “I greeted him with salaams [peace] and he returned

my greeting, then I asked him, ‘What are you, a jinn or a human?’ He said, ‘A

jinn.’ I said to him, ‘Show me your hand.’ So he showed me his hand, and it

looked like a dog’s paw with dog’s fur. I said, ‘Do all the jinn look like this?’ He

said, ‘I know no one among the jinn who is stronger than I.’ I said, ‘What made

you do what you did [i.e., taking the dates]?’ He said, ‘We heard that you are a

man who loves charity, and we wanted to have some of your food.’” Ubayy asked

him, “What will protect us from you?” He said, “This ayah, Ayat al-Kursi.” Then

the next day he [Ubayy] went to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be

upon him) and told him (about what had happened) and he [the Prophet] said,

“The evil one spoke the truth.”

Unidentified Flying Objects:

UFO sightings have always been plentiful. Although many of them may be

aircrafts or lights, some of them are jinn. For example, during World War II, many

war pilots spotted circular balls of light flying and encircling their planes. These

lights appeared interested in the aircrafts and would also engage in a game of

“cat and mouse” with the pilots. This type of activity continues to happen to pilots

in modern times. Since jinns can change their form into various appearances,

including the circular light appearance, these were jinn. The Kung! tribe (Bush

Men) living in the southern part of Africa have also complained that evil spirits

appear to them in this form during the night. It is also the case that some video

footage has showed these spherical lights creating crop circles. There have also