5. LOVE (HUBB)
1. Know that among you is the Messenger of Allah sws; were he to listen to you on many matters you would definitely end up in difficulties but Allah made beloved to you faith and embellished it in your hearts and made unbelief and impiety disgusting to you. Thus are the matured (49: 7)
C. Not knowing how much wiser the Prophet sws was many sahaba used to give advice to or make demands from him which, had he listened to and complied with’ the believers would end up in situations they would not like. He gracefully both listened to them and mercifully declined to comply with their demands as a result of which the sahaba escaped a lot of harm. To give them their due credit the sahaba did not insist on their views or demands but in the end always deferred to the Prophet sws and reaped the benefits of their respect and obedience. That was because the faith taught them by the Prophet sws was too dear for them to tarnish while their fear of falling back into unbelief was simply overwhelming. Only such committed and well-settled believers are mature believers who will never rust or collapse but remain solid and pure like gold. The lesson in this verse boils down to this: One must be in love with his faith only too much and must fear losing it as nothing else. May Allah keep and increase us in faith. Amen.
2. Indeed thou canst not bring into right guidance whom thou lovest but only Allah can guide whom He wishes. He knows those who want to be guided (28: 56)
C. It is reported that this verse came on the occasion of the passing away of Abu Talib the Prophet’s uncle and generous and kind benefactor whom the Prophet gratefully loved very much and wanted only too badly for him to die a believer. At his bedside he tried to persuade him in many ways to say ‘la ilaha illallah’ but he would not, explaining as reason mainly his fear of being ridiculed by his tribe for believing out of the fears assailing a dying man. When he eventually died the Prophet sws was very sad for him and Allah sent down this verse to explain him why things turned that way.
The lesson from this verse is that even a prophet can love a non-Muslim person on account of that person’s kind and generous treatment of him, especially so when the benefactor is a father or uncle because it is natural to love one’s close relations provided they are not nasty, unbearable brutes. But however grateful and loving the prophet to his relation Allah, for Divine reasons, may not approve of the person so loved. The Prophet sws committed no sin by begging Allah to guide a man he loved but earned merit for loving his uncle and caring for him and Allah did not punish him for his love but just explained that He Almighty needed not to approve or endorse every wish of the Prophet sws. Like in the case of Noah AS wishing for the salvation of his wayward son but being refused such differences of appraisal show Who is the Boss and who the servant and serve us another good lesson in humility in the service of Allah. This may be a good answer to some mystic claims that such and such mystic can make a saint out of a worst man by just a look. In one case one mystic was alleged to have converted a dog into something with emerging signs of maturity. Mystic lore and literature are full of such spiritual wines and other mental psychedelics. Then one finds such mystics unable to do anything about their own sons or other beloveds.
3. It may be that you love something but it is bad for you, it may be that you detest something but it may be good for you. Allah knows, you do not know (2: 216)
C. For something to be good for us it needs not to be beautiful or desirable. For example, who likes a painful injection or giving away as a charitable gift something which he loves too much for himself? But correct medical treatment or wise charitable donation is good for us. Equally for something to be bad for us it needs not be ugly or repulsive; many lovely-looking or good-tasting things are pure evil. A very pleasure-promising substance like wine or a very attractive person of the opposite sex may be very bad for us. Many people end up committing very regrettable errors after drinking wine, like knocking down a pedestrian and causing the person’s death while using the car under the influence of alcohol. It may be so terrible that the life may never be the same again for the driver, especially if he is a conscientious person. Committing an indecency with an irresistible-looking person may open the floodgates of so many interminable disasters that the culprit may begin to wish for his death. In worst cases one or more murders may be triggered. Which means we must realise that our religion need not delight us in everything it offers to or imposes on us and yet we have to accept the offer and obey the commandment. We must trust that Allah knows best and that our best interest lies in accepting Allah’s choices for us.
4. Say (to the believers o Prophet sws) “If you love Allah then follow me and Allah will love you back and pardon your sins; Allah is Mercifully Pardoning” (3: 31)
C. Loving Allah is not an imaginary and wishful-thinking exercise. One who really loves Allah will seek somebody to tell him more about Allah and Allah’s demands on His servants. Such a consultant is a Prophet of Allah which Muhammad sws has been the greatest and the last. We must follow the Messenger of Allah sws in all matters He represents Allah which matters he has already delineated. They are the Commandments of Allah in His Qur’an and the example set by His Messenger sws in their application. When we do this Allah loves us and because we are imperfect and can never be perfect and must make mistakes He also guarantees to pardon our mistakes, especially when we ask for the pardon. In other words Allah cannot be loved in a vacuum but always in the context of our intentions and acts. Not practicing Islam amounts to not following the Prophet and not loving Allah enough. We take refuge in Allah from such ignorance and failure.
5. Say “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger sws”. If they turn away then (let them know) that Allah does not love the ungrateful who such unbelievers are (3: 32)
C. Complements the above verse: Without such obedience a person’s claim about loving Allah is false; in fact he does not love Allah at all. That is why Allah does not love him; he is ungrateful to Allah despite the infinite favours He bestowed on him and he is in fact devoid of any real and effective faith in Allah. Had he had true faith how could he like this world’s transitory and bestialising impieties more than serving Allah Who promises him so much without stopping him to enjoy his life within the ample bounds of the legitimate.
6. You can never attain goodness of piety until you are able to give away in charity what you love. You do not give anything but Allah acknowledges it (3: 92)
C. It is easy to claim faith and even shed tears while listening to the Word of Truth. One may be a consummate hypocrite while being unaware and thinking that he is a sincere believer and wondering how much tears he is able to shed when listening to the Qur’an or to a good preacher. But when it comes to do a charitable act like paying a full zakat from one’s beloved wealth or giving in charity something one loves for himself all tears stop and the devil in him rears like a startled or angry horse. He just sulks, remains tight-lipped or mumbles a few awkward excuses and leaves the scene. Practicing Muslims fail most when it comes to paying charity. The sense of piety of some Muslims is such that they will not consent to give a hundred dollars or pounds to a brother who is in dire circumstances but will spend five thousand to make another pilgrimage to Mecca to weep before the Kaaba for the umpteenth time. That Allah is more in the hearts of fellow believers and fellow men in general than the Kaaba he either does not know or will not admit if told. In this splendid verse Allah pinpoints the real and conclusive test of faith and that is the happy ability of giving away what you love for yourself for Allah’s sake because you love Allah more.
7. No! You love the hasty (al Aajila) and abandon the later and the lasting (al Aakhira) (75: 21- 22)
C. Most men lust after the instant or nearly instant joys and satisfactions of this world and could not care less for the lasting joys and satisfactions buyable by a judicious and pious curbing of their appetites for the hasties. From eating one more too many morsel of a delicious dish which soon confers a more lasting bad stomach to burning his bridges between himself and his hereafter by committing an irreversible evil by indulging his ego in a matter of delicious passion men foolishly harm or even destroy themselves for almost nothing. One lusts after an often dubious right of revenge so much that he may kill the man he resented with orgiastic pleasure or commit an unthinkable other crime or obscenity that his salvation is snuffed out. Both Muslim and Christian Medieval histories show how low both Muslim and Christian men of ambition could stoop in the pursuit of their grandiose aims like securing a throne or destroying an envied rival despite the fact that those times were days when religious knowledge and habits were at their strongest and no secular influences were around like today. May Allah in His Infinite Mercy and Grace protect us from our egos and the Devil who rides the egos. Said the Messenger of Allah “Religion is patience”. To be true believers we need all the patience we can get. We must fill ourselves with Allah’s Word and Rasulullah’s sws example so much that no room or crack remains for the Devil to gain access to us.
Perhaps the single greatest thing faith nurtured by a good knowledge of Allah through His Word the Qur’an and a good knowledge of Rasulullah sws through a good knowledge of his Sunna is increasing patience in the face of trials and temptations. As the patience increases so do man’s wise aversion to hasty and frivolous action and his satisfaction with wise action with its long-term blessings in mind. The longest term blessing is salvation in the hereafter and that determines all the priorities of the wise man.
8. And you love wealth only too much (89: 20)
C. Here we are again: wealth, wealth, wealth! Money, land, property… simply fascinate and captivate most people and lead them to the office of the Devil for his advice on how to get more of them. Devil is their financial consultant as he also is an adviser on other worldly impious matters. He offers them a thousand methods for a thousand financial gains all of them at the expense of others. One modern and very shocking example is the plunder of relief supplies sent to a disaster zone like an earthquake or famine scene in a ‘third world’ country. At no time ruthless gangs form and begin to steal or abduct the foods and other goods intended for the victims often with the connivance of some corrupt officials. They then sell them on the black market. Such abominations occur no less in Muslim countries than non-Muslim showing that a label of Islam and an external, undigested, unassimilated knowledge of it do almost nothing to evict the Devil occupying man’s heart.
9. You (Muslim believers) are those who love them (the People of the Bible, Jews and Christians) while they do not love you. You believe in all the Scripture (both what was sent down on them and on yourselves) (3: 119)
C. Allah is praising the pure-hearted and kindly-disposed Muslims who love Jews and Christians simply because they believe in both the Torah and the Gospel and therefore cannot help to love the fortunate Jews and Christians who had had Allah’s Book before they the Muslims under Muhammad sws came. This charitable attitude on the part of the umma of Muhammad sws is not however reciprocated by the two former fortunates. In fact they two mutually hate each other and then jointly hate the Muslims. Only this fact which neither Jews nor Christians deny should be proof enough that Muslims, like Cinderella, are the beloved of Allah and not their two elder sisters. How can one full of love both for God and other servants of God not be superior to those who profess loving God but hate all others outside themselves? After all were they not told “love your enemy”? Ironically enough Muslims are not enemies of Christians and Jews but basically love both as Allah testifies, so long Christians and Jews do not actively offend Muslims.
10. O believers, whoever apostates from his religion let him/them know then that Allah will bring a people who loves Him and whom He loves them back; (they are) self-effacing towards the fellow believers while dignified towards and powerfully motivated against the unbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allah and not minding the reproaches of any reproachful. This is Allah’s gift which He gives whom He will- Allah is Vast and Knowledgeable (5: 54)
C. Who apostates or risks apostasy from Islam? The answer to this question can be construed by looking at the second part of this Divine verse from an opposite direction: It is those who do not love Allah enough, and are not therefore not motivated enough to see Allah’s Cause win. Instead they are more worried about what unbelievers think of them and dread their criticism and reproach too much to give their whole-hearted support to Allah’s Cause. They put a discreet distance and some cold breezes between themselves and more enthusiastic believers on the one hand while on the other hand they take care to cultivate amicable relations with the unbelievers ‘just in case’. Now Allah says that He will eventually phase out such cold Muslims and bring in warm- and full-blooded Muslims who will do the opposite: They will love and show humility towards fellow Muslims while they will put a distance and some cold breezes between themselves and the unbelievers and fight them in every way necessary to make Allah’s Will and Way to prevail. In classical times some commentators opined that Allah had replaced Arabs with Turks as the champions of Islam under the judgment of this verse and who knows with whom He Almighty may replace our present mostly pathetic Muslims.
In brief, loving Allah is proven by sincere charity towards fellow Muslims, a lot of charity to all human beings in general and wherever appropriate and if not actually fighting with the non-Muslims for good reason at least keeping them arm’s length compared to our relations with fellow Muslims without however dropping diplomatic niceties or doing any objective injustice to non-Muslims. Both our coolness and appropriate kindness towards non-Muslims are intended to send them a kind if cautious message, a message to the effect that Muslim love works best when directed towards fellow Muslims and if non-Muslims want more love from us they better confess the Unity of God, unity (and therefore equality) of humanity under One God (i.e., set of universal noble and charitable values) and join together with us to celebrate and enjoy the glories and the blessings of the same and only God. That is because True God means highest and noblest moral and spiritual values under which all men should better unite and to which adjust their feelings and conduct. Islam is about both personal purification and social peace through justice and charity and these can only be achieved by a comprehensive Law and universal culture good enough to see these noble aims attained.
For example, so long alcohol is drunk some harm will always be around- a lot of it tragic; so long marriage and the institution of family are subverted and irresponsible sex is encouraged no citizen will have enough chance to learn true love, true loyalty and true charity; so long radical ideological differences and their mutually destructive policies continue no peace will arrive in any long-lasting and trusting sense. Islam must conquer people’s hearts and regulate their minds and behaviour if humanity is to realise its higher and nobler potentialities which realisation is measured by how much peace and sweetness come among the inhabitants of this earth. Of course we know only too well that such a state of affairs will never be attained even partially and significantly; Islamic effort is only a pious attempt to promote this cause as best as one or we can; no doubt some improvements have been happening on and off and with fluctuations and no doubt any improvement in people’s mentality and conduct is to be welcome and worth working towards and if necessary fighting for. The least benefit to an Islamic fighter from his endeavours is morally improving and socially beautifying himself and that must be, in our humble opinion, the greatest and worthiest success anybody can aspire at.
11. Your Caring Friend (wali) is Allah and then those who (really) believe and establish the salat prayers and pay the zakat and are bowed (to the Truth). Whoever thus befriends Allah and His Messenger and those who believe then let him know that it is Allah’s party that is going to win (5: 55)
C. Man always needs friends, I mean real friends, who care about him. In the first instance the friends he needs are granted by Allah in the form of his parents and other kind relations. Later on he opens to the general society more and more and comes to need more and other friends. The fact however is that from his kindly parents to his best friends in the last days of his life all his loving and caring friends are not only supplied by Allah but in their loving and caring capacity contain nothing but Allah! We must understand this and keep it in mind at all times.
So, Allah is explaining in His Holy Verse above: O man, understand that actually if in an ultimate sense I AM YOUR REAL AND ONLY TRUE LOVING AND CARING FRIEND and after Me and by My Grace and Permission comes believers whom I chose and blessed. They are those who are steadfastly dutiful in their salat and zakat obligations and bow to the requirements of Truth and Justice under any circumstances instead of following their egos. Such a group may be called Allah’s Party and only this group shall eventually win all arguments and contests they face and the prizes Allah keeps in store for his elect. Let those who covet the false smiles and false handouts of the unbelievers beware!
12. Let those who take pride in what they did and love to be praised for things they never did think that they are exempt from punishment. Theirs is a painful punishment (3: 188)
C. Allah hates (i.e., people from their deepmost hearts, psychologically speaking, hate) those who boast of their apparent or claimed successes instead of being humble, seeing that without Allah’s help i.e, the assets and supportive people Allah provided. There is not a shred of doubt that this world is an integrated system of mutually supporting or checking subsystems and elements without which nothing and nobody can cause or produce anything. For example, the best cook cannot prepare any good dish without the right materials and equipment being available. The best general cannot win a single battle against a weakest enemy without some at least passably competent and cooperative soldiers. What if his soldiers are concealed traitors who are actually waiting for an opportunity to defect to the enemy side on first contact? Ottoman Sultan Bayezid was about to put Tamerlane’s hugely more numerous army to flight thanks to both his superior generalship and his artillery which Tamerlane lacked. He was soundly beaten instead when many of his supposedly loyal troops defected to Tamerlane who proved to be the better diplomat and intelligence chief. Mind you, Bayezid was always so boastful and proud a character that almost nobody loved him.
But there are even more misguided types. These are persons who boast of things which they either did not do or stole works done by others. For example, it is a well-known fact among the academic and literary community that some parasitical or piratical members routinely buy, confiscate or steal the works of others and present them as theirs. Unfortunately many scientific discoveries are stolen from their true makers and announced by or published under the name of thieves who then get all the applause and benefits. Moneyed people employ those writers who are brilliant but for some personal defect or misfortune are unable to publish their works, to write works for them the cheats to publish under their own name. they pay to the actual writer a pittance for it. Some academics steal the works of their academically brilliant but otherwise inept students while some religious or mystic pretenders steal their pupils’ or other impoverished, socially disabled people’s works. All these mighty and crafty crooks then become undeserving celebrities and boast, if not through their own mouths then through the mouths of their hangers-on or hired cheer leaders. In fact most ‘great politicians’ have their important speeches and bulletins written by able speech writers and the credit for the literary ability goes to the politician.
Lastly and more relevant to our subject are those false men of God who are all sham and pretence but appear to be what and who they are entirely on the merits of their clandestine employed helpers whom they have somehow charmed and subordinated.
13. In there (the mosque of the Prophet sws in Medina) are men who love being purified; Allah loves those who work towards purification (9: 108)
C. This verse was in response to the hypocrites’ inviting the Messenger of Allah sws to visit a rather more opulent mosque they had built in Medina while the Prophet sws was away on the expedition of Tabuk of which the hypocrites had impiously excused themselves. The new mosque was an attempt to rival the Prophet’s sws and divide the community. This mosque sws subsequently called ‘masjid al dirar’ (mosque for harm) and under Allah’s orders in v. 107 the Prophet sws declined the invitation made by the hypocrites to visit it. Instead Allah sent v. 109 to praise the original mosque made with materials which could not be humbler. The sahaba attending there are described as those who LOVE to be purified. Since also the hypocrites had to make ablutions the purification the sahaba loved must be a broader concept than ablutions and must include spiritual purification from moral dirt and illness. This understanding is amply confirmed by many other verses. This brings us face to face with what is wrong with many Muslims. It is that they basically feel satisfied with material cleanliness but are reluctant to admit that they also have moral dirt like envy or greed which they should purify from and prefer to believe and proclaim that they are alright as far as morals are concerned. The fact is that moral purification takes a whole lifetime and at death a lot still remains which Allah in His kindness is hoped to forgive. Amen.
14. From among people some adopt (as gods supposed) equivalents to Allah and love them as they would love Allah. However those who believe (in Allah alone) are more and most intense in their love for Allah. The wrongdoers will have only to see the punishment (in here or latest in the Hereafter) to realise that to Allah belongs all power entirely and that Allah is terrible in punishing (2: 165)
C. When one is devoid of an adequate appreciation of the cosmos and its necessarily only too Great, Powerful and Gracious Creator he satisfies his innate need for a powerful master by installing powerful looking men in where he should have Allah and go on and love them as he would love Allah. From the so-called god-kings of the ancients, e.g. pharaohs to the deified founders of religions like the Buddha and the Christ to the self-styled founders and successive masters of spurious spiritual movements like Hare Krishna or Moonies some too badly and misguidedly admired and worshipped modern celebrities, men with hearts devoid of the True, Creator God satisfied their aching need for a Supreme Master by adopting powerful and great-looking men as their gods and loved them as they would the True God.
But their love for their false gods can never be as great as the love for the True God a believer in the True God Who is the Creator and controller of all existence with Infinite Power, Majesty and Grace. That is so because a man’s god is only as great as his mind and a small-minded man’s love for his small god can never generate the same greatness of love a man with a great mind can conceive, believe in and love. We can see this difference even in sexual love. A male bird’s or male mammal’s love for its spouse is sometimes quite impressive as we can see in nature documentaries but it can never equal the love of a great man with a great heart for a woman who is worthy of a great love. Similarly greatest lovers of God are prophets like Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be on all) and then their most saintly followers and not their lesser followers who are too fascinated and enamoured with other objects of love all their small lives badly infected with greeds and jealousies.
The worshippers of false gods have only to be struck with Divine punishment of one kind or another to realise that their gods are no gods at all but only the True Creator and Runner of the Cosmos can help them if He will help them at all.
15. Whoever denies Allah after having believed, except the one under duress while inside his heart he is still happy with belief- yeah, whoever opens bosom to unbelief Allah’s then wrath is on him and for him is a painful punishment. That is because he loved this world more than the Hereafter and that Allah will not guide the ungrateful (16: 106- 107)
C. Let us not dwell on the past. TODAY many Muslim-borns, especially among the more educated or highly-placed, display a coldess towards Islam at the least and deny it at the worst. They avidly learn about any malicious Western book on Islamic subjects which will justify their coldness towards Islam, visibly abandon Islamic obligations, love living the harms-escorting lifestyles (like drink, gambling and loose sex) of the Western atheists or only nominal Christians and miss no opportunity to spill out a few poisonous remarks about Islam every now and then, if they dare. Less disastrously very many more Muslim-borns keep a superficial and cursory image of being fellow Muslims and apart from that talk and live as if they are unbelievers. Allah explains the reason: They are infatuated by the joys and prides of this lower and temporary world and have a far lower regard for the Hereafter about which they may be frankly doubtful. They have the very mistaken idea that Islam is against this world’s joys and that its offer price for the Hereafter is exorbitant in any case. Nothing of this is true: Islam frankly admits the naturally safe pleasures of this world and generously allows their obtainment provided illegal and immoral methods are not employed and the enjoyments remain moderate and Allah is thanked for them.
For example, Allah does not disdain a Muslim ruler who enjoys his palatial life provided he rules justly or a Muslim multi-millionaire who builds up his wealth legally and pays his zakat fully and honestly, no matter how luxuriously he otherwise lives. Islam blesses legitimate and natural sexual joys in marriage and living as comfortably as one’s means may allow, provided charitable duties like zakat and sadaqa are performed. Any self-imposed modesty and asceticism (zuhd), provided they are based on the Sunna are praised very much but not actively encouraged. Those who move away from Islam on the grounds of it allowing them little scope for enjoying this world are totally mistaken; what Allah curbs as regards this world’s joys are no real or long-term joys but abominable sources of subsequent disaster and regret, such as drink, gambling and illicit sex. And the indulgers eventually find out that it is so.
16. And for the love of Him they give away wealth to the near relation and the orphan and the destitute (2: 177)
C. Yes, true believers truly love Allah and since they love Allah they love His creation and His mercy towards His deserving creatures . Since it is Allah Who chose some people to be his relations or acquaintances for example and made them needy, the true believer is only delighted when he finds himself rich enough to help any such fellows is in need. He then pays, for example, a thousand pound charity to them with more pleasure than receiving the same amount from somewhere. A true believer’s pleasure in feeding the poor is equal to a healthy mother’s pleasure in suckling her baby. Less than this is not perfect faith.
17. For His love’s Sake they feed the destitute, the orphan and the prisoner (76: 8)
C. Same as above. We may add this though: Faith is only genuine and effective when the faithful can willingly and even lovingly render charity to those who are in need of it.
18. And I (Allah) cast at thee love from me in order that you are raised in front of My Eye (20: 39)
C. Allah says this to Moses AS reminding him how He had saved him from water and delivered him to the care of the Pharaoh’s saintly wife while at the same time allowing the mother of Moses suckling and later looking after him as his ‘nanny’. By this means Moses grew up like a prince on the one hand and grew up a Muslim believer thanks to his mother’s instructing him in true faith and piety clandestinely. This was because Allah cast His love at Moses, blessing him with His love and filling him with His love and prepared him for his future role as a mighty messenger of Allah by combining in him both princely and saintly formation.
The above verses teach us certain spiritual facts about love. We saw that love is at its most blessed and beneficial when it is between the Creator and the created. This love ensures success of man and felicity in both worlds. Against this we have the love for this lowly world which demolishes the blessed and beneficial love we described above. This world in itself is lowly because it caters only for the gut and the belly and the various means of keeping the two titillated and exulting. To have it that way the victim must resort to any and every method irrespective of its justice or humanity. Why a godless somebody wants to attain political or economic power if not for controlling others like a henhouse keeper controls hens from which he hopes a constant supply of eggs and meat? When two kings or tycoons or mafia capi (heads) clash they clash over hen territory and nothing else. Their love is the most foul and evil of loves and boils down to most bestial and impious ego-love. For such or nearly such people true religious faith and piety are anathemas and they can only display them for cynical and hypocritical reasons if at all. At best they can be both brutal and superstitious in a magical sense but no lovers of God and God’s people at large. Their love for the opposite sex is simply brutal or even when tender it only represents what small humanity managed to survive in their otherwise desolate hearts. May Allah cast at us also of His love and never abandon us to ours. Amen.
6. JINN (DEMONS) AND SHAYATIN (DEVILS)
PART 1 - JINN/DEMONS IN GENERAL
1. And as for Jaann, We created him before (Man) from penetrating fire (15: 27)
C. Commentators take ‘Jaann’ to mean the ancestor of jinn (demonkind), a plural noun (singular is jinni) as Adam is taken to mean the ancestor of mankind. Interestingly, Jaann has a more mundane meaning. It also means a serpent as in the verse: “When he (Moses) saw it (his staff) wriggling on as if it was a jaan/serpent…” (27: 10). In Judeo-Christian lore the devil which tempted Adam and Eve is pictured as and termed ‘the serpent’, which again is very interesting. What to make of these metaphors? We shall insha Allah see when we take up further verses. For the time being we may opine that the jinn penetrate men like heat radiation does and move about inside him freely like a serpent wriggling into and out of holes in the earth. In other words jinni can infest and influence us and they often are malignant like some serpents are poisonous.
As for being created before man it may mean that jinn are primitive and inferior to men in general but otherwise have more experience, more tricks up their sleeves than us in many matters, of course until we try and learn more things in order to excel them. It is like beasts being more competent than children and primitive men in many matters; when the child grows up or primitive man is educated and trained no beast can beat him anymore.
2. And He created Jaan from an essence of a fire (55: 15)
C. Added to the above more clarification comes in: A fiery essence which can penetrate and take hold of man is the substance from which jinn are made. When man feels like committing an evil he is excited, itches for the act and a lower mind in him refuses to listen to a higher mind in him and stop the bad act. This sorry dichotomy in the man strongly suggests the existence of an evil personality lurking in him with the ease and stealth of a poisonous snake. As well known snakes camouflage themselves well, prowl, jump at, bite and poison and paralyse their game and then swallow it whole. So do men fall victim to some invisible evil force in them which penetrate them like poisonous radiation and activate their minds and limbs in directions contrary to what their normal selves would like to do in their right mind. It is a very sad observation that sometimes some most decent-looking people commit an indecency which makes other decent men sit down and weep on their fallen fellow’s unexpected disgrace. No one is secure from the devil serpent lurking in them and only viable precaution is allying with Allah at all times since only Allah can fully and effectively deal with our mutual enemy.
3. That Day neither human nor jaan are questioned about its sin (55: 39)
C. Here we find the identicalness of the term jinni and jaan for a demon. That neither human or jaan shall be questioned of its sin on the Day of Judgment seems to contradict the plenty statements to the contrary in the Qur’an but as always the contradiction is designed to shock and mystify. The explanation must be that Divine statements need a lot of ingenuous ambiguities to cover all shades and depths of meanings spirituality offers. It may mean that a sinner’s sin will be so explicit to all concerned and to himself that any questioning can only be ceremonial and procedural and therefore superfluous for all practical intents and purposes. In other words that Day is the Day of God, everything breaks open and becomes only too manifest to all concerned and question or no question the deserts (deserved outcomes) arrive soon and stick to their owners.
4. In them two (otherworldly gardens) are shy (female) ones whom neither human nor demon (jaan) ever touched (55: 74)
C. Elsewhere called houris such heavenly spouses are presented to the residents of the (various) Paradises as rewards for their good works in faith. What is more relevant to our subject here is the mention of both human and demon being interested in females, which fact confirms the traditional beliefs also supported by the Qur’an and the Hadith that jinni are sexual beings like us the humans and produce offspring. By our oft-reminded rule that ghaibs (unseen or imperceptible realities) like in the other world are described in metaphors, houris must stand for our inseparable sexual nature- and that in a sublimated form (repeat, sublimated)- must apply to both men and women believers seeing that unless especially ruled out in the Qur’an all masculine addressing in the Qur’an also covers the feminine. What above means is that all residents of the Paradises shall have their sublimated sexual needs satisfied on the rule that Allah only adds to His blessings and never deducts from them. Don’t we see how we grown-ups can play like children if we want to and enjoy it as much as children would? Allah knows best.
5. Thus We made for each prophet enemies from among human and demon devils (6: 112)
C. For the first time we see that a devil need not be a jinni but may also be a human being! It means that man and jinni are terms designating two species of spiritually developed beings while ‘devil’ is a member of either of these species and is characterised by being vile and treacherous in the extreme. It is hoped that everybody has come to know one or more persons whom they can only call, without hesitation, a devil. More relevant to our subject is the fact that any person who opposes a prophet despite all reasonable advice and warnings is a human devil.
6. O congregations of jinni and humans, had not messengers from your kind come to you narrating you My verses? (6: 130)
C. Jinn/demons also are sent messengers of their own kind. Ulema say and the Qur’an indicates that that jinn messengers are actually believers in human prophets and they go to their folks to warn them on the basis of what human messenger from Allah let them know. Allah knows best.
7. All angels prostrated (to Adam) except Iblis. He was of demonkind and therefore departed from his Lord’s command (18: 50)
C. Unlike angels and like men, demons/jinni have freewill and therefore the capacity to disobey. With his human-like intelligence and freewill the demon named Iblis attained great knowledge and reached the heavenly company of Allah’s angels but something rotten about him had not abandoned him yet and that was pride; hence his envy of Adam and his disobedience to Allah. An angel could not do that (nor can a prophet or true saint).
8. And for Solomon his armies of jinn, men and birds gathered (27: 17)
C. Apparently Solomon (peace be on him) had, on top of men, also contingents of jinni and trained birds to fight on his side. Since jinni are not normally visible, they could be around him as invisible yet effective presences, at least invisible to most men around him. In fact that is perfectly reasonable since that other normally invisible species, namely the angels are around us all the time and are even more effective than visible beings around us. As for the armies of birds, nothing can be more reasonable. Many birds, most notably hawks and eagles can be and has been trained to attack human enemies of their owners when ordered, as dogs have always been. The US navy is said to have been training and using dolphins in certain capacities related to warfare. What is most crucial in this context is seeing that Allah may appoint jinni to his good human servants to help them in their pious aims and there is no need for these jinni to appear to anybody to be effective. In one case in during my youthful days when when I was badly surrounded by enemies on account of my taking my religion seriously for many powerful but impious people I saw in a lucid dream- very lifelike in the extreme- that many dark-complexioned youths were dutifully going round me like an army awaiting orders from me. When I related this to my sheikh (may Allah bless him) he informed me that they were a contingent of jinni appointed to protect me from my enemies. I believe they did. Being at the verge of being arrested or possibly even shot by the totally irreligious underground resistance organisation in the inter-communal war time in Cyprus in 1960s a recently arrived commander (a colonel at that) of the local underground militia ‘happened’ to be a religious man; he not only protected me but created a new command post for me with the title and portfolio of a regimental chaplain and the rank of major and suddenly I found all the sub-commanders not only bowing to and saluting me in due military fashion but also placed under my instruction in religious matters. They were ordered to take regular religious instruction and training under me and sit examinations; those who failed were threatened with severe punishment. You should see all those proud commanders and spies sitting up respectfully before me in the classroom, taking orders and giving briefs. I was given absolute powers in the military district under the colonel which I used for, among other things, to take all school children to local mosques whenever a religious occasion arrived and sometimes even on some Fridays. Those five years of power gave me the opportunity to win several brilliant and highly talented youths to serious Islamic commitment and a lot more to Islamic belief at various levels. Even those who did not change much still have had a very appreciative opinion of me and keep saluting me and showing respect and deference to me to this day. Among them are professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers and brilliant businessmen, to name but a few bright professions.
9. One ‘ifrit’ (formidable fellow) of the jinn said (to Solomon) “I can bring to thee her (Queen of Sheba’s) throne before you can rise from thy seat” (27:39)
C. The jinn are sometimes capable of great feats of strength and speed. Although scientists believe that all phenomena can be rationally explained and experimentally verified as real or discredited as tricks, spiritual beliefs can still be valid and maintainable provided they are taken in their own reference frames and can be shown to be effective in practice. One such phenomenon is hypnotism which can be caused by skilfully said words in a subject susceptible to hypnosis. Once hypnotised the subjects are capable of things which look quite extraordinary to those who witness it. In the olden times such effects were ascribed to the jinn and since science has no experimental way of showing hypnosis to be a materially caused effect except as just interpreting it as a subjective state (a mental state) we have every right to interpret many extraordinary natural events as involving demonic or angelic agencies and also ultimately interpret the whole cosmos as the work and jurisdiction of God.
All in all scientific and spiritual explanations are two entirely separate concourses for looking at things, manipulating and getting benefits from them. So, if a royal throne instantly materialises in another palace as ordered hundreds of miles away from its original palace and we have no way of explaining it scientifically we may ascribe it to spiritual forces which the jinn we believe to belong to. Mind you the jinn can inhabit and do their work in men in which case it is natural to call a jinn-possessed man a jinni in visible form. All the same, such stories in the Qur’an about too distant past events may have an element of myth and legend in them, deliberately retained for good reason and intended to inspire some salutary wonder which is wise and motivating enough and may also indicate a need for a metaphoric approach. Allah knows best and we can only guess and wonder. Praise be in any case!
10. That Day Allah gathers all and asks the angels “Were these (people) worshipping you (as they claim)? They (the angels) reply “High Exalted art Thou! They used to worship the jinn (34: 40-41)
C. Some people are too curious about the normally invisible residents of the universe and in their persistent zeal may begin to hallucinate such beings which they may take to be holy angels and begin to worship them with that belief. Allah is telling us that such hallucinated and supposedly holy beings are all jinn and not worthy of worship. It must then be the case that virtually visible gods hallucinated (often in a dream or in a hypnotised state) by the misguided zealots, gods like Greek Artemis, or Roman Venus or Indian Krishna or Buddha and Christian Christ ‘the Son of God’ (!) are all demonic appearances and are neither angelic nor holy let alone divine. True, they may contain some saving grace out of Allah’s Mercy for those who don’t know better but they can only be, at the very best, halfway stations to the All-Gracious Allah and dangerous delusions at the worst. Pagan gods are either lawless or impose misguided laws like the caste system or the cremation of widows all of which are barbaric or may allow dishonest and cruel practices for which Greek and Roman gods are notorious. Against them Allah is all-goodness and justice, humanity and civilisation, rationality and practicality and as a result only Islam gives man his best chance for self-improvement in both personal and social terms. Of course what Muslims actually do is another matter.
11. The Word (on that Day of Our punishment) about the communities of demon-kind and mankind which passed away becomes fulfilled (41: 25)
C. Both jinn and men live in organised communities, are addressed by Allah Who sends them messengers and offers them guidance and salvation. On the Day of Judgment both species are judged and sent to their deserved destinations.
12. I have not created mankind and demon-kind except that they worship Me (51: 56)
C. Another example of the similarities in legal status and moral affinity and responsibility between men and jinn.
13. It is (the case) that males from mankind are taking refuge with males from demon-kind who then exacerbate their delusion (72: 6)
C. Calling, consulting and asking protection from demons is a very old practice and in fact make the backbone of many mystery cults and attempts at black magic to this day. This practice however is dangerous and eventually amounts to a loss-making business.