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Sūrah Jinn
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)



Sūrah Jinn forms a pair with Sūrah Nūh the preceding sūrah with regard to the subject discussed in them. Sūrah Nūh portrays the indhār of the Qur’ān and its consequences by narrating the account of the people of the Prophet Nūh (sws), while Sūrah Jinn corroborates this portrayal by presenting the testimony of the jinn folk on the authenticity of the Qur’ān.

Viewed thus, Sūrah Nūh is actually an explanation of the testimony of the seen (mā tubsirūn) and Sūrah Jinn an explanation of the testimony of the unseen (mā lā tubsirūn) mentioned in Sūrah Hāqqah.

This sūrah is directed at the Quraysh and it is evident from the topic discussed in it that like the previous sūrahs of this group it was revealed in Makkah in the phase of Indhār of the Prophet’s mission.

Central Theme

The central theme of this sūrah is to authenticate the Qur’ān and its message before  the Quraysh by the testimony of the jinn and to inform them that the punishment which they are demanding from the Prophet (sws) is something whose time of arrival is only known to the Almighty. The Prophets of Allah do not come to disclose this time; they only come to communicate the message of the Almighty. Instead of asking for this punishment, the Quraysh should ask for the Almighty’s benevolence. For this they should stop being arrogant and hostile to the Prophet (sws); they should acknowledge his message of Tawhīd and in the House of Allah they should only worship Allah.


قُلْ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّهُ اسْتَمَعَ نَفَرٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَقَالُوا إِنَّا سَمِعْنَا قُرْآنًا عَجَبًا  يَهْدِي إِلَى الرُّشْدِ فَآمَنَّا بِهِ وَلَن نُّشْرِكَ بِرَبِّنَا أَحَدًا  وَأَنَّهُ تَعَالَى جَدُّ رَبِّنَا مَا اتَّخَذَ صَاحِبَةً وَلَا وَلَدًا  وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ سَفِيهُنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ شَطَطًا  وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن تَقُولَ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا  وَأَنَّهُ كَانَ رِجَالٌ مِّنَ الْإِنسِ يَعُوذُونَ بِرِجَالٍ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ فَزَادُوهُمْ رَهَقًا  وَأَنَّهُمْ ظَنُّوا كَمَا ظَنَنتُمْ أَن لَّن يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ أَحَدًا  وَأَنَّا لَمَسْنَا السَّمَاء فَوَجَدْنَاهَا مُلِئَتْ حَرَسًا شَدِيدًا وَشُهُبًا  وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَاعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ الْآنَ يَجِدْ لَهُ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا  وَأَنَّا لَا نَدْرِي أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا  وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَلِكَ كُنَّا طَرَائِقَ قِدَدًا  وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّا أَن لَّن نُّعجِزَ اللَّهَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَن نُّعْجِزَهُ هَرَبًا  وَأَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعْنَا الْهُدَى آمَنَّا بِهِ فَمَن يُؤْمِن بِرَبِّهِ فَلَا يَخَافُ بَخْسًا وَلَا رَهَقًا  وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَمَنْ أَسْلَمَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ تَحَرَّوْا رَشَدًا  وَأَمَّا الْقَاسِطُونَ فَكَانُوا لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبًا (١-١٥)

وَأَلَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاء غَدَقًا  لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَمَن يُعْرِضْ عَن ذِكْرِ رَبِّهِ يَسْلُكْهُ عَذَابًا صَعَدًا  وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا  وَأَنَّهُ لَمَّا قَامَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ يَدْعُوهُ كَادُوا يَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِ لِبَدًا  قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَدْعُو رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ أَحَدًا  قُلْ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا رَشَدًا  قُلْ إِنِّي لَن يُجِيرَنِي مِنَ اللَّهِ أَحَدٌ وَلَنْ أَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا  إِلَّا بَلَاغًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِسَالَاتِهِ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَإِنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا  حَتَّى إِذَا رَأَوْا مَا يُوعَدُونَ فَسَيَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ أَضْعَفُ نَاصِرًا وَأَقَلُّ عَدَدًا  قُلْ إِنْ أَدْرِي أَقَرِيبٌ مَّا تُوعَدُونَ أَمْ يَجْعَلُ لَهُ رَبِّي أَمَدًا  عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا  إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِن رَّسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا  لِيَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ أَبْلَغُوا رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ وَأَحْصَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَدًا (١٥-٢٨)

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

Tell them1 [O Prophet!] ‘It has been revealed to me2 that a group of jinn listened [to it and went to their people and] then said to them “We have heard a Qur’ān wondrous, which shows guidance to the right path; so we have professed faith in it3 and we will not by any means associate any one with our Lord”, and [these words of theirs which they said to their people when they went to them have also been revealed to me] “Exalted is the majesty of our Lord; He has neither taken a wife [for Himself] nor  a  son”,  and “This  foolish  of  ours [--this  leader of ours--] used to utter absolutely false things about Allah”, and “[If we followed him before this, it was only because] we believed that no man or jinn could forge a lie against Allah4”. And “[Men were already a little rebellious and then] some foolish ones among them had been seeking refuge with some mischievous among the jinn so they only increased them in their rebellion”. And “[As a result of this] like you, they also thought that Allah would never raise the dead”.

And “[Before listening to the Qur’ān we were in search of something because] we had groped our way through the heavens and had found it filled with stern guards and darting meteors”. And “Previously we were able to sit in some of its stations to eavesdrop, but now [we see that] whoever tries to eavesdrop finds a   darting meteor  in  wait for  him5”.  And “[At that time], we did  not know whether ill was intended for those on earth or whether their Lord intended something good for them6”. And “There have remained some amongst us who are righteous and some who are otherwise [and before this also] our paths had been separate”. And “[We were never rebellious]; we knew that we cannot escape Allah in this earth nor elude His grasp by flying away from Him in the heavens”. And “[In this background and with this awareness] when we have heard this Guidance we have believed in it and [we also call upon you that those among you] who believe in their Lord will have no fear of any loss or injustice”. And “[Now after this also], there will be those among us who submit to the truth and those also who insist on their disobedience; so those who submit will find themselves on the right path, and those who are disobedient [their fate then is that] they will become the firewood of Hell”.  (1-15)

And [it has also been revealed to me] “[O Prophet!] if these people7 [of  your  nation]  had adhered  to the  path,8  We  would have bestowed on them rain in abundance9 so that We could test10 them by this means”. And “Those [among them] who turn away from the Reminder of their Lord -- He will put them through an ever-increasing torment”. And “[O People!] these mosques are only for Allah so invoke not any one [in them] with Allah”. And “[In spite of this directive of Ours, look at them that] when this servant of Allah11 stands [before Him in His house] to invoke [only] Him, it seems as if they will rush upon him”. Tell them [O Prophet!] ‘I only invoke Allah and will worship none besides Him’. Tell them ‘I have no authority to harm or benefit you or to guide or mislead you’. Tell them ‘[If I associate someone with Him I very well know that] none can protect me from Allah nor can I find any refuge besides Him.

[No O people! I have no authority over these whatsoever]; my only duty is to inform you and to communicate His messages to you. Then those who disobey Allah and His Prophet shall abide forever in the fire of Hell. Until these people [inebriated with their might and power] shall behold [there] what they are being warned of12; then they shall know who is weaker in help and who are fewer in numbers’. Tell them ‘I do not know whether [the punishment] with which you are being threatened is imminent or whether My Lord will postpone it a little more. [This time is a secret of the Unseen] and only He knows this [secret], and He never reveals this secret of His to anyone. As for those whom He chooses as His Prophets [they can say nothing of their own13 ] because He guards them from behind and from the front that He may know if they have delivered the messages of their Lord; and He surrounds whatever is around them and keeps count of all their things.’  (16-28)







1. That is the Quraysh.

2. It is evident from these words that the comments of the jinn stated in this sūrah were not directly conveyed by them to the Prophet (sws); rather they were communicated to him by the Almighty. This incident is also depicted in Sūrah Ahqāf and it is also evident from that depiction that these observations made by the jinn-folk before their people were narrated to the Prophet (sws) later on by the Almighty.

3. This does not imply that the Prophet (sws) was also sent forth to the jinn in his capacity as a messenger of Allah. What these words do imply is that it is the duty of every cognisant being of this world to acknowledge the truth wherever and in whatever form he comes across it. Consequently, if we were in a position to hear the calls of the Prophets sent to the jinn, it would have been mandatory for us to profess faith in them just as it is in their case. Similar is the case of our professing faith in the Prophets which came before Muhammad (sws). Though we are not liable to obey the Sharī’ah brought by them yet we must believe in them.

4. This is the real reason because of which they were led to follow their leaders. When their leaders told them that there were other deities whom Allah Himself has regarded as His partners, they in their simplicity believed them. However, once they heard the Qur’ān they realised their mistake and vowed never to follow their leaders. In fact, so moved were they after discovering the truth that they became its ardent advocates.

5. This is the testimony of the jinn on the authenticity of the Qur’ān which they gave after seeing the tremendous system of protection during the revelation of the Qur’ān. In other words, the Quraysh who regarded the Qur’ān as the work of soothsayers and sorcerers are being informed of its Divine origin from the very mouths of those beings who were actually regarded by the Quraysh as its originators.

6. The passive voice adopted in the first part of the verse and the active voice in the second part shows not only proper regard by the jinn to the Almighty in not relating the genesis of evil directly to Him, but also that according to them it was more likely that the Almighty intended something very beneficial to mankind.

7. After mentioning the impressions of the jinn, these and the subsequent verses are directed at the Quraysh.

8. ‘the path’ obviously means the path of Tawhi$d. The words show that the path of Tawhi$d is a known path and does not need any introduction.

9. The words ‘abundant rain’ in fact imply prosperity and opulence at the national level.

10. This is an appropriate reminder: all favours and blessings are from the Almighty and are a means to test man.

11. That is the Prophet Muhammad (sws).

12. That is extent and nature of the torment of Hell, the details of which are scattered in the Qur’ān.

13. That is they cannot say anything on their own about this punishment.

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