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Last Updated: 2006/08/19
Summary of question
I have researched that before the creation of Hazrat Adam there were jins on earth...
I have researched that before the creation of Hazrat Adam there were jins on earth. I have also read that for every people there was a prophet for guidance, but there were no prophets from jins, only men. How could there then be a people (the jins) that lived before man without any prophet. ???The thought a'oozo billah seems outside of Allah's mercy and justice please explain in detail!
Thank you
Concise answer

The existence of jins is established in the Quran and there characteristics are also displayed. Even though our knowledge about jins is limited and minute, there are many proofs that one can use proving that there were jin prophets before the creation of Prophet Adam (a). Some of the proofs are as follows:

1. Jins, like man, have responsibilities and duties. Having duties depends on the giving of glad tidings and the warning of punishment. Therefore, it is self-evident that Allah sent prophets to these jin in order to do perform these important tasks.

2. Jins, like man, will be resurrected and judged. Being judged depends on one being left without excuse, which in turn depends on the sending of prophets.

3. The verse: “O’ jin and man, have not prophets been sent unto you from amongst you to show you my signs and to warn you of the day.” This includes the time before the creation of Prophet Adam (a) as well.

4. Imām ‘Alī (a) answered the question ‘Did Allah send prophets to the jin,’ in the following way: “Yes, their prophet was a person named Yusef. He invited them to Allah and was killed by them.”

Detailed Answer

The existence of jins is established in the Quran and there characteristics are also displayed as follows:


1. They are an existence that was created from fire; man was created from dirt.[1]


2. They have knowledge, understanding, and the ability to decipher right from wrong.[2]


3. They have duties.[3]


4. They have a Day of Resurrection and a Hereafter.[4]


5. Some of them are believers and pious and some of them are disbelievers.[5]


6. They had the power to influence the heavens and to listen to what was going on up there which was prohibited after the proclamation of the Prophet of Islam to prophethood.[6]


7. The have communication with some humans and tried to tempt humans with their limited knowledge of the secrets of the universe.[7]


8. Some of them are extremely powerful.[8]


9. They have the power to perform some actions that are necessary for mankind.[9]


10. They were created on the Earth before humans.[10]


11. Man’s position is higher than theirs, hence Allah ordered Iblīs to prostrate in front of man; Iblīs was a huge personality amongst the jin.[11]


But, to answer the question about whether or not jins had prophets or not, it must be noted that there are two important time periods in jin history: the time period before the creation of humans and the time period after the creation of humans.


In the second time period, after the creation of man, according to the Quran, jins had a responsibility to follow the prophets that were sent to humans and who were human.[12] Hence, many jins believed in divine prophets and many did not believe. In regards to the time period before the creation of man, was there a prophet for the jins or not? If there was, was he a jin or not? With certainty it can be said that Allah sent jins prophets to guide them before the creation of man because:


1. The purpose of the creation of man and jin, according to the Quran, is to worship and reach perfection, “I created them, man and jin, to worship.[13] There is no doubt that reaching the state of worship, which is perfection itself, cannot be achieved without duties. Therefore it can be said that jins had duties,[14] and there are Quranic verses testifying to this.[15] It is also impossible for Allah, the all-wise, to make jins responsible for their actions without informing them of their duties and the conditions of their duties and without sending them messengers. The duties of men and jin are dependent on the sending of prophets; it would be impermissible to have duties when prophets were not sent.


2. Allah is just and wise – ugly actions do not stem from wise beings. Allah says that if the jin and men shirk their responsibilities he would punish them, “I will fill Hell with jin and man.[16] Is it possible for Allah who is just and wise to punish them without sending prophets to them? The answer is definitely in the negative because punishing one with responsibilities without sending him a prophet is ugly and ugly actions do not stem from wise beings. Jins also fit under this general intellectual principle. In addition, the Quran also says: “We will never punish a people unless we send them a prophet.[17] Therefore, they definitely had prophets.


3. The verse: “O’ jin and man, have not prophets been sent unto you from amongst you to show you my signs and to warn you of the day.”[18] That which this verse indicates clearly proves that the jin had prophets in all stages of their existence: before the creation of Prophet Adam (a), after the creation of Prophet Adam (a), before the advent of Islam, and after the advent of Islam. It is only natural that before the creation of man, their prophet would be on the same form as them.[19] The proof of this is another verse: “We have rightly sent you to give glad tidings and to warn. There has not been a nation in the past where a ‘warner’ has not been sent.[20]


4. It has been narrated that a man from Damascus asked Imam ‘Alī (a): “Has Allah sent prophets to the jin? He replied: “Yes, their prophet was a person named Yusef. He invited them to Allah and was killed by them.”[21] This tradition indicates that jin has prophets exclusive to themselves.


Therefore, jins had duties and prophets were sent to guide them before the creation of man, but the details remain unclear for us.

[1]  Quran, 55:15

[2]  Quran, various verses from Sūrah Jin

[3]  Quran, verses from Sūrah Jinn and Sūrah Rahmān

[4]  Quran, 72:15

[5]  Quran, 72:11

[6]  Quran, 72:9

[7]  Quran, 72:6

[8]  Quran, 27:39

[9]  Quran, 34:12-13

[10] Quran, 15:27

[11] Quran, 18:50

[12] It must be noted that this issue is definite with regards to Prophet Moses (a) and Prophet Muhammad (s) but the commentators of the Quran have different opinions regarding the rest of the prophets.

The most telling verses in this regard are the 29th and 30th verses of Sūrah Ihqāf: “Remember when we made a group of the jin pay attention to you and listen to the Quran, when they were present they told one another to be quiet and listen. When it ended and they returned to their tribe they warned the people by saying: ‘ o’ tribe we listened to a book that was revealed after Moses (a) and which bore truth to the books that came before it...’” We see that the Bible has not been mentioned in this verse and the reason is that the Torah is the foundational book which Christians derive their religious rulings from. Refer to Tafsīr Namūnah, v.21, p.370. ‘Allāmah Tabātabā’ī, in Tafsīr al-Mīzān, clearly states: “The part of the verse, ‘a book that was revealed after Moses (a) and which bore truth to the books that came before it,’ indicates that the mentioned jins believed in the religion of Moses (a) and his book.” Refer to Tasīr al-Mīzān, v.18, p.350. It has been mentioned regarding the time after the advent of Islam that the Noble Prophet (s) left Mecca for the ‘Akkāz marketplace in Tā’if in invite the people who were gathered there to Islam. Nobody accepted his invitation and on his way back he reached a place called jin valley. He stayed there the night and recited the Quran. It is said that a group of jins heard the Quran, accepted the religion, and returned to their tribe to propagate the religion. Refer to Tafsīr Namūnah, v.25, p.100 under the first two verses of Sūrah Jin. The term ‘messengers from amongst you’ in the verse: “O’ man and jin, were not prophets sent to you from amongst you to show you my signs and to warn you of the day,” is used to mean that there were jin prophets after the creation of Prophet Adam because it is accepted that the Prophet of Islam was the prophet of both men and jin. Refer to Tafsīr Rūh al-Bayān, v.3, p.105 by Shaykh Ismā‘īl Haqī Barūsuwī, Tafsīr Rānamāī, v.5, p.354. Other commentators rejected this by saying: That which is used from Sūrah Jin is that the Quran and Islam is for everyone, even them and that the Prophet of Islam (s) was sent for all. Also there is no problem that there be representatives from them sent by the Prophet (s) to invite them. The term ‘messengers from amongst you’ is not a proof that the prophets were jin themselves because when you is being addressed to a group it is possible that it be meant only some of them. Refer to Tafsīr Namūnah, v.5, p.443. What is meant is that the term ‘from amongst you’ does not mean that the prophets were of all kinds present. Allah did not send angels as prophets because the society would fear them, and his language is their mother tongue. But, for the jin, jin were sent and for man, man was sent as prophets. The verse does not indicate that in the least. Refer to Tafsīr al-Mīzān, v.7, p.540, Tafsīr Minhaj al-Sādiqīn, v.3, p.452.

[13]  Quran, 51:56

[14]  Bihār al-Anwār, v.60, p.311

[15]  Quran, 46:18

[16] Quran, 32:13 and 11:119

[17] Quran, 17:15

[18]  Quran, 6:130

[19]  This point is the viewpoint of a group of commentators of the Quran using the term ‘from amongst you.’ This covers all ages except the age of Prophet Moses (a) and the Prophet of Islam (s) where their prophets were not in their same form.

[20]  Quran, 35:29

[21] Bihār al-Anwār, v.10, p.76, line 17ر

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