The Quran says that there are certain creatures called jinn whom Allah created from fire:
And the jinn did We create aforetime of essential fire. S. 15:27 Pickthall
And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke: S. 55:15 Y. Ali
Some people seem to be of the opinion that jinn are immaterial spirit beings. Given the fact that fire is a chemical reaction between different elements, and that there is no fire without matter being present, such a conclusion is not substantiated. At best, the above verses are inconclusive as to the nature of the jinn. Since all fire needs matter they may, on the contrary, be implying that jinns were created with material bodies of some kind.
Other statements from the Quran and the hadith literature support this view since there are references which indicate that they do have physicality and actually have body parts. For instance, the following text warns against Satan, who is a jinn according to the Quran, and his children:
And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam; they made obeisance but Iblis (did it not). He was of the jinn, so he transgressed the commandment of his Lord. What! would you then take him and HIS OFFSPRING for friends rather than Me, and they are your enemies? Evil is (this) change for the unjust. S. 18:50 Shakir
And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command. Will ye choose him and HIS SEED for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers. Pickthall
One noted commentator Ibn Kathir used this text to prove that jinn can actually procreate:
We know that the jinn procreate for Allah the Almighty asked: <<Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers?>> (Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Kathir, translated by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Gemeah, Office of the Grand Imam, Sheikh Al-Ahzar, edited by Aelfwine Acelas Mischler [El-Nour For Publishing and Distribution and Translation Est.; 38 Al-Madina Al-Monawara St., Toryl Al-Gadida], p. xi)
Procreation is a physical act requiring sexual intimacy and therefore presupposes that jinn have certain physical anatomy allowing them to propagate their race through intercourse. In ligth of this it should not come as a surprise to learn that there are male and female devils or jinns:
Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: These privies are frequented by the jinns and devils. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: "I seek refuge in Allah from male and female devils." (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 6)
In fact, the Quran further teaches that some jinn will go to hell or enter paradise, and that those that go to the garden will be wedded to heavenly maidens:
And surely, We have created many of the jinns and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones. S. 7:179 Hilali-Khan
If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: but the Word from Me will come true, "I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together." S. 32:13 Y. Ali
Then when the heaven is rent asunder, and it becomes rosy or red like red-oil, or red hide. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? So on that Day no question will be asked of man or jinn as to his sin, (because they have already been known from their faces either white or black). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? The Mujrimun (polytheists, criminals, sinners, etc.) will be known by their marks (black faces), and they will be seized by their forelocks and their feet. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? This is Hell which the Mujrimun (polytheists, criminals, sinners, etc.) denied. They will go between it (Hell) and the boiling hot water! Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? But for him who [the true believer of Islamic Monotheism who performs all the duties ordained by Allah and His Messenger Muhammad SAW, and keeps away (abstain) from all kinds of sin and evil deeds prohibited in Islam and] fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens (i.e. in Paradise). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? With spreading branches; Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? In them (both) will be two springs flowing (free). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? In them (both) will be every kind of fruit in pairs. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade, and the fruits of the two Gardens will be near at hand. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Wherein both will be those (maidens) restraining their glances upon their husbands, whom no man or jinn yatmithhunna (has opened their hymens with sexual intercourse) before them. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? (In beauty) they are like rubies and coral. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Is there any reward for good other than good? Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? And besides these two, there are two other Gardens (i.e. in Paradise). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Dark green (in colour). Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? In them (both) will be two springs gushing forth water. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? In them (both) will be fruits, and date- palms and pomegranates. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny? Therein (gardens) will be fair (wives) good and beautiful; S. 55:37-70 Hilali-Khan
Ibn Kathir writes:
<Qasirat At-Tarf> chaste females, wives restraining their glances, desiring none except their husbands, seeing them as the most beautiful men in Paradise. This was said by Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Ata Al-Khurasani and Ibn Zayd. It was reported that one of these wives will say to her husband, "By Allah! I neither see anything in Paradise more handsome than you nor more beloved to me than you. So praise be to Allah Who made you for me and made me for you." Allah said,
<whom never deflowered a human before nor Jinn> meaning they are delightful virgins of comparable age who never had sexual intercourse with anyone, whether from mankind or Jinns, before their husbands. This is also a proof that the believers among the Jinns will enter Paradise. Artat bin Al-Mundhir said, "Damrah bin Habib was asked if the Jinns will enter Paradise and he said, Yes, and they will get married. The Jinns will have Jinn women and the humans will have female humans." (Source; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Moreover, the Quran implies that jinn can die:
(Allah) will say: "Enter you in the company of nations who passed away before you, of men and jinns, into the Fire." Every time a new nation enters, it curses its sister nation (that went before), until they will be gathered all together in the Fire. The last of them will say to the first of them: "Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire." He will say: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not." S. 7:38 Hilali-Khan
And We have assigned them (devils) intimate companions (in this world), who have made fair-seeming to them, what was before them (evil deeds which they were doing in the present worldly life and disbelief in the Reckoning and the Resurrection, etc.) and what was behind them (denial of the matters in the coming life of the Hereafter as regards punishment or reward, etc.). And the Word (i.e. the torment) is justified against them as it was justified against those who were among the previous generations of jinns and men that had passed away before them. Indeed they (all) were the losers. S. 41:25 Hilali-Khan
The ahadith explicitly say that jinn do indeed die:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
The Prophet used to say, "I seek refuge (with YOU) by Your 'Izzat, None has the right to be worshipped but You Who does not die while the Jinns and the human beings die." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 480)
Ibn 'Abbas reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) used to say:" O Allah, it is unto Thee that I surrender myself. I affirm my faith in Thee and repose my trust in Thee and turn to Thee in repentance and with Thy help fought my adversaries. O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee with Thine Power; there is no god but Thou, lest Thou leadest me astray. Thou art ever-living that dieth not, while the Jinn and mankind die." (Sahih Muslim, Book 035, Number 6561)
The Quran even says that Allah pelts the jinn with shooting stars and meteors!
And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders. And We have guarded it (near heaven) from every outcast Shaitan (devil). Except him (devil) that gains hearing by stealing, he is pursued by a clear flaming fire. S. 15:16-18 Hilali-Khan
We have adorned the lower heaven with the adornment of the stars and to preserve against every rebel Satan; they listen not to the High Council, for they are pelted from every side, S. 37:6-8 Arberry
And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin (devils), and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire. S. 67:5 Hilali-Khan
And (the Jinn who had listened to the Qur'an said): We had sought the heaven but had found it filled with strong warders and meteors. And we used to sit on places (high) therein to listen. But he who listeneth now findeth a flame in wait for him; S. 72:8-9 Pickthall cf. 55:33-35
After commenting on the composition of meteors and meteorites, Dr. William F. Campbell rightly asks:
The difficulty here is obviously not with the science and composition of meteors and meteorites. The difficulty is how to understand what the Qur'an can be talking about. The word "rajm", usually translated as "cursed" in modern translations, comes from the verb meaning "to stone", and Hamidullah translates 67:5 which is quoted above with the words,
"and We have designed them (the lamps) as a means of stoning the devils." (translation from French mine)
What shall we understand when it says that God throws meteors, whether made of carbon dioxide or iron-nickel, at non-material devils who steal a hearing at the heavenly council? And what are we to understand when the meteors come in showers and are traveling in parallel paths? Are we to understand that the devils all lined up in rows at the same moment? These are not easy questions. (Campbell, The Qur'an and the Bible in the light of history and science, 3. SHOOTING STARS - METEORS AND METEORITES; online edition)
The hadith literature provides further support that jinn have physicality of some kind. For example, stars and meteors are not the only material objects that can harm the jinn since water can as well!
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "If anyone of you rouses from sleep and performs the ablution, he should wash his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out thrice, because Satan has stayed in the upper part of his nose all the night." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 516)
Moreover, the hadiths claim that Satan can urinate and pass wind (fart):
A person was mentioned before the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and he was told that he had kept on sleeping till morning and had not got up for the prayer. The Prophet said, "Satan urinated in his ears." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 21, Number 245)
It was mentioned before the Prophet that there was a man who slept the night till morning (after sunrise). The Prophet said, "He is a man in whose ears (or ear) Satan had urinated." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 492)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allahs Apostle said, "When the call for prayer is made, Satan takes to his heels PASSING WIND so that he may not hear the Adhan. And when the call is finished he comes back, and when the Iqama is pronounced, Satan again takes to his heels, and when the Iqama is finished he comes back again and tries to interfere with the person and his thoughts and say, "Remember this and that (which he has not thought of before the prayer)", till the praying person forgets how much he has prayed. If anyone of you does not remember whether he has offered three or four Rakat then he should perform two prostrations of Sahu while sitting. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 22, Number 323)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "When the call for the prayer is pronounced, Satan takes to his heels, PASSING WIND WITH NOISE. When the call for the prayer is finished, he comes back. And when the Iqama is pronounced, he again takes to his heels, and after its completion, he returns again to interfere between the (praying) person and his heart, saying to him. 'Remember this or that thing. till the person forgets whether he has offered three or four Rakat: so if one forgets whether he has prayed three or four Rakat, he should perform two prostrations of Sahu (i.e. forgetfulness)." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 505)
The hadiths even tell us what diet the jinns follow:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
That once he was in the company of the Prophet carrying a water pot for his ablution and for cleaning his private parts. While he was following him carrying it (i.e. the pot), the Prophet said, "Who is this?" He said, "I am Abu Huraira." The Prophet said, "Bring me stones in order to clean my private parts, and do not bring any bones or animal dung." Abu Huraira went on narrating: So I brought some stones, carrying them in the corner of my robe till I put them by his side and went away. When he finished, I walked with him and asked, "What about the bone and the animal dung?" He said, "They are of the food of Jinns. The delegate of Jinns of (the city of) Nasibin came to me--and how nice those Jinns were--and asked me for the remains of the human food. I invoked Allah for them that they would never pass by a bone or animal dung but find food on them." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 200)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Masud:
A deputation of the jinn came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: O Muhammad, forbid your community to clean themselves with a bone or dung or charcoal, for in them Allah has provided sustenance for us. So the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) forbade them to do so. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 0039)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud
Allahs Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Dont cleanse yourself with dung or with bones for that is the food of your brothers from amongst the Jinn.
Transmitted by Tirmidhi, Nasai with this exception that he did not make mention of: The Food of your brothers from amongst the jinn. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 129; ALIM CD-ROM Version)
Hence, jinn feast on dung and bones!
It is rather evident from the foregoing that Muhammad actually believed that Satan and the jinn are physical beings, or have material bodies of some kind. He clearly didnt believe that they were immaterial spirits.
Punishment of the Grave
According to the hadiths Muhammad believed that unbelievers are tormented in their graves. Believers, however, are given respite:
Aisha said that a Jewess came to her and mentioned the punishment in the grave, saying to her, "May Allah protect you from the punishment of the grave." Aisha then asked Allahs Apostle about the punishment of the grave. He said, "Yes, (there is) punishment in the grave." Aisha added, "After that I never saw Allahs Apostle but seeking refuge with Allah from the punishment in the grave in every prayer he prayed." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 454)
Narrated Al-Bara' bin 'Azib:
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "When a faithful believer is made to sit in his grave, then (the angels) come to him and he testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle. And that corresponds to Allahs statement: Allah will keep firm those who believe with the word that stands firm . . . (14.27). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 450)
Same as above and added, "Allah will keep firm those who believe " (14.27) was revealed concerning the punishment of the grave. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 451)
Narrated Asma bint Abi Bakr:
Allahs Apostle once stood up delivering a sermon and mentioned the trial which people will face in the grave. When he mentioned that, the Muslims started shouting loudly. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 455)
We can more fully appreciate why these Muslims started shouting when we see the kinds of punishment awaiting the dead in their graves:
The Prophet said, "When a human being is laid in his grave and his companions return and he even hears their footsteps, two angels come to him and make him sit and ask him: What did you use to say about this man, Muhammad? He will say: I testify that he is Allahs slave and His Apostle. Then it will be said to him, Look at your place in the Hell-Fire. Allah has given you a place in Paradise instead of it." The Prophet added, "The dead person will see both his places. But a non-believer or a hypocrite will say to the angels, I do not know, but I used to say what the people used to say! It will be said to him, Neither did you know nor did you take the guidance (by reciting the Quran). Then he will be hit with an iron hammer between his two ears, and he will cry and that cry will be heard by whatever approaches him except human beings and jinns." (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 422)
Allahs Messenger (peace be upon him) said: When the dead body (of a Muslim) is buried in the grave there appear before him two Angels, both having black faces and blue eyes. One is called Munkar and the other is called Nakir and they say: Say what you have to say about this person and he will say: He is the servant of Allah and His Messenger. I bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger and they both will say: We already knew that you would say this. Then his grave will be expanded to the extent of 4900 square cubic feet and it will be illuminated, then it will be said to him: Go to sleep and he will say: I intend to go to my family in order to inform them and they would say: Go to sleep like the sleep of a newly wedded bride whom no one awakens but one who is dearest to her amongst his family members. Only Allah would resurrect him from his resting place. If he (the dead) were a hypocrite he will say: I heard people making a statement (pertaining to the oneness of Allah and the apostlehood of Muhammad) and I said the same but I do not know. And they would say: We already knew that you would say this and the earth will be told to press him and it will press him till his ribs are clasped together and he will not be relieved of the torment till Allah resurrects him from his resting-place.
Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 44 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
If being hit with hammers werent bad enough Muhammad also taught that literal dragons would torture unbelievers!
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: There dominate NINETY-NINE DRAGONS over the unbeliever in the grave. They (constantly) bite him and sting him till there comes the hour (of resurrection). (These dragons are so poisonous) that if one of them exhales on the Earth, no verdure will ever grow upon it.
Reported by Darimi, Tirmidhi transmitted something similar but he said seventy instead of ninety-nine. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 46 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) went out to the prayer and saw the people looking as if they were grinning he said, "If you were to keep much in remembrance death which is the cutter-off of pleasures, it would distract you from what I see. Keep much in remembrance death which is the cutter-off of pleasure, for a day does not come to the grave without its saying, I am the house of exile, I am the house of solitude, I am the house of dust, I am the house of worms. When a believer dies the grave says to him, Welcome and greeting; you are indeed the dearest to me of those who walk upon me. I have been given charge of you today and you have come to me and you will see how I shall treat you.' It will then expand for him as far as the eye can see and a door to Paradise will be opened for him. But when the profligate or infidel is buried the grave says to him, No welcome and no greeting to you; you are the most hateful to me of those who walk upon me. I have been given charge of you today and you have come to me and you will see how I shall treat you. AbuSa'id told that Allah's Messenger indicated it by interlacing his fingers. Then he said, "SEVENTY DRAGONS will be put in charge of him of such a nature that if one of them were to breathe on the earth it would produce no crops as long as the world lasted, and they will bite and scratch him till he is brought to the reckoning." He also reported Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying. "The grave is one of the gardens of Paradise, or one of the pits of Hell."
Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 1429 ALIM CD-ROM Version)
It is one thing to depict spiritual realities in a materialistic or physical manner or to use the metaphor of mythical creatures to describe spiritual entities like Satan:
"In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah 27:1
"And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Revelation 12:9
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while." Revelation 20:1-3
Or even of wicked rulers like Pharaoh:
"speak, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams, that says, "My Nile is my own; I made it."" Ezekiel 29:3
It is quite another thing to speak of dragons literally coming to torture disembodied souls while in their graves!
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