|06-09-2012, 08:29 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2006
The nature of Jinn
References to Jinn are found in the Qur'an and the view of Baha'is is included here:
1667. Meaning of 'Jin' or 'Genii'
"Regarding your question as to the meaning of Jin or Genii referred to in the Qur'án, these are not beings or creatures that are actually living, but are symbolic references to the power of man of evil and may be likened to evil spirits. But the point to bear in mind is that these have no positive existence of any kind."
(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, June 26, 1936: Bahá'í News, No. 105, p. 1, February 1937)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 497)
Muhammad Asad also seems to be supporting this view:
The plural noun jinn (popularly, but incorrectly, taken to denote “genii” or “demons”) is derived from the verb janna, “he was [or “became”] concealed” or “veiled from sight,” thus, the veiling darkness of night is called jinn (Jawharī). According to Arab philologists, the term jinn signifies, primarily, “beings that are concealed from [man’s] senses” (Qāmūs, Lisān al-‘Arab, Rāghib), and is thus applicable to all kinds of invisible beings or forces. For a further discussion of this term and of its wider implications, see Appendix III.
Appendix III includes the following:
[B]IN ORDER to grasp the purport of the term jinn as used in the Qur'an, we must dissociate our minds from the meaning given to it in Arabian folklore, where it early came to denote all manner of "demons" in the most popular sense of this word.
This folkloristic image has somewhat obscured the original connotation of the term and its highly significant – almost self-explanatory - verbal derivation. The root-verb is janna, "he [or "it"] concealed" or "covered with darkness": cf. 6:76, which speaks of Abraham "when the night over shadowed him with its darkness (janna 'alayhi)". Since this verb is also used in the intransitive sense ("he[or "it"] was [or "became"] concealed", resp. "covered with darkness"), all classical philologists point out that al-jinn signifies "intense [or "confusing"] darkness" and, in a more general sense, "that which is concealed from [man's] senses", i.e., things, beings or forces which cannot normally be perceived by man but have, nevertheless, an objective reality, whether concrete or abstract, of their own.
In the usage of the Qur'an, which is certainly different from the usage of primitive folklore, the term jinn has several distinct meanings.
For those unfamiliar with Muhammad Asad see the following:
Last edited by arthra; 06-09-2012 at 08:31 PM.
|06-10-2012, 07:28 PM||#2|
Joined: Jun 2006
There are also alternate translations of the Qur'anic verses...most translations have something like:
Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo! we have heard a marvellous Qur'an,..
but there are others as follows:
SAY: "It has been revealed to me that some of the unseen beings gave ear [to this divine writ], and thereupon said [unto their fellow-beings]: "'Verily, we have heard a wondrous discourse,..
Amatul Rahman Omar:
Say, `It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn (- the non-Arab Jews of Nasibin, called Jinn because of their being strong, sharp and effective in affairs) listened (to the Qur'an), so they said (to their people on their return), "Surely, we have heard a wonderful Qur'an,
Say (O Prophet): It has been revealed to me that a tribe of nomads listened, and then they said, "Behold, we have heard a marvelous Recital."