Sunday, December 7, 2008

Qur'an: People

Seek refuge with the Lord of people, the Controller of people, against the harm of the slinking whisperer, who whispers into the hearts of people. The whisperer can be jinn or people.

Well, that was short.

(More seriously, it resonates with Biblical language of Satan as deceiver, and says that harm can be human or, supposedly, demonic (if that's what jinns are).)


Anonymous said...

In the name of God, the most compassionate, most merciful.

1.Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind
2. The ruler of Mankind
3. The God of Mankind
4. From the mischeif of the wisperer who withdraws
5. Who whispers into the heart of mankind.

These smaller verses are some of the earlier verses (the revelation occured over a 23 year period). The verses in this Surah introduce God as the cherisher and protector of mankind.

When Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) first received a revelation---he was afraid he may have been overcome by a demon. This surah tells people to trust in God--a God who is a cherisher and protector of mankind.
It is also about turning to God's protection from the weaknesses that may stem from our human nature. ---It is introducing the idea of "surrender" to God which is what Islam means.

Anonymous said...

I forgot the last verse in my previous post---sorry.....I had wanted to elaborate on the concept of "Jinn" as you will come across this later in other surahs.

Verse 6
Among Jinns and among men.

In Pre-Islamic times, there were mishevious "demons" of the desert called Jinni. The Quran does not use this word with the same connotation. The arabic word "Jinn" means "Invisible". The Jinn are created beings with free-will but they are a previous creation to mankind. We, mankind are created from clay while the Jinn are created from "smokeless fire". Some Jinn have accepted God, some have rebelled. Those who have rebelled are followers of Iblis (Iblis means rebel)---You will also come across Iblis in later surahs.

have fun.

Curious Monk said...

thanks for all the information! i'm trying to read the qur'an without a lot of background beforehand (as I imagine most Anglo-Christians might) but i'm certainly willing to learn as i go. after all, i am the curious monk!

Anonymous said...

Your approach is an interesting one --there are many differences between a "christian" world view and a "muslim" one. I would be interested to know your unbiased impressions of the verses.

Anne G G said...

Anonymous - your description of the Jinn resembles Christian tradition about angels and demons - that those angels who followed Satan became demons and the others remained with God. It's not a tradition with a really great basis in the Christian scriptures - very pieced together from prophetic sections that are at least primarily about something else. I wonder how the concepts in the Qu'ran interface with Christian conceptions of the spirit world, if viewed closely?

Anonymous said...

It is possible that Jinn may be similar to "demons"---are they satan?
In christian?(or is it Jewish?) apocrypha there is mention of Bene Elohim and Nephilim---Jinn may or may not be somewhat similar. Generally, in islam, angels (malak-arabic, malachi -hebrew-- "messenger"--english)
are considered to be creations without "free-will". Jinn on the other hand obviously have free-will since they refused to obey God. However---only the followers of Iblis refused and they are the "shaitan" (satan). (Not all Jinn are followers of Iblis.) On Judgement day, both Man and Jinn will be judged. Both are creations with free-will. (Angels will not be judged)

was that confusing?......

Anonymous said...

sorry---a spelling mistake--I forgot the "s" in Satan--I wanted to ask "demons" are they satans? (the other spelling --"shaitan"(satan)--should also be plural)

By the way...Thanks for the comment. I would also like to learn about similar concepts between Christianity and Islam.

Curious Monk said...

anon- in traditional christian thought, satan is a demon, a "fallen" angel. a third of the angels followed satan out of heaven after his "eviction" and became demons themselves.

they serve him freely, as the angels in heaven choose to serve God as warriors and messengers.

(so this would be one difference between Christian angels and those in Muslim traditions).

I don't think Christianity has anything like those, because everything in this tradition has free will- but yes, angels and demons do seem like the jinn of Islam as you describe them.

Curious Monk said...

Christians have never known what to do with the Nephilim (from Genesis, I believe)-

sometimes they just seem like men greatly favored by God, like exaggerated versions of the "mighty men of great renown" who achieve incredible conquests -

other times I've heard that they represent a borrowing from the local religions of the time.

but no one really knows how to interpret their presence in Christian scripture.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanations. I think that for muslims also, it is hard to figure out what to do with "Jinn". By the way---"Satans" and "Jinn" are labels used differently in the Quran. Jinn, like Humans, have the opportunity to make choices -- for example, to choose "guidance". Satans (followers of Iblis---or a "fallen" Jinn?) have already been condemned to Hell and have only been given respite until Judgement day.....

I don't want to say too much and spoil your fun at discovering the Quran for yourself. ---However, Jinn and Mankind are sometimes mentioned together and since we are already discussing this--I wanted to avoid the verses being misunderstood.