Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Jesus had taken seven demons out of Mary Magdalene, according to the Gospels. (Luke 8:2) Have you ever considered, if the demons are literally so common and we do not have good quality Exorcists like Jesus and even his close disciples could not match his skills according to the Gospels, what would be the fate of many of the modern women?
About two-thirds of Americans completely or mostly agree that angels and demons play an active role in humans’ lives, according to a 2007 Pew Research survey. Mormons (88 percent), evangelical Christians (87 percent), and members of historically black churches (87 percent) were especially likely to agree with the idea that these beings are real.
Pope Francis has paid special attention to demons, warning his flock to “look out because the devil is present.” Earlier this year, the Latin American pontiff officially recognized an international group of church-sanctioned exorcists — priests whom the Vatican believes have the power to cast out the devil. The International Association of Exorcists has approximately 250 exorcists working across 30 nations. Francis recently lauded the group for displaying the church’s ‘love for those possessed.’
Quora has the following to say about the jinns and the Muslim societies:
As for jinns, believing in the existence of jinns is not an article of faith, but the Quran mentions of their existence and also tells that Satan was a jinn. They are a creation that existed before human beings; it is made of waves of energy, as compared to the earthly elements which human beings are composed of. Jinns are the only creation, other than human beings, that have freedom to make decisions and choices like human beings. Once again, the Quran does not describe what kind of shape or form they have or how they look like. They can see human beings, learn human languages and understand them; but human beings cannot see them. They cannot have physical control on human beings (they cannot possess human beings, contrary to what many people believe) but they can cause thoughts to occur in human mind, without people realizing it. Evaluating and assessing a thought whether it is a good idea or should be rejected is all purely an independent human action, just as a thought or view can be suggested by other human beings and it is totally up to a person to accept or reject that suggestion or view.
Interesting, we have to be in presence of other humans to hear their ideas, but, jinns can put their ideas in our minds without our control. Unless the jinns know our thoughts, the kind of ideas they will put in our minds, may not match our own and may seem exotic. Some food for thought for those who believe in such jinns.
How many jinns are out there, anyways, and how many can team up in one human mind?
According to Pew Research Center, majority of the Muslims believe in the jinns. The center states both the Quran and hadith make reference to witchcraft and the evil eye as well as to supernatural beings known in Arabic as jinn (the origin of the English word genie). To gauge how widespread belief in these supernatural forces is today, the survey asked Muslims separate questions about witchcraft, jinn and the evil eye (defined in the survey as the belief that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause bad things to happen). In most of the countries surveyed, roughly half or more Muslims affirm that jinn exist and that the evil eye is real. Belief in sorcery is somewhat less common: half or more Muslims in nine of the countries included in the study say they believe in witchcraft. At the same time, however, most Muslims agree that Islam forbids appealing to jinn or using sorcery. In all but one country surveyed, no more than one-in-five say that Islam condones people appealing to jinn. Similarly low percentages say the same about the use of sorcery.
According to the Quran, God created jinn as well as angels and humans, if we read the scripture literally. Belief in jinn is relatively widespread – in 13 of 23 countries where the question was asked, more than half of Muslims believe in these supernatural beings.
In the South Asian countries surveyed, at least seven-in-ten Muslims affirm that jinn exist, including 84% in Bangladesh. In Southeast Asia, a similar proportion of Malaysian Muslims (77%) believe in jinn, while fewer in Indonesia (53%) and Thailand (47%) share this belief.
Across the Middle Eastern and North African nations surveyed, belief in jinn ranges from 86% in Morocco to 55% in Iraq.
Overall, Muslims in Central Asia and across Southern and Eastern Europe (Russia and the Balkans) are least likely to say that jinn are real. In Central Asia, Turkey is the only country where a majority (63%) of Muslims believe in jinn. Elsewhere in Central Asia, about a fifth or fewer Muslims accept the existence of jinn. In Southern and Eastern Europe, fewer than four-in-ten in any country surveyed believe in these supernatural beings.
In general, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to believe in jinn. For example, in Russia, 62% of those who pray more than once a day say that jinn exist, compared with 24% of those who pray less often. A similar gap also appears in Lebanon (+25 percentage points), Malaysia (+24) and Afghanistan (+21). In other words those who are worldly and secular are less indoctrinated by the irrational ideas of their clergy.
The survey also asked if respondents had ever seen jinn. In 21 of the 23 countries where the question was asked, fewer than one-in-ten report having seen jinn, while the proportion is 12% in Bangladesh and 10% in Lebanon.
This is reassuring, while the evidence is scant the belief is wide spread, because of the literal reading of the Quran by many a Muslim scholars, who teach these ideas to the masses. These scholars may be the real jinns that we need to be scared of.
It is important to note that while belief in jinn is widespread, relatively few Muslims in the countries surveyed believe it is an acceptable part of Islamic tradition to make offerings to jinn. Bangladesh is the only country surveyed in which more than a fifth of Muslims (28%) say appeals to jinn are acceptable. In 18 of the countries, no more than one-in-ten say this is an acceptable practice.
I provide an easy solution to the believing Christians and the Muslims to travel from the first century Jerusalem and seventh century Arabia to the 21st century global village, with its advanced science and technology and information age, where we have no need of jinns and demons and mental health issues can be understood and managed by modern psychology and psychiatry.
I believe those who believe in demons and jinns ought to defer to those who do not believe and there are significant portions in every Muslim country, see the table above. The believers owe it to their mental health to accept the reasoning and reality of those who deny existence of these supernatural creatures and should distance themselves from the scholars, who are giving them literal understanding of the Quran and the Bible.
Such an undertaking will be a great step forward for their mental health and progress of their progeny and will rescue them from the medieval mindset of jinns and demons.
I can help by linking a few reading materials here:
Reading the Quran and the Bible Literally Means Demons and Jinns Will Rule Humans – The Muslim Times https://t.co/7zzpFVjhl6
— Raziya Mohamedali (@RMohamedali) May 1, 2017