And remember the day, when Allah will gather them all together; then He will say to the angels: ‘Was it you that they worshiped?’ They will say, ‘Holy are You. You are our Protector against them. Nay, but they worshiped the Jinn (powerful men); it was in them that most of them believed.’ (Al Quran 34:40-41)
Pew Research Center About the Prevalence of Belief in the Jinns
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).22 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. As will be discussed in Chapter 6, 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 (see Appeals to Jinn in Chapter 6).
Islamic tradition also holds that Muslims should rely on God alone to keep them safe from sorcery and malicious spirits rather than resorting to talismans, which are charms or amulets bearing symbols or precious stones believed to have magical powers, or other means of protection. Perhaps reflecting the influence of this Islamic teaching, a large majority of Muslims in most countries say they do not possess talismans or other protective objects. The use of talismans is most widespread in Pakistan (41%) and Albania (39%), while in other countries fewer than three-in-ten Muslims say they wear talismans or precious stones for protection. Although using objects specifically to ward off the evil eye is somewhat more common, only in Azerbaijan (74%) and Kazakhstan (54%) do more than half the Muslims surveyed say they rely on objects for this purpose.
Reliance on traditional religious healers is most prevalent among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with roughly two-thirds or more in Senegal (73%), Chad (68%) and Afghanistan (66%) saying they have turned to traditional healers to help cure someone who is ill.
According to the Quran, God created jinn as well as angels and humans. 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).
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.
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. As discussed in Chapter 6, 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.
The Quran and hadith both make reference to witchcraft and sorcery in the time of the Prophet Muhammad.23 Today, the survey finds, substantial numbers of Muslims continue to believe in the existence of witchcraft, although levels of belief vary widely across the countries included in the study, and – as discussed later in this report – very few Muslims believe the use of sorcery is an acceptable practice under Islam. (See Use of Sorcery in Chapter 6.)
In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of Muslims who say witchcraft or sorcery is real ranges from more than nine-in-ten in Tanzania (92%) to about one-in-six in Ethiopia (15%). A similar range of views is found in the Middle East and North Africa, where more than three-quarters of Muslims in Tunisia (89%) and Morocco (78%) believe in witchcraft, compared with as few as 16% in Egypt and 14% in the Palestinian territories.
Among the Southeast Asian countries surveyed, Indonesian Muslims are the most convinced that witchcraft is real (69%). In South Asia, Pakistani Muslims (50%) are more likely than their counterparts in Afghanistan (35%) or Bangladesh (9%) to believe in the existence of sorcery.
Meanwhile, in Southern and Eastern Europe, Albanian Muslims are the most likely to believe in witchcraft (43%), compared with a third or fewer elsewhere in the region.
Belief in the existence of witchcraft is least common in Central Asia. With the exception of Turkey, where about half of Muslims (49%) believe that sorcery exists, no more than three-in-ten in any of the Central Asian nations surveyed believe witchcraft is real.
Across most of the countries surveyed, Muslims who pray more than once a day are about as likely to accept the existence of witchcraft as those who pray less often. However, there are exceptions to this pattern. In Kosovo and Lebanon, Muslims who pray several times a day are significantly more likely to believe in sorcery (32 percentage points in the former, 16 points in the latter), while in Kyrgyzstan and Egypt the opposite is true: those who pray multiple times a day are slightly less likely to believe in witchcraft (by 10 and eight points, respectively).
According to hadith, the Prophet Muhammad confirmed that the evil eye, borne by jealousy or envy, is real and capable of causing harm or misfortune.24 In 20 of the 39 countries surveyed, half or more Muslims say they believe in the evil eye.
Acceptance is generally highest in the Middle East and North Africa. With the exception of Lebanon (50%), solid majorities across the region affirm that the evil eye exists, including at least eight-in-ten Muslims in Tunisia (90%) and Morocco (80%).
Many Muslims in Central Asia also believe in the evil eye. Clear majorities in Turkey (69%) and Kazakhstan (66%) say the evil eye is real. About half in each of the other countries in the region share this view.
In Southern and Eastern Europe, Russian (59%) and Albanian (54%) Muslims are most likely to believe in the evil eye. Fewer say the same in Kosovo (40%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (37%).
Opinion about the evil eye varies significantly across South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In the former, Pakistani and Afghan Muslims are much more likely than their counterparts in Bangladesh to believe in the evil eye (61% and 53%, respectively, vs. 22%). Of countries surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania has the highest share of Muslims who say the evil eye is real (83%). In the majority of countries in the region, fewer than half accept that the evil eye exists.
In most nations surveyed, more believe the evil eye is real than say the same about witchcraft. Muslims in Southeast Asia, however, differ from this pattern. While 69% in Indonesia and 49% in Malaysia say witchcraft exists, just 29% and 36%, respectively, say the same about the evil eye.
The word Jinn is used for various meanings in the Quran, most often it means the powerful men who control and govern the masses.
The varying presence of belief among the Muslims in different countries in Jinns, is a hint for the insightful that a better understanding is required as presented by us here, in the Muslim Times:
— The Muslim Times (@The_MuslimTimes) January 22, 2017