Saudis (and Muslims who follow the Saudi version of Islam) do not believe in ghosts the way that the western world does. When it comes to the immediate worldly afterlife, it is believed that a person at death only temporarily leaves his/her body. In the grave, they come back and inhabit it waiting for judgment day. Meanwhile, after an interview with an angel a window opens in their grave either on hell or heaven, depending on that person’s deeds. The only dead people spirits that walk among us are martyrs and Muslims who die for an Islamic cause. One possible reason for this is that they might like to follow up on what they died for. This a translation from the Quran:
And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: “They are dead.” Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. (Chapter 2 Al Baqara, verse 154)*
But this indifference to ghosts in the western sense does not change the fact that Saudis are strong believers in the supernatural. To truly comprehend you’ll have to go back to before the beginning. In the prequel to the Adam and Eve story, there were other creatures inhabiting the Earth. The angels are made of light and humans are made of mud and these others called jinn are made of fire. They ruled the Earth much as we do now and Satan was one of them. He was either a good Jinn ruler or a Jinn prophet while the rest of his people were abusing the Earth and not worshipping God as they should. So God sent his wrath down onto them and only a very few survived by hiding high in the mountains and underground in caves. Satan was spared and raised up to heaven to live among the angels. Then later God created Adam. That’s why in the Quran it states that the angels upon hearing about Adam reacted negatively:
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said: “I know what ye know not.” (Chapter 2 Al Baqara, verse 30) *
The angels were not predicting the future but were more like saying oh not again. They eventually submitted except for Satan who thought that it was beneath him to bow down to a creature made of mud. The rest is almost identical to the Christian and Jewish story. So Satan, Adam and Eve were sent down to Earth. It is said that God created three versions of everyone. That is that there is a Jinni that has your exact personality, mannerism and there is also an angel that way too. The jinn version is called a qareen in Arabic. And that’s how Muslims explain away those who claim to talk to the dead. They say that those so-called experts are actually talking to the dead person’s qareen.
The Jinn people that survived reproduced and so did Adam and Eve. And now it is like a two dimensional Earth. The inhabitants of both dimensions have their own civilizations, races and religions. But there are some of both dimensions that mesh them together. This meshing is where the supernatural comes from. Humans through witchcraft and such make use of Jinns’ invisibility to Human eyes to gain knowledge. And outcast Jin come into our world to wreak havoc. The belief in them is so strong that it affects real estate. One example is a prominent marble palace that some Saudi family built in Riyadh. It is near the intersection of King Abdullah street and Al Takhassisi. After the family moved they experienced something unexplainable. And it went on like this from buyer to buyer until eventually it was closed up completely for almost a decade. Now the government bought it and is using it as a guesthouse and club for officers.
The outcast Jinn are also believed to take forms and most commonly they take the form of a dog. That might be one of the reasons dogs are not seen in a positive light here. The worst thing a jin outcast could do is take up a person’s body. They do this for a number of reasons; they are bribed or ordered to by a sorcerer, they have fallen in love with the human, or a person through wrong actions invites them in. Once they are in it is difficult to get them out. A shiekh has to exorcise them by reading certain parts of the Quran. Even Shiekh Bin Baz, the most renowned Saudi shiekh in the past century, wrote about his experience with these beings. I have a booklet that was distributed free of charge at the Riyadh Military Hospital written by Shiekh Bin Baz. This is a photo of the cover:
Translation of the cover: Two letters
- 1- The issue of Jinn being in the body of a psychologically disturbed person and the Islamic law on conversing with Jin.
- 2- Treatment through the use of sorcery or witchcraft is an extreme danger to Islam and Muslims.
This whole concept is so ingrained into Saudi culture that even people who are laid-back about religion will think of Jinn when they hear a bump in the night.
This is a video I coincidently received in my Email today. It is a soccer player that supposedly got beaten up by a Jinn on the field. Watch and make up your own mind:
And here’s a website that specializes in making nonbelievers see the light (visit at your own risk) : http://www.islam-universe.com/Exorcism.html#Exorcism_Clip
*Abdullah Yusuf Ali Translation of the Quran