The Saudi Supernatural world

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

16 Comments

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16 responses to “The Saudi Supernatural world

  1. this post is very informative and also very interesting for whom are interested. i appreciate your efforts and thank you for that.

    however though, i totally believe that there is no need to translate Koran to an old english which is hard to understand. a modern day translation would have been better.

  2. saudiwoman

    Hi Super Hero,
    Thanks for visiting and I’m glad you found it informative. Concerning the Quran translation, I wouldn’t dream of translating the Quran myself. This is actually the Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation.

  3. saheeh international has the best translation in my opionion. modern, clear, and concise. the noble quran translation is another favorite but it is not very reader friendly because they insert tafsir in brackets.

    where can i read more about the prequel to the Adam and Eve story?

  4. Arabiah

    I have something to say about the story of Adam and Eve. Not all Muslims believe the story in the way you put it. Maybe just Saudi Muslims. The story of Satan ruling the earth being like a good Jin leader was not mentioned in the Quran or the Hadith but rather it’s one of Ibn Abas explanations. we don’t even know for sure if he said that because the Isnad (chain of narrators) is probably weak. So the whole story has no bases.
    There is a better explanation for the verse you pasted, I liked this explanation and find it resonating for me. It’s Abdullah Yusuf Ali Tafsir:
    * v.30 : It would seem that the angels, though holy and pure, and endued with power from God, yet represented only one side of Creation. We may imagine them without passion or emotion, of which the highest flower is love. If man was to be endued with emotions, those emotions would lead him to the highest and drag him to the lowest. The power of will or choosing would have to go with them, in order that man might steer his own bark. This power of will (when used aright) gave him to some extent a mastery over his own fortunes and over nature, thus bringing him nearer to the God-like nature which has supreme mastery and will. We may suppose the angels had no independent wills of their own; their perfection in other ways reflected God’s perfection but could not raise them to the dignity of vicegerency. The perfect vicegerent is he who has the power of initiative himself, but whose independent action always reflects perfectly the will of his Principal. The distinction is expressed by Shakespeare (Sonnet 94) in those fine lines: “They are the lords and owners of their faces. Others but stewards of their excellence.” The angels in their one-sidedness saw only the mischief consequent on the misuse of the emotional nature by man; perhaps they also, being without emotions, did not understand the whole of God’s nature, which gives and asks for love. In humility and true devotion to God, they remonstrate; we must not imagine the least tinge of jealousy, as they are without emotion. This mystery of love being above them, they are told that they do not know and they acknowledge (in ii. 32 below) not their fault (for there is no question of fault) but their imperfection of knowledge. At the same time, the matter is brought home to them when the actual capacities of man are shown to them (ii. 31, 33).

  5. Arabiah

    Also, there is no authentic Hadith that explains that angels are made of light and Jin from fire though this is a common say between people. I’d say this is what the explainers (Mofasserin) have said.
    In the Quran, God says that Satan was made of fire and that he was a Jinn in Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave). There is no proof that angels are made of light. People explain it differently.We don’t know, but for sure Jin are not like the angels.

    Satan being a Jin makes more sense than being a fallen angel like the Christian story.

    In the Christian and the Jewish story, he is an angel and we all know that according to the scripture (Hebrew bible ,Gospel, Qur’an) Angels have no free will.
    If he had no free will, how come he rebelled against God? that means he had a free will.
    The Islamic story tells us that he had free will because he was not like the rest of the angels. he had a different nature.He was a Jinn.

  6. saudiwoman

    Thank you Arabiah for your comments. I really appreciate this info.
    Ummadam I wish I could help you with reliable sources but my post is mainly based on acquired knowledge i.e. grew up hearing this and that.
    Your best bet is to go to Al Obiekan bookstore and ask there because they have the biggest collection of Islamic books that cover all topics, not just dawa.

  7. Pingback: Making Light of Gender Discrimination « Saudiwoman’s Weblog

  8. What I might say may seem odd but I’ve had people acknowledging what I’m in doubt of.. For instance.. Somehow When I look at someone, I can see something else inside of him/her.. Each person differs. I just see a different being inside them, and each person has different features.. for example, some of these beings have eyes that differ from others, in reality that person observes things and notices things in a way others do not.. some have different mouths, in reality what they say is always heard by their companions.. and they can always convince you with their words, I’ve encountered many strange things in my life. Even markings on my hand are not 18/81 , but people who have different symbols seem to have a different way of thinking, and tend to notice things out of the ordinary, I’ve encountered someone who has different symbols on his hands, and claims that people follow him from country to country and he sees the same people again, I think that they are not people but in fact jinns, So many things have happened, but I still do not have the explanations.. I hope Someone out there has experienced something of what I am experiencing..? My theory is that our Qareen (Jinn Companion) is able to tap into our minds and sometimes benefit us with abilities that only in the supernatural world would be considered normal.. but in our world, we can either use them for good. or evil.. that’s the choice we have to make..

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  10. Usman

    Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, a Pakistani nuclear scientist once proposed to use Jinn to solve the energy crises probably by means of “dissolving” them through some scientific experiment as it is believed that Jinn are made of Energy(/fire). Poor scientist had to retire before he could be taken seriously.
    One wonders if we can get mud by “dissolving” human being…lol

  11. Sophia HD

    Thank you so much for this post! I am currently reading a book by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, which mentions jinns quite a bit. I looked the term up in the dictionnary, but I knew that the basic definition there was lacking something. Although I imagine there may be some differences between the Saudi and Turkish understanding of jinns, you have made my reading of the book much more enjoyable as I now have a better idea of what he means and what role they play in the story. Thanks again.

  12. Jon al-Ibadi

    Dear SaudiWoman: Your posts are very informing and inspiring. Being from the west and being a person of faith I am uncomfortable with the generalization that you have laid out about the views of westerners regarding ghosts. Being a follower of Isa al-Masih, i do not believe in ghosts but I readily acknowledge the existence of evil or demonic spirits, what you may call bad jinn. While I do recognize that many in the west do subscribe to “Ghosts,” all those who believe in one God believe in the reality of demonic spirits. C.S. Lewis, in his famous book, the screwtape letters, writes about how demons and Satan work very hard to make humans think they dont exist, or that there is some psychological reason for why we do certain things. This is a plague that many are afflicted with in the west, trusting in human ideas and reasoning over God’s ideas and reasoning. I suppose my two questions are: 1) Do you live in fear of the jinn? and 2) Do you feel that Allah (swt) desires for you to live in fear? Thank you for your blog post. May Allah bless you richly and make His grace cover your household.

  13. thisis collection of islamic marriage card do you know muslim marriage card . In muslim marriage card starting with bissmillaha hir rahmanir rahim and also attache a kalma.plz
    add this type of photos.
    Mustaim(aliu)

  14. I am a believer in Mother Nature!

    We cant’t live without her – but she can very well live without us!

  15. I honestly wish to meet an open minded Saudi woman who says to me: ‘Let’s have a discussion!’

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