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Does being a Muslim make us better humans than non-Muslims?

Does being a Muslim make us better humans than disbelievers?

First, note that the word “disbeliever” as it is used in Quran translations does not refer to all non-Muslims as explained here. It only refers to someone who believes in God but knowingly disobeys Him and denies His blessings and scriptures.

The attributes that make some humans better than others are mercy, compassion, submission to God and fear of Him, generosity and other attributes that God teaches us to try to have. Any human who has more of these attributes is superior to those who have less of them.

It is quite possible for a non-Muslim to be more kind than a particular Muslim. In that case they are superior to the Muslim when it comes to kindness, but they may be inferior when it comes to submission to God (maybe they believe in God but knowingly reject following Him).

Some people believe that merely entering the fold of Islam automatically makes one a superior species of human compared to everyone else. But the Quran seems to reject that view. The Quran says:

13. O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced.

14. The Desert-Arabs say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not believed; but say, ‘We have submitted,’ [i.e. we have entered Islam] for faith has not yet entered into your hearts. But if you obey God and His Messenger, He will not diminish any of your deeds. God is Forgiving and Merciful.”

15. The believers are those who believe in God and His Messenger, and then have not doubted, and strive for God’s cause with their wealth and their persons. These are the sincere.

16. Say, “Are you going to teach God about your religion, when God knows everything in the heavens and the earth, and God is aware of all things?”

17. They regarded it a favor to you that they have submitted. Say, “Do not consider your submission a favor to me; it is God who has done you a favor by guiding you to the faith, if you are sincere.” (The Quran, verses 49:14-17)

These verses criticize the Bedouins for claiming to have faith when they do not. They accepted Islam but they have only done so out of political and material considerations–they have not become believers yet. ﻹhe verses imply that their being merely “Muslim” has little value if they do not believe and strive in the way of God.

That teaches us that being Muslim is not automatically a ticket to being superior to others. A Christian who better embodies the attributes of submission, piety, fear of God and kindness seems to me a superior human in the Quranic view compared to a cruel and evil-doing Muslim. The Quran says:

146. Those to whom We have given the Book [Jews, Christians and followers of other Abrahamic religions] recognize it as they recognize their own children. But some of them conceal the truth while they know.

147. The truth is from your Lord, so do not be a skeptic.

148. To every community is a direction towards which it turns. Therefore, race towards goodness. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all together. God is capable of everything. (The Quran, verses 2:146-148)

Verse 148 above says “race towards goodness”. The call may be directed towards Muslims, telling them to race with one another in goodness, or it could be a call to Muslims, Jews and Christians to race each other. This second interpretation follows more logically from the context, since in 148 it says “Therefore, race towards goodness” right after it means “every community” (meaning Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc.). Now, if there is to be a race towards goodness between Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others, that means it is possible that some Jews and Christians may win the race and some Muslims may lose the race. If Muslims were supposed to always win just by the virtue of being Muslim, then there would be no point in a race. The race would be won by default every time before it even begins.

So the concept that Muslims, Jews and Christians can race one another in goodness suggests that it is goodness that matters, not the mere fact of being Muslim.

Of course, merely being Muslim comes with its own virtues, but it is only one attribute among other equally important attributes.

In summary, being Muslim does not necessarily make every Muslim automatically superior to every non-Muslim.

Is it permitted to study astrology out of curiosity alone?

assalamu aleikum, is astrology still haram if we read it not to know our traits or future but out of pure curiosity?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

The problem with astrology is that it attributes mystical powers to things other than God. If it is studied purely out of curiosity without adopting its teachings then that is a different matter. It may be similar to studying Buddhism out of curiosity; this is permitted since to merely study something does not mean that one adopts its beliefs.

Still, I doubt that a person who reads a lot of astrology and is interested in it can be immune from taking it seriously. So it is up to you to decide whether it is competing with your belief in God or not. If you find yourself thinking that the fate of humans are affected by astrological factors then that shows astrology is negatively affecting your belief in God.

Father wants to prevent them from going back to school

assalamu aleikum, my situation is a little difficult, i dropped out of school a few years back because of my immaturity and ignorance and now finally after a difficult year i have a chance to go back but my father seems reluctant, he always dismisses me when i mention it and i fear that he will try to stop me. there is no point trying to discuss with him, he’s stubborn and always thinks his way is the right way (like a lot of controlling fathers) i am trying hard not lose hope but im going down-

-the vicious spiral of sadness and despair i went through last year because of it, i don’t know what to do because i’m supposed to go back soon and he is unpredictable. do you have an advice for me? thank you

Sorry to read about your difficult situation. I cannot think of any easy solution for it. You just have to be patient. Maybe find out if your relatives (such as your mother, aunts and uncles) can help in persuading him to let you go back to school. And if you are not able to attend school this season because of his refusal, things may change in a few months and you may be able to attend next season, or next year. Try to make the best use of your time regardless of whether you end up going to school or not, such as by reading a lot of books. If you have a desired field you want to get a university degree in, you can start studying for it now. Some universities allow people to get a master’s degree without having a bachelor’s degree if they can show that they are extremely well-read in their field. You can start studying as if you are studying for a master’s degree, collect books in your field, and read studies in open-access academic journals.

Best wishes.

How to make sure wealth does not make you distant from God

Assalamualaikum, Allah swt tests one with what he has given him, Allah swt has given me a lot. How can I make sure I'm not failing my tests? Despite doing whats Obligatory I always feel like I'm failing. Perhaps because of my frivolous worldly interests outside of Islam. Any advice?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

My recommendation for those who want to be extraordinary believers is to try to perform an extra hour of worship every day, especially reading the Quran. One should read it with the aim of understanding it and embodying its teachings in one’s life. If you an achieve this hour of daily worship and do your best to embody the Quran’s teachings, then I would say this is guaranteed to keep you in a great spiritual place constantly. There is no way to remain spiritual without constant, daily work. The life of this world always takes us away from God on a daily basis and we need to exert daily effort to constantly go back to Him.

For more on the extra hour of worship please see my essay Mysticism without Sufism: A Guide to Tahajjud, Islam’s Meditation Practice

He had sex with another man’s wife, the husband wants to kill him now

Asalam aliekum,I had a sexual relation with a married woman and now her husband wants to kill me or asks for huge amount of money which i can't never get to pay him for the crime i did. Please tell me what should i do.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I doubt you can fix that situation by yourself. You should get other people involved, such as your family, his family, your local imam, people in your extended family who have a high social standing and who may be taken seriously by that man, and maybe the police if you fear for your life. That man has no right to take the law into his own hands, both according to Islamic law and secular law. If there is to be a legal solution, it will have to be decided by a judge, imam, or other members of society who can perform this job.

You may also want to check out this previous answer: How to repent from zina (sex outside of marriage)

Best wishes.

Why do so many people in the West wish for death?

Assallamualeykum! Nowadays, people (especially young adults) have a strong desire to die. They hate this world, and those people are not always muslims. What could be the reason for their wish to die when they don't even know what expects them after death? they have absolutely no ambition. I can't say that they are in a high spiritual level either. however, some of them seem to be pretty self-sufficient. how can a person be self-sufficient possessing a hatred inside himself at the same time?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

What you are describing is depression, and can be caused by genetic or environmental factors. A depressed person may be unable to think positive thoughts and to take joy in life, so they can become indifferent whether they live or die. People who are blessed with never having suffered depression can mistakenly think that it is negative thoughts that lead to depression. The reality is that it is the depression that causes the negative thoughts, and if the depression is cured, the negative thoughts will go away automatically.

For more on depression and its causes please see my essay Islam and Depression: A Survival Guide.

 

Is forgetting the Quran a curse from God?

Assalamo Alaikum..So I have been worrying about some thing for quite some time now and I am really afraid.. I was talking with a friend the other day and told him that as child I used to remember lot of verses from the Qur'an but now in my early 20s I have forgotten most of those verses..My friend told me that it is an Adhab(curse) from Allah and I'm really worried about it..What should I do?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

It is a common belief of the scholars that God rewards the pious by enabling them to spend more time in worship, acquiring knowledge and studying the Quran. The idea is that the closer you are to God, the more knowledge of Him and His religion you will have, and the more distant you are, the less knowledge you will have and the knowledge you used to have will disappear or have no benefit. From this perspective, forgetting verses you had memorized can be considered a punishment for being distant from God, that is what the “curse” means.

It is for you to judge whether you are more distant from God than you used to be. If that is really the case, then you can easily correct matters by re-dedicating yourself to Him. My essay God has not abandoned you has a plan for achieving this. Apart from these considerations I wouldn’t worry about any supposed curse.

Her intended is being forced by his family to marry someone else

Assalamu Alaikum. The brother who wanted to marry me had issues with his parents accepting me as they wanted him to marry his cousin. We remained patient and kept making dua asking Allah for help. Those parents have now forced him into a marriage with his cousin. Although there is no Nikah they are now “engaged”, even though he did not attend. He does not want to marry her but he is afraid he will lose his family over it so he accepted it. I feel devastated. Is this Allah’s decree? Can it change

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Sorry to read about your difficult situation. May Allah make it easier.

Everything in life is God’s decree. God is in charge and He can prevent anything from happening if He wishes. Whenever something bad happens in our life, it is always with God’s awareness. There is a deep lesson in this; God allows bad things to happen to us in order to shape our character. We could not prove our faith, patience and dedication toward Him if nothing bad ever happened in our lives.

Anything can change. Just because something bad seems to be about to happen does not mean that it will happen. And whether it happens or not, it is always God’s decree because nothing escapes Him. There is really no solution to your situation. Some things in life make us suffer greatly and there is no escape from the suffering. We just have to accept it, wait patiently and see what happens. Submit to God, knowing that He is in charge, and leave it to Him to take care of the things in your life that you have no power over. You never know what may happen a few years from now. What causes us great suffering now may be the beginning of a process that eventually gives us great happiness down the road. God can always arrange for you to marry a better person at some point if and when He wishes.

Please check out the following essay in which I discuss in more detail how to deal with such situations:

The Road to Maturity: On Dealing with Life’s Unsolvable Problems

Best wishes.

Her family prevents her from practicing Islam

Salam, my family claim to be Muslim but unfortunately have a bad lifestyle and mindset (no religious practices whatsoever) however I am not like that and if I choose to cover my awrah, my mother seems to get very upset at this situation, she says if I were to put on the hijab, she would disown me. So I hide all my thoughts, I hide praying, I hide going to the mosque, I hide how much I am into my religion because she is the opposite and always argues with me about this. Would you advise me please.

That is a a difficult situation to be in and I hope things will get easier for you. One thing you could try is to gradually increase your practicing of Islam so that she has time to adjust to it. Maybe you could start praying without trying too hard to hide it. She may get used to the fact that you pray regularly and may stop complaining about it.

Just because she says she will disown you if you wear the hijab does not mean that she is really prepared to do that. You could do your best to dress modestly, and perhaps wear a cap outside that hides most of your hair.

If necessary, you can wait until marriage to start practicing Islam fully. God does not ask you to bear more than you are able. Try to seek a balance between practicing as much of Islam as you can while keeping conflict with your family at a bearable level.

Best wishes.

Is it forbidden to call a woman a goddess as a compliment?

Is it haram to call a woman a goddess as a compliment?

Since it does not mean that she literally is a goddess, it is not exactly blasphemy. But it is still not a good thing to say since it borrows pagan imagery, which is not pleasing to God. Rather than thinking of things in terms of halal versus haram, think of whether they are pleasing to God or not. The things that are haram are clearly defined and most people know them. But there are many more things that are technically halal but not pleasing to God.

Some can argue it is haram since it contains a pagan meaning. While others will argue it is halal since the intention is not a pagan intention, and the Prophet says, “Acts are [to be judged] by their intentions.” (From Sahih al-Bukhari Book 1, Hadith 1; Sahih Muslim, Book 33, Hadith 222)

How to be compassionate, and on acting compassionate without feeling it

Assallamualeykum! Could you please explain how the human compassion works? How does a person gain it and how he loses it? What could be the factors? How to recognize it? Thanx in advance! I trust your point of view which is always interesting and wise.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Part of human compassion is built-in genetically. We are naturally predisposed to be kind toward those who belong to our family and tribe. There is also compassion that is not built-in but that comes from the soul. For example when we see someone who has wronged us in the past suffer and ask us for help, our human psyche can take pleasure in their suffering (we think they deserve it) and we may dislike to help them. But a person with a good soul can override all of these human instincts and act kindly and compassionately toward them even though the person does not deserve it.

The soul of a very spiritual person tries to embody the attributes that God teaches us to embody, the attributes of mercy, compassion, generosity and selflessness. These attributes come from God and the soul can mirror them. In this way it harmonizes itself with God regardless of worldly desires and impulses. What is called a saint is someone who reaches a stage of near-perfect harmony with God, so that their actions and manners come from a different world, the world of the soul, rather than material world. When others are cruel, he or she can be kind even if they feel the impulse of cruelty. When others are selfish they remain generous. Their actions come from a soul that is in harmony with God, rather than coming from their instincts and desires.

Reply from the questioner:

Regarding the question I asked before (about the compassion) , is a person considered compassionate, if the person tries to act with a mercy towards people even if the person doesn't feel so? I'm asking this because I think that actions should always be sincere and from heart. But then, I don't feel any compassion neither to my family nor to people. But force myself to act so. Does this make a person compassionate?

Being compassionate when you feel like it is good, being compassionate when you don’t feel like it is even better, because it means your soul is transcending your instincts out of a sense of duty toward God and humanity. ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (the “fifth” Rashidun caliph) says:

The best good deeds are the ones that one has to force the ego to perform.

If you are choosing to be compassionate, then that is sincere even if you do not feel compassionate. It is only insincere if you act compassionate in order to appear compassionate to others. If you are compassionate out of a sense of duty then that is perfectly sincere whether you feel it or not.

As for feeling more compassionate, part of it has to do with your brain chemistry. A person who is severely depressed will feel emotionally numb and unable to feel compassionate emotions toward others without any fault of their own. Another part may have to do with having an open heart, which can be achieved through having a close connection with God (such as by performing an extra hour of worship every day as I explain here).

In Islam how are we meant to deal with death of a loved one?

In Islam how are we meant to deal with death of a loved one?

The death of a loved one is one of life’s “unsolvable” problems and can either lead to spiritual maturity or immaturity depending on how we deal with it. I have an essay on dealing with such situations: The Road to Maturity: On Dealing with Life’s Unsolvable Problems

Best wishes.

Are there misogynistic stories in the Quran?

assalamu alaykum, I do respect the Quran very very much! Lately though, I've found my heart a little disturbed by the notice that in most valuable stories, the women are usually the targets for the men to start sinning.. I know it is the devil's wrongdoings which makes the man kill, steal, cheat etc. - it just happens to be that the woman is the leading cause in most stories. How can I deal with this knowledge? Aren't women worth more than to teach a lesson? Peace be upon you!

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I have seen no such pattern in the Quran. In fact I cannot think of a single story that fits that description except the story of Joseph. If that story makes women look bad, it is counterbalanced by the story of Mary some chapters later; the whole chapter is named “Mary” in her honor.

If you will mention specifics then I will be happy to answer.

Reply:

Hey, so I wanted to name some specifics regarding the display of women in the Quran. One story would be about Qabil & Habil (sons of Adam) and the beautiful versus ugly sister. Another would be of Marut & Harut, the angels sent to eart who were good judges but started sinning after seeing a beautiful woman. Another would be of Barsisa, where the monk should take care of the little sister but starts to have sinful thoughts... to name few, but thanks for your answer!

The Quranic version of the Qabil and Habil and Harut and Marut stories have no mention of women. The Barṣīṣā story is one of the Isrāʾīlīyāt, stories transmitted from ancient non-Muslim sources that are inherently unreliable.

So the things you refer to are not in the Quran. They are in commentaries and hadith narrations that are associated with the Quranic stories and that are inherently unreliable unless they are marfūʿ (directly transmitted from the Prophet ) and multiply-transmitted (heard by three or more Companions). Almost nothing in these stories matches such a standard.

If you keep to the Quranic versions of these stories then you will find none of the misogynistic themes that you referred to earlier. As for the non-Quranic additions to the stories, skepticism toward them is always necessary unless they match the highest standards of hadith transmission (which they almost never do).

Is nikah engagement or marriage?

Isn't Nikkah actually a marriage? If nikkah is dissolved, isn't the couple going through divorce and the woman has to observe the iddah? Why call it engagement when the Quran uses nikkah to mean marriage?

Because there is a space between engagement (nikah) and marriage (consummation) that Islamic law acknowledges. If the couple separate after the nikah but before the consummation, the Quran requires the man to only pay half the alimony to the woman, while telling the woman and her family that the pious thing to do is to not accept any of the alimony (2:237). Therefore Islam makes it easy to break engagements/nikahs that have not been consummated, similar to the way in the West breaking an engagement is nowhere as serious as a divorce.

The nikah therefore is more correctly called an engagement rather than a marriage. Some cultures do not differentiate between the two, and that is fine, since to them the nikah is always immediately followed by consummation. But other cultures separate the nikah and the wedding and consider the nikah only an engagement. This too is perfectly fine and Islamic law supports them in this, and it is practiced by millions of Muslims, both Sunni and Shia.

Is it permitted to show the neck when wearing hijab?

assalamu aleikum, i heard a lot of women believe Allah told us to cover only our hair, so they wear a turban instead of a full hair, chest and neck covering hijab. do you know which texts these people follow?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I know of no respectable scholar who permits showing the neck. As far as I know such people are following their own personal preferences. For more on the evidence for the hijab as it is worn by mainstream, conservative Muslims see: Why the hijab is still obligatory (and why it is not only a vestige of 7th century Arabia)

The Islamic ruling on women wearing perfume

Are women allowed to wear perfume?

There is no issue with women wearing perfume before close relatives (those known as maḥrams) and other women. As for women wearing perfume in public, there are differences on it.

The great Maliki scholar Ibn Rushd the Elder (grandfather of Ibn Rushd) permits the wearing of perfume publicly by women provided that her intention is not to attract men’s attention.

Aisha (may God be pleased with her) says:

We were proceeding to Mecca along with the Prophet (ﷺ). We pasted on our foreheads the perfume known as sukk at the time of wearing ihram. When one of us perspired, it (the perfume) came down on her face. The Prophet (ﷺ) saw it but did not forbid it. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 11, Hadith 110)

Shaykh Ibn Amin al-Dimashqi has performed a study of the relevant hadith narrations and concludes that the evidence for forbidding women to wear perfume in public is not conclusive and it is contradicted by narrations like the one quoted above.

According to Dr. Ali Gomaa (Grand Mufti of Egypt from 2003 to 2013), it is permitted for women to wear perfume in public as long as the scent is muted and does not attract attention.

Dr. Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Samīʿ (Egypt’s Grand Mufti as of early 2018) has a similar opinion. He also adds that it is recommended for women to use perfume and deodorant if it is necessary for masking body odor in order to avoid disturbing others.

Hating a sibling for abusing her family’s trust

Assalamualaikum. I wanna ask something, how not to hate your own sibling who really made a big mistake that affecting people around her especially our family? I feel really mad at her because she's really made a really huge mistake and also she had misused the trust that we put on her, like my family really trusted her but then a whole thing is a lie. I'm really sad seeing my parents lose their appetite and sleep. I really can't see her face right now but she's my sibling.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

How you feel is a natural human reaction to that situation. Islam does not expect you to stop being human, it only expects you to keep your impulses under check and to do what you know to be right and kind whether you feel like it or not (to the best of your ability). Just give it time and maybe you will start to feel better toward her, especially if she works to regain your love and trust. If she approaches you and asks to be forgiven and be given another chance, then the pious and admirable thing to do is to accept it and go along with it even if you are still too upset to consider forgiving her.

You may also be interested in this previous answer, it is about parents but it somewhat applies to siblings too: Is it sinful in Islam to not love your parent?

Best wishes.

The ruling on the prayer of an alcohol-drinker

Beginning of summarized translated fatwa from the Jordanian Fatwa Authority

Question: There is a hadith that says the prayer of an alcohol-drinker will not be accepted for forty nights. Should such a person wait for forty days before coming back to the prayer?

Answer: Our advice to this alcohol-drinker is to fear God and to not let the faith he has to die out from his heart. His heart which desires prayer is a believer’s heart which feels the danger [of abandoning the prayer]. As for the hadith on the prayer of an alcohol-drinker not being accepted for forty days, it is narrated by ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ that the Prophet said: “A man of my umma does not drink and have his prayer accepted for forty days.” (Narrated by al-Nasāʾī).

In this hadith there is no prohibition on the alcohol-drinker when it comes to praying. It is actually obligatory on him and required of him. The hadith tells us that he gets no reward from the prayer as a punishment for engaging in such a sinful thing. He is still required to pray and commits a tremendous sin by abandoning the prayer.

End of summarized translated fatwa

Source (Arabic PDF)

On which hour on Friday are prayers accepted?

It's hadith that on Friday there is an hour in which we can ask Allah tala for anything and He will give it us unless we ask for something haram. So, I wanted to ask if the hour is between as and maghrib?

There is a difference of opinion on this matter due to the differences in the hadith narrations, but the most common opinion is that it is the hour before the maghrib prayer.

'Abdullah b. Umar said to me: Did you hear anything from your father narrating something from the messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about the time on Friday? I said: Yes, I heard him say from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (these words):" It is between the time when the Imam sits down and the end of the prayer." (Sahih Muslim, Book 7, Hadith 25)

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Friday is divided into twelve hours. Amongst them there is an hour in which a Muslim does not ask Allah for anything but He gives it to him. So seek it in the last hour after the afternoon prayer. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 2, Hadith 659 and al-Nasa'i, Vol. 2, Book 14, Hadith 1390)

According to Imam Ahmad, as quoted by al-Tirmidhi in Sunan al-Tirmidhi (Shakir editition, no. 489):

Most of the hadith narrations on the hour on which the acceptance of prayer is expected say that it after the asr prayer, and that it is [most] expected when the sun starts to get low [when it is close to setting].

According to Ibn al-Qayyim in his Zad al-Ma`ad:

In my opinion the hour of the prayer [i.e. from the Friday call to prayer until the prayer is performed] is also an hour in which the acceptance of prayer is to be expected. Both of them are hours of acceptance, even if the specified hour is the final hour after the asr prayer [i.e. the hour before maghrib] ... because  the gathering of the Muslims, their prayer, their submission and their entreaties toward God will have an effect on the acceptance of their prayer, therefore the hour of their gathering is an hour in which the acceptance of prayer is to be expected.

Can jinns possess objects or show themselves?

assalamu alaykum, can jinns posess inanimate objects like dolls?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

As I explain in my answer The Islamic Case for Scientific Empiricism and Skepticism toward Supernatural Phenomena, the Quran’s theology strongly supports having a skeptical view toward supposedly supernatural phenomena, because the Quran often suggests that we will never see evidence for the Unseen world until the Day of Judgment. Anything that is provably supernatural can be said to be evidence for the Unseen, which contradicts the Quran’s position that the Unseen will remain, well, unseen, until the world ends.

From what I gather, jinns have only one power: to inspire thoughts in humans. They have no power over the physical world. In the story of Prophet Sulayman we have mentions of jinns/devils building things for him and carrying out other tasks. That appears to have been an exception that was specifically made for Sulayman, similar to magical-sounding powers he was given by God. There is not the slightest hint in the Quran that jinns can interact with the physical world as a general rule. There are many hadith narrations of varying authenticity that mention the jinns. Some of them fit the Quran’s view that jinns can only interact through inspiration, while others mention them doing physical things. Such hadith narrations should be treated with great skepticism since hadith scholars like al-Bukhari used lax criteria when dealing with hadiths that did not contain legal doctrines. On the issue of jinns interacting with the physical world, since this is apparently against Quranic doctrine, we should demand extremely high standards of authenticity before believing in them (one high standard is to require three separate Companions to transmit the same hadith). I have not done a thorough study in all the main books of hadith, but my short study of some sources did not turn up any hadiths that mention jinns interacting with the physical world that matched the three-Companion standard.

Their ability to inspire thoughts is counterbalanced by God and the angels who protect faithful humans from such thoughts. The farther that a person strays away from God, the more unprotected they become and the more vulnerable to evil inspirations.

The devils inspire their followers to argue with you; but if you obey them, you would be polytheists. (The Quran, verse 6:121)

God is the Lord of those who believe; He brings them out of darkness and into light. As for those who disbelieve, their lords are the evil ones; they bring them out of light and into darkness... (The Quran, verse 2:257)

Some He has guided, and some have deserved misguidance. They have adopted the devils for patrons rather than God, and they assume that they are guided. (The Quran, verse 7:30)

11. They will say, “Our Lord, you made us die twice, and twice you gave us life. Now we acknowledge our sins. Is there any way out?”12. That is because when God alone was called upon, you disbelieved; but when others were associated with Him, you believed. Judgment rests with God the Sublime, the Majestic. (The Quran, verse 40:11-12)

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