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Does the word "jinn" have more than one meaning in the Quran?

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Author Topic: Does the word "jinn" have more than one meaning in the Quran?  (Read 179 times)
TEAM MUSLIM VILLA The Avid Reader | Mom of 3 cute rascals
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« on: November 10, 2011, 02:06:59 am »

Just wondering, does the term "jinn" in the Noble Quran also imply to anything else other than the usual meaning of paranormal beings?  I thought of this after reading in the Quran about those who worked for Prophet Solomon.  They were referred as jinn and also evil or devils.  Might it be meaning something other than the usual concept of jinn we know about?
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TEAM MV Founder
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 02:48:44 am »

Yes you are right.  The word "jinn" refers to the being created with smokeless fire as mentioned in the Quran.  The other meaning of jinn might be "foreigners" or "clever foreigners" who were apparently the ones working for Prophet Solomon. 

I quote Pickthall on this subject:

The meaning of the world "jinn" in the Quran has exercised  the minds of Muslim commentators, ancient and modern.  A South-Asian scholar named Mr. Yaqub Hasan mentioned in his well-known book in Urdu, "Kitab-ul-Huda" that the term 'jinn' might have up to three meanings in the Quran, one of those meanings is akin to 'clever foreigners' as in the case of the jinn who worked for Solomon. But undoubtedly the first and obvious meaning is "elemental spirits" to whom as t humankind, the Quran came as a guidance.

Those jinn who worked for Solomon have been referred to as "evil ones."  This could mean those people who were working for him were foreigners or from other other land and were apparently sinful for some reasons.  But the factual details are only known to Allah.  I'll quote the relevant verses on the jinn who worked for Prophet Solomon.  I feel I've written on these verses earlier, but cannot find it now. 

"And of the evil ones (subdued We unto him) some who dived (for pearls) for him and did other work, and We were warders unto them."   21:82

"They made for him what he willed: synagogues and statues, basins like wells and boilers built into the ground. Give thanks, O House of David! Few of My bondmen are thankful."   34:13

"And when We decreed death for him, nothing showed his death to them save a creeping creature of the earth which gnawed away his staff. And when he fell the jinn saw clearly how, if they had known the Unseen, they would not have continued in despised toil."   (34:14)

For a detailed study on jinn in the Quran as elemental spirit, check the link below:
Jinn in the Noble Quran
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