Can jinn "possess" humans?

Some say 'yes' while others say 'no.' But as believers, we got to take the Glorious Quran as our Criterion (Furqan). Does the Quran say that jinn can possess humans? The answer is no.

From the information in the Quran, jinn, like humans can be believing or disbelieving. Therefore, they can be obedient or disobedient like humans.

In the Quran there is no such concept as jinn 'possessing' humans. But they can mislead humans invisibly with temptations, similar to Shaitaan who is also a jin and tempts humans to disobey Allah, The Almighty. The disbelieving or disobedient jinn are followers of Shaitaan similar to disbelieving or disobedient humans.

Shaitaan is invisible to human eyes. “Lo! He seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not.” (Al-Araf: 27) From this it must be concluded that temptations by jinn are definitely invisible to humans.  Concerning the accuracy of those countless paranormal stories where people emphatically claim to have seen jinn or apparitions or inexplicable figures as passing figures can only be confirmed by Allah.  After all, jinn as elemental spirits do exist, not a doubt about that.  Then again, there are stories from the Hadith about the jinn changing their form into young or old men or women or even animals. But these must be taken as unreliable stories because the Quran does not confirm such notions nor the concept of jinn having the ability to change their appearance.

Some readers have misunderstood and misinterpreted the following Verse of the Glorious Quran as the devil or jin possessing humans.

"And make mention (O Muhammad) of Our bondman Job, when he cried unto his Lord (saying): Lo! the devil does afflict me with distress and torment." Saad (38:41)

This verse does not imply that the devil had 'possessed' Prophet Job.  He is crying out to Allah for help because of the misfortunes in his life. What exactly those misfortunes might have been is not possible for us to assert. That's only known to Allah. It's very likely that the misfortunes in his life came as a result of his own mistakes, inadvertently or otherwise, by falling into some undesirable temptation (caused by the devil) and then repenting to Allah. Allah accepted his repentence. Thus, "distress and torment" would refer to the hardships caused by the misfortunes and the anxiety of remorse.

The idea of being "possessed" by jinn originates because of the following reasons:

1) Lack of knowledge of the Glorious Quran
2) Lack of common education
3) Lack of understanding of the human mind, misinterpreting psychological disorders such as schizophrenia, hysteria, manic depression etc. as being "possessed by jinn."

We are certain that the Glorious Quran does not mention nor allude the idea of jinn nor Satan having the ability to physically and perceptibly 'possess' humans against their wishes. But the Quran does confirm that they tempt by whispering invisibly to humans, that is, aspirations of thoughts and ideas that can be categorized as transgressions. Subsequently, those humans who have a weak iman, get trapped into the devils' temptations while those who are firmly grounded in Faith are unhurt by its invisible mischief.

"O Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you as he caused your (first) parents to go forth from the Garden and tore off from them their robe (of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Lo! he seeth you, he and his tribe, from whence ye see him not. Lo! We have made the devils protecting friends for those who believe not." Al-Araf (7:16-17)


  1. Your knowledge of scriptures and thus understanding of the science of Quran is very limited. Please do not pass verdicts without proper information, this is Quran you are talking about not a cellphone manual. The answer is "Yes": read the Book Jinn and Human Sickness, download from:

    1. Waqar: Loads of reports spoken by laymen have been forged with the Prophet's name. So how can we trust them? The question is what evidence do you find in the Qur'an that jinn can possess humans? The Qur'an has conveyed that jinn are elemental spirits, that there can be good jinn and bad, and they can tempt humans but not possess humans. If Qur'an states no possibilities of jinn "possessing" humans, then how would the Prophet know it? This blog article is not a 'verdict.' It's the author's observation in line with Qur'anic information and references on this subject. So open up your mind my friend and understand matters in their proper perspective.

    2. Weqar, the author's view point is focused on the Quranic substance. Does the Quran give a single reason to believe that jinn can physically interact with humans like beating up humans or turning them into bionic man or bionic woman or can jinn interact with peoples' minds turning them stark raving mad from sanity? that link you gave is the repetition of the same primitive song, 'Prophet said this and Prophet said that' 99% of which are no more authentic than the fairy tales of hans christian anderson. Wake up genius.

  2. Okay Weqaar .. man of "knowledge," let me clarify, this blog takes information strictly from the Quran. If conclusions are deduced precisely from the Quran, I accept them otherwise not. My works are about the simplest, most concise and to the point one can find. Yet it flew over your head like gray monsoon clouds. That's mind boggling! The answer is NOT "yes." Grow up, educate yourself, learn some manners and don't play games with the Quran using commonplace analogies. You only make a laughing stock of your ownself. This is a place to learn & reflect, not to pump up one's restless ego.

  3. I completely agree with you. I don't believe Jinns can posses people either, it's just one of those cultural things that people have come up with. There is also nothing in the prophet's sunnah about possesion.

  4. I also agree with you.Allah sent mankind the glorious Quran for our betterment and human progress.The sunnah compliments the Quran.In Islamic thought/philosophy logic is an underlying thread.Hence,if we look at this logically on the day of judgement all souls,including Jinn, shall be judged.Therefore if any person had been possessed by Jinn or any other entity they could pass all wrong doings off on to the Jinn/Entity whom they claimed had control over them.So in effect that soul would be seeking shelter from hell however we all know this will not be the case and therefore nobody can control/possess your soul except yourself.

    1. I do agree with you... I just add one more thing that is... Sattan say on yaumal qyam... That u do yourself self everything i just give suggestions... So why u follow me.. Ur zahil... (surah baqara)

  5. I do not believe in jinn possession aswell. but recently had experience with one boy i know. he s only 8 years old and suddenly one day started to act very strange. he suddenly stop speaking at all and start attacking anyone who read Quran or doing salah. and he was restless all the time. his hips will move vigorously even if he is on the bed. even if he is in his room and some one in the house do wudu and start salah somehow he gets the signal. his parents took him to several doctors and no use. then there was this Imam who came to their house one day and the boy become very calm and the moment imam gone he started this strange behaviour again. now the boy has been cured by some hindu priest (asthgfirullah) doing some of their rituals on him. after this the kid told us that he saw 3 big man with long hairs and nails and one of them came to him and push him from his chair while he was sitting. then they started to compell him to do what he was doing. told him not to pray not to read quran and do not let any one do the same in his presence. any explanation? i am baffled.

  6. @ Anonymous. Salaam. The way I perceive it, this was definitely a mental health issue. As the Quran has informed us, we know that Jinn are present in this world and they can be around us anytime and we may not even know about it. Sometimes we do know when Jinn interact with us or with our surroundings. I've heard of strange incidents taking place in homes with paranormal activities (obviously the presence of Jinn) e.g. lights turning on & off on their own, hearing voices from a room where no one is present, household items missing from their places etc. Rarely I've also heard that Jinn can scatter your household items around which is perhaps a sign of their anger. However, I've never heard of a Jinn physically attacking anyone even in the cases of those people who have reported the utmost of paranormal activities in their homes. Secondly, recitation of original Quranic verses (not translation) has always proven to be successful in driving evil Jinn away whose presence might be making us uneasy.

    Coming to the issue of mental disorders, there are mental illnesses that can cause severe illusions and hallucinations. For example with a person who is mentally ill, a sensory perception can be incorrectly perceived and misinterpreted such as hearing the sound of the wind and thinking that you heard someone crying. This is an illusion. Hallucinations are also sensory experiences in which a person can see, hear, smell, taste, or even feel something that does not exist at all. Schizophrenics are the most common sufferers of illusions and hallucinations but there can be other mental disorders causing this problem as well. Apparently this young boy you are talking about was a sufferer of some mental disease that was making him hear illusionary sounds and see illusionary images. Such illnesses are sometimes be hard to cure. Psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes have to work very hard on such patients. But at times they get cured very much on their own by simply establishing a friendly rapport with a family member or friend which helps the intensity of the emotional disturbance to lessen or fade away completely.

    You mentioned that some hindu priest cured the boy with his rituals. This obviously is an evidence that the boy was mentally unwell and as a child he might have started trusting this man for no big reason, felt relaxed in his company and felt free to communicate with him. That could have contributed to his mental health condition. Or, it might have been that the boy was recovering on his own and passing from a negative to a positive emotional phase (which is also a common occurence) and by chance the hindu priest came along at a time when he was in any case set to recover from within him. Thus, the hindu wrongly took the credit. The third possibility could simply be that the role of the hindu priest is an exaggeration. The boy got cured on his own but his family wanted to pick a reason for it, so they blindly attributed it to that hindu.

    What I am 100% sure of is that Jinn cannot be driven away by rituals of the kufar. That's definite. If the presence of a Jin or Jinn is a genuine issue, the only thing that can help to drive it away is the recitation of the original verses of the Noble Quran.

  7. are you muslem and belive in quran?
    if not, you can meet Processor spiritual at any western countries, and you can ask them about the evil souls (jinn)

  8. @ Ali. Can't you read the headlines of my blog? Obviously you neither recognize the words of the Noble Quran nor the Shahadah. Therefore, I sure am very, very MUSLIM, Alhumdulilah. The question is, what are you?

  9. Zainab
    Yesterday i happened to visit a house where Jinns reside in storeroom of a house and all the 8 dwellers including grown up kids have heard the sound of Music/Drumming coming out of their storeroom during night hours. Now that's quite weird. LOLz
    Secondly, can you explain Sura 111 as to who was Abu Lahab, What did he do? Why was he cursed? Here you go............ I'm waiting.....

  10. @Anonymous (Oct.9, 2012). So what? I didn't say jinn don't exist. AstaghfarAllah! Allah has said they exist and thus I know they exist. I only debate if they can possess humans as so many unsupportive stories claim. The Noble Quran does not confirm that sort of jinn / human interaction. That's what my blog entry is about.

    What has Abu Lahab got to do with this? And what a query to ask. Don't you even know who that enemy of Allah was? He was a kaffir of Qureysh, and although he was related to the Prophet (sw), yet he was the Prophet's most bitter enemy who has been denounced by name in the Noble Quran along with his mushriq wife.

    What do you mean "here you go" ?? This is a truth seeking blog. No frivolous arguments for the sake of opposing. Only productive discussions for the purpose of learning. Thank you and salam.

  11. Anonymous .. tell the jinn in the storeroom of that house to keep singing and drumming .... as long as the don't start using the food provisions of the family stored there, no problem. These are costly times. Inflation is high. I hope those storeroom jinn buy their own food.

  12. Well done Zainab, a fantastic blog and logical arguments to support the only logical conclusion. It's good to hear people who aren't blinded by "hearsay" and old wives tales.

  13. Hi Zainab, how do u know who Abu Lahab was from the Quran? Since you do not consider other sources?

  14. He and his wife were both Hell bound kuffar. That has been plainly confirmed by the Noble Quran. I don't need to know anything more about them and neither do you nor anyone else.

    If you don't agree being a Quran alone follower, then keep out of here. We don't entertain debates with Hadithists or anyone who doesn't take the Quran as the ONLY source of Faith, information and Code of Life.

    Furthermore, in future keep your comments strictly within the context of the blog topic you're commenting on. The topic here is about the idea of jinn possessing humans, not abu Labab.

  15. Hi again Zainab, I am not trying to refute things you said above. I am inclined to believe in the Quran alone myself.

    I don't believe in hadiths but while reading your reply about Abu Lahab, I wanted to know from which source you came to know that he was related to the Prophet (pbuh) and that he was an enemy.

    Does the Quran refer to this or should we be considering other sources too? If yes, which one(s)?

    I really want to stick to the Quran alone but was a bit confused by the above... please explain

  16. I apologise for posting this here as it's not in line with the subject but really hope you can help ease my confusion on this matter.

    To be clear, I do NOT believe in hadiths.

    All I want to know is where do those who believe in Quran only get information about the Prophet's relatives (as you mentioned above)

    Do we also have to consider a biography of the Prophet (pbuh)? If yes, from which source?

    I want to focus on the Quran only but get confused when someone mentions the Prophet's uncle or family etc, where does this information come from?

    I am not referring to hadiths but rather to the biography of the Prophet (pbuh).

    Kindly provide an answer to ease my confusion.

    I truly want to focus on the Quran alone and your website has been of help so far. However, reading your comment above has created some confusion as to how you know that person was related to the Prophet (pbuh) for instance.

    1. I don't recall any hadith narration on abu Lahab as the Prophet's uncle. But I have read it in various books of history, a few by orientalists as well. That doesn't mean it's confirmed information but could be a possibility. Only Allah knows best. If I alluded to it somewhere, it was in a similar context. However, it's nothing to fret oneself over to death. That's being just as hasty and rigid as a Hadithist, over to another extreme.

      Moreover, I don't see the mention of abu Lahab in this blog entry. You're probably picking up bits from a certain blog entry and commenting about it on another. Please keep my site tidy.

      Thanks and salaam.

  17. Sallam and hello Zainab. I went through this thread over a period of 2 or 3 days and was helpful. Your thoughts are very sensible, I mean, no one can deny that you are fully on the path of Qur'an. I also read the comment of "Anonymous January 19th 2012" talking about little some boy behaving in strange way. I again agree as you explained it is some mental disease. Most mental illness have periods of sanity which come naturally by the mercy of Allah. Quoting one sentence that person stated "his hips will move vigorously even if he is on the bed." How can this happen? it's seemingly unnatural, right?

    1. Walaikum As-Salaam Samaneh. Many thanks.

      That kind of hip movement (or movement of any part of the body) can be caused by a seizure. Sometimes a prescribed medication or mood- stabilizer may not agree with a particular patient and cause seizures. Furthermore, seizures aren't only caused by epileptic fits, as commonly assumed. There are plenty of other emotional as well as physical conditions that can bring about seizures with strange convulsions and spasms unthinkable in normal conditions. Check the following site for details on non-epileptic seizures.

    2. Thanks Zainab ,, makes sense. will check this site.

  18. There is jinn possession mentioned in Surah 34, they have accused Prophet saws to be possessed by a jinn.

  19. salaam alaikum sister
    on a search to support my research on the jinn possession myth i have found numerous research academic articles that support your views. in answer to the above question on surah 34 see article abstract below.

    The prophets Muhammad, Noah, Hud and Moses are mentioned in the Qur’an as being
    taunted mercilessly by those who refused to listen to their message (11:54, 51:52, 54:9,
    68:2). Taunts include possessed (11:54), madman (23:25), crazy (52:29), soothsayer/oracle
    (52:29), poet (37:36), sorcerer/wizard (51:52) and tutored [by others] (44:14). These insults
    often appear together, and it is possible that they simply reflect colloquial expressions of
    incredulity, such as the present day use of the expression, ‘‘You’re crazy!’’ often hurled at
    someone making a dubious claim or outrageous remark. While words with the j-n-n root
    are used in these insults, it is important to observe that the expressions are being used by
    pagan Arabs against God’s prophets. What this might imply is that the Qur’an is trying to
    demonstrate that the association between jinn-possession and madness is part of the pagan
    world view and is inconsistent with the message of Islam.
    The most explicit example of the connection between possession and mental illness in
    the Qur’an comes from the disbelievers replying to Hud, saying ‘‘All we can say is that one
    of our gods may have inflicted some harm on you’’ (11:54). Pickthall translates this as ‘‘our
    gods hath possessed thee in an evil way,’’ even though the phrase does not contain any
    words with the j-n-n root. The unfortunate consequence of this is that the concept of jinnpossession
    is being read back into the text, perhaps on the basis on later theological
    developments, rather than reflecting the implications of the text at the time it was produced.
    None of the other translations reflect this interpretation.
    In the Qur’an, madness is connected to sin and misguidance. ‘‘Truly the wicked are
    misguided and quite insane’’ (54:47). This verse alludes back to a previous verse
    recounting how the disbelievers taunted Muhammad as ‘‘insane’’ (54:24); although in
    neither case do we find words based on the j-n-n root. The Qur’an uses a rhetorical device
    to argue against the disbelievers’ claims by using their insult against them.

    more on this search for :
    J Relig Health
    common argumentative technique employed throughout the Qur’an to refute the disbelievers’
    claims. The use of madness in these verses seems to be implying spiritual madness,
    rather than a physical malady. Again, much like the Qur’an’s discussion of spiritual heart
    disease, wickedness is connected to misguidance and spiritual insanity. The implication is
    that by being misguided and losing their footing from the straight path, disbelievers have
    also lost their minds. Spiritual sanity is found in following the path to God.
    Our search of the text of the Qur’an for themes related to the terms jinn, Satan and
    madness yielded no direct connection between spirit-possession and mental illness. When
    people were spoken of as jinn-possessed or crazy in the text, this was done so in reference
    to the ignorance of pagan insults or to spiritual insanity, as a result of sin. No person of
    spiritual authority in the Qur’an ever expresses this belief. Our findings refute prior claims
    of jinn-possession being discussed in the Qur’an (Dols 1987; Haque 2004), and they
    discredit the suggestion of any linkage of supernatural possession and mental illness being
    implied in the text. Similarly, we could find no mention of mental illness as a physical

    more from :ORIGINAL PAPER
    ‘‘Satan Has Afflicted Me!’’ Jinn-Possession and Mental
    Illness in the Qur’an
    F. Islam • R. A. Campbell
    Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

    1. @blessedbethestrangers. Walaium As-salam.

      That makes a lot of sense. Very informative read. Thanks.

  20. Assalamoualaikum sister Zainab

    I do not know how to contact you otherwise, so I apologize for asking you questions not related to the above, and for taking your time.

    I would like to know whether there is an authentic source of the sunnah of prophet Muhammad (SAW) that gives more details of what is in the Holy Quran. Like e.g, how he performed salaat, or what we should expect will be the future of muslims in this world where things are getting worse.

    I need your advice please.

    1. Walaikum as-Salaam. The only Sunnah we can confirm is truly authentic is the Noble Quran. You don't need to read man-written literature to know what is in the Quran. The Noble Quran is right before us and we must access it directly which gives every bit of information on how to lead our lives.

      The method of salaat is in the Quran. Check the following link at our online board Muslim Villa for salaat in Quran.

      You'll get every information you're looking for on all topics a Muslim needs to know @ Muslim Villa.

      One needs to be an avid reader to learn. So please visit Muslim Villa. You can put questions as a guest @ our guest book. But presently guest book is closed and we are taking miscellaneous guest queries here @ Zainab's Lounge at the following link.


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