Throughout history man has always had a deep attraction for the supernatural and the unseen. The existence of a world parallel to our own has always fascinated people. This world is commonly referred to as the spirit world, and almost every set of people have some concept of one.
With some people, these spirits are no more than the souls of dead people- or ghosts. With others, spirits are either the forces of good or the forces of evil – both battling against one another to gain influence over humanity. However, both of these explanations are more in tune with folk tales and fantasy.
The true explanation of such a world comes from Islam. Like every other way, Islam also claims to explain this realm of the unseen. It is from this realm that Islam explains to us about the world of the Jinn. The Islamic explanation of the Jinn provides us with so many answers to modem day mysteries. Without the knowledge of this world, the Muslims would become like the non-Muslims and be running around looking for any old answer to come their way. So, who or what are the Jinn?
Hebrew – Torah
In the Bible, the term is used three times in Leviticus 16, where two he-goats were to be sacrificed to God and one of the two was selected by lot, for God is seen as speaking through the lots. The next words are לַעֲזָאזֵל la-aza’zeyl, read either as “for absolute removal” or as “for Azazel”. This goat was then cast out in the desert as part of the Day of Atonement.
Second Temple Judaism
Despite the expectation of Brandt (1889) to date no evidence has surfaced of Azazel as a demon or god prior to the earliest Jewish sources among the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
According to the Book of Enoch, which brings Azazel into connection with the Biblical story of the fall of the angels, located on Mount Hermon, a gathering-place of demons from of old (Enoch xiii.; compare Brandt, “Mandäische Theologies,” 1889, p. 38). Azazel is represented in the Book of Enoch as one of the leaders of the rebellious Watchers in the time preceding the flood; he taught men the art of warfare, of making swords, knives, shields, and coats of mail, and women the art of deception by ornamenting the body, dyeing the hair, and painting the face and the eyebrows, and also revealed to the people the secrets of witchcraft and corrupted their manners, leading them into wickedness and impurity; until at last he was, at the Lord’s command, bound hand and foot by the Raphael and chained to the rough and jagged rocks of [Ha] Duduael (= Beth Ḥadudo), where he is to abide in utter darkness until the great Day of Judgment, when he will be cast into the fire to be consumed forever .
1 Enoch 10:8
And Azazel taught men to make swords and knives and shields and breastplates; and made known to them the metals [of the earth] and the art of working them; and bracelets and ornaments; and the use of antimony and the beautifying of the eyelids; and all kinds of costly stones and all coloring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray and became corrupt in all theirtheir ways.
God sees the sin brought about by Azazel and has Raphael “bind Azazel hand and foot and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert – which is in Duduael – and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there forever, and cover his face that he may not see light.”
Several scholars have previously discerned that some details of Azazel’s punishment are reminiscent of the scapegoat ritual. Thus, Lester Grabbe points to a number of parallels between the Azazel narrative in 1 Enoch and the wording of Leviticus 16, including “the similarity of the names Asael and Azazel; the punishment in the desert; the placing of sin on Asael /Azazel; the resultant healing of the land.
Azazel’s fate is foretold near the end of 1 Enoch 2:8, where God says, “On the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. The whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.”
It should be remembered that Azazel and Shemhazai were said to be the leaders of the 200 fallen angels, and Uzza and Shemhazai were tutelary guardian angels of Egypt with both Shemhazai and Azazel and were responsible for teaching the secrets of heaven as well. The other angels dispersed to ‘every corner of the Earth.’
In the Apocalypse of Abraham
In the extracanonical text the Apocalypse of Abraham (c.1stC CE), Azazel is portrayed as an unclean bird who came down upon the sacrifice which Abraham prepared. (This is in reference to Genesis 15:11: “Birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
And the unclean bird spoke to me and said, “What are you doing, Abraham, on the holy heights, where no one eats or drinks, nor is there upon them food for men? But these all will be consumed by fire and ascend to the height, they will destroy you.” — Abr. 13:4–9 .
The Mishnah (Yoma 39a) follows the Hebrew Bible text; two goats were procured, similar in respect of appearance, height, cost, and time of selection. Having one of these on his right and the other on his left, the high priest, who was assisted in this rite by two subordinates, put both his hands into a wooden case, and took out two labels, one inscribed “for Yahweh” and the other “for absolute removal” (or “for Azazel”).
Medieval Jewish commentators
The medieval scholar Nachmanides (1194–1270) identified the Hebrew text as also referring to a demon, and identified this “Azazel” with Samael. However, he did not see the sending of the goat as honoring Azazel as a deity, but as a symbolic expression of the idea that the people’s sins and their evil consequences were to be sent back to the spirit of desolation and ruin, the source of all impurity.
The very fact that the two goats were presented before God, before the one was sacrificed and the other sent into the wilderness, was proof that Azazel was not ranked alongside God, but regarded simply as the personification of wickedness in contrast with the righteous government of God.
According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Azazel is the Hebrew word for scapegoat. This is the only place that the Hebrew word is found in the whole Hebrew Old Testament. It says that the Book of Enoch, (extra-biblical Jewish theological literature, dated around 200 B.C.) is full of demonology and reference to fallen angels. The EBC (Vol 2) says that this text uses late Aramaic forms for these names which indicates that The Book of Enoch most likely relies upon the Hebrew Leviticus text rather than the Leviticus text being reliant upon the Book of Enoch.
Some scholars teach that the scape goat, or Azazel, is a symbol for Satan . This was commonly taught among Christians of other centuries as well. The scapegoat scenario has been interpreted to be a prefigure of the final judgment by which sin is removed forever from the universe. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sins of the believers are forgiven them, but the fact that sins were committed still exist on record in the “Books” of heaven (see revelation 20;12.
The earliest reference to a system of seven archangels as a group appears to be in Enoch 1, those who protect the work of God (the Book of Enoch) which is not part of the Jewish Canon, but is prevalent in the Judaic tradition, where they are named as Gabriel, Michael,Raphael, Uriel, Raguel, Remiel andSaraqael.
While this book today is non caonical in most Christian Churches, it was explicitly quoted in the New Testament (letter of Jude, 1:14-15) and by many of the early church fathers. The Ethiopian orthodox church to this day regards it to be canonical.
Azazel in Islam
The name Azazel Arabic: is said to be the original name of Iblisthe DEVIL.The beast of Sadness. Iblis was the Jinn who worshiped (God) and is different from angels. The jinn created from fire, while the angels from the light. Out of his pride, he denied God’s command to bow down before Adam and later tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree. He made a promise to tempt mankind into sin and lead them all astray – those who are heedless of the signs of (God).
The word Iblis means “to despair” and Azazel despaired of the Mercy of God, thus earning him that title. The qur’an puts Gabriel,Michael in the highest rank of archangels. and also mentioned Israfeel the angel who hold the trumpet .
Types of Jinn
MARID (pronounced MAA–rid)
Large and imposing, the marid are considered the most powerful tribe of jinn. They are the classic genies of folklore, often portrayed as barrel-chested men with booming voices.
Originally sea-spirits, they are often associated with water, and thought to take sanctuary in the open ocean. While Marid are very powerful, they are not technically minded
Intelligent and cunning, the effrit are thought to live in complex societies similar to those of humans. They are said to prefer caves and underground dwellings. Though ostensibly demonic, they are portrayed as changeable in nature, and capable of becoming pious and good. In the Quran, King Solomon is said to have had power over a tribe of effrit, who performed various tasks for him.
(Arabic pronunciation uses a guttural gg sound somewhere between an English G and a French R)
This tribe of jinn has traveled north and west to become a common English- language term for “undead monster.” This is pretty close to its original Arabic connotation; ghouls are thought to be zombie-like jinn who haunt graveyards and prey on human flesh. They are strictly demonic and incapable of goodness. Often portrayed as nocturnal. Given their limited intelligence, ghouls are low risk in the information technology world—but you really don’t want to run into one in a dark alley.
SILA , Salowa, incubus,
Talented shape-shifters who are more tolerant of human society than other tribes of jinn, sila are most often portrayed as female. Thought to be extremely intelligent, sila are nonetheless the most rarely seen of all the types of jinn, and appear only sporadically in folklore. There is speculation that the term sila might be related to seelie, a Middle English word for “a good faerie.” (This would make sense, as sila does not appear to correspond to an Arabic root pattern.) Sila are extremely rare, both on- and off-line, and while they are intelligent and comfortable crossing back and forth between realms seen and unseen/human and jinn, by their nature they do not usually set out to harm or trick humans.
The original vampires, vetala are semi-malevolent spirits from ancient Indian folklore. They can possess human corpses and prevent them from decaying, and in so doing trick human beings into believing the vetala is an ordinary person. However, vetala can also change shape at will. They are thought to be natural psychics, able to foretell the future and gain insight into the past, as well as read the thoughts of others.
The most famous vetala appears in “The Vampire and King Vikram,” a set of stories from the Baital Pachisi. Vetala are quite rare been.
The Jinn are beings created with free will, living on earth in a world parallel to mankind. The Arabic word Jinn is from the verb ‘Janna’ which means to hide or conceal. Thus, they are physically invisible from man as their description suggests. This invisibility is one of the reasons why some people have denied their existence. However, (as will be seen) the affect which the world of the Jinn has upon our world, is enough to refute this modern denial of one of Allah’s creation. The origins of the Jinn can be traced from the Qur’an .
Tasks of the Angels
Some angels are put in charge of executing God’s law in the physical world. Michael is responsible for rain, directing it wherever God wishes. He has helpers who assist him by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as God wills. Another is responsible for blowing the Horn, which will be blown byIsraafeel at the onset of the Day of Judgment. Others are responsible for taking souls out of the bodies at the time of death: the Angel of Death and his assistants. God says:
“Say: the Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall you be brought back to your Lord.” (Quran 32:11)
Then there are guardian angels responsible for protecting the believer throughout his life, at home or traveling, asleep or awake.
Others are responsible for recording the deeds of man, good and bad. These are known as the “honorable scribes.”
Two angels, Munkar and Nakeer, are responsible for testing people in the grave.
Among them are keepers of Paradise and the nineteen ‘guards’ of Hell whose leader is named ‘Malik.’
There are also angels responsible for breathing the soul into the fetus and writing down its provisions, life-span, actions, and whether it will be wretched or happy.
Some angels are roamers, traveling around the world in search of gatherings where God is remembered. There are also angels constituting God’s heavenly army, standing in rows, they never get tired or sit down, and others who bow or prostrate, and never raise their heads, always worshipping God.
As we learn from above, the angels are a grandiose creation of God, varying in numbers, roles, and abilities. God is in no need of these creatures, but having knowledge and belief in them adds to the awe that one feels towards God, in that He is able to create as He wishes, for indeed the magnificence of His creation is a proof of the magnificence of the Creator.
Hinduism, Buddhism and other old believes have many stories and many books and stories about the jinn’s, demons, Azazel, devil and dragon demons etc. HAVE A NICE DREAM NOW.
Thank you for reading
Steve Ramsey, PhD. Calgary, Canada.