Surah al-Jinn (The Jinn ) 72 : 10

وَأَنَّا لَا نَدْرِىٓ أَشَرٌّ أُرِيدَ بِمَن فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَمْ أَرَادَ بِهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ رَشَدًا

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And we do not know [therefore] whether evil is intended for those on earth or whether their Lord intends for them a right course.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

They clearly declare that they have no access to such information because it is part of God's own knowledge. When the very source the soothsayers claim to receive their very special information from declares that it has no such knowledge, then nothing more can be said. All soothsaying and astrology are thus shown to be false. The world beyond belongs to God who alone knows it all. No one can dare claim any special knowledge of it or predict it. The Qur'an declares that the human mind must remain free of any such delusion. It rids mankind of all such superstitions. 

Who or what are those mighty guards? Where do they stand? How do they aim the shooting stars at the devils trying to eavesdrop? Neither the Qur'an nor the Hadith tells us anything of these questions. We do not have any other source to rely on. Had it been useful for us to learn any details of this, God would have given us them. Since He has chosen not to do so, it is futile for us to try anything in this regard. It does not add anything to our lives or to our useful knowledge. 

The universe around us is full of secrets, spirits and forces. This verse, like many others, gives us a glimpse of some truths in the universe to help us formulate a proper concept of it and what it contains of forces and lives that carry on around us as also interact with us and with human life in general. This is the concept that distinguishes us, Muslims, putting us in the right position, leaning neither to delusion and superstition, nor to arrogance and insupportable claims. It is a concept based on the Qur'an and hadith. It is to these two that a Muslim refers all theories and interpretations.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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According to a hadith narrated in the books of Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Abdullah ibn Abbas (a famous companion), once the Prophet was going to visit the fair of Ukaz with some of his companions. On the way he led the fajr (morning) prayer at Nakhlah. At that time a company of the Jinn happened to pass that way. When they heard the Qur’an being recited, they stopped and listened to it attentively. This very event has been described in this Surah.

Most of the commentators, on the basis of this hadith, believe that this relates to the Prophet’s well known journey to Ta’if, which had taken place three years before the Hijrah in the 10th year of the Prophethood. But this is not correct for several reasons. The Jinn’s hearing the Qur’an during the journey to Ta’if has been related in Surah al-Ahqaf 29-32. A cursory reading of those verses shows that the Jinn who had believed after hearing the Qur’an on that occasion were already believers in the Prophet Moses and the previous scriptures. On the contrary, v. 2-7 of this Surah clearly show that the Jinn who heard the Qur’an on this occasion were polytheists and deniers of the Hereafter and Prophethood. Then, it is confirmed historically that in his journey to Ta’if none accompanied the Prophet except Zayd bin Harithah. On the contrary, concerning this journey Ibn Abbas says that the Prophet was accompanied by some of his Companions. Furthermore, the hadith also agree that in that journey the Jinn heard the Qur’an when the Prophet had stopped at Nakhlah on his return journey from Ta’if to Makkah, and in this journey, according to the hadith of Ibn Abbas, the event of the Jinn’s hearing the Qur’an occurred when the Prophet was going to Ukaz from Makkah. Therefore, in view of these reasons what seems to be correct is that in Surah al-Ahqaf and Surah al-Jinn, one and the same event has not been narrated, but these were two separate events, which took place during two separate journeys.

As far as Surah 46: al-Ahqaf, in which a similar event is narrated, it is agreed that that event occurred on the return journey from Ta’if in the 10th year of Prophethood. As for the question, when this second event took place, it’s answer is not given by the narration of Abdullah ibn Abbas, nor does any other historical narration/tradition show when the Prophet had gone to the fair of Ukaz. However, a little consideration of v 8-10 of this Surah shows that this could only be an event of the earliest stage of Prophethood.

In these verses it has been stated that before the appointment of the Prophet to the divine mission, the Jinn used to eavesdrop in the lowest heaven (the universes) in order to hear news of the unseen or future.  The news of the future events were informed to the angels by God, who would pass this information through the heavens until it reached the lowest heaven, where the Jinn would sit and wait to catch something being spoken about. 

After the revelation began, they suddenly found that angels had been set as guards and meteorites were being shot on every side so that they could find no place of safety from where they could hear such secrets. Thereupon they realized that this must be due to some major event occurring for which the secrets were being hidden from them.

The Jinn were therefore moving about in search of an unusual occurrence on the earth and a group of them, on hearing the Qur’an from the Prophet, immediately understood that this was the very thing for which the secrets of the heavens had now been guarded against them.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

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12. External Links

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