Surah al-Jinn (The Jinn ) 72 : 9

وَأَنَّا كُنَّا نَقْعُدُ مِنْهَا مَقَٰعِدَ لِلسَّمْعِ ۖ فَمَن يَسْتَمِعِ ٱلْءَانَ يَجِدْ لَهُۥ شِهَابًا رَّصَدًا

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And we used to sit therein in positions for hearing, but whoever listens now will find a burning flame lying in wait for him.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This suggests that in the period that preceded the revelation of God's final message, perhaps in between it and Jesus' message, the jinn used to try to reach up to heaven to eavesdrop on the angels and their discussion of their assignments with respect to the affairs of God's creatures on earth. They would impart such information to their human friends, the soothsayers and astrologers, to enable them to delude people. In accordance with Satan's plot, these soothsayers and astrologers would then use a small portion of the truth they so received and mix it with much falsehood, circulating it among people. This might have been the case when there was no messenger preaching the divine message on earth, in the intervening period between Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them both). What form this took we do not know, because the Qur'an has not given us any information about it. In any case, there is no need to explore it further because we accept it as the sum of this fact.

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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