Summoning and Invocation

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Posted by Alex Khan on April 18, 2010 at 12:48 AM

One of the least understood aspects of Islamic teachings in the modern world concerns that class of beings

called the jinn and referred to several times in the Quran.The reason for mis~under standing comes from the

 post-Cartesian materialistic conception of the Universe, which excludes the subtle and psychic world, where

 in fact the beings called jinn belong in the traditional schemes of cosmology.


To understand the meaning of jinn one must therefore go beyond a conception of reality which includes only

 the world of matter and the mind (this paralyzing dualism which makes an understanding of traditional doctrines

 impossi ble) to an awareness of a hierarchic reality made up of the three worlds of spirit, psyche, and matter.


The jinn can then be identified as beings that belong to the psychic or intermediary world, the barzakh, situated

between this world and the world of pure Spirit.In Quranic terminology and the hadith literature the jinn are usually

 coupled with ins or mankind and often the phrase al-jinn wa'l-ins (the jinn and men) is used as referring to that

class of creatures to which God's commands and prohibitions address themselves.


Man was made of clay into which God breathed (nafakha) His Spirit. The jinn in Islamic doctrines are that group

 of creatures which was made of fire rather than earth, and into which God also breathed His Spirit. Hence like

 man they possess a spirit and consciousness and have Divine commands revealed to them. on their own level

of existence they are central creatures just as men are central creatures in this world. But in contrast to men they

possess a volatile and "unfixed" outer form and take on many shapes.


This means that they are essentially creatures of the psychic rather than the physical world and that they can appear

 to man in different forms and shapes.Having been endowed with a spirit, the jinn, like men, possess responsibility

before God. Some are "religious" and "Muslim. These are intermediate angels, the psychic forces that can lead man

from the physical to the spiritual world through the labyrinth of thc intermediate world or barzakh. others are malefic

 forces that have rebelled against God. in the same way that some men rebel against the Divinity.


Such jinn are identified with "the armies of Satan (junud al-shaytan) and are the evil forces which by inducing the

power of apprehension (wahm) and imagination (khayal) in its negative aspect lead man away from the Truth which

 his intelligence perceives by virtue of the innate light that dwells within him.In the religious cosmos of the traditional

Muslim, which is filled with material. psychic. and spiritual creatures of God, the jinn play their own particular role.


By the elite they are taken for what they are, namely, psychic forces of the intermediate world of both a beneficent and

an evil nature: On the popular level, the jinn appear as concrete physical creatures of different shapes and forms against

which men seek the aid of the Spirit, often by chanting verses of the Quran. The jinn and all that pertains to them hence

 enter on the popular level into the domain of demonology, magic. etc., and are a vivid reality for men whose minds are

still open towards the vast world of the psyche in its cosmic aspect.


The Muslim of this type of mentality lives in a world in which he is aware of God and also of both the angelic forces

representing the good and the demonic forces representing the evil. He sees his life as a struggle between these

two elements within him and about him.


Although the jinn are of both kinds, the good and the evil most often in ilis thought he identifies them with the demonic

 forces that lead men astray. They are personifications of psychic forces that work within his mind and soul. On the

theological and metaphysical level of Islam, the order of the jinn becomes understood as a necessary element in the

 hierarchy of existence, anelement which relates the physical world to higher orders of reality.


The jinn are, moreover, especially akin to men in that, as was mentioned above, into them also was breathed the Spirit

of God. And some of God's prophets, like Solomon, ruled over both men and jinn, as attested to by the Holy Quran.

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