from Shane's Muslim Connect
The late Senator John McCain showed up in my dream last night. During some sort of committee meeting, he bit down on a sheaf of papers I was holding! I popped the papers out of his mouth and smacked him over the head with them! Yes, this was disrespectful, but he took it like a champ. I might have been a little feverish.
Maybe nastier things than mouthy politicians haunt your dreams. For many Muslims, ghouls known as Jinn trouble not only dreams but real life.
Jinn predate Islam. They occupy a place in Islamic cosmology somewhere between humans and angels or demons. Amid a dizzying variety of beliefs and opinions about Jinn, these things are generally held to be true: They can be both good or bad but usually present as troubling and menacing, including possessing people. They can see but are not seen. They tend to live in dirty, desolate places. They are created by God and will be judged by him.
I’m no expert, but I don’t believe my stream of Christianity has a parallel being to these. Perhaps in practicality, we tend to view demons in the same way some Muslims view Jinn.
Even a little awareness of Jinn provides us with:
- An opportunity for empathy. Scripture assures us nothing can separate us from the love of God. Jinn will be in the parade of captives Paul mentions in Colossians 2.15. While Muslims surely believe God is more powerful, they may deal with greater day-to-day fear.
- A catalyst for conversation. Tell your Muslim friend you’ve heard a tiny bit about Jinn and sensitively ask them their thoughts.
- A challenge to our cosmology. What do we believe about the nature of spiritual beings? I confess to stunted understanding of the spiritual world. I am a product of my culture in this regard and perhaps think too little of these things.