The Difference Between the Angels and the Jinn
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
There are some Muslims who are ignorant about the difference between the noble Angels and the Jinn and Shayateen. Some of the earlier nations deviated in comparing Jinn to Angels. Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah said, “ The pagan Arabs and the people of the book acknowledge the Angels existence, although many of them consider the Angels and Jinn as one. They believe that Angels that disobey Allah become Shayateen. The Pagans, Jews and Christians deny Ibless as being the father of the Jinn, they deny the Jinns’ ability to marry, have children, eat and drink. Some of the pagan Arabs claim that the Angels are the Jinns’ offspring.[ Tafseer Al-Kabeer 7 / 381].
The following are some differences between the Angels and Jinn;
1. The Angels were created from light and the Jinn were created from smokeless fire. This is a unique difference in creation, so it’s with all the more reason that they differ in actions.
2. The names of the Angels differ from the names of the Jinn in general and in detail. The names of the Angels are intended for messengers. They are Allah’s messengers.
3. The Angels were created to obey Allah. They don’t have the free will to disobey Him unlike the Jinn. Allah gave the Jinn the free will to obey or disobey Him like man. So whoever desires to believe in Allah will and whoever desires to disbelieve in Allah can.
4. The Angels don’t have desires. Therefore they don’t eat, drink, or marry. The jinn eat, drink and marry.
5. The Angels don’t disobey Allah for a single moment. The majority of the Jinn are Kuffar. In fact the number of Kuffar among the Jinn outnumber the Kuffar among humans. There are some people who circulate that Harut and Marut were Angels. This is false. They were both Jinn and the narrations that mention them as being Angels are from the Israelites. None of those narrations are authentic.
6. The Angels are much more stronger than the Jinn.There is no way to imagine the strength of one Angel compared to all the Jinn. Take for example the Angel of death. He’s one and has the ability to take any soul in an instance any where in the world.
7. The Angels are superior to the Jinn in shape, deeds, and condition.
8. The numbers of the Angels is enormous. It outnumbers the Jinn, man, and animals.
9. Allah created the Angels for the service to the Son of Adam. Most of the Jinn divert man from the correct path. And at the forefront of that is their father Ibless.
10. The Angels serve the Jinn and arrange their affairs.
11. The Angels see the Jinn all the time. The Jinn aren’t able to see the Angels unless they take a shape which allows their visibility. If the Jinn were able to see the Angels this would remove one aspect of faith in something unseen.
12. Allah created the Angels before the Jinn. The proof this is the Angels carry the Throne. The Throne was created before the heavens and earth and everything between them.
13. The Angels are from the unseen things to believe in for the Jinn. Allah made it an obligation for the Jinn to believe in the Angels.
14. The Angels have authority and power over the Jinn, by Allah’s permission. Therefore the Angels can see the Jinn, defeat them, take their souls.
15. The Angles are generally described with praise worthy traits. Most of the Jinn are described as being whispers of evil, plotters, deceivers, and oppressors.
16. The Angels aren’t described as being neither male nor female. The pagan Arabs described the Angels as being female. The Jinn are male and female. refer to [ Kahf 50]
17. The Angels assist the Prophets, the Messengers,and their followers to good deeds. This is where the first inspiration to do good comes from. Ibn Taymeeyah said,” The inspiration to seek the truth and do good is inspired from the Angels. The idea to follow corrupt belief and make corruption is inspired from the Shayateen.[ Maj’mo 4/34]
18. The Angels live in the heavens and the Jinn live in dirty places.
19. The Angels fly in the form they were created. The Jinn can only fly if they take another form other than the one they were created in .
Taken from Ahkamut Ta’amal ma’ Al Jinn by As-Shaykh Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Al-Imam.
Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle
Doha, Qatar 1431 (c)