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"And when We decreed for Solomon death, nothing indicated to the jinn his death except a creature of the earth eating his staff. But when he fell, it became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in humiliating punishment."

In what context is the word unseen for jinns used over here. I know from good authentic sources that jinns hated to work under a human i.e. Suleiman (A.S.) but I want to know whether it's true that Jinns made claims of knowing the unseen and thus were punished by Allah (S.W.T.)?

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This meaning that 'jinns claim to know the unknown was proved wrong' is mentioned on some tafaseer. But it might not the right one, like if you read tafseer qurtabi, it mentions some ahadees(i am not quoting any because he has not given any references there.) that say when all this happened people saw that jinns didn't knew unseen.

Rather it was for the people/humans who believed that jinns knew the unseen. It was for them a lesson. As we know jinns try to steal:

Narrated 'Aisha, r.a. Some people asked Allah's Apostle (saaws) about the foretellers. He said. -They are nothing." They said, -O Allah's Apostle! Sometimes they tell us of a thing which turns out to be true." Allah's Apostle said, "A Jinn snatches that true word and pours it into the ear of his friend (the foreteller) (as one puts something into a bottle). The foreteller then mixes with that word one hundred lies."

Bukhari Vol: 9 Book 93 Hadith 650

And also how come all jinns had made such claim while they knew there limitations and all of them are not kaafir:

There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary; we are groups each having a different way.

(Al-Jinn 72:11)

So, it's more probable that it was for the people to have them see by their eyes that jinns don't know unseen. Although the meaning that their claim was proved wrong is also mentioned on some places. Also both meanings can be right, some jinns might have claimed knowing the unseen. But all of them making such claim is not possible because of above ayah.

Allah knows best

  • Thank you for the answer. Tbh I want to add one more question about whether Jinns were subjected to work under Suleiman (A.S) because of their previous sins? Hence the ending "...they would not remain in humiliating punishment." – Zaid Khan Jul 3 '16 at 6:36
  • And by "sins" I mean bad Jinns claiming to know the unseen. – Zaid Khan Jul 3 '16 at 6:37
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    Let me tell you one thing brother, we are not supposed to ASSUME anything or just to make up things to complete stories, Allah knows best what was their sin, we just know and we are just told it was a punishment that's it! there are a few things we know like: Qur'an says: "And before Sulaiman were marshalled his hosts--of Jinns, and men and birds and they were all in order and ranks." (21: 17) So, there might be some jinns who were having punishment or there can be a collective punishment in case of collective sins, Allah knows best. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Jul 3 '16 at 9:50
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    BTW muslim scholars don't encourage questions like these which are not clearly mentioned anywhere, because spending our time on it knowing there is no clear mentioning of this matter anywhere means we are wasting our time, and if it had been of any benefit to us knowing those details, Allah would have mentioned those details in Quran or prophet pbuh would have mentioned it in ahadees. So, we should focus on what is mentioned rather than looking for what is not clearly stated anywhere. This is what most of the scholars say and i agree to them. – Zia Ul Rehman Mughal Jul 3 '16 at 9:52
  • Fair enough.... – Zaid Khan Jul 3 '16 at 12:07

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