Mentally retarded people from the Muslim community are said to be possessed by Jinns. Is it true or is this a myth?

References would be appreciated.


4 Answers 4


Absolutely, this is well-established in Islam. Allah says:

Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. (Surah Baqarah, verse 275)

This translation of "beaten by Satan into insanity" can be understood from the Arabic as "the one possessed by a shaytan (evil devil)." This unequivocally declares that jinns can possess humans.

As for mental incapacitation or disability, this can be related to possession, or it can be medical. Islam does not say "every mentally incapacitated person is possessed," nor does it say "every mentally incapacitated person is not possessed." Like anything, it may be from natural causes, or it may be from supernatural causes like Jinn.

  • 1
    this is not the only evidence though, there is a list of evidence in favor of this. Aug 14, 2016 at 17:53
  • @zia I would like to Know your list of evidence
    – aadil095
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:30

There are a couple of scholars who rejected the Idea of Jinn controlling or taking possession of humans further than the Quran and sahih sunnah allows. You can find some of them listed in this answer here.

Ibn Hazm denied that a jinn could speak through a possessed person and anything which goes beyond sahih sunnah and quran as one can read here (in Arabic). For example he made this statement in a letter (not this is my own translation so take it carefully):

أما كلام الشيطان على لسان المصروع، فهذا من مخاريق العزامين . و لا يجوز إلا في عقول ضعفاء العجائز. و نحن نسمع المصروع يحرك لسانه بالكلام، فكيف صار لسانه لسان الشيطان؟ إن هذا لتخليط ما شئت. و إنما يلقي الشيطان في النفس يوسوس فيها، كما قال تعالى {يُوَسْوِسُ في صدور الناس} و كما قال تعالى {إلا إذا تَمَنَّى ألقى الشيطان في أُمْنِيَّتِهِ}. فهذا هو فعل الشيطان فقط. و أما أن يتكلم على لسان أحد، فحِمقٌ عتيقٌ و جُنونٌ ظاهرٌ. فنعود بالله من الخذلان و التصديق بالخرافات

And about a Satan speaking with the tongue of an epileptic, this is a miracle of those who use ruqya. And it is only possible in the minds of the weak and old. And we hear the epileptic moving his tongue and speaking in his own words, so how the Satan take possession of his tongue? This is a mixing of anything. But what Satan does is related to the soul (nafs) as he whispering in it as Allah said :"whispers [evil] into the breasts of mankind -" and "when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding].". So this -and only this- is what Satan does. So if somebody said he is speaking via anybodies tongue so this is an old and clear craziness. So we seek refuge by Allah from desertion and believing in Superstitions (or legends)

Note that the author of the referenced article is a scholar and he discussed the opinions and could find for any evidence saying that Satan goes beyond whispering weaknesses so these claims don't seem to hold a proof. The only ahadith which many scholars use as a proofs are :

"Satan circulates in the human body as blood does." (Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim and others)

But this doesn't clearly mean that Satan goes inside a body and could also be explained by whispering.

When one of you yawns, he should try to restrain it with cue help of his hand since it is the Satan that enters therein. (sahih Muslim ...)

This hadith may support the view of the Satan entering a human body but still can be a proof for whispering (not control or possession).

An other statement from ibn Hazm in his alfasl fi-l-Milal wa-l-Ahwa' wa an-Nihal (partly my own translation take it with care) which has been provided by @Kilise in a comment is:

As regards possession (by jinn), then Allaah says (what means): {…as one whom the devil by his touch has driven to madness...} (Quran 2:275) So, Allaah Almighty mentioned the influence of the devil on the possessed person and that this happens by touching, so it is not permissible for anyone to add anything to this and the person whom added anything to this has said something he has no knowledge of and this is haram (forbidden) and not allowed as Allah Glorified and Sublime be He says: {And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. ...} (Quran 17:36)”
قال أبو محمد‏:‏ وأما الصرع فان الله عز وجل قال ‏"‏ الذي يتخبطه الشيطان من المس ‏"‏ فذكر عز وجل تأثير الشيطان في المصروع إنما هو بالمماسة فلا يجوز لأحد أن يزيد على ذلك شيئا ومن زاد على هذا شيئا فقد قال ما لا علم له به وهذا حرام لا يحل قال عز وجل ‏"‏ ولا تقف ما ليس لك به علم ‏"‏(الفصل في الملل والأهواء والنحل/الجزء الخامس)

One of the modern scholars who had a similar objection to this was Muhammad al-Ghazaly (May Allah have mercy on him) as stated in some of his books (in this thread are quotes from him and from Rashid Reda -an other modern scholar who rejected it- in Arabic). He wrote for example (My own translation take it carefully):

إنه لو كان الشيطان يقدر على دخول بدن الإنسان، فلماذا لم يشك ألماني أو ياباني من احتلال الجن لأجسامهم؟

If Satan was able to posses or enter the body of a human being, why didn't we hear and German or Japanese uncomplaining of such a possession of their bodies by Jinn?

  • also reading site: islamweb.net/emainpage/… It says: On the other hand, a narration reported from Ibn Hazm indicates that he denies this (jinn possession) as he said in his book entitled Al-Fisal fee Al-Milal wal-Ahwaa' wan-Nihal If you could find the exact text in arabic in his book, that would be great: archive.org/stream/kitabalfaslfialm01ibnhuoft#page/n6/mode/2up
    – Kilise
    Aug 16, 2016 at 13:25
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    Thanks! Ill add it here as a comment. قال أبو محمد‏:‏ وأما الصرع فان الله عز وجل قال ‏"‏ الذي يتخبطه الشيطان من المس ‏"‏ فذكر عز وجل تأثير الشيطان في المصروع إنما هو بالمماسة فلا يجوز لأحد أن يزيد على ذلك شيئا ومن زاد على هذا شيئا فقد قال ما لا علم له به وهذا حرام لا يحل قال عز وجل ‏"‏ ولا تقف ما ليس لك به علم ‏"‏
    – Kilise
    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:58
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    @Kilise I included your quotes to my answer
    – Medi1Saif
    Aug 18, 2016 at 9:45

Yes they can. I have read this in some books in past. but for refrence currently I do not know and if I could find InshaAllah will add to this answer.

this is not for Islam only in was in past religions also.

who are are said to be possessed by Jinns are not true all and many of them are superstitions. but this fact exist.

also I have read a Hadith that from when prophet Muhammad PBUH came to human kind the control of Jinn on human was stopped as a mercy of God to humans for birth of prphet.

  • 1
    Not a bad start. Needs proofs.
    – ashes999
    Jun 28, 2012 at 18:12

No they can't, and there is no clear evidence suggesting that.

I watched a dialogue between some Sheikhs and some scientists in medicine and Both proved that jinn can't do it.

This is the video (it is in Arabic).

  • how could you say that? when our prophet PBUH himself was possessed by Jinn when the jinn made him to pontificate shirk during a meeting with the Quraish. As a result of which the verse of Quran chaptor 22 verse 22 was revealed and God abolished what the devil had made the prophet say. Dec 13, 2017 at 0:44
  • @qaisar reference please
    – aadil095
    Jun 4, 2018 at 9:27
  • 1
    @AadilAhmed Check this out jstor.org/stable/1595926?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents Jun 6, 2018 at 23:44

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