Islam on Ghosts and Visions

In my previous post, I wrote about my sister’s regular visions of the unseen. I learned about it first when we were in grade school, so naturally I talked about it with my classmates and friends, who had their own ghostly tales to share. We concluded that my sister was blessed with a special gift that allowed her to see the dead. Others thought it was a curse. A girl in my class explained to me that the reason why my sister saw them and I didn’t was because my sister had a third eye, located at the middle of her forehead. I went to check my sister’s forehead for a third eye after school, but didn’t find any. Years later, another friend was certain that ghosts or spirits (of the dead) were trying to communicate with my sister, possibly asking for help. But why her? So it was explained to me that my sister’s channels or portals are open, allowing the flow of energy, making her sensitive to their presence.

But what does Islam have to say about ghosts?

Regarding ghosts of the dead returning, whether to convey a message or take revenge, has no basis in Islam. Allah mentions in the Qur’an:

And behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised.” [Al Mu’minoon:100]

So when a person dies, the soul remains in the grave and a barrier is set up. This means that a soul can not return to the place of the living, neither can they ascend to heaven or hell just yet. Can we, the living, talk to them? The answer is no.

Verily, you can not make the dead hear and you can not make the deaf hear the call when they turn their backs and retreat.” [An Naml: 80]

There is only one instance when the dead can hear. According to prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him):

After the deceased is placed in his grave and his companions turn to leave, he hears the shuffling of their feet as they walk away. Then there comes to him two angels.” [related by al Bukhari and Muslim]

This is a momentary possession of the faculty of hearing, which stops at the point when the two angels come to the dead for questioning him/her.

Since the dead do not return from their graves, what are these visions?

Islam explains the realm of the unseen: the jinn. The jinn are creations of Allah that live in the world parallel to us. Jinn is an Arabic word derived from the verb, Janna, which means to conceal or hide. As their name suggests, jinn are physically invisible from us. And this invisibility is probably the reason why some of us have been denying their existence. Regarding the jinn’s origin, it is mentioned that:

Indeed, We have created man from dried clay of black smooth mud. And We have created the jinn before that from the smokeless flame of the fire.” [Al Hijr 15:26-27]

Like ourselves, Allah has created and has required the jinn to worship Him.

I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Al Dhariyat 51:56]

However, jinn do possess some powers and abilities that distinguish them from us, which include taking on a different physical form, like that of a human, for instance. Some jinn, like us, abuse the powers and capabilities given to them by Allah. One of the several ways that these jinn manipulate their powers is through visions.

Indeed, he (Iblis) and his tribe (jinn) watch you from a position where you can not see them.” [Al A’raf 7:27]

For some, like my sister, visions of dead people (whether familiar or strangers) or those of the ‘unseen’ are common. Those who do not believe in the jinn as God’s creation would be convinced that these are indeed the souls of the departed trying to tell us something. And this is exactly what the jinn is trying to do: lead us astray – from our beliefs and the truth.

Other ways these jinn manipulate us into shirk is through fortune telling, black magic, whispering into our hearts, or trying to communicate with us.

How should we protect ourselves from these jinn?

Maybe there’s a jinn sitting in the corner of your room right now, or even one behind you. If so, then how will you deal with this creation of Allah? Learn Islam properly and you will be able to deal with ALL of Allah’s creations, and not just the jinn [source]

It is recommended that we recite the Holy Quran regularly in our homes and keep ourselves clean. The prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said:

Indeed, the shaytan flees from the house in which Surah Al Baqarah is recited.” [Tirmidhi]

But of course, not all jinn are mischievous. There are those who worship Allah and recite the Quran. Because just like us, jinn will also be held accountable for their deeds on the Day of Judgment.

Say (O Mohammad): It has been revealed to me that a group of jinn listened and said, ‘Indeed, we have heard a marvelous Quran. It guides us unto righteousness so we have believed it, and we will never make partners with our Lord.” [Al Jinn, 72:1-2]

And among us (the jinn) there are the righteous folks and among us there are those that are far from that..” [Al Jinn:11]

Is it possible that the good and pious jinn would, by appearing in front of us or merely whispering in our thoughts, warn us of a possible danger? I don’t know.

And why are some people sensitive to these visions while others aren’t? I don’t know about that either.

What I do know is that we should always be careful of what we see, hear, and believe, and have faith that only Allah can protect us against anything.

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52 Responses to Islam on Ghosts and Visions

  1. masood says:

    SubhanAllah!!! What an explanation. The reason why some people are more sensitive to these kind of visions than others is their thinking capability, which makes them visualize the fears in their mind and heart, this is just my understanding.

    I like the Quran and hadith’s references and I must say we should never mention anything without any authentic evidences especially in the matter of deen.

    I am proud of you :)

    • Suleman says:

      Theres a thing that is disturbing me. some people say that jinn touch them or try to suffocate them but i dont understand that are we nt the supreme beings so how can jinn touch us while we cant???

  2. Sumera says:

    Interesting. Thank you :)

    ~ And thank YOU for stopping by! :)

  3. Pingback: Islam on Ghosts and Visions | Tea Break

  4. sistersabiha says:

    JazakAllah Khair, wonderful post.

    ~ I’m glad you liked it :)

  5. Umm Travis says:

    Ma shaa Allah, a great effort :) Im so happy that you wrote this post! jazackallah khair :) and I agree, we should always recite sources, this way we can all benefit from knowledge and not just other’s opinions.

    ~ JazakAllah Khair, sister. I’m so glad you stopped by :)

  6. moukound says:

    awesome research…. though i might not accept with all the facts of good vs evil.. all these exist even in my religion, but i feel whatever happens HE is there to protect us :)

    ~ There is no doubt about it, only He can protect us. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Amir says:

    Great post :) Such a straightforward explanation. I am fascinated by jinn, not that I can sense their presence, just their existence. I often wonder at what their realm is like. I know they live among us, but what exactly does the word “live” mean in their context :) Inshallah something to find out in the hereafter, should Allah grant us jannah.

    ~ JazakaAllah khair. Most of the things that we usually do not see and understand fascinates us, but of course it doesn’t mean we would actually like to ‘see’ them, hehe. Only Allah knows best, and indeed all these things will be known to us in the hereafter, InshaAllah.

  8. Mary says:

    I like this perspective. And I agree that we should be careful of what we believe.

    ~ Thank you, Mary.

  9. davidtater says:

    “What I do know is that we should always be careful of what we see, hear, and believe, and have faith”

    Good advice. Thank you for your perspective. I’m still finding disturbances. I feel they may be spiritual.

    ~ Thank you for stopping by. I’m visiting your blog often to get updates. Hope you find out soon what or who’s causing the disturbance.

  10. Rayne says:

    Very interesting post. Thank you! I am curious, do you think it is possible to feel/see energy in a room or from an area? Or can it only be Jinn? Sometimes I feel sensations, and later when talking to friends, they tell me they saw something strange at the same moment that I only felt a sensation. I wonder if stress or trauma can scar the energy around it and each creature (man, plant or other) interacts with that energy in a unique way?

    ~ As a Muslim, I only believe in what the Qur’an has to say and based on what I have read so far, I understand that only the Jinn lives parallel to us. They are usually invisible, but can take up human, plant, or animal forms. I believe that the stronger one’s faith in the Almighty, the lesser the chances are that one is vulnerable to see, hear, or feel these Jinn. This is my opinion. Only God has the true knowledge of the unseen.

  11. Sniper says:

    Interesting post indeed. I accept and believe that there are few people on earth who can actually see these fiery creatures that others cannot.
    Generally, as I have heard of such like incidents, it is usually people having saint-like qualities who can see these creatures with the naked eye. Thus, your sister might be one such. Allah has created a veil in front of our eyes that hides certain things from us and when the veil is removed all becomes visible. Thats all I think of it.

    ~ Fortunately, I fall into the category of those who can’t see, hehe. In every article that I have read on Jinn, those who are adamant to lead people against their beliefs usually take up human forms and make themselves physically visible to us. I don’t think it has anything to do with a person having saint-like qualities, if there are such qualities indeed.

  12. Ahmed says:

    i have just read your text and i have found it interesting but i dont think that jinn can take the form of human i think that they only can control human and especially the weak believers.
    I think jinn can only take the form of dogs , snakes and other animals that is what i think.

    what do you think?

  13. nadia says:

    Ahmed, thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog :)

    What I meant by taking up human form is that Jinn can make themselves appear similar to someone who has died, like same facial features or built, etc.

    I’ve read that: “Jinn can also take a human form. For example: In the battle of Badr, a kind of Jinn known as Iblis, assumed the form of a man named Suraqah Ibn Malik, and urged the disbelievers to move forward to the battle..”

    http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/Jinn.htm

    My knowledge regarding Jinn is very limited and basic, so any clarifications would be highly appreciated :)

  14. masood says:

    I just want to make a small correction: it’s the battle of UHUD, not the Badr, in which Satan/Iblis urged the believers to move forward from the place where Prophet Muhammed, Sallellahu Alaihuwa Sallam, ordered not to move from even if we being picked up by birds. This is the link where the detailed scenario is given about the battle of UHUD:

    http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=496

  15. nadia says:

    Thanks for the correction :) I really appreciate it.

  16. Ahmed says:

    thanks for these informations i really didnt know these things about jinn thanks alot

  17. nadia says:

    I’m glad we could all learn something new :)

  18. mubaraq says:

    la ilaha illallahu Muhammadur-Rasulallah this is a good article i have learned alot i have to print this article this is awesome and so cool iam glad u posted this and iread it

  19. alia says:

    thanks so much for posting this. i was always curious about this topic.

  20. mohamad says:

    Rayne, inregards to the energy and sensations, the jinn are able to make you feel anything they want, sometimes we as humans may feel their presence thus your sensations, they can also make appearances as flashes, make things move, and everything that is usually associated with spirits and ghosts, and demons and every other mythical creature they are usually responsible for that.

    this is from personal experience with this kind of mojo, and from knowledge learnt from great scholars.

  21. Salina says:

    This is wonderful! The only explanation I found was from a fatwa site, and all it said was that ghosts didn’t exist – it isn’t possible. It didn’t talk anything about what people may have been seeing instead of “the dead”. May Allah reward you. This answer was better than the “sheik’s”!!!

    P.S. I had to find info ’cause a Christian cousin that grew up in a different state has seen the “ghost” of my mother’s father. She’s very honest and truthful, so I needed to be able to say something other than “No, you didn’t see it!” Thanks again!

  22. Nurul says:

    Amazing post. Absolutely amazing.

  23. Alfian says:

    Nice post :) I really2 like how you concluded the post…
    And thanks also to those who provided some clarifications n corrections…

  24. Salamai Jannati Zamal says:

    May Allah increase ur knowledge sister
    Big Ameen
    a beautiful post that I shared on my facebook as well as on this page named “Quran has the solution” on facebook…
    Excellent post sister
    Plz keep it up :):):)

  25. Pingback: Jazirat al-Hamra: Ghost Town or a Crumbling Piece of History? | The Purple Journal

  26. Anwar says:

    salaam Alaikum
    This is a great post. Thanks a lot.
    Dear All..
    Actually I was looking for explanation to give my friend who is mis-leaded by some people . They have successfully convinced my friend that his sister is affected by a ghost. Now he is forced to approach a person , who is allegedly capable to get away the ghost effect. She was having some mental disorders, depression since a year or more. They have consulted psychiatric and admitted in hospital 2-3 times. But they could have a positive result. I understand that what they are going to do comes under the definition of SHIRK. How can I convince them that there is no such ghosts exists on th earth and You should go back to a doctor instead? Is there any other way of treatment or duas in Islam to get cured these kind of mental illness? I am not in a position to divert them to right path as i am living in UAE and they are in India.
    Please advice

    • nadia says:

      Walaikum Assalam. Mental disorder is a medical condition that requires proper treatment. Unfortunately, depression doesn’t have an instant cure; it takes months and even years. It’s also very unfortunate that there are still people who associate a psychiatric condition with evil spirits and ghosts. I hope you’ll be able to convince them to continue medical treatment again.

      Regarding duas, I hope this article will help.

  27. Pingback: Jazirat al-Hamra: Ghost Town or a Crumbling Piece of History? | Nadia Masood

  28. ameera says:

    may i ask a doubt i have heard abt jinn taking human forms but 1 of ma frnds says that their leg will b twisted do u knw anythin abt it?

  29. Nahida says:

    Masha Allah ! a wonderful post . Definitely an eye opener. I had been having so many questions regarding the ghosts and I couldn’t find a better explanation than this. May Allah reward you for the good work..

  30. Zhein says:

    This is really nicely written :)

  31. shahid says:

    salam and best wishes to sister Nadia and the participant in this blog.It was really infomative ,both the article and question answer.Please keep up this type of informative work with authentic reference and remember me when anything new is posted just give me a knock .Allah hafiz

  32. Moneeba M says:

    Thank you this was great!
    I have a question – when I was younger (16) I mistakenly got my fortune told by a woman who can see the future when she looks into your face, I did not know much about Islam then and allowed her to do so. She told me if I didn’t make drastic changes in my everyday life – lets just say I was a typical teenager – I would upset my family and live a sad life. I changed and Alhamdulliah my life is much better now than it could have been should I stayed on the path I was taking. This being said, is it normal for fortune telling to be positive in a way, is it normal I now feel like I was taken as a fool and she maybe saw more than she revealed? I now feel scared she knew so much about someone she didnt actually know at all. This is a little vague but any input or advice would be appriciated!

    • nadia says:

      Moneeba, I am happy that the changes you’d made then has made your life much better now. Having said that, we Muslims should not view fortune telling in a positive way. In one of the hadith, Safiyyah reported from Hafsah (wife of the Prophet) that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “The Salaah of whoever approaches a fortune-teller and asks him about anything will not be accepted for 40 days and nights.”(Muslim)

      You may refer to Fortune Telling and Islam, by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips.

  33. Zaid says:

    Masha Allah,it was very useful n I guess right answers to my queries as I always thought how could a dead return to this world in some ghost or any form as I read so many stories and hears them too,i thank you that you saved me from going astray and no doubt with the help of hidayat and blessings of Allah;may Allah bless you,jazaak Allah

  34. Maria Zarif says:

    Thanks for your explanation. REALLY needed it. I like how in my life I can relate all my problems to my religion. Makes me feel that I know what I live with, what I go through. May Allah bless you and have a nice day (:

  35. rich says:

    wow…..i had just watched a movie called the unborn,then i researched on ghosts,exorcism in islam on such things,so what u saying islam doesnt at all beleive in the returning souls as ghosts..????christianity beleives 100 percent in it…am abit confused now….tho thanks for that information…
    rich

  36. Dr. Junaid says:

    Sister, I am a medical doctor, a Muslim and believe in jinns. My grandfather was a very devout Muslim and had performed many exorcisms in my presence. Exorcisms in Islam mean the removal of the influences of jinns over an individual. Clinically the patients had been treated for years for possession syndrome, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder etc with no relief.

    My grandfather used to recite surrah jinn and surrah Yaseen to exorcise the jinn. Many a time a male jinn affecting the female patient used to talk in a different accent under the influence of the entity. After the exorcism she remembered nothing.

    Most of time the influence of jinns is related to urinating in the open in an area where the invisible jinns may be residing.

    So Islamic exorcism exists and has nothing to do with shirk.

  37. L. Alkhaldi says:

    Very interesting… I started researching about this because a non-Muslim woman on FaceBook is having some troubles with “ghosts.” So I sent her a link to listen to and play in her home… It was Surah Al Baqarah. She told me today that she played the verse and the “talking” and “things moving” had stopped but had started once the verse stopped.. I don’t know what more I can say to help her besides saying Authou Billahe Mina Shaytani Al Rajeem…

    I used to play Surah Al Baqarah before I slept every night in our old apartment… One night I had a dream maybe a nightmare and I told my husband and we moved as soon as we could… a few weeks after we moved the house was broken into… Alhamdulilah we had moved…

    What can I say more to advise the woman? She says she feels as though she is being attacked or targeted by this… Any help is appreciated..

    • nadia says:

      L. Alkhaldi, thank you for commenting. I am not an expert on the topic, and would highly suggest consulting someone who is knowledgeable with the issue in order to help you better.

  38. SHOAIB ALI says:

    MASHALLAH! BROTHER U HAVE DIFINED IT VERY BEAUTIFULLY.

  39. Alfi says:

    It was a nice explanaition,but many people has experienced the evil spirits of the deads directly,i m nt sayin that i dnt blv u,bt pls explain me dat!:-)

  40. Tanzeeb Samee says:

    SO much heLpful this article has been ! Thank you !

  41. Lori says:

    Assalamu alaikum,
    I wanted to ask some questions as I am a newly converted Muslima. I just found out that this is haram to have visions and such however I get them all the time from the time I was little. What should I do? I’m willing to learn what need be to help myself be a better Muslima Inshallah.

  42. Mohammed maaz says:

    Assalamu alaikum it is really a good explanation and help full . i kindly request to all especially “Nadia” to refer this book “Tareekh Jinnaat -o- Shayateen of Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti (r.a) Urdu Translation By Shaykh Mufti Imdadullah Anwar” Written by a Great Alim, if u guys want to know more about this topic. its a really good book which i have come across .

  43. maryam says:

    Salam, a few years back i had a roommate who got ‘possessed’ by a jin…at that time I didn’t know any better, * i was like 16* so i had conversations with it..I know i shouldn’t have done that..I was a kid and now I feel so bad. I was just wondering…what does Islam say about demonic possessions?

  44. Lili says:

    Very informative thank u :)))

  45. Sana says:

    The easiest way to tell whether it is possession or not is to recite Adhaan and ruquyah (verses from quran which provoke the jinn to speak up). I am a victim myself and take both medical help and ruqyah together to beat this problem.

    Also please do not judge people affected by this horrible sickness as people who are unreligious. That is not true. It can happen to anyone if it be Allah’s will to test them. May Allah cure those sufferring from sihr/ black magic/ possession. Ameen.

  46. Abrar says:

    My brother sees visions and sees Jinns, but not so often. They can appear for a week and not come back for another few months. It scares yes, but I cant see them so I will not be as terrified as my brother. I am going to search and search and learn and read the quran with my brother everyday, and have no one bother us, and to protect us and our family.
    Some of the things you said, I already knew, but I have forgotten or never thought about. SO I am glad I am reminded once again. I did learn more new things too! Which puts extra confidence in protecting my brothers even though there could come a time where the Jinns can do more then I. But I will look towards Allah cause I have that strong of a faith. I believe in the decisions Allah chooses.

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