The Reality of the Angels, Jinns, and Satan, By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Translated By: Professor Muhammad Hasan Askari & Karrar Husain
Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

Answer to Modernism

Intimation 8: Regarding the Reality of the angels, the Jinns, and Satan

Reason for denying the existence of angels and jinn

The modernists deny to the angels and the Jinns that kind of existence which has been affirmed by the Holy Qur’an, the Hadith and the consensus, sometimes on the ground mat if such substances did really exist, they must have been apprehensible through the senses, and sometimes on the ground that one cannot understand the nature of the existence of a thing which is supposed to pass before our eyes and yet remain unperceived. This, then, is the reason for their denial.

Distortion in the Qur’an

But the Holy Qur’an categorically affirms the existence of the angels and the Jinns in several verses, and a Muslim cannot question the authenticity of the Holy Qur’an. So, the modernists have recourse to such farfetched interpretations and rationalizations as an amount to a clear distortion of the sense of those verses.

Investigating & Comprehensive reply to the accusations

As to the grounds on which the explicit meanings of these verses are denied, we have already shown, under Principle No.4, why they are erroneous. This is our exhaustive reply to the objection.

And now let us reply by a counter-charge. The philosophers believe that matter, before being invested with the existing forms, was in a subtle state which is described as nebulous or ethereal. Now, that is substance too, but no one ever observed it. Moreover, its peculiar state and quality cannot be understood clearly except in a vague imaginary manner. That is why some except in a vague imaginary manner. That is why some of the Greeks have even denied its existence. Yet they assume its existence, simply because their argument required such an assumption, although this assumption is not itself founded upon any argument at all–as we have shown under Intimation No. 1.

Thus when there is no rational argument to prove the impossibility of substances like the angels and the Jinns, their existence must be posited as rationally possible. And when a thing is rationally possible and there is at the same time an argument based on a sound report to establish its existence, it becomes rationally necessary to affirm its existence (vide Principle No. 2).

Distant interpretations of the Qur’an and Sunnah are invalid

Moreover, it is the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith which report the existence of the angels and the Jinns. So, it is doubly necessary and obligatory to affirm the existence of such substances.

And since the fundamental principle with regard to the interpretation of the verses of the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is that they have to be taken, above all, in me literal and explicit sense, so it is erroneous to indulge in farfetched interpretations. When a rational argument enjoys only the approximative degree of validity (vide Principle No.7). What then, can be the value of the idle fancies of these modernists?

Some of the modernists have raised certain other objections in this regard, which have been mentioned in Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s commentary on the Holy Qur’an. Those who are interested in the subject may see the replies in the book Al-Burhan.

To read the Ninth Intimation about The matters of the grave and hereafter, Click on the link below:


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