- No, their main purpose is NOT to lead us astray, as they have NOT been created FOR it. The jinns have been created with the freedom to choose their own way of good or evil.
- Some choose evil and these are called shayateen (plural form of shaytaan: devils). Since the shayateen misuse their freedom to choose a path of evil, they end up in hell.
- Of these, a number of them take upon themselves the task of prompting or enticing humans toward evil. And a particular shaytaan (devil) chooses a particular human to become his or her constant companion.
- Such a shaytaan is called a qareen. A qareen is not without his freedom to choose well. He makes that choice out of his own will.
Peace be with you brother!
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
There are three kinds of beings created by Allah Almighty, who are constantly referred to in the Quran: Angels, jinns and humans. Of these, angels have been created just to obey Allah’s commandments. So they do not do evil. But jinns and humans have the freedom to obey Allah Almighty or refuse to do so (i.e within the limits of this temporal existence). Of the jinns some use their freedom to submit to Allah and become Muslims; while others disobey Allah, and become kafirs or disbelievers.
Similar is the way of humans: Some choose to follow Allah’s commandments and become Muslims and others do the opposite and become disbelievers. The Quran clearly says that those who submit to Allah will be rewarded with Paradise in the hereafter; and those who choose not to submit to Him will be punished with hellfire.
As said above, the jinns too have been created with the freedom to choose their own way of good or evil. Some choose evil and these are called shayateen (plural form of shaytaan: devils). Since the shayateen misuse their freedom to choose a path of evil, they end up in hell. Of these, a number of them take upon themselves the task of prompting or enticing humans toward evil. And a particular shaytaan (devil) chooses a particular human to become his or her constant companion. Such a shaytaan is called a qareen. A qareen is not without his freedom to choose well. He makes that choice out of his own will.
One of the hadiths relevant to the context is as follows:
The Prophet said:
“Every person has a shaytaan and an angel with him as constant companions.” (Muslim)
Doesn’t it mean that Allah has assigned a particular qareen the duty of seducing a good person toward evil?
Naturally, it appears that the qareen has to necessarily do evil. But we need to understand the Quranic terminology in the proper context. Since everything in the universe is created by Allah and follows its “nature” as Allah has assigned to it, the Cause behind it all is Allah Himself. That is why Allah in the Quran says:
“..God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides him that wills [to be guided] -for He alone is Almighty, truly Wise.” (Quran 14:4)
Each happening takes place with a Reason
Every being in the universe has got its assigned nature, and certain beings such as jinns and humans have been given limited freedom of choice too. Ultimately every event that takes place here is traceable to the Master Planner and Designer, Allah Almighty. Also, Allah does not act unreasonably, each happening takes place with a reason, and it leads on to its inevitable consequences according to Allah Almighty’s Will and Plan.
Read this verse:
“Behold, God does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that. Now, as for those who have attained to faith, they know that it is the truth from their Sustainer – whereas those who are bent on denying the truth say, “What could God mean by this parable?” In this way does He cause many a one to go astray, just as He guides many a one aright: but none does He cause thereby to go astray save the iniquitous.” (Quran 2:26)
Particularly note: “…But none does He cause thereby to go astray save the iniquitous.”
That is, it is “the iniquitous” or those who willfully choose a path of iniquity or injustice in the first place, who are allowed to do evil. And naturally, such persons get the fruit of their choice, namely punishment in hell.
The Prophet’s Qareen is a Muslim
And note this hadith of the Prophet too:
“Every one of you has been assigned a companion from the Jinn.”
The companions asked: Even you O Messenger of God?
And the Prophet replied: “Even me, except that God has helped me against him and he has become a Muslim. Now he only tells me to do good.” (Muslim).
That is to say, the qareen assigned to the Prophet became a Muslim. And that means that qareen exercised his choice to do good.
Your question about the qareens: “Isn’t it unjust for them to enter hellfire then, if their main purpose is to lead us astray because they have been created for it?”
(The answer is): No, their main purpose is NOT to lead us astray, as they have NOT been created FOR it.
And Allah the All-Merciful says:
“Verily, God does not wrong [anyone] by as much as an atom’s weight; and if there be a good deed, He will multiply it, and will bestow out of His grace a mighty reward.” (Quran 4:40)
Allah is NEVER EVER unjust.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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