Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation (1930)


Al-Jinn takes its name from, a word in the first verse, and also from the subject of verses 1–18. The meaning of the word jinn in the Koran has exercised the minds of Muslim commentators, ancient and modern. Mr. Ya‘qûb Hasan of Madras, in the first volume of a remarkable work in Urdu, Kitâbu’l-Hudâ;, shows that it has at least three meanings in the Koran and that one of those meanings is something akin to “clever foreigners” as in the case of the Jinn who worked for Solomon. But undoubtedly the first and obvious meaning is “elemental spirits,” to whom, as to mankind, the Koran came as a guidance. The incident is said to have occurred during the Prophet’s return from his unsuccessful missionary journey to Ṭa’îf.

A late Meccan Sûrah.

The Jinn

Revealed at Mecca
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1. Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo! it is a marvellous Qur’ân,

2. Which guideth unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe no partner unto our Lord.

3. And (we believe) that He — exalted be the glory of our Lord! — hath taken neither wife nor son,

4. And that trie foolish one among us used to speak concerning Allah an atrocious lie.

5. And lo! we had supposed that humankind and Jinn would not speak a lie concerning Allah —

6. And indeed (O Muhammad) individuals of humankind

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Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 05 Feb. 2023: