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IslamQA: The difference between devils and jinns

assalamu alaykum, what is the difference between devils and jinns?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Being a “devil” is a moral quality. The Quran suggests that both humans and jinns can be “devils”:

Likewise, We have assigned for every prophet an enemy—human and jinn devils—inspiring one another with fancy words in order to deceive. But had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. So leave them to their fabrications. (The Quran, verse 6:112)

So perhaps we can say that a devil is any person, human or jinn, who is intent on knowingly spreading evil and falsehood and opposing God’s wishes.

As for jinns, they are creatures that we cannot see but who can see us. We know very little about them, and most of what you hear from Islamic sources is questionable unless it is found in the Quran or sound hadith. The Quran tells us that there are good and bad people among them:

[Jinns speaking:] “Some of us are righteous, but some of us are less than that; we follow divergent paths.” (The Quran, verse 72:11)

And God knows best.
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