djinn abode, Feroze Shah Kotla Fort, Delhi

In Djinn-land: Feroze Shah Kotla Fort, Delhi

Like a magnet, they beckoned and we walked

djinn abode, Feroze Shah Kotla Fort, Delhiwords: Ambica Gulati

An Evening with the Djinns of Delhi—the event was floating on Facebook and it was winter. As the mist swirled outside, the call of the djinns somehow seemed appropriate. The call of the invisible creates a tug of war between the logical, the illogical, the real and the illusionary. And it’s a compelling tug of war, so the power of the djinns won and I was on my way to a date with the mysterious powers living in Delhi, India.

Ready for the walk

The walk was conducted by a young man named Asif Khan Dehlvi who has very interesting spiritual roots and his walks are called Delhi Karavan. The 24-year-old history student and walk leader is as fascinating as the djinns. Connected to the Dehlvi family, which has been part of the famous Sufi Chirag-e-Dehlvi dargah (shrine) in Delhi, Asif conducts his walks in Urdu and Hindi.

It was one of the cold dull January evenings. Introductions over, Dehlvi started the walk with a short history of Delhi. The roots of the Capital of India can be traced to the times of Mahabharata, 3,000 years ago. The pulsating Capital was once a gateway city, built on the plains near a fording point on the Yamuna River and on the route between western and central Asia and southeast Asia.

The first four cities of Delhi were in the south, around the area where the Qutub Minar now stands. The fifth Delhi, Firozabad, was at Feroze Shah Kotla, while Emperor Sher Shah created the sixth at Purana Qila. The Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, constructed the seventh Delhi in the 17th century, shifting the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi; his Shahjahanabad roughly corresponds to Old Delhi.
It was in 1803 that the British captured Delhi.

Finally, the meeting

The roots of Delhi traced, we headed into the ruins of the magnificent fort to see the abode of the djinns. The fort has a practicing masjid, a baoli (step-well), a pyramid and the famed Ashoka Pillar.

djinns in Feroze Shah Kotla Fort, delhiThrough the ruins, being saved and much to my dismay nothing of the times of Feroze Shah being left visible, we reached a darkish eerie room. The only light coming in through iron doors, fresh rose petals lay strewn on the floor, a diya was lit in a corner. The wall had darkened in that corner. There were coins stuck on walls, letters tied to the iron gate and strips of cloth and plastic bags clammed the iron bars of the many doors in that room. It was a prison cell which was now where the djinns lived.

“This is Asia’s largest residence of djinns,” explained Dehlvi. In Islam, belief goes that when god created the universe, he made angels from spirit, man from earth and djinns from fire. These powerful magical like beautiful women and fragrances. So women had been instructed to tie their hair and not come fragrant.

Call of the djinns

Djinns can answer a call in many ways—through animals, other people or sudden unexpected happenings. “People write letters to the djinns and hang them here. They offer roses, biryani and kheer on Thursdays,” said Dehlvi, walking us to a pyramidal structure. Thursday is an important day for the worship of these magical beings.

The three levels of the ancient pyramidal structure rooms house dark rooms and places where people sit and worship. It’s interesting to see flower garlands, milk bowls, offerings of rice and flour, sometimes even meat and liquor, all over the place.

It was in the dark eerie rooms that the fragrance lingered and incense flowed. People were saying their djinn prayers, calling to the magical beings to fulfil their wishes and ease their sufferings. “A lawyer would read these letters,” recounted Dehlvi, “so that he could help the ones in need without any charge.”  That’s the way djinns send help.

Like all things in life, like day and night, djinns are also helpful and troublemakers. Dehlvi divulged the tale of Iblis, the troublemaker. This powerful one refused to bow to the human race and so was expelled from his land. Iblis then made his home elsewhere and brings trouble with him.

How djinns came to Feroze Shah Kotla Fort

They came with a Sufi saint, as spiritually realised people have spiritual protectors, said Dehlvi.  The day was turning to dusk, and we watched a mother teaching her small son to pray, lighting a diya and offering red roses.

My Evening with the Djinns of Delhi had come to an end, but I knew that someday I would come back on a Thursday to see the magical djinns granting people their wishes for the mystical is like a secret charm.

5 thoughts on “In Djinn-land: Feroze Shah Kotla Fort, Delhi

  1. That was an interesting Read Ambica, Thank you for sharing your experience here.

    For the uninitiated Muslim Brothers and sisters I have taken the liberty to showcase some advice for muslims on the Jinns which I found usefull on

    Verses of the Koran and the Hadiths show unambiguously that the djinns were created of fire without smoke. the expression “without smoke” means “end of the flame.” Other scientists think that this expression means the purest of fires. What’s important to know, quite simply, is that that the djinn were created of fire and therefore have a constitution completely different from ours.

    The djinn were created before man. While the djinn were made of fire, man was made of clay and angels created of light.

    In this way, the djinn are invisible. So if they are invisible, how do we know they exist? Many things exist that our eyes do not see, but their effects are perceptible, such as the air and electrical current.

    Quran forbids Jinn’s association with God, and advises men not to worship jinns instead of the creator-Allah, Quran Says ” And they (Pagan Arabs) imagine kinship between Him and the jinn, whereas the jinn know well that they will be brought before (Him)”, Quran Surah 37, Verse 158.
    What we humans should know is what has been revealed to us through the Qur’an and the sunnah, which may be summed up in the following six points:

    1)Jinns are created from fire (different from Angels who are created from light) and are normally invisible to humans. The fact that their origin was from elemental fire does not mean that they exist as fire, any more than humans being created from earth exist as clumps of earth.

    2)Jinns have free will like humans (different from Angels who have no free will), as such some are disbelievers while others are believers (i.e. Muslims). Consequently, Satan (Iblees) was a jinn and not an angel.

    3)Prophet Sulayman was given control over the jinn as his miracle. Thus, no human can claim control over the jinn for good or evil.

    4)Jinns may interfere in our world through the agency of fortunetellers, magicians, mediums, spirit-possessions, etc. Consequently, supernatural events and experiences (visions) can be explained by their interference.

    5)Seeking help from them is forbidden as it leads to shirk (associating partners with Allah).

    6)Protection from them should be done according to sunnah, using Qur’anic recitations and not any forms of charms or amulets.

    Further authentic information may be gotten from Dr.Bilal Philip’s books “Ibn Taymeeyah’s Essay on the Jinn” and “The Exorcist Tradition in Islam”, as well as “The World of the Angels and the Jinn” by Umar al-Ashqar.

    As you can see from Dr. Bilal Philips’ explanation, we should seek knowledge of the jinn only from the Qur’an and the Sunnah – and this was summarized well here. We should also not seek their help. So, in conclusion I feel it is worth mentioning that as Muslims we do not have benefits in seeking interactions with the jinn. Because of this, we should avoid concerning ourselves with this part of Allah’s creation more than is necessary and should instead focus on dealing with the many pressing social, moral and political problems we need to deal with.


    1. Very nice to know another perspective…I hope we all understand all facets of life, but we all like to experience the unknown before we settle with the known. But it’s nice of you to share some truths.


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