It’s notable that many people in the world have never experienced jinn, and may even disbelieve in their very existence. Other folks have several stories to share. Why the different experiences?
On a basic level, there’s two types of people who are often targeted by jinn:
The first is the most obvious (to Muslims at least): people who are doing magic or targeted by magic. Magic usually involves jinn and committing a massive sin, the one doing it will humiliate him/herself and do disgusting things that get them far away from Allah ﷻ. Having committed such sin, which is in line with Shaytan’s goal of getting humans to go to Hell, the jinn will then carry out the deed (or send an accomplice to do it). Eventually, the jinn will usually turn on the sahir (magician) at some point. You can never control a jinn, that’s merely a trick they fell for–in reality, the jinn was controlling the magician and laughing at them.
˹They are˺ like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve. Then after they have done so, he will say ˹on Judgment Day˺, “I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds.”Qur’an (59:16)
The second is less known: people who actually increase in their spirituality, take a sudden turn towards righteousness, and direct people towards God. The awliya’ (saints) sometimes have jinn problems. Why? Because the more you push to approach God, the more Shaytan wants to push back. It’s all part of the test. If you want more, you need to struggle for it. The awliya’ became awliya’ by weathering the gauntlet. Converts often face jinn issues as well, who thought they had this former disbeliever right where they wanted him, until, in their eyes, something went wrong. In time, however, they may finally leave them alone and give up hope that the convert will revert to disbelief, seeking a way out of the trials of being upon the Truth.
Many common folks basically cut a deal with Shaytan: that “I won’t be too hard on you, if you aren’t too hard on me.” And they settle with mediocrity in their Islam. If you’re doing what Shaytan wants, or right on the edge of it, he won’t bother you too much, as tribulation at the right moment could push someone towards their Lord. So he lies in wait for a moment of despair to test their faith, and tries to keep them lazy and mediocre until the opportune moment arises.
Sometimes jinn will follow someone generationally. This is notable among Latinos, perhaps due to the history of Latin America’s folk religions’ interactions with them, and the prevalence of magic in their societies even to today. Many of them may have jinn following their fathers down to their children and grandchildren, trying to mess up their lives and destroy their character, or bothering folks in their households and compelling them to go to witches to “solve” the problem with magic or superstition (bad idea). The jinn are of course aware of the ignorance or knowledge of who they bother, and will play the game according to it. If the person is ignorant, such as a non-Muslim, they’ll desire to keep them that way and will back off when they do the wrong thing, tricking them into thinking magic or superstition solved the problem. The real solution is simply using the Qur’an and prayer to fight magic and jinn, which is very effective.
What must be known as well is the jinn want to present the illusion that they are strong, when they in fact are quite weak, especially against a believer. One verse of the Qur’an even can end the situation, like ayat al-Kursi. They try to scare people and take on forms which are scary or very distracting or disturbing–their aim, to distract people from Allah ﷻ. Don’t let their tricks fool you or distract you, stay focused and increase in worship of your Lord.