Praise be to Allah.
Do the jinn exist?
These noises and actions may come from the jinn. The jinn are part of the creation of Allah whose existence we must believe in, because Allah mentions them in many verses of the Quran, and there is even a Surah named after them, namely Surah al-Jinn. Their existence is a matter upon which there is consensus.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“All nations believe in the jinn and they have had many encounters with them, which would take too long to describe. No one denies the existence of the jinn except for a very few ignorant philosophers and doctors and the like.” [Majmu’ al-Fatawa]
What powers do the jinn have in Islam?
Their powers are greater than those of man, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“An ‘Ifrit (strong one) from the jinn said: “I will bring it [the throne of the Queen of Saba] to you before you rise from your place.” [An-Naml 27:39]
There was a great distance between Sulayman (peace be upon him) and the Queen of Saba (Sheba).
Can the jinn control righteous people?
Allah has enabled the jinn to change shape and to fly, etc, but despite their great powers they have no control over the righteous slaves of Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, My slaves (i.e. the true believers of Islamic Monotheism) — you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” [ Al-Isra 17:65]
“And he (Satan) had no authority over them, except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt about it.” [Saba 34:21]
Even the Shaytan acknowledged this and said:
“[Iblis] said: ‘O my Lord! Because You misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. Except Your chosen, (guided) slaves among them.’” [Al-Hijr 15:39-40 – interpretation of the meaning]
Who can be controlled by the jinn?
Rather he has control over those people who agree with his disbelief and follow him willingly, as Allah tells us (interpretation of the meaning):
“Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawun (those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evildoers).” [Al-Hijr 15:42]
Allah may give them [the jinn] power over believers because of their sins, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah is with the qadi (judge) so long as he is not unjust; if he is unjust then Allah has nothing to do with him and will cause the Shaytan to stay with him.” [al-Hakim and al-Bayhaqi]
How to protect yourself from the jinn
The Muslim must, above all else, arm himself with the weapon of faith and righteous deeds, for these are the best provision he may have and the best means of foiling the plots of the devils among mankind and the jinn.
You have to strengthen your relationship with Allah, for He is the One on Whom you should depend. Remember Allah a great deal in all situations, and strive to keep your tongue busy constantly with dhikr (remembrance of Allah). No one can find any better protection against the Shaytan than the remembrance of Allah.
It was narrated in a sahih (authentic) report from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that Allah enjoined five things upon Yahya ibn Zakariyya, which he was to do and to command the Children of Israel to do, one of which was: “I command you to remember Allah, for the likeness of that is that of a man whose enemy comes after him, until he comes to a strong fortress where he protects himself from him. Similarly, a person cannot protect himself against the shaytan except by remembering Allah.” [Sahih al-Tirmidhi]
Constantly recite the dhikrs narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), such as the dhikr when entering the toilet, when having intercourse, when hearing the braying of a donkey, when entering the house, in the morning and the evening, when going to sleep, and in other circumstances and at other times for which a specific dhikr has been narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
These dhikrs have been compiled in books such as al-Adhkar by al-Nawawi, al-Kalim al-Tayyib by Ibn Taymiyah, and Hisn al-Muslim by al-Qahtani [the latter is available with English transliteration and translation under the title “Fortress of the Muslim – Invocations from the Quran and Sunnah”, published by Darussalam, Riyadh – Translator].
You should also read a lot of Quran in the house, especially Surah al-Baqarah. Ahmad and Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not make your houses (like) graveyards, for the Shaytan flees from a house in which Surah al-Baqarah is read.”
You should also purify your house of everything in which there is disobedience towards Allah, such as keeping images and dogs. Abu Talhah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or an image.” [al-Bukhari, Muslim]
If there are no angels in the house, it will become a dwelling for the devils.
Reading Surah al-Muzzammil and al-Mulk before sleep: Any evidence?
With regard to reading Surah al-Muzzammil and al-Mulk when going to sleep, there are reports that indicate that it is mustahabb (recommended) to recite Surah al-Mulk before sleeping. Al-Tirmidhi narrated from Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used not to sleep until he had recited Alif-Lam-Meem Tanzeel (al-Sajdah) and Tabarak alladhi bi yadihi’l-mulk (Surah al-Mulk). [Sahih al-Tirmidhi].
With regard to Surah al-Muzzammil, there is no report to indicate that it is mustahabb to recite it when going to sleep.
And Allah knows best.
For more about jinn-related issues, please see these answers: 20666 , 13378 , 2340 , 6846 , 105336 , 73412 , 10518 , and 1819 .