From Academic Kids

This article is about the mythological creature. For the American air-to-air nuclear missile, see AIR-2 Genie. For the Internet service provider, see GEnie.
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The Seal of Solomon is said to have given Sulayman power over the jinn.

"Genie" is the anglicized word for the Arabic "jinni | جن". In pre-Islamic Arabian mythology and in Islam, a jinni (also "djinni" or "djini") is a member of the jinn (or "djinn"), a race of spirits.


Jinn in pre-Islamic mythology

For the ancient Semites they were spirits of vanished ancient peoples who acted during the night and disappeared with the first light of dawn; they could make themselves invisible or change shape into animals at will; these spirits were commonly made responsible for diseases and for the manias of some lunatics who claimed that they were tormented by the jinn.

The Arabs believed that the jinn were spirits of fire, although sometimes they associated them with succubi, demons in the forms of beautiful women, who visited men by night to copulate with them until they were exhausted, drawing energy from this encounter just as a vampire is supposedly sustained by his victim's blood.

Jinn in Islam

The term "mythological" would likely be viewed as a pejorative statement by many Muslims because traditionally Muslims belief that jinn are real, existing beings. The jinn are said to be creatures with free will, made of smokeless fire by God, much in the same way humans were made of earth. In the Qur'an, the jinn are frequently mentioned and even Surat 72: Al-Jinn is entirely about them. In fact Prophet Muhammad was said to have been sent as a prophet to "humans and jinn."

The jinn are assumed to be living in what can be described as a "parallel Universe" within our space and time on Earth, they have communities much like human societies, they eat, marry, die etc. But they also, according to mythology, have supernatural capabilities such as invisible cloaking, instantaneous teleportation, ability to shape-shift and even space travel. Also they can see us, yet we cannot see them. However, sometimes they let their guard slip or deliberatly come into view; they offer an alternative explanation to sighting of aliens, ghosts, U.F.O.'s, ghouls, shape-shifters and other unexplained paranormal phenomena.

Jinn are not to be confused with the Kareen قرين mentioned in the Qur'an in Surat An-Nas and in Islamic mythology. Jinn are beings much like humans, possessing the ability for good and bad; the essence of free will. According to the majority of Islamic scholars, clear evidence exists in the Qur'an that Satan was never actually an angel, but a jinn, citing the Quranic verse "And when We said to the angels:"Prostrate yourselves unto Adam." So they prostrated themselves except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinn..." Surat Al-Kahf, 18:50. Angels are different physical beings made out of light, and unlike the fiery nature of jinn, they are beings of goodness and cannot choose to disobey God, nor do they possess the ability to do evil.

A Kareen is an evil spirit, intent on tricking people into committing sins, similar to a personal demon. As they are unique to each individual, Kareens would be the ones a magician would summon after a person's death, such as in a sance, for the soul goes to God and the unruly Kareen would remain on earth and would, conforming to his malevolent nature, impersonate the deceased whose character he's familiar with. Islam stricly forbids magic. Orthodox muslims however, recite various verses from the Qur'an such as the Throne Verse, Surat an-Nas and Surat al-Falaq as means of protection and prayer. In Islam-associated mythology, the jinn were said to be controllable by magically binding them to objects, as Suleiman (Solomon) most famously did; the Spirit of the Lamp in the fictitious story of Aladdin was such a jinni, bound to an oil lamp.

Jinn have the ability to possess human beings, but can be successfully exorcised by various lawful means including recital of the Qur'an and even the Adhan (Call to prayer).

Jinn in the Occult

In sorcery books Jinn are classified into four races after the classical elements, viz. Earth, Air, Fire and Water. In those races they come in tribes, usually seven, each with a king, each king controls his tribe and is controlled by an Angel, whereas the Angel's name is torture to the jinn king as well as his specific tribe, much the same way Jesus' name is to a demon during an exorcism.

Unlike white and evil witches, Jinn have free will yet could be compelled to perform both good and evil acts, compared to a demon who would only hurt creatures or an angel with benevolent intentions (white witchcraft). Knowing what to ask what spirit to perform is key as asking a spirit to perform a chore counter its natural tendencies would anger the sprit into retaliating against the sorcerer.

Genies in Western culture

In Western fiction, after the Aladdin tale in the Western version of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, genies typically come from small oil lamps and grant three wishes to the person who rubbed the lamp to release the genie. Alternately, they may grant a single wish per day.

See also: Aladdin (1992 film), Castle in the Air, I Dream of Jeannie

See also


  • al-Ashqar, Dr. Umar Sulaiman (1998). The World of the Jinn and Devils. Boulder, CO: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations.

External links


fa:جن fr:Jinn nl:Djinn pl:Dżinn pt:Jinn


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