Jinn Descriptions in Islam
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Jinn, also called Genie, Arabic Jinni, in Arabic mythology, a supernatural spirit below the level of angels and devils. Ghul (treacherous spirits of changing shape), 'ifrit (diabolic, evil spirits), and si'la (treacherous spirits of invariable form) constitute classes of jinn. Jinn are beings of flame or air who are capable of assuming human or animal form and are said to dwell in all conceivable inanimate…
Jinn,Jinni - The Arab singular (whence the French "genie"); fem. Jinniyah; the Div and Rakshah of old Guebre-land and the "Rakshasa,' or "Yaksha," of Hinduism. It would be interesting to trace the evident connection, by no means "accidental," of "Jinn" with the Roman "Genius"
Invisible beings, that constitute a world almost parallel to the human, according to Islam. The jinns are living with humans, and are a central part of the Muslim world view. The belief in jinns is orthodox, as they are mentioned several times in the Holy Koran. Jinns are created out of smokeless flame, while man and angels are from clay and light. We find the concept of jinns also in pre-Islamic Arabia, where they constituted the nymphs and satyrs of the desert. In the time of Muhammad they were revered as a sort of gods. The existence of jinns are fully accepted in Islam, and relations between man and jinns have been dealt with in Sharia, covering matters like marriage and inheritance.
ASHE in Cuban Santiera........"Santerians have five different levels of power in the Yoruba cosmology: Olodumare , the Orisha, human beings, human ancestors, and the lowest group (which includes plants, animals, natural entities, and manufactured items) 7 . They believe in one supreme god, Olodumare (also known as Olorun ). He is the supreme source of ASHE , the spiritual energy that makes up the universe, all life, and material objects."
Jinni - The Arab singular (whence the French "genie"); fem. Jinniyah; the Div and Rakshah of old Guebre-land and the "Rakshasa,' or "Yaksha," of Hinduism. It would be interesting to trace the evident connection, by no means "accidental," of "Jinn" with the "Genius" who came to the Romans through the Asiatic Etruscans, and whose name I cannot derive from "Gignomai" or "genitus." He was unknown to the Greeks, who had the Daimon, a family which separated, like the Jinn and the Genius, into two categories, the good (Agatho-daemons) and the bad (Kako-daemons). We know nothing concerning the Jinn amongst the pre-Moslemitic or pagan Arabs: the Moslems made him a supernatural anthropoid being, created of subtle fire (Koran chapts, xv. 27; lv. 14), not of earth like man, propagating his kind, ruled by mighty kings, the last being Jan bin Jan, missionarised by Prophets and subject to death and Judgement. From the same root are "Junun" = madness (i.e., possession or obsession by the Jinn) and "Majnun" = a madman. According to R. Jeremiah bin Eliazar in Psalm xli. 5, Adam was excommunicated for one hundred and thirty years during which he begat children in his own image (Gen. v. 3) and these were Mazikeen or Shedeem - Jinns.....Elsewhere in his translation, Burton notes that Jann is usually taken as the plural form of Jinni. ......Classes of Jinni include the Ifrit ("pronounced Aye-frit", fem. Ifritah) and the Marid (fem. Maridah) who are usually, but not always, hostile to mankind.
By Tuygun Shefki......Beings of airy bodies, intelligent, imperceptible, capable of appearing under different forms and of carrying out heavy labours. They were created of smokeless flame, while mankind and the angels (the other two classes of intelligent beings) were created of clay and light.
"The caravan... came at last, at the fall of a certain night, to a column of stone to which a strange being was chained, one half of whose body was visible and the other half deeply hidden in the ground. The upper half seemed to be that of something of monstrous birth imprisoned there by some infernal powers. It was black and large as the trunk of an old and naked palm-tree; it had two great black wings and four hands, of which two were like the taloned feet of lions. A shaggy covering of rude onager-tail hairs moved savagely upon the terrible head, while under the roofs of the sockets flamed two red eyes, and a third shone immovable green like that of a tiger or a panther, between the twin horns of the bull-like brow."
The Thousand and One Nights (Describing a lower class of Jinn called an Ifrit.)
Belief in the Jinni has been with us for thousands of years. In pre Islamic Turkish society Jinns were the nymphs and satyrs of the forests and mountains, similarly jinns were the spirits of the desert for the Arabs. Perhaps - in both cases - representing the side of nature still unsubdued and hostile to man. It is said that Jinn will appear to humans in the shape of serpents, dogs, cats, or as other human beings. If it appears as a human it can be no different from a normal person or of a gigantic stature. If good, the Jinn will be extremely handsome or hideously ugly if evil.
Though much is spoken of the Jinn few explanations are actually given on who or what they are - unless, that is, you do your research. Those of a religious persuasion will know of the frequent mention of the Jinns in the Holy Koran. In fact the last Sura of the Koran includes a specific petition for protection from the Jinns. The early Muslims even treated Jinns as semi-divine, and worshiped them alongside God (sura 6.100). Generally Jinn are treated as a race parallel, though inferior, to man. King Solomon was said to have commanded armies of Jinns through the power of a ring inscribed with God's greatest name.
It is said that Jinni were the first beings to inhabit earth, two thousand years before Adam, which is why they are often called ‘preadamites'. The following condensed account of the preadamite Jinn is given by Al-Quazwini and from Parker Ryan:-
"It is related in histories that a race of Jinn in ancient times, before the creation of Adam, inhabited the earth, and covered it, the land and the sea, and the plains and the mountains; and the favours of God were multiplied upon them, and they had government, and prophecy, and religion and law; but they transgressed and offended, and opposed their prophets, and made wickedness to abound in the earth; whereupon God, whose name be exalted, sent against them an army of angels, who took possession of the earth, and drove away the Jinn to the regions of the islands..."
"In A Dictionary of Islam Jinn are said to have come the Earth ages before man existed. They were the first of Earth's masters. They built huge cities whose ruins still stand in forgotten places. Aeons later many Jinn were forced to flee Earth while others were imprisoned. Still others roam desolate places to this day. The Jinn are said to be invisible to normal men. They are, however able to interbreed with humans but the human parent may suffer when the dark offspring is born (The Jinn will, according to legend survive mankind (the last of Earth's masters?)"
Parker Ryan, "The Necronomicon and Ancient Arab Magick"
Jinns are still ever present especially in the conscious of rural communities, who will warn visitors on certain things when venturing into the countryside. For example; if disposing of water onto the ground or drawing water from a well, especially at night, it is recommended practice to say a ‘Bismilahirahmanirahim' [In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!] before performing the function (this even applies to ‘passing water' in an outdoor latrine). The same applies to small cave openings or dry wells, near which people are strongly advised not to use any offensive language. In Arabia they will say ‘Izn ya Mubarakun! ‘Permission, ye blessed' to warn the Jinn of their coming and seek permission. To ignore the existence of the Jinn, and risk offending them, could result in being ‘struck' [carpilmak] by having a limb or a joint thrown out of place. According to belief if one is ‘struck' then an elder with knowledge of the appropriate prayers must be brought in to correct the infliction.
According to tradition the species of Jinn consists of five orders;
Jann (who are the weakest of all)
Jinn (Jinn are evolved Jann like apes are believed to have evolved into man)
Sheytans (or demons)
Ifrits another powerful evil Jinni (in Egyptian popular belief a man who dies a violent death becomes an Ifrit and haunts the place of his death)
Marids. The most powerful class of all.
The terms Jinn and Jann are often used without differentiation to represent the whole species, although Jinn is the most commonly used. Also, Sheytan is commonly used to signify any evil Jinni (and often confused with the Devil or Seytan)
Jinns, notably evil ones, are called Dev by the Persians, and the most powerful referred to as Narahs (which signifies males though there are said to be females too). The good Jinni are the Piri (or Peri in Turkish) which is usually applied to the female. There are lower orders of Jinn, one of which is called Gul or Ghul (from which the English word Ghoul is derived). These are regarded as a kind of female Sheytan or evil Jinni (the male is called Qutrub). Guls are said to be solitary demonic creatures resembling both man and animal; they inhabit cemeteries where they feed on the dead, or lay in wait for a traveller to pass where from they entice and trick him by changing their shape (shape-shifting) to resemble another traveller, and lead him from his course till lost.
Another demonic creature described by most authors is the Si'la which is said to inhabit forests, and "..when it captures a man, it makes him dance, and plays with him as the cat plays with a mouse". The Gaddar is another evil creature which preys on men, enticing him to it then capturing and torturing him or terrifying him into madness. The Dalhan is the demon Jinn of the small islands of the sea, from where it will hunt down survivors from wrecked ships. It is said to have a terrifying scream which incapacitates men before it feeds on their flesh.
According to popular belief the kingdom of the Jinn is in the mountains of Qaf, which are supposed to encompass the whole of our planet. They are also said to be in the core of the earth and in the sky. As their individual places of abode they choose baths (this is why women using Turkish baths wore high wooden clogs to avoid the molestation of Jinns), wells, latrines (hence the warnings when visiting the latrine), ovens, ruined houses, market-places, the junctions of roads (demons at road junctions are a very wide belief indeed, extending as far as Europe and the Far East), the sea and rivers.
Jinns formerly had liberty to enter any of the seven heavens till the birth of Jesus, when they were excluded from three of them. On the birth of Mohammed, they were forbidden from the remaining four. But they continue to ascend to the outer limits of the lowest heaven, and there listen to the angels speak about Gods decrees, and about the future which they sometimes impart to men (magicians, diviners and soothsayers), who through magical seances, talismans and secret invocations summon the Jinni to share their secret knowledge.
The most remarkable aspect of the Jinni are their ability to change form at will, shape-shifting. This is reputedly the only time man can see Jinns, if the Jinn take on a form known to man. However the Jinn takes great risks when taking a physical form (animal, human or other) because it then becomes governed by the laws of nature which dictate to that form ie if shot like a man or animal it will die, likewise if it took the form of a fish and was removed from the sea it would suffocate and die. Therefore when a Jinn takes its new form it will remain so only for a very short time, for he knows that if he is recognised he can be killed like any other creature of the earth. It should also be remembered that the fire of which the Jinn is created circulates in his veins in place of blood; therefore when a Jinn is fatally wounded, this fire, issuing from his veins, will consume him to ashes leaving no recognisable evidence.
Traditional defenses against the Jinni.......Jinns fear iron and steel so some people wear steel rings or put steel daggers or knives where the protection from Jinns are needed. Iron is similarly used. Salt is another means of protection since Jinns hate it. Koranic or other sacred verses, the names of God, magic squares (Muska) or a group of magical signs called ‘the seven seals' are commonly worn by people or attached to property.