Meet Jinn... the real genies
Is it a case of Them and Us? Find out how genies (or jinn) are connected with our world's many myths and mythic creatures. As importantly, discover why having a full-time donkey bodyguard is more of a requirement than a luxury.
Jinn - The real genies, and how they're connected with our world's many myths and mythical creatures
With all the hype over ghosts and ghouls in the 80's and 90's and the recent craze over vampires, probably the only hype we've ever had about Jinn is Aladdin, cult sixties sitcom I DREAM OF JEANNIE and Christina's hit single GENIE IN A BOTTLE... although the director of POLTERGEIST is bringing out a horror film in 2012 featuring, and entitled, JINN. Which may redress the balance.
Genies - or, as they are originally termed, Jinn - aren't just simple lamp-dwelling, wish-making, shape-shifting beings. Well... they sort of are. But there's a lot more to them.
Islamic mysticism states that Jinn were created from 'smokeless fire'. To understand that, we need to understand how the earth formed. The earth certainly is 'The Water Planet' (three quarters of it is water, not land) and the reason it became this way is because the earth was originally a big sea of molten rock spewed from volcanoes. All the smoke and water vapor from the volcanoes collected in the atmosphere, eventually coming down as rain that put all the fire out.
And since Jinn are made from fire, when they die their bodies turn to ash, dispersed by the wind while their souls meet their final fate of paradise or eternal damnation.
Yes, Jinn are mortals. Just like us. They eat. They breathe. They reproduce. They have their own civilizations and cultures.
The 3 types of Jinn
Wind Jinn, a type of winged Jinn, have the power to fly over long distances at quick speeds. I believe Jinn are the essence of many mythical creatures; Wind Jinn are the source for the stories of mythical creatures like Vampires and Harpies.
Shapeshifting Jinn can take the form of snakes and dogs and other animals - not unlike Kitsunes, Merpeople , Medusae and Werewolves.
Lastly, we have Nomadic Jinn who travel to different places and sometimes settle in with humans, not unlike Yeti, Bigfoot and those elusive Fairies who so often choose to mingle with us common folk.
How to spot a Jinn
Essentially, the best advice I can give is the opposite of that given to film directors: involve yourself with animals and children. Even though Jinn stay invisible most of the time, animals can still see them. One indication of a Jinn's presence is when a donkey brays. Islamic scholars believe that when a rooster crows in the morning that means it sees an angel whereas when a donkey brays it sees an ugly old Jinn.
The good news is you don't need a full-time donkey bodyguard to warn you when a Jinn is around. Animals of all kinds can see them, so when your cat suddenly stares into space and shows fear in its eyes, you can be sure something invisible but Jinn-shaped is there.
Little children can also see Jinn. Once, a girl in my college had to go to a nursery school for a project and one of the kids there kept telling her he could see a scary little blue-skinned being jumping around.
Where do Jinn live?
If you travel by car through the barren deserts of Saudi-Arabia you'll see what most people do when they travel cross-country to other lands in the Middle East. That is, strange and often scary sightings of creatures or ghosts that disappear just as suddenly as they appeared.
Jinn love vast barren areas of desert. They also love jungles and forests choked with trees and greenery, graveyards (of course) and haunted houses... or any house that went through misery or tragedy or hasn't been lived in for over forty days. Jinn also sometimes inhibit filthy places like bathrooms. Some legends tell of Jinn living under the sea, like the Bermuda triangle. Some scholars state that Jinn not only live with us on this earth but also in a parallel realm set at such an angle that the Jinn can see us but we can't see them. One legend talks of Jinn hiding in a barren desert in Somalia where there is a cave that acts like a portal to their world.
Them and Us.
Islamic mysticism has it that every human is born with a Jinn companion who accompanies them through life, and as soon as we start to tell the difference between right and wrong this companion starts putting us through trials and temptations and it's our will if we succumb to that or not. It sounds rather like the daemons of Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, does it not?
If we choose to resist Jinn whenever they whisper temptations into our souls, thos Jinn can finally change for the better themselves and become like our second guardian angels... even our best friends.
And when we die our Jinn companion still lives on.
I mentioned earlier that Jinn are just like us. They have feelings, thoughts, culture... so why shouldn't some of them want to associate with us?
There have been many instances of Jinn possession, with Jinn stating that they have fallen in love with their host even as they were being exorcised from the people they'd possessed. This may all sound like sweet, mushy Twilight romance but those fellas can get really possessive! I'd rather date someone who'd give me my own freedom and space - and who isn't afraid of the sun.
Spirits, sorcery and the magic of Jinn
Where do all those mystical powers and accurate fortune tellers come from? Maybe it's the Jinn, who are said to associate with sorcerors and give them a helping hand. When a Jinn helps out a sorcerer with their fortune telling and reading of the tarot, it usually goes to the lowest heaven to eavesdrop on the angels discussing future events. The 'helpful' Jinn could also ravage through every soul's 'Book of Fate' where the fate of every being on earth is written and find out a particular person's future.
From the astrological to the astronomical, not only fortune tellers and sorcerors but also comets have an association with Jinn. Comets have always been believed to be associated with spirits of some kind. When an angel senses a Jinn around, the angel sends a fiery comet after it. If a Jinn manages to evade it, then its job is done, but 'for every one truth, they add a hundred lies'.
Jinn are like creepy-crawlies: They're more scared of you than you are of them
Despite their powers, most Jinn are scared of us... unless they sense our fear. That's when they go in for the kill, moving objects around us randomly poltergeist-style, harrassing and indeed possessing us... the level of involvement depends on how malevolent and powerful the Jinn spirit is. Speaking of which...
Protection from Jinn
Though not all Jinn are malignant, there are a few bad seeds and the only way to keep them away is through emotional discipline achieved through meditation and strong faith.
There are a few verses, many of them from the Qur'an, that you can recite every time you sense a Jinn's presence (this could be a sudden increase or decrease in the temperature around you, or the air thickens around you. Or your pet either bolts or stares in fear. Or, indeed, a small child in the vicinity suddenly tells you there's a little blue man running about that you can't see). Just google 'Verses to protect from Jinn' and you'll get them.