Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: Djinn

In the Quran and Muslim mythology, it is believed that djinn (or jinn) are a race of mortal beings which God created from pure, smokeless fire and endowed with supernatural powers. The word djinn comes from the Arabic word jinn, which is a plural noun that means both “demons or spirits” and also, literally, “hidden from sight.” The word genie shares the same Arabic root.

The djinn have the ability to take the form of an animal or a human, and they possess free will…meaning, they can be good or evil – just like humans. The shaytan jinn are akin to demons in Christian tradition, but the jinn are not angels and the Quran draws a clear distinction between the two creations.

According to Wikipedia:

The social organization of the jinn community resembles that of humans; e.g., they have kings, courts of law, weddings, and mourning rituals.[17]One common belief in Muslim belief lists five distinct orders of jinn — the Marid (the strongest type), the Ifrit, the Shaitan, the Ghul (or Jinn), and the Jann (the weakest type).[18] A few traditions (hadith), divide jinn into three classes: those who have wings and fly in the air, those who resemble snakes and dogs, and those who travel about ceaselessly.[19] described them as creatures of different forms; some resembling vultures and snakes, others tall men in white garb.[20] They may even appear as dragons, onagers, or a number of other animals.[21] In addition to their animal forms, the jinn occasionally assume human form to mislead and destroy their human victims.[22] Certain hadiths have also claimed that the jinn may subsist on bones, which will grow flesh again as soon as they touch them, and that their animals may live on dung, which will revert to grain or grass for the use of the jinn flocks.[23]

Ibn Taymiyyah, an influential late medieval theologian whose writings would later become the source of Wahhabism,[24] believed the jinn to be generally “ignorant, untruthful, oppressive and treacherous.”[25] He held that the jinn account for much of the “magic” perceived by humans, cooperating with magicians to lift items in the air unseen, delivering hidden truths to fortune tellers, and mimicking the voices of deceased humans during seances.[25]

In Sūrat al-Raḥmān, verse 33, God reminds jinn as well as mankind that they would possess the ability to pass beyond the furthest reaches of space only by His authority, followed by the question: “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” In Sūrat Al-Jinn, verses 8–10, Allah narrates concerning the jinn how they touched or “sought the limits” of the sky and found it full of stern guards and shooting stars, as a warning to man. It goes on further to say how the jinn used to take stations in the skies to listen to divine decrees passed down through the ranks of the angels (Sura al Jinn verse 9),[26] but those who attempt to listen now (during and after the revelation of the Qurʾan) shall find fiery sentinels awaiting them. The Quran forbids their association with God, and advises men not to worship jinns instead of Him, Quran Says ” And they (Pagan Arabs) imagine kinship between Him and the jinn, whereas the jinn know well that they will be brought before (Him)”, Quran Surah 37, Verse 158.

Seven kings of the Jinn are traditionally associated with days of the week.[27]

To learn more about the djinn and their history and significance, the talk below by Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips may be of interest if watched with an open mind.

 

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