What Are the Jinn?

While genies have found a place in the English language and culture, the Arab people have a similar reference, which is called jinn, which is the singular form of jinni. These references are considered half-human and half-supernatural, where they can execute both good and evil deeds on a rim. Sometimes, cultures showcase jinn taking a guilty pleasure in inflicting reprimands on people for all of the wrongdoing they have committed, even if they didn’t mean to do it. In this article, we will explore more details regarding this cultural icon.


When illness and other unfortunate events take place, jinn are often blamed for these occurrences. Sometimes, the jinn will appear as a human, while others are seen as animals, such as ostriches. It is also not uncommon to read about jinn that come in the form of rocks or trees. Another well-known place that jinn are known to dwell is in old lamps (hence the association with “magic lamps”).


In literature, an individual is often depicted as rubbing a lamp three times to summons a “jinni,” which appears from inside of the lamp. Next, as the story goes, the jinni will then grant a total of three wishes. When the tales of The Thousand and One Nights was created and brought to the attention of the public, this is when people really started to take interest in jinn.


In the Islamic culture, the jinn are portrayed as the supernatural creatures that possess their own free will and are often described as being made from “smokeless fire.” Many people believe that the jinn are once in a lifetime entities that are confined to lamps and never have contact with other jinn. This is quite untrue; as evidence suggests that the concept of the jinn is that they do live communities and form societies that are similar to the inner-workings of humans. They also eat food, marry, and eventually die. These activities are probably not known to humans because the jinn are invisible to humans. At times, the jinn may become visible to humans or have contact with them, which may occur out of deliberate motives or by accident.


As for the length of their life, the jinn are thought to live much longer than humans. There are a lot of characteristics that the jinn share with humans, such as possessing the ability to do good and bad acts. There are also different categories that a jinni can be placed in. For instance, an “Ifrit” is quite strong and powerful. A “Marid” is known for its evil or harmful intentions that are usually done out of spite or out of revenge for something that a human may have done to upset it.


The power associated with the jinn is wide-ranging, where one may transform into the form of an animal or take on the shape of a human. Often, snakes are a common creature that the jinn are partial to changing into. Usually, the genies of Western lore are depicted as shades of blue, purple, and sometimes green. Since the jinn are made from fire, they can also appear in any color they wish. They also perform acts that are considered unhealthy or unclean, such as eating bones. Exploring the tales connected to the jinn are quite interesting, especially when you encounter some of the entertaining literary selections featuring these intriguing creatures.