The ancient peoples of the Middle East believed that long before man there was a race created by smokeless fire. Fourteen centuries ago, the Qur’an mentioned it in verses describing the presence of two sunrises and two sunsets:
- He created humankind from sounding clay like pottery,
- and created jinn from a smokeless flame of fire.
- Which of your Lords wonders would you deny
- He is Lord of the two sunrises and Lord of the two sunsets.
The existence of two earths is repeated several times in the Qur’an – one inhabited by the descendants of Adam and Eve and the second by the children of Aba al-Jann, the firstborn jinn. The Arabic lore tells many stories related to the transportation of magicians over great distances for a blink of an eye, the achievement of invisibility, the attracting of innumerable riches, and the performance of amazing miracles. For many of these fabulous legends are responsible the jinn, who are one of the main characters in the folklore of the Muslims. These creatures are called with different names by the different cultures and religions, but this does not change their nature or the fact that much of the magic is based on interacting with them and providing their help.
Not much is known about the exact origin of the jinn. Ancient legends speak of creatures made of primordial fire, inhabiting the earth together with mankind. They inhabit the world with their offspring, live in communities and tribes, have rulers and kings, create families, they also die, albeit with a much longer lifespan than humans. Jinn are conscious creatures with free will and with a clear moral position for good and evil, and some share our spiritual views and religions. Those oners of them who we can define as evil are considered apostates in their community and are classified as demons or devils (shayateen). Some of their powerful tribes, who are followers of Iblis, are enemies of humankind, and others are summoned by the sorcerers for personal gain. Jinn are invisible to the human eye unless they themselves want to be seen. It is assumed that they want to remain hidden so as not to be hurt. It is known that they can have sex with humans and even can marry men and women. There are also cases of abducted girls and boys in which the jinn fall in love.
The word jinn is their Arabic name, which literally means “hidden”. In different parts of the world they are called by many other names – fairies, elves, peri, devas, rakshasa. They are what the modern occultists describe as elementals, but not in the sense of constructed from a given element, but rather of their location in nature. Those who inhabit deserts, mountains and rocks are called earthly jinn. The oldest jinn who live in caves under the oceans are called marid, and others who are flying or inhabiting airspace are called silat. The ifrits are those of powerful rang with fierce nature.
Among the sedentary peoples of Syria and Palestine, the jinn are considered to inhabit the earth or the underworld. Therefore, they are often called by similar names, such as ahl al-ard “earthly people”. This is due to the belief that they can be found in places where there is a connection with the underworld – springs, wells and reservoirs associated with groundwater. Hot springs are even more mystical and it is the spirits that inhabit them that are credited with the ability to warm their waters and give them healing properties. Other entrances to the underworld and considered the main habitat of the jinn are caves, rock crevices and earth holes. Even trees whose roots enter the ground are considered their homes. They also live among the people, in the cities, in cemeteries, at crossroads, and also in our homes, and unlike us, they can watch us constantly.
In the Middle Eastern folklore, there are certain places that are believed to be haunted by jinn, mainly old abandoned houses, ruins and wastelands, considered to be dangerous and are avoided by humans. In the classic stories and especially in the Tales of 1001 Nights it is said that jinn inhabit the rose-covered city of Shadukiam. And according to another story, they inhabited the City of Brass, which some Arab historians claim is located in the deserts of North Africa.
According to Islamic cosmology, the jinn came from the Emerald Mount Kaf (Jabal al-Qaf), also known in Persian and Indian beliefs. The great philosopher and mystic Ibn Arabi says:
“It is a great mountain, with which Allah has wrapped the earth, and He has wrapped this mountain with a great snake, which Allah has joined its head and tail after wrapping it around this mountain”
It is believed that Mount Qaf is located in a world parallel to us, from which we are separated by an invisible veil through which we can not see, but the jinn can.
19. He has set the two oceans in motion, converging together 20. Between them is a barrier, which they do not overrun Surah Ar-Rahman
Even if we are not able to see the jinn, because as a rule, they are invisible, we can certainly feel when some of them are close to us due to their strong emanation, often described as an electrical presence. They do not have to be called to appear, they can do so of their own will if they decide that a person is of interest to them.
There are many stories and legends describing the appearance of the jinn, ranging from dwarves to giants, cyclops and human-like creatures. According to their spiritual hierarchy, those who are heavenly or exalted have translucent and shining bodies. The lower or underground ones have shadow-like bodies. Medieval Arab philosophers define them as created from etheric matter or semi-material, but capable of influencing physical objects and materializing at will. Jinn are revealed to humans in various forms and figures, mostly as shadows or dark humanoids, but mostly in animal forms, such as dogs, cats, snakes, and scorpions. There are also animals whose form they are considered not to accept. Such one is the wolf, which is considered their mortal enemy, and parts of that animal have been used as a protection against them.
Among the peoples and Bedouin tribes in southern Arabia, sacrifices were still made to the jinn, who played a special role in their customs. Especially in the cases of building a new home, digging a well or cultivating land, poultry, sheep and goats are slaughtered in order to appease and win the favor of the spirits. If a person seeks shelter in caves or bathes in their waters, or looking for a cure, he must also honor them with a sacrifice, because he disturbs them and enters their territory.
It is important to mention that these beings were not created to be servants of humans, as interpreted in fairy-tale motifs and modern popular culture. Many of those who tried to control them forcibly ended in a tragic way. But powerful unions between jinn and humans can be created usually through specific and extensive magical rites.
If the jinn are insulted or provoked by a person they can punish him so they should be treated with respect. The jinn can affect the physical and mental body of humans and animals. It is believed that they can also hit the crops by the strong winds and whirlwinds they caused.
Due to the great magical abilities and knowledge of the jinn, they have always been the object of respect and interest for many people and those trying to get in touch with them. Much of the Arabic magical texts dating back to the 9th century contain instructions for making contact with these beings. They may be called upon to help or assist us in any task under certain conditions. Contact with them can be both beneficial or dangerous but that depends on the nature of the jinni itself. One of the most carefully guarded secrets of the Arab sorcerers are the names of the jinn they work with.
Once contact is established the jinn can be powerful and indispensable aids, teachers, and protectors. ©
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