- This article is about the mythological creature. For the American air-to-air nuclear missile, see AIR-2 Genie. For the Internet service provider, see GEnie.
"Genie" is the anglicized word for the Arabic "jinni". In Semitic mythology and Islamic religion, a jinni (also "djinni" or "djini") is a member of the jinn (or "djinn"), a race of spirits.
For the ancient Semites they were spirits of vanished ancient peoples who acted during the night and disappeared with the first light of dawn; they could make themselves invisible or change shape into animals at will; these spirits were commonly made responsible for diseases and for the manias of some lunatics who claimed that they were tormented by the jinn.
The Arabs believed that the jinn were spirits of fire, although sometimes they associated them with succubi, demons in the forms of beautiful women, who visited men by night to copulate with them until they were exhausted, drawing energy from this encounter just as a vampire is supposedly sustained by his victim's blood.
In the Western world, genies typically come from small lamps and grant three wishes to the person who rubbed the lamp to release the genie. An example of this type of genie can be found in the Aladdin tale from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.
Jinn in Islam
The term "mythological" would likely be viewed as a pejorative statement by many Muslims because traditionally they take the belief that jinn are real beings. The jinn are said to be creatures with free will, made of smokeless fire by God, much in the same way humans were made of earth. In the Qur'an, the jinn are frequently mentioned and even Surat 72: Al-Jinn is entirely about them. In fact Muhammad was said to have been sent as a prophet to "men and jinn". In Islam-associated mythology, the jinn were said to be controllable by magically binding them to objects, as Suleiman (Solomon) most famously did; the Spirit of the Lamp in the story of Aladdin was such a jinni, bound to an oil lamp.
In sorcery books Jinn are classified into four races each relating to earth (dirt), air (wind), fire or natural bodies of water.
In those races they come in tribes, usually seven, each with a king, each king controls his tribe and is controlled by an Angel, whereas the Angel's name is torture to the jinn king as well as his specific tribe, much the same way Jesus' name is to a demon during an exorcism.
Unlike white and evil witches, Jinn have free will yet could be compelled to perform both good and evil acts, compared to a demon who would only hurt creatures or an angel with benevolent intentions (white witchcraft). Knowing what to ask what spirit to perform is key as asking a spirit to perform a chore counter its natural tendencies would anger the sprit into retaliating against the sorcerer.
Jinn are not to be confused with the Kareen قرين mentioned in Muslim mythology, a spirit intent on tricking people into committing sins, similar to a personal demon. As they are unique to each individual, Kareens would be the ones a magician would summon after a person's death, such as in a sťance, for the soul goes to God and the unruly Kareen would remain on earth and would impersonate the deceased whose character he's familiar with.
- al-Ashqar, Dr. Umar Sulaiman (1998). The World of the Jinn and Devils. Boulder, CO: Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations.