Ruth (just_ruth) wrote in spnwriterlounge,

I Dream of Genie -

the author regrets not being able to add her usual illustrations to this article because of difficulties with Live Journal.

The term Genie comes from the Latin genius which was a guardian spirit assigned to a person at birth. The French first used the term when translating the wonderful tales that would later be called The Arabian Nights because of it's similarity to the Arabic term jinni (plural jinn).

In Bedouin Arabic jinn means the true nomads of the sands who rarely come in contact with towns or cities unless they have a great need.

But in Islamic theology the jinn are humanity's parallel creation - made of fire and air as opposed to the human's earth and water. They stand lower than the angels and have the same free will that humanity possesses.
They have the same power structure as humanity; existing on a separate plane they are invisible to human eyes and we are invisible to them. Mohammed and the other prophets were able to see and speak to both the jinn and the humans to deliver messages from Allah. A number of the jinn joined Satan in his rebellion and refused to bow to Adam and humanity,.

The Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, believes that these jinn account for much of what we humans perceive as "magic" - they cooperate or are coerced by magicians; they deliver fortunes to fortune tellers and mimic the voices of the dead in seances. In legends, the jinn, both male and female, are forever carrying off handsome young people to seduce with a life of magic and dreams.

King Solomon, by means of a staff was able to order both the rebellious and the ordinary jinn to do his bidding. The jinn supposedly built Solomon's temple. He was also able to imprison many of the rebellious jinn also called marid in bottles or rings and by the seal that contained his name, force them to grant men wishes. These marid are angry and treacherous - hence the old, old warning "be careful what you wish for."

Another form of the jinn is the ifrit - these roam the sands as "dust devils" and will cause trouble if offended.

The Jinn are as colorful and fascinating as humanity - if we ever encounter a Muslim hunter on the show he/she will undoubtedly have a number of ways to deal with the jinn. Who knows, maybe he/she even has a guardian jinn who follows them around . . .
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