The djinn, or ‘genies’ as they are sometimes called in the West, have fallen on hard times since Islam was born sometime in the early part of the 600’s.
Prior to that, these desert spirits were a sort of god-like beings, quite ugly and with malicious evil powers. Some desert tribes worshipped them. But along came Mohammed, and so the story goes, a group of the djinn heard him teaching. They recognized the all-powerful nature of Allah, and became Muslims.
So, some of these djinn (male singular: djinni, female singular, djinniyah) became very beautiful and helpful to mankind.
But other djinn refused to accept Allah’s word and continued to be very evil and sorry-looking creatures to boot.
Legend has it that the djinn are made out of ‘smokeless fire,’ as opposed to humans, who are of course made out of dirt.
Also, in Islamic tradition, the Jewish king, Solomon, was given power over the djinn through the use of a seal-ring with a mystical six-pointed star on it. So, when you hear about the djinni in Aladdin’s lamp, or any other djinni who was sealed away in an object, it’s this star doing the sealing.
The six-pointed star is also known as the star of David.
This blog post could really use a graphic, but I couldn’t find any worth posting that are in the public domain. This probably has something to do with the Muslim prohibition against drawing people and animals. If any of you DotWeekers out there have a link to the picture that this post deserves (that I can use without infringing on someone else’s copyright), please send it along.
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
|Qu’ran, Chapter 72|