In the pre-Islamic Arabian mythology the jinn were living beings of superhuman kind. They were not pure spirits but were corporeal beings, more like beasts than men, usually represented as hairy or having some animal shape. Their bodies were solid, but they had a mysterious power of disappearing and reappearing, or even of assuming human form. It should be observed that jinn are not recognized as individuals; the Arab says ‘the Ghul appeared’, not ‘a Ghul appeared’; with the advent of Islam, the term jinn became applied to many of the pre-Islamic gods. Four hundred and twenty species of jinn were marshalled before Solomon. The jinn of the Arabian Nights, who have distinct personalities, would appear to be later additions. According to Mohammedan tradition, the prophet assigned the healthy uplands to the believing jinn and the fever-haunted lowlands to the unbelieving.
   There were five orders of jinn: the Marid, the most powerful; the Efrit; the Shaitan; the Jinn; and the Jann. The development of this hierarchy appears to have arisen from the necessity of accommodating several groups of pre-Islamic gods in the pantheon of evil as represented by the jinn. There were also other jinn who fitted more or less into the classification given above. For details consult Azazel, Dalhan, Efrit, Ghaddar, Ghul, Hatif, Iblis, Jann, Lilith, Marid, Marut, Nasnas, Qutrub, Shaitan, Shiqq, Silat, Sut, and Taus. Among the Persians, the jinn were Devas, Narahs, and Piris.

Who’s Who in non-classical mythology . . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • jinn — (n.) 1680s, djen, from Arabic jinn, collective plural, demons, spirits, angels. The proper singular is jinni. Cf. GENIE (Cf. genie) …   Etymology dictionary

  • jinn — [dʒın] n a ↑genie …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • jinn — [ dʒın ] noun count an evil spirit that can look like a human or an animal and that uses its special powers to influence people …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • jinn — [jin] n. pl. of JINNI: popularly regarded as a singular, with the pl. jinns …   English World dictionary

  • Jinn — For other uses, see Jinn (disambiguation). Genie , Jinnī , and Djinn redirect here. For other uses, see Genie (disambiguation), Jinnī (disambiguation), and Djinn (disambiguation). The Majlis al Jinn cave in Oman, literally Meeting place of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jinn — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Djinn (homonymie). Génie ailé donnant une bénédiction …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jinn — Jin Jin, Jinn Jinn, n. See {Jinnee}. Solomon is said to have had power over the jin. Balfour (Cyc. of India). [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jinn — Jinnee Jin nee, Jinni Jin ni(j[i^]n n[=e]), n.; pl. {Jinn} (j[i^]n). [Ar.] (Arabian & Mohammedan Myth.) A genius or demon; one of the fabled genii, good and evil spirits, supposed to be the children of fire, and to have the power of assuming… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jinn — UK [dʒɪn] / US noun [countable] Word forms jinn : singular jinn plural jinns an evil spirit that can look like a human or an animal and that uses its special powers to influence people …   English dictionary

  • jinn — /jin/, n., pl. jinns, (esp. collectively) jinn. Islamic Myth. any of a class of spirits, lower than the angels, capable of appearing in human and animal forms and influencing humankind for either good or evil. Also, jinni /ji nee , jin ee/, djin …   Universalium

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