There seems to be a rising interest in Arabian magic originating well before the restrictive Islamic religion took hold of the region and attempted to purge natural magick out of its lands.
Today we are going to travel and take a look at the mysterious beginnings of occult science in Arabia, we will take a quick but fascinating look at the powerful magical Jinn (Djinn, Genie) and then dive deeper into this mysterious realm of Magic
So let’s dive in! and take a closer look
Genie? Or Jhinn?
Probably the first thing you think of when hearing that, if you’re in the West would be of rubbing a lamp and then some gigantic blue humanoid-spirit like apparition emerges in a puff of mystical smoke That sounds something like Robin Williams on coke right?
But that is not at all what Jhinn are; the Jhinn we know in pop culture and pop art are not the Jinn of ancient folklore or of various religious practices, that predate Islam.
Instead of this friendly gregarious quizzical character that for some reason is bound to a lamp, the world of Jinn is a fairly vast and varied one, and the Jinn just like human beings are, have free will.
Therefore naturally some are good and some are bad, some are merely unpredictable or quirky, and we see regional variation too throughout relevant history in the way that Jinn were treated by human beings.
If we examine the etymology of the word Jhinn, “Jhinn” would be the plural and “Jhinni” would be the singular.
And also it is important to note that the same root word is related to the idea of genius, which goes back to Greco- Roman times, but is not actually in reference to intellect.
The belief in the existence of the Jhinn is very old and as I mentioned before it predates Islamic culture by several centuries at the very least.
In Ancient times
Before people were forced to practice Islam, liberal (pagan) cultures in the region had already believed in the magical beings known as Jhinn.
These beliefs varied and in some parts they didn’t believe in them as being just another form of life created by God along with man, and along with angels, they instead believed in Jinn as tributary spirits, in some parts of the world they were venerated like ancestors were venerated.
In other parts they were treated as “demigods” or nature spirits of some sort, and then still in other parts they were vilified as daemons and yet still sometimes in other areas they were even thought of and regarded as guardians of a place similar to the benevolent fairies that we find in Western culture and folklore.
So we know all this is true because there has been found sufficient archaeological evidence to support what I’ve just stated, one excellent example is in Palmyra, in southern Arabia where we hear of the anonymous guardian spirits of the local community and the ancestor spirits of the family, referred to as the son of their ancestors.
The Ginnaye Gods?
In North Arabia, there were the beings referred to as “ginnaye” who are spoken of in an inscription from the environs of Palmyra:
“The Ginnaye of the village of Beth Fasi ‘el, the good and rewarding God’s”
Probably related to these, are other Jinn who feature in accounts of Western central Arabia.
This is taken from Robert G Hoyland’s book Arabia and the Arabs.
The Koran which took the creation myth concept partly from Christianity which was several centuries older already and partly from local pagan communities which were even more ancient, in the creation story we find that God makes man out of clay, we also find a curious passage that states that the Jinn were also formed partly out of a scorchless, smokeless fire.
Not all Jinn are the same
Now not all Jinn are the same, and they are not all created equally, like humans they also had a society just like we had, they had courts, they had relationships, marriages, they were even fooling around with humans reputedly, and Jinn could also have different power levels just like they could have different alignments on the good to evil scale too.
The most powerful Jinn are the ones that the Genie stories we know so well of,are based on, the ones that could actually do things for you upon command,these were originally thought oddly enough to be largely evil and also were regarded as the most powerful of the Jinn.
So what about the Lamp?
The whole magic lamp idea that got carried into Western stories and then applied to all Jinn comes due to a mis-translation of a telling of the story of Aladdin.
If you actually read the story in original form,a sorcerer sends Aladdin into a cave and gives him a ring for protection as he is supposed to find this special lamp, and while he’s in this cave he begins to feel fear and starts to worry a little, so in order to soothe his tensions he starts rubbing his hands together and by doing so rubs the magic ring and poof! a Jinn appears, and because of this magival ring he is able to command and control the Jinn essentially.
We hear a similar story when we read about King Solomon, Solomon was reputedly able to command the Jinn, what we refer to as Goetia (Goetic) spirits with a specially crafted magical ring among other protections.
Beware of the Ghul
There’s another creature that comes to mind from this Jinn belief that found it’s way to the West, and it’s once again due to a simple mistranslation on the way.
It’s a type of Jinn called a ghul, and you might recognise that it is very similar to what we know all so well as a ghoul, so this evil Jinn forms the basis of a monster that is so familiar to us from horror films, spooky stories or if you’re a comic book fan, from the old DC comic book “Tales of the script” stories, where a ghoul was always inexplicably showing up to eat things, Ghouls that eat people.
In speaking about horror movies let’s talk about possession Jinn are thought to be able to possess all human beings; man, woman, childre, this is an analogue of sorts to the Christian belief especially in the Catholic Church that people could in rare cases be possessed by a Demon but in this case the possessor’s age and which again could be good or could be an evil jinn.
These jinn are driven out by the means of an exorcism ritual called rudka which uses the recitation of passages found in the Koran, similar to how christian exorcisms are performed.
In the modern world the belief in the Jinn still persists, this belief is not buried in the ancient world merely as part of folklore but continues to this day through ardent believers, and there are several current universities that study and certain academics at these universities attempting to apply modern science to prove the existence of Jinn through various applications of contemporary science interestingly enough.
That is all on the Jhinn,Jinn, Genie for now, I hope you enjoyed the article….checkout the youtube videos, subscribe and click the bell so you will be one of the first to see the latest as they are uploaded.