God made the angels from light, he made man from the mud and the clay, and the Djinn from smokeless fire.
The passage above is from the Qurían, and talks about a mysterious and ancient race of beings called Djinn. In the western world we are only familiar with man, angels, and fallen angels (often been referred to as demons). However, in the Muslim belief there are no fallen angels, but instead a different third race that is much older than the human race. The Qurían makes it very clear that the Djinn existed before mankind; just how long before no one seems to know for sure. Some Islamic scholars say they lived on our planet a thousand years before humans, some say a thousand centuries. So just who are the Djinn?
The word "Djinn" (or Jinn) can be traced to the Persian word Janna or Jannu, which simply means hidden. This indicates that the Djinn are invisible to humans unless they want to be seen. According to Islamic belief the race of Djinn lived in desolate locations. These places are said to be haunted or cursed, and people kept away from these locations fearing they might invite the wrath of a Djinni for invading its privacy.
In modern terms the invisibility of the Djinn and living in a distant and hidden, desolate place could instead mean that they exist in a parallel dimension that is close to our own reality. They are out of reach and cannot be seen in the normal sense. It makes one wonder if shadow-like beings, which are reported around the world, are Djinn spying on us by pressing against the membrane that divides their world from ours.
In the Middle East, the Djinn race are considered to be very real. Even in the modern Arab world there are few who think the Djinn are simply legends. In Turkey, the Djinn are not only feared, but respected. From a very early age children are taught to stay away from them and never go to a place where their world borders our own.
In the western world we have little knowledge of this ancient race, but they have been mentioned in the media and some literature as the "Genie." Most of us in the United States are familiar with the 1960ís television show I Dream of Jeannie. In this popular sitcom (which is still in syndication today), Barbara Eden plays a ditsy Djinni (Jeannie) who is released from captivity in a bottle by astronaut Tony Nelson (played by Larry Hagman). Jeannie falls in love with Tony and tries to help him in his life by granting wishes to obtain things that she thinks he may like or need. However, she always screws it up and makes poor Tonyís life more complex.
As a result of this show, the animated Disney stories of Aladdinís Lamp, and other various tales of genies, we in the western world view Djinn or the genie as being harmless, even bumbling at times, and easy to control. This could not be farther from the truth.
The people of the Middle East (in both ancient and modern times) consider the Djinn very dangerous and uncontrollable. The Qurían states that, like a human being, Djinn have free will and can choose between good and evil. This means that not all Djinn are evil; some are good, and many are simply indifferent and donít want to be bothered by humans. The Qurían has an entire Surah dedicated to the Djinn called Al-Jinn.
Djinn do not have a physical form, but they can take a number of different shapes. In the Arab country of Oman, residents in the villages near the Hajjar Mountains believe a Djinni can enter our world for an undetermined period of time. The Hajjar Mountains in northeastern Oman are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula. It is deep in these mountains that Arabs believe is one of the places in which Djinn can enter our world.
To go unnoticed Djinn like to take the shapes of a human or an animal. The mountain people of Oman believe you can tell a Djinni from a human by looking into their eyes (since, though they can mimic the human body, they have difficulty with the eyes). The eyes of a Djinn would be yellow with elongated pupils. Since they have this difficulty and donít want to be discovered, most of them will take the shape of a snake, dog, or some other animal that is common in the area.
There are male and female Djinn, and they do marry and have families. The family relatives are bonded together in clans that are ruled by a king. Djinn children seem to be very curious about humans, and will often appear as fairies, gnomes, elves, and other creatures prominent in mythology. Although Djinn children are taught by their parents to fear humans, their curiosity often gets the better of them, and occasionally they will attempt to interact with human children. Perhaps parents should take the stories of their childís imaginary friend more seriously.
Islamic law forbids humans to marry Djinn, but according to legend it has been done in the past. The offspring of such a union are said to be physical in form, but are sociopaths that do not know right from wrong. In Iran and Iraq crazed serial killers are thought to be the result of a union between a Djinn and human. It is also said that the children of this unholy union have great intelligence, strength, and charisma, as well as incredible powers of mind control, which comes from their Djinn half. The people of Saudi Arabia believe girls who have very hairy legs are suspect of having a Djinn as one of their parents.
Islamic historical accounts of the Queen of Sheba (known to the Arabs as Balqis or Balkis) say her father was a human and mother was a Djinn. Although she was not in line for the throne, she was able to rise to that position before her fifteenth birthday. Legend says she had great power over the minds of others, especially men, and controlled people to murder for her. Her powers of persuasion were so great that she was able to control the great king Solomon. Some say she did this out of revenge, since Solomon was given mastery over all the Djinn and subjected them to slave labor to build the Temple and his cities. The queen of Shebaís mother was one of the enslaved Djinn in Solomonís service.
In Islam there are no "fallen angels." This is because Muslims believe angels do not have free will, and since they were created by Allah from the purest of light they cannot be corrupted. The powerful beings who fell from grace were Djinn. One Djinn named Iblis who possessed the power of an angel refused to bow to man at the command of Allah. As a result, Iblis was cast out of heaven. The goal of Iblis is to corrupt other Djinn and destroy the human race.
Persian legends say the Djinn once lived in this world. They became very powerful and developed technology that was much greater than what we even have today. The Djinn race began warring with each other and polluting the physical universe. Allah, in an attempt to save the Djinn race from destroying themselves, sent an army of angels to remove them from this world and placed most of the Djinn in a world parallel to ours where they could do no more harm to themselves or other beings. Very powerful Djinn who fell from Godís grace along with Iblis were imprisoned in bottles, rings, and great caves around the planet. One of these alleged caves is called MajisĖAl Jinn, located in northeastern Oman. My exploration of this cave is documented in The Vengeful Djinn.
According to the legend, many of the Djinn race resent having to give up this world, which they still consider their home, to humans. They want their home back and will do whatever it takes. In our book The Vengeful Djinn: Unveiling the Hidden Agenda of Genies, Rosemary Ellen Guiley and I, after years of research, unmask the Djinn and reveal the facts and legends about this ancient race of beings that have coexisted with the human race for countless centuries.
If you choose to fear one thing in your life, fear the djinn.