A djinn is a certain type of spirit in Islam, similar to an angel. Many Muslims believe that a djinn can take the form of an animal or a human.
Muslim mythology includes angels and also the spirits known as djinns or jinns, which are described in the Qur’an as being able to interact with people despite being made of a “smokeless fire.” Djinns are known for having free will, and for being either good or evil, like humans. The word djinn comes from the Arabic jinn, a plural noun that means both “demons or spirits” and also, literally, “hidden from sight.” The word genie shares the same Arabic root.
Jinn (Arabic: جن, jinn) – also romanized as djinn or anglicized as genies (with the broader meaning of spirit or demon, depending on sources) – are invisible creatures in early pre-Islamic Arabian religious systems and later in Islamic mythology and theology. Like humans, they are accountable for their deeds, can be either believers (Muslim) or unbelievers (kafir); depending on whether they accept God’s guidance. Since jinn are neither innately evil nor innately good, Islam acknowledged spirits from other religions and was able to adapt spirits from other religions during its expansion. Jinn are not a strictly Islamic concept; they may represent several pagan beliefs integrated into Islam.To assert a strict monotheism and the Islamic concept of Tauhid, Islam denies all affinities between the jinn and God, thus placing the jinn parallel to humans, also subject to God’s judgment and afterlife. The Quran condemns the pre-Islamic Arabian practise of worshipping the jinn, or seeking protection from them.
Although generally invisible, jinn are supposed to be composed of thin and subtle bodies (ad̲j̲sām), they can change at will. They would favor the form of snakes, but also appear as scorpions, lizards or as humans. If they get hurt by someone, they usually seek out revenge or possess the assailant’s body, calling for an exorcism. Usually the jinn do not interfere with humans, but live in their own societies structured as tribes, similar to those of pre-Islamic Arabian tribal systems.
Individual jinn appear on charms and talismans. They are called upon for protection or magical aid, often under the leadership of a king. Many people who believe in jinn wear amulets to protect themselves against the assaults of jinn, sent out by sorcerers and witches. A common belief holds that jinn could not hurt someone who wears something with the name of God (Allah) written upon it. While some Muslim scholars in the past had ambivalent attitudes towards sorcery, believing that good jinn don’t require one to commit sin, most contemporary Muslim scholars associate dealing with jinn with idolatry.
The Christian correlation of djinn is demons. Many of the demons of Hebrew and Christian lore had their roots in ancient Mesopotamia and were worshipped as Gods. The concepts of djinn, demons and daemons of Greek lore are conflated in this text, where the terms djinn and demon are interchangeable and the nature and personality of the djinn are more akin to the Greek daemon which can be benevolent and benign as wells as wrathful and malevolent as characteristic of djinn and demons.