Friday, October 29, 2010

Creature Feature: The Djinn

The Djinn (or Jinn) are creatures rooted in Arabian folklore.  They are the basis for the modern genie, although the original creatures are usually much darker in nature, sometimes being referred to as demons. They are also mention in the Qu’ran and are taught in Islam to be creatures similar to humans in their ability to choose from right and wrong. Said to be created by Allah from smokeless flame, the Djinn are often portrayed as mischievous beings who constantly try to trick humans into getting into trouble. The Djinn are also capable of shifting forms but because they abide to the physical laws of their form, they tend to not stay in one shape for long.

What makes the Djinn interesting is that it’s believed they will be held accountable for their actions. Giving a supernatural creature an element of accountability and humanity makes it easier for us to relate to them. If they have to choose between right and wrong, they can’t be that much different from us. Except for, of course, all their cool super abilities.

There are still many people who believe in the existence of the Djinn, much as many Christians believe in the existence of angels and demons. And really, there’s not a huge difference. Both religions believe in the creation of inhuman beings that serve some greater function in the scheme of things. And both Christian demons and the Islamic Djinn will ultimately have to pay some price for their actions. Their existence is a reminder that out actions matter. And sooner or later those actions are going to catch up with us.

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