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DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC JINN BELIEF
At the beginning of Islam
In early Islamic development, the status of jinn was reduced from that of deities to minor spirits. To assert a strict monotheism and the Islamic concept of Tauhid, all affinities between the jinn and God were denied, thus jinn were placed parallel to humans, also subject to God's judgment and able to attain Paradise or Hell. However, even though their status as tutelary deities was reduced, they were not consequently regarded as demons. In later revelations, the concept of demons and angels distinct from the pagan jinn were made.T. Fahd stated, the jinn were related to the pagan belief, while the demons and angels were borrowed from monotheistic concepts of angels and demons. In later revelations, the demons and the jinn seem to be used interchangeably, here placing the jinn with the devil, against the angels and Muhammad.
Jinn belief in the later centuries
When Islam spread outside of Arabia, belief in the jinn was assimilated with a local belief about spirits and deities from Iran, Africa, Turkey and India. Persians, for example, identified the jinn in the Quran with the Div from Zoroastrian lore. Developed from various traditions and local folklore, but not mentioned in canonical Islamic scriptures, jinn were thought to be able to possess humans; Morocco especially has many possession traditions, including exorcismrituals.InSindhthe concept of the jinni was introduced during the Abbasid Era and has become a common part of local folklore, also including stories of both male jinn called "jinn" and female jinn called "Jiniri". Folk stories of female jinn include stories such as theJejhalJiniri.Although due to the cultural influence, the concept of jinn may vary, all share some common features. The jinn is believed to live in societies resembling those of humans, practicing religion (including Islam, Christianity and Judaism), having emotions, needing to eat and drink, and can procreate and raise families. Additionally, they fear iron, generally appear in desolate or abandoned places and are stronger and faster than humans. Generally, the jinn is thought to eat bones and prefer rotten flesh over fresh flesh. In later Albanian lore, jinn lives either on earth or under the surface and may possess persons, who insulted them, by for example, if their children are trodden upon or hot water was thrown on them.
The composition and existence of jinn is the subject of various debates during the Middle Ages. According to Al-Shafii (founder o f Shafii schools), the invisibility of jinn is so certain that anyone who thinks they have seen one is ineligible to give legal testimony unless they are a Prophet. According to Ashari, the existence of jinn cannot be proven, because arguments concerning the existence of jinn are beyond human comprehension. Adepts of Ashari the blog explain djinn are invisible to humans because they lack the appropriate sense organs to envision them. Critics argued, if jinn exists, their bodies must either be ethereal or made of solid material; if they were composed of the former, they would not able to do hard work, like carrying heavy stones. If they were composed of the latter, they would be visible to any human with functional eyes. Critics, therefore, refused to believe in a literal reading on jinn in Islamic sacred texts, preferring to view them as "unruly men".On the other hand, advocates of belief in jinn assert that God's creation can exceed the human mind; thus, jinn is beyond human understanding. Since they are mentioned in Islamic texts, scholars such asasIbn TaimiyyaandIbn Hazmprohibit the denial of jinn. They also refer to spirits and demons among the Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews to "prove" their existence. Ibn Taymiyyah believed the jinn to be generally "ignorant, untruthful, oppressive and treacherous". He held that the jinn account for much of the "magic" that is perceived by humans, cooperating with magicians to lift items in the air, delivering hidden truths to fortune tellers, and mimicking the voices of deceased humans during seances.
Other critics, such as Jahizand Mas'udi, stated that sightings of jinn are due to psychological causes. According to Mas'udi, the jinn as described by traditional scholars, are nota priorifalse, but improbable. Jahiz states in his work Kitab al-Hayawanthat loneliness induce humans to mind-games and wishful thinking, causing was(whisperings in the mind, traditionally thought to be caused by Satan). If he is afraid, he may see things that are not real. These alleged appearances are told to other generations in bedtime stories and poems, and with children of the next generation growing up with such stories, when they are afraid or lonely, they remember these stories, encouraging their imaginations and causing another alleged sighting of jinn.
Later Sufi traditions related the meaning of jinn back to its origin "something that is concealed from sights", thus they were related to the hidden realm, including angels from the heavenly realm and the jinn from a sublunary realm. Ibn Arabistated: "Only this much is different: The spirits of the jinn are lower spirits, while the spirits of angels are heavenly spirits".The jinn share, due to the intermediary abode both angelic and human traits. According to some Sufi teachings, a jinn is like an "empty cup", composed of its own ego and intention, and a reflection of its observer. Because jinn is closer to the material realm, it would be easier for a human to contact a jinn, than an angel.
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