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Ancient Mesopotamian religion
Beliefs in entities similar to the jinn are found throughout pre-Islamic Middle Eastern cultures. The ancient Sumerians believed in Pazuzu, a wind demon, who was shown with "a rather canine face with abnormally bulging eyes, a scaly body, a snake-headed penis, the talons of a bird and usually wings." 147 The ancient Babylonians believed in utukku,a class of demons which were believed to haunt remote wildernesses, graveyards, mountains, and the sea, all locations where jinn was later thought to reside. The Babylonians also believed in the Rabisu, a vampiric demon believed to leap out and attack travelers at unfrequented locations, similar to the post-Islamic ghoul, a specific kind of jinn whose name is etymologically related to that of the Sumeriangalla, a class of Underworld demo.
Lamashtu, also known as Labartu, was a divine demoness said to devour human infants. 115 Lamassu, also known as Shedu, were guardian spirits, sometimes with evil propensities.115116 The Assyrians believed in the Al, sometimes described as a wind demon residing in desolate ruins who would sneak into people's houses at night and steal their sleep. In the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, entities similar to jinn were known as ginnay,an Aramaic name which may be etymologically derived from the name of the genii from Roman mythology. Like jinn among modern-day Bedouin,ginnay were thought to resemble humans. They protected caravans, cattle, and villages in the desert and tutelary shrines were kept in their honor. They were frequently invoked in pairs
Shedim, one of several supernatural creatures in early Jewish mythology, resemble the Islamic concept of jinn. Both are said to be invisible to human eyes but are subject to bodily desires, like procreating and the need to eat, and both may be malevolent or benevolent. Like the Islamic notion of jinn as pre-Adamites, Jewish lore also regard shedim as Pre-Adamites, replaced by human beings in some legends. Narrations regarding Asmodeus, an antagonist in the Solomon legends, appears both in Islamic lore and in the Talmud as the king either of the jinn or the shedim 120.
Similar to the Islamic idea of spiritual entities converting to one's own religion can be found on Buddhism lore. Accordingly, Buddha preached among humans,Devas,Asura spiritual entities who are like humans subject to the cycle of life, that resembles the Islamic notion of the jinn, who are also ontologically placed among humans in regard of eschatological destiny.
Van Dyck's Arabic translation of the Old Testament uses the alternative collective plural "jann" (Arab:); translation:al-jnn) to render the Hebrew word usually translated into English as "familiar spirit" in several places (Leviticus 19:31, 20:6,1 Samuel 28:3,7,9,1 Chronicles 10:13).
In Guanche mythology from Tenerife in the Canary Islands, there existed the belief in beings that were similar to genies,such as them axiosordioses paredros("attendant gods", domestic and nature spirits) and Tibicen as (evil genies), as well as the demon Guayota(aboriginal god of evil) that, like the Arabic Ibls, is sometimes identified with a genie.TheGuancheswere the Berber natives of the Canary Islands before they were colonized and enslaved by the Europeans who claimed the island for themselves.
IN FOLK LITERATURE
Jinn can be found in the One Thousand and One Nights story of "The Fisherman and the Jinni"more than three different types of jinn are described in the story of Maruf the Cobbler; two jinns help young Aladdin in the story of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp;asa Badr al-Dn weeps over the grave of his father until sleep overcomes him, and he is awoken by a large group of sympathetic jinn in the Tale of Al Nr al-Dn and his son Badr ad-Dn asan. In some stories, the jinn is credited with the ability of instantaneous travel (from China to Morocco in a single instant); in others, they need to fly from one place to another, though quite fast (from Baghdad to Cairo in a few hours).
The affirmation on the existence of Jinn as sapient creatures living along with humans is still widespread in the Middle Eastern world and mental illnesses are often attributed to jinn possession.
However some modernist commentators, on the basis of the word's meaning, reinterpreted references to jinn as microorganisms such as bacteriaand viruses orundetectable uncivilized persons. Others try to reconcile the traditional perspective on jinn, with modern sciences. Fethullah Glen, leader of Hizmet movement, had put forward the idea, that jinn may be the cause of schizophrenia and cancer and that the Quranic references to jinn on "smokeless fire" could for that matter mean "energy".Others again refuse connections between illness and jinn, but still believe in their existence, due to their occurrences in the Quran.
Modern Salafitenets of Islam, refuse reinterpretations of jinn and adhere to literalism, arguing the threat of jinn and their ability to possess humans, could be proven by Quran and Sunnah.Jinn is taken as a serious danger by adherents of Salafism. Saudi Arabia, following the Wahhabismstrant of Salafism, imposes the death penalty for dealing with jinn to prevent sorcery and witchcraft. Further, there is no distinction made between demons and indifferent spirits from other cultures, as Salafi scholars Umar Sulaiman Al-Ashqarstated,  that demons are actually simply unbelieving jinn. Muhammad Al-Munajjid, an important scholar in Salafism and founder of IslamQA, asserts that reciting various Quranic verses and adhkaar(devotional acts involving the repetition of short sentences glorifying God) "prescribed in Sharia(Islamic law)" can protect against jinn.
The importance of belief in jinn to the Islamic belief in contemporary Muslim society was underscored by the judgment of apostasy by an Egyptian Sharia court in 1995 against liberal theologian Nasr Abu Zayd. Abu Zayd was declared an unbeliever of Islam for among other things arguing that the reason for the presence of jinn in the Quran was that they (jinn) were part of Arab culture at the time of the Quran's revelation, rather than that they were part of God's creation. Death threats led to Nasr Abu Zayd's leaving Egypt several weeks later.
IN THE POPULAR CULTURE
Jinn frequently occurs as characters or plot elements in fiction. Two other classes of the jinn, the ifrit and the maid, have been represented in fiction as well.
Genies appear in the film in various forms, such as the genie freed by Abu, the eponymous character in the 1940 film Thief of Baghdad.
A "Blue Djinn" character appears in the 1960s sitcom I Dream Of Jeannie, season 2, episode 1.
A jinni makes a short appearance in the novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman, originally published in 2001. American Gods were also made into a TV series for the Starz television cable television network in 2017. The television adaptation also features a jinni.
The protagonist of the BartimaeusSequence isa jinni, and the books have an established hierarchy that includes other types of spirits: imps, foliots, djinn, afrits, and marids (to use the author's own spelling). In this interpretation, jinn and all other spirits are not physical beings, but are instead from another dimension of chaos called "The Other Place". To exist on Earth at all, magicians must summon spirits and force them to take some kind of form, something so alien that it causes all spirits pain. As a result, magicians must put measures in place to force spirits to do what they want in a form of magical slavery.
In the popular American television series, "Supernatural", the jinn (alternatively 'djinn' or 'genies') are used as a plot device and one of the supernatural beings that the main characters come in contact with. They are depicted as blood-drinking entities that use psychological attacks to trap their victims in a dreamscape of their own devising. Mentioned in 8 episodes, 2.20 "What is and What Should Never Be", 6.01 "Exile on Main St", 6.10 "Caged Heat", 7.22 "There Will Be Blood", 8.20 "Pac-Man Fever", 9.20 "Bloodlines", 13.16 "Scoobynatural", and 14.05 "Nightmare Logic".
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