By Robert Lebling, Tahir Shah

When Westerners consider a genie, the 1st photo that involves brain might be Barbara Eden in her crimson harem pants or the illuminated blue buffoon from the lively Disney movie Aladdin. yet to the folk of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the image is dramatically diversified. Legends of the fireplace Spirits seems to be past Westernized caricatures to immerse the reader within the shiny lore of the jinn—the wondrous, usually complex, and occasionally terrifying spirit beings of historical Arab and Islamic tradition.

Robert Lebling delves into long-lost bills, medieval histories, colonial documents, anthropologist’s stories, and traveler’s stories to discover the beginning and evolution of legends that proceed to thrive within the center East and past. He cuts via centuries of Orientalists’ cultural presumption to craft a learn that stands except the overpowering physique of literature excited about faith within the heart East.

A beautiful synthesis of background and folklore, this is often the main different choice of jinn lore ever assembled in a single quantity. From historical scriptures to The Arabian Nights and past, and with a foreword by means of acclaimed filmmaker Tahir Shah, Lebling has built a accomplished account that not just transcends geographical borders but additionally spans a few 4 millennia.

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To him, marriage of a female human to a male jinn was simply inconceivable. Ibn Taymiyyah, a scholar held in high regard by many conservative Muslims today, believed that it was theoretically possible for humans and jinn to intermarry and have children. As far back as the seventh century, a prominent Islamic theologian named al-Hasan al-Basri decided that marrying a jinn was possible but impermissible. Some 14 centuries later the debate continues among Muslims, with most sentiment opposed to intermarriage with jinn.

He was crying, “O you bold evil-doer! A matter of success! ” Then the cry came again: “O you bold evildoer! A matter of success! ” ’23 One of Muhammad’s companions particularly revered by today’s Shi'ites, Jabir ibn Abdullah, recounts in a hadith how the Prophet counselled people on ways of dealing with mischievous jinn. ‘Cover your utensils and tie your water skins, and close your doors and keep your children close to you at night, as the Jinns spread out at such time and snatch things away,’ Muhammad said.

Among the oldest of the jinn legends is one tightly intertwined with the Judaeo-Christian tradition: the origin of the Devil or Satan – known as Iblis or Eblis to the Muslims – and his role in the creation and fall of Adam and Eve. In the Islamic faith, Iblis is generally regarded as a jinn who was elevated to the status of an angel, presumably because of his intelligence and leadership qualities. As we have seen, angels were originally created by Allah from light, and jinn from smokeless fi re.

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