Spiritual concepts


A Djinn or Jinni, in Arabian and Muslim mythology, is an intelligent spirit of lower rank - thus a spirit being - able to appear in human and animal forms and to 'possess' humans. The correct word in Arabic is jinnī, plural jinn.

The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, [1911]
I am directly indebted for this information to a friend who is a member of Lincoln College, Oxford, Mr. Mohammed Said Loutfy, of Barkein, Lower Egypt. Mr. Loutfy ... tells me that the common Egyptian spellings are afreet, in the singular, and afaareet in the plural, for spiritual beings, who are usually described by percipients as of small stature, but as being able to assume various sizes and shapes. The djinns, on the contrary, are described as tall spiritual beings possessing great power.

It is from the word Jinni that we get the word genie. The original 18th century French translators of The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, used the French génie, and from there it became genie in English.

The meaning of the term then became corrupted to depict only the Djinn that appeared in the story and thus this is why the English or French word is restricted to spirits 'imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned.' This implies a meaning of the Higher spirit, which is not technically correct in Arabic terms but has some interesting implications as the word genius comes from the same root.

In effect one is only a genius via one's genie – Higher spirit.


For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.