Saturday, March 24, 2012
"Speaking of wishes, you know what I never understood? Genies! They tell you to wish for anything you want, and then they add some terrible twist. Like you wish to jump high so he turns you into a frog. What? Why? Who gains from this? The genie? Where's the benefit? You should be fighting genies, man, not me. I'm not the problem. Genies. Genies are the problem." --Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Phineas and Ferb.
According to Arabian mythology, God created the angels out of light, humans out of earth, and the jinn out of fire. Jinn live a very long time, can travel great distances quickly, and can appear in many forms, ranging from terrible to beautiful. The Jinn are divided into five classes, based on their powers. The lowest class are the Jann, who have little power beyond transforming into animals. The next class are the Jinn, who give their name to the whole species and are the most common kind. The middle class are the Sheitan, who are evil jinn. The next class are the Afrits, powerful evil jinn dwelling in abandoned buildings. The most powerful class are the Marids, who are also evil and live in watery places like lakes or wells. The word genie as a name for these creatures came through a French translation for jinn, based on a similarity in sound and nature to the Latin word genius, meaning a local or guardian spirit.