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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Arabic, literally “spirit”), in the Koran a fantastic substance created by Allah from pure, smokeless fire. There are two types of jinns: those converted to Islam that do good deeds and those that are faithless deluders of people and bearers of disease. According to believers, jinns are capable of assuming various forms and living inside of people, animals, and plants. The concept of the jinn existed in pre-Islamic Arabic pagan mythology. With the spread of Islam, belief in jinns became partially incorporated into other peoples’ beliefs (for example, the Persians).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(genii) class of demon assuming animal/human form. [Arab. Myth.: Benét, 13, 521]
See: Demon
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Caption: Figure 2: "The Merchant and the Jinnee," from Edward William Lane.