Growing up in a Muslim household, stories of various types of jinns have followed us into daily life. However, a lot of the time, the stories get a bit mixed up and over cross. We tend to classify all supernatural activity as jinns which are not entirely true. Besides, a Jinn isn’t just one monotone being, but rather a species’ name, so to say. Much like humans, many types of jinns come in all shapes, forms, and abilities.
The Jinns, also known as djinns, are a broad type of supernatural creatures that have existed in folklore before Islamic times. Many cross-culture similarities have also been found in stories. With the help of the Quran and Hadith, we finally understand what they exactly are. Jinns exist side by side with humans in a separate dimension that is invisible to the human eye, though the jinn can frequent between the two. They take many different shapes and forms and have other names and types. Today, let’s discuss some of the most prominent ones.
Perhaps the most popular type of jinn is the Marid. The Marid (translated as ‘rebellious’) is widely regarded as the most dangerous and evil type of jinn. They are incredibly powerful and thought to be the favored troops of Iblis. Marid are proud and arrogant and, thus, are easily manipulated into doing one’s chores for them. They have appeared widely in pre-Islamic lore and even got integrated into western folklore in the form of ‘genies.’
Aside from mentions in the Quran, the Marid appears in stories like the ‘Fisherman and The Jinni.’ They are born with free will and can be allied with humans, albeit after a lot of battles, flattery, or rituals.
Ifrits are infernal creatures believed to be gigantic and winged. They exist in tribalistic social structures ruled over by kings and leaders. Ifrits are usually considered evil, but according to most folklore, they have free will to choose faiths and actions.
According to Islamic tradition, King Solomon (Suleiman) imprisoned an Ifrit and convinced him to be his servant. In ‘A Thousand And One Nights,’ an Ifrit also appears in ‘The Porter And The Young Girls.’
According to Islamic and Persian tradition, Ifrits reside in ruins. However, African tradition dictates that they also live in the bottom of muddy pools and swamps. They generally marry and procreate within their own species but can also marry humans.
This type of jinn is one of the more popular ones, which is evident through multiple appearances in different forms of media, be it books, movies, video games, or TV series.
Ghul, or the anglicized ‘Ghoul,’ is a type of ferocious jinn that feats on human corpses and blood. They are cannibalistic, shape-shifting creatures that lure unsuspecting travelers and children and eat them. Ghuls mostly reside in graveyards, where they steal corpses to feast on.
The Ghul can shape-shift into animals, especially a hyena, that typically coaxes travelers into forests or quiet areas to trap and eat them. They can also assume the forms of humans to trick children into following them. Female ghuls, known as ghouleh, also take the form of beautiful women in deserts and graveyards to lure unsuspecting men. However, you can easily tell them apart due to their donkey legs.
The Si’lat is a malicious shapeshifter jinn that takes on the form of animals and humans so well that it is practically indistinguishable. As one of the smartest and most powerful types of jinn, the Si’lat is also the most dangerous. Found usually as a female, the Si’lat tends to take on the form of a beautiful woman and seduces and marries men. It is also able to procreate with humans, creating hybrid children.
The Si’lat also goes by many other names like the succubus or the European ‘hag’. Across all myths, it usually tends to take on the form of an evil seductress. However, that is not always the case. Si’lat can also be male and appear as a man. Something that both forms have in common, though, is the ability to appear as an animal and malicious intent.
The Jann is one of the most interesting types of jinn. According to folklore, Jann are the predecessor of jinn and ruled over the earth about 2000 years before the creation of man. The king, Jann ibn Jann ruled over the world inhabited by jinns. However, the king had offended God, and so Ibn-Harith (Iblis before his fall from grace) went down to earth with an army of angels to challenge the King. Rather than submitting, Jann ibn Jann chose to fight and was consequently defeated, leaving the world to be taken over by angels.
As a punishment for their betrayal, Ibn- Harith reduced the Jann to a much weaker form of themselves. Despite being much weaker than they used to be, the Jann are still immensely strong but tend not to be malicious anymore. They reside in desolate deserts and appear in the form of sandstorms and camels (especially white). They also reveal oases to travelers depending on whether they like the party or not.
Due to their age, early origins, and punishment, the Jann are much more open-minded about humans than other Jinns. They tend to stay out of their way or help. Unless a human offends a Jann to a severe degree, they are not malicious to humans.
Despite only five types listed here, there are many different types of Jinn in Islam, as per the Quran. The Quran states that they are much more diverse than the whole human population! From jinns causing sleep paralysis to jinns replicating the voices of your loved ones, the types of jinns are endless.
However, most Jinns are not malicious beings and exist pretty similar to humans. They are born with free will and the ability to choose their religion. They are just as skilled and intelligent as humans, too. However, the malicious types of jinns pose quite a threat to humans unless we seek protection with Allah.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative.