By Robert Lebling, Tahir Shah

ISBN-10: 1845119932

ISBN-13: 9781845119935

When Westerners ponder a genie, the 1st picture that involves brain should be Barbara Eden in her red harem pants or the illuminated blue buffoon from the lively Disney movie Aladdin. yet to the folks of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the image is dramatically varied. Legends of the hearth Spirits seems to be past Westernized caricatures to immerse the reader within the bright lore of the jinn—the wondrous, frequently problematical, and occasionally terrifying spirit beings of old Arab and Islamic tradition.

Robert Lebling delves into long-lost money owed, medieval histories, colonial files, anthropologist’s experiences, and traveler’s stories to discover the foundation and evolution of legends that proceed to thrive within the heart East and past. He cuts via centuries of Orientalists’ cultural presumption to craft a research that stands except the overpowering physique of literature interested by faith within the center East.

A fascinating synthesis of historical past and folklore, this can be the main varied number of jinn lore ever assembled in a single quantity. From old scriptures to The Arabian Nights and past, and with a foreword through acclaimed filmmaker Tahir Shah, Lebling has built a entire account that not just transcends geographical borders but additionally spans a few 4 millennia.

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Extra resources for Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar

Example text

During this time female spirits had intercourse with Adam, and male spirits with Eve, and from these unions the mazikeen13 were born. Some Talmudic scholars have called them ghouls and demons. Others have characterised them as ‘fairies’, somewhat reminiscent of the European Celtic variety: winged creatures that could fly and practise magic. Victorian explorer-translator Sir Richard F. 14 They were able to foretell the future and could shapeshift. Like humans, they enjoyed feasting and drinking, and they married and had children.

When Nebuchadnezzar asks for an explanation, Ben Sira tells the story of Lilith. In this account, Lilith is described as refusing to assume the ‘missionary position’ during sexual intercourse with Adam and consequently leaving him: ‘She said, “I will not lie below,” and he said, “I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. ” ’55 According to this account, Lilith uttered the name of God (a sign of great power), took fl ight in the air and left the Garden of Eden, flying to the Red Sea coast, which she made her new home.

26 Good jinn, who accept Allah, are not restrained during this period. According to Islam, evil jinn are classed among the three categories of evil spirits (demons) that will be cast into Hell after the Last Judgement:27 1. fallen angels (shayatin or ‘satans’) 2. , jinn that do not accept Islam), and 3. pagan deities (such as Pazuzu, the wind deity of ancient Babylon). Islamic tradition says Allah created the jinn before the creation of Adam. Both jinn and men were created in heaven and lived in paradise.

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Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar by Robert Lebling, Tahir Shah


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