Divine Jinn?

The recent thread on major sin, Islam, and RoP: tD reminded me of an old thought of mine - there should be Divine jinn.

I don't think the idea that religious jinn are sort of play-acting - whether they know it or not - at religion (as faeries) fits very well with what jinn are like in period belief. Jinn are...well, people, of a sort. El-Zein's Islam, the Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn describes it well.

Jinn are addressed in the Qur’an as nations endowed with rational faculties. Jinn and humans have mental faculties that allow them to access knowledge, perceive the truth, and distinguish them from all other living beings in the universe. These two intelligent species are described as discerning the Word of God through reasoning, while the rest of Creation grasps it instinctively.

Both are seen as responsible for themselves before God:

Jinn share with humans an essential taklif (religious responsibility). This refers to their knowledge of the Revealed Law. It is believed both species will be accounted for their deeds on the Day of Judgment because they both have received the Revealed Law, and it is implicit they know it. Islam deems both
fully capable of making choices that will determine their abode in the afterlife in paradise or hell. If the jinn misuse their rational faculties as humans may, God will equally condemn them on the Day of Judgment. Both are responsible beings.

The prophets of old were sent to them as much as they were to humanity and some scholars believed there were even law-bearing prophets from among the jinn:

The Qur’an and the Hadith argue if the jinn are considered responsible for their deeds, it is because many prophets and messengers were sent to deliver the Divine message to them. The Qur’an, in many instances, reminds both humans and jinn of this prophetic history: “Company of jinn and mankind, did not Messengers come to you from among you, relating to you My signs and warning you of the encounter of this your day? They shall say, ‘We bear witness against ourselves’” (Qur’an 6:130). But were some of these messengers from the side of the jinn, or were all the messengers from the human side alone? What does the Qur’anic expression “from among you” mean? Muslim theologians debated at length whether these verses indicate the messengers of God must have come from among jinn as well as from humans.

This is reflected in the religious diversity ascribed to the jinn in tradition:

The Qur’an speaks of jinn as having free will like humans. Both species are at liberty to group, to trust or to distrust the Word of God, and to religiously differ...In the Qur’anic chapter entitled “al-Ahqaf” (the dunes), Muslim jinn explain to their apparently Jewish companions how they converted and what Islam is: “They said, ‘Our people, we have heard a Book that was sent after Moses, confirming what was before it, guiding to the Truth and to a Straight Path’” (Qur’an 46:29)...In Islamic tradition, one even finds narratives relating the jinn regularly came to meet with the Prophet. Henceforth, the Prophet ordered his cousin ‘Ali to teach them. “For among them are believers, heretics, Sabians, Jews, Christians, and Magians.”

I don't think the Faerie category for jinn should be done away with, though. It's probably best to keep to the four realm setup instead of just having jinn as the spiritual equivalents of people all the way, and besides that, there's some resonance between the ways jinn were thought of and Ars faeries. The great Ibn Arabi writes that they tend to lack the human capacity for imagination, which is a very Ars thing to say (or...since he said it first...Ars has very Akbari things to say)

In many passages of his opus magnum, al-Futuhat al-makkiyyah, ibn ‘Arabi maintains imagination allows humans to be superior to jinn. He argues the jinn knew of the advent of Islam because they could move easily and quickly. Their swiftness permitted them to investigate the sources of change taking place with the advent of the Revelation. Ibn ‘Arabi stresses the jinn were unable to envision the approach of Revelation without freedom from time and space excepting the scholars and mystics among them...Humans, on the other hand, don’t need to wander throughout the earth to foresee an event, or a great change. Ibn ‘Arabi stresses they are the most developed beings regarding imagination, which allows them access to both ‘alam al shahadah (the physical world or the manifest world) and ‘alam al ghayb (the hidden world).

Even here though, Ibn Arabi excepts the "scholars and mystics."

There was an interesting discussion on these forums a bit back about Faerie saints, where faeries take on the roles of folk saints, and one idea brought up was that religious faeries could ascend into the Divine the way dark faeries sometimes slip into becoming beings of the Infernal. That was a fascinating idea and I think it actually works even better here than there. Not only is there a lot of evidence for religious jinn scholars, who studied with the Prophet himself and transmitted teachings to the Companions, and even jinn prophets sent themselves by the Divine in Islam, but Infernal jinn already exist as a category. As things are, it just doesn't jive to have jinn forced only into the role of faerie or infernal with relation to faith - it cuts out a lot of the genuineness of jinn religious experience in Islam.


Should be Divine jinn if only to have a scenario where some player characters are whisked away to judge a friendly debate between a Divine-aligned jinn imam, rabbi, priest, and mobad.


It sounds like the setup to "They walk into bar and..."


A very polite invitation from the Scholars of the House of the Unseen! There are lots of pretty amusing jinn traditions at the intersection of faith and weird comedy that can start minor stories, like jinn mosque-goers placing rude people who sleep in the front row and block other worshippers on the roof or annoyed jinn girls telekinetically throwing pens and books at men who (often accidentally, they are usually invisible after all) barge into their study circles. Jinn-human marriages are an interesting story setup as well.

A bar is an unlikely place to spot an imam but they tend to serve non-alcoholic drinks as well. :laughing:

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Interested in this, is this more like the typical faerie sense or were these considered legitimate marriages by religious authorities? I ask because the description given in the original post implies that jinn are like people religiously speaking.

I'm mostly familiar with opinions of the Hanafi school because of my historical focus, and that school tended toward acceptance of the idea of jinn marriage. Badr al-Din al-Shibli al-Hanafi in Aakam al-Marjan fi Ghara’ib al-Akhbar wa Ahkam al-Jann, quotes many early Muslims, such as Tha’alabi, Uthman ibn Sa’id al-Dari, A’mash and Abu Yusuf Saruji, who held the view that not only is human-Jinn inter-marriage possible, but rather, there are instances where such marriages have occurred and are allowed. Ibn Abidin, Ibn Kemal, Khayr al-Din Ramli and several other Ottoman Hanafi jurists agreed (they are later than the startdate but seem to have been mostly in agreement with their elders in the school here.) Imam Suyuti also mentions a few reports from the early generations pointing to the occurrence of marriage between humans and jinn and their permissibility in his Laqat al-Marjan fi Ahkam al-Jann. Another of the great classical Hanafi jurists, al-Maturidi, supported jinn marriage based on the verse:

“Marry women of your choice…” (Surah al-Nisa, verse 3)

...which to him included marrying folks who are non-human people, like the jinn.

Ibn Taymiyyah, who is not a Hanafi but is pretty close to game start in period, even went so far as to say the following in his Majmu' al-Fatawa:

"Humans and jinn may get married and may produce children; this happens often and is well-known.”

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Personally I always felt the djinn deserved their own realm.

I don't know if there are jinn who become faerie, but I would be surprised if there are not faeries who become jinn.

My suspicion is that jinn were magical beings, some of whom later became divine or infernal, and were at many points models for faeries.

So the unchanging inhuman soulless magical beings became divine and infernal?
I mean I guess on one level it makes as much sense as magical beings becoming faerie, which still requires some bending of concepts, but it is a far cry from the muslim belief that Jinn are like humans but comprised of a different balance of elements.

In general, I do not assume that magical turn into faeries, but rather faeries come to play the character of the magical creature to interact with humans. So if there are enough stories about unicorns or dragons, a faerie might become take the guise and behaviour of a unicorn or dragon to go and interact with maidens and knights for their vitality,regardless of whether the original being would have been divine or magical.

I would assume that it's the same for Jinns.

Which still doesn't explain Divine or Infernal Djinn, in fact it makes them harder to explain.
BTW what I was referring to was the origin of faeries in most of ars magica which suggests that faerie entities were originally somehow spawned from magical beings or that magical beings became faeries.

Infernal Jinns are canonical if I remember TC&TC correctly, they just chose to align with the infernal realm and got corrupted.

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Yes, but how does a magical being go and decide to align with the infernal, when they are inherently resistant to change? Which ultimately is why I feel the djinn deserve their own realm- they have a unique set of properties which do not match any of the other realms but which are held in common for all djinn.

I tend to assume (for the sake of players) that jinn are not actually faeries or infernal or the like - just realm-aligned beings based on their behavior. Magic jinn are more like magic humans than spirits, faerie jinn are jinn that have faerie realm abilities based on the way they interact with people, infernal jinn are more like infernal wizards than demons (it should be noted that the Qur'an says there are Satans from men and jinn - shayateen aren't limited to one of the sister species.) Silveroak is fully correct that the assumptions baked into the concept of the jinn are pretty different from the ones assumed by the various realm spirits or faeries or w/e - they are a mortal ensouled sister people of Man, who were granted the same honor and responsibility of intellect by the Divine, and whose Muslims form one spiritual community with human Muslims. It's a reasonable response to spin them off into their own category.