Tag Archives: djinn


“Jinns are in the Quran and they are creatures made by Allah and they can’t be seen by the human eye. They were created before mankind was created. Unlike ghosts or spirits they are a separate entity, just like cats and dogs and birds and other species, and human beings can’t really see them and they were created from a smokeless flame or something like that, like how God created humans from dust and dirt. When God made Adam, jinns were made before Adam, God asked all the jinns to bow down to Adam and one jinn did not. This jinn refused to bow down to Adam which earned him the wrath of Adam. This jinn became Shaitan, or Satan. There are good and bad jinns though.Growing up in Pakistan it was a very inherent factor of our culture to believe in jinns, my mom was a big believer and my dad was very pragmatic. My mom used to hide it from my dad and go to this shaman or preacher who would read from the Quran to get the bad jinns away from my mom. My mom had a very troubled life and her mother believed it was the jinns causing this trouble so they went to this person. Fast forward many years and my sister was unwell so the religious person came to my house, and my dad had a garden he loved. The garden had this wooden statue, and the woman came over and said that a jinn was in this statue. I was a bit naive, and I went to that statue and threw it out so my sister would be better. It didn’t work though, I just got in a lot of trouble with my dad. They say some people could see them and they could take the shape of different things, like they could be this chair. There was actually a second hand belt I had got somewhere and in my mind I was so convinced it was a jinn. So eventually I drove it outside and I pulled out my zippo lighter and I burned the belt. And I was kind of susceptible at the time, a lot was going on in my life at the time. I’ve become more pragmatic now but there’s a part of me I can’t shake off. I was convinced i got rid of the jinn after burning it. Even if I didn’t really get rid of it, I got rid of one element, one thing that was bothering me, now I can move on. 


J is a 47-year-old woman who grew up in Pakistan until she was in her mid-twenties. Her family is Muslim, though she’s currently no longer actively practices the religion. 


Jinns seem to be a part of the Muslim religion’s sacred creation story, part of the myth of how the earth was created. They were created before man and there is myth surrounding their own creation, they are believed to have existed way before humans and continue to exist in the world. The speaker mentioned how Disney has turned these religious figures into a mythical, magical version of a blue “genie” in a lamp. This is another example of how Disney has taken folklore through tales and myths and turned them into caricature versions of themselves. Because of Disney’s prominence, this is the idea we first get when we think of jinns, even though it’s very far removed from the actual beliefs surrounding jinns. Through her information I can see the connection between the jinn and the genie lamp, because jinns are able to transform into objects. jinns aren’t actually a magical blue creature as Disney has sold us though, they seem akin to angels to me. Islam is an Abrahamic religion, so it has similar roots and stories to Christianity. The story of Shaitan is extremely similar to Satan and the story of Lucifer being cast from heaven and turned into the devil for not bowing to Adam. The speaker then shares her personal experiences with jinns. Her last story highlights the importance of ritual. She says even if there wasn’t really a jinn in the belt, that ritualistic burning helped her move forward and release trouble that was going on in her life. This exemplifies how even when folklore isn’t supported by science, it doesn’t mean that it is false. These rituals and creatures can provide real experiences for people that are very meaningful and impactful. 

A Memorate about Djinns

ZN.) My mom really believes in jinns, and she believes that she can see them sometimes. So do I, but this is my mom’s story, and she genuinely believes it, like it’s not just a scary story she tells for fun. Basically, my dad’s parents live in London, and they have a basement. My mom has always said she got bad vibes from the basement like there was a jinn in there, and one day she said she went down and saw a man standing across the room from her, with a blank face. She said he moved, and she ran back upstairs, and has refused to go back down into that basement since then.

ZN.) jk she saw the guy twice and refuses to go back lmao

Djinns, also known as Genies or Jinns, are ghost-like figures common in Muslim cultures. Whereas those in most of Europe or North America would use the term ghost instead, they both have similar meanings. Djinns are neither considered good or evil, and can have their own goals while existing in this world. What’s interesting here is that ZN’s mother’s experience with what are considered legendary figures have changed her behaviors to the point where the refuses to go back into her parent’s basement. By entering her experience with the Djinn, ZN’s mother has added to the collective legend present in Muslim culture.

Djinn Attacking a Boat

Item (direct transcription):

So my mom tells me that, uhh, my grandma once told her of a story of something she saw when she was coming back from visiting her parents in their hometown. And this was before the Independence War in Bangladesh, so most of the traveling was done by boat, because Bangladesh used to have lots of water, lots of waterways, and traveling by boat was actually faster than actually going by land.

So, anyway, my grandma was coming back from her hometown, and she was on a boat. And it was, like, around midnight, right? So, dark everywhere and she’s on this boat with some other people who are also traveling. And they’re going along slowly. So then they see this, like, light up ahead. It’s coming towards them. And suddenly it defines itself into, like, a saucer shape. The way my mom said my grandmother described it was that it was like an upside-down pan. You know, something you cook with. Just upside-down. And under it was just fire, just fire coming out.

And, umm, apparently it attacked their boat! And… and like it circled around the boat, and made like waves, like, come up toward the boat, and, like, rock the boat quite a bit. And after, like, harassing them, like, a bit, it, like, flew up into the air, and, like, came down at them as if it was going to crash into the boat and, like, kill everyone. But then it just swerved away at the last second. It did that a couple times, and then it just flew away.

Background Information:

The informant was told the story by his mom, whom was told it by her mom, the informant’s grandmother.

The informant’s grandmother and her fellow passengers believed that they were attacked by a djinn. The informant elaborates that Islamic literature describes djinn as creatures of fire that can fly and assume any form. The informant says that Muslims are more likely to attribute strange occurrences to djinn than to aliens. He believes that what Americans think of as aliens, Muslims think of as djinn. Also, he says the that djinn are believed to come from a separate planet, so they are really quite similar to a modern American belief in aliens.

The informant himself wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what his grandmother saw, though he insisted he believed that the incident did actually happen.

Contextual Information:

The telling of this particular story seems to be mostly constrained to the informant’s family. The informant had not told it to anyone outside his family before, and only thought to tell it to me when I asked about stories of supernatural encounters than he knew of.


This story matches the format of a typical memorate. The informant even seems aware of this, realizing that his grandmother only thought her experience was caused by a djinn because that was a dominant folk belief in her culture.

Djinn and Public Baths

Could you share a story that your father might have told you when you were younger?

“I’m going to tell you about the story, about the ghosts, that my father used to tell us when we were young, and uhh…

We used to have a public bath, which they were underground, a lot of steps to go down there. So, umm…

We always pass from that public bath, and he always afraid of that place. So one time he told me a story about that place that at night…

The, umm… ghosts, they would come over there and have a party! And you can hear the music and everything, you know, and then, he says, one morning, somebody went early in the morning that bath, public bath, and said nobody was there.

So he wanted to be the first one to take shower and go. And he goes in there and sees that there’s a guy sitting there. And he… And then he ask him, ‘What are you doing here?’ You know? And then he says, ‘Well, I just came to wash whoever comes.’

Usually the, the people wash them. And says ‘I just wash him.’

And he says, ‘Okay you can wash my body.’ So he sat there, and he start washing him.

And then he asked him, ‘Oh, I heard there is a ghost in this public bath. And uhh, have you ever seen one?’

And he says, ‘How can you tell that this is a ghost?’

And he says ‘Because my father told me that there is a.. horseshoe on their left foot.’

And he says, ‘Oh! Is that like this?’

And he shows his foot that it has a horseshoe on it, so he just got scared, and run out of public bath, you know nude, in the street-”

Your father did?

“No, no, the guy who was telling the story. Yeah, to my father, yeah. So he just run through the street and he believed there is a ghost in that public bath.”

Do you remember who told your father that story?

“Ehh, probably it was somebody like friend, or someone, because it was everybody they would talk about it. It was something everybody talked about it. It was the neighborhood, the old neighborhood in Tehran… Djinn is something like, like the ghost, it doesn’t really exist, I think it’s mostly in stories, but this one they were saying it’s true.”

Analysis: This ghost story follows a very typical format, down to the acknowledgement that most ghost stories aren’t true, but that this one had certain credibility.
It was shared with Tahereh as a young girl by her father, but she does not know who he heard it from. Nonetheless, she asserts, knowledge of this story was common knowledge in the part of Tehran that she grew up in. Knowing that public baths were not always the safest places, it may well have been that parents told their children stories like this one in order to keep them from wandering into dark places because of something attractive, like music.