Djinn, a.k.a. Jinn, Genies, are in Middle Eastern folklore a race of supernatural beings that existed on the earth prior to the creation of humanity. Djinn are similar to the fairies of Europe and the demons of Judeo-Christianity.
Appearance: The Djinn's true form is that of a being of fire. However, as the Djinn possess the powers of shape-shifting they can take on any form or shape they choose. The Djinn tend to prefer animal shapes.
Lore: According to Islamic belief, God created the Angels from light, the Djinn from fire, and Humans from earth. The Djinn, though different from humans, are also similar to humans in several ways. For one they have both male and female genders. Secondly, their society is structured similar to human society, with the Djinn having their own form of government. Also, the Djinn can be Muslim, Christian, or members of any other faith. Despite how the Djinn are often portrayed, not all Djinn are evil. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Djinn are apathetic or indifferent toward humanity. Only a small percentage of Djinn are openly malevolent or benevolent toward humanity. Djinn can inhabit out-of-the-way places and also appear to dwell in a parallel world, similar to the notion of "fairy land". Interestingly, it is just as difficult for the Djinn to perceive humanity as it is for humanity to perceive the Djinn. The Djinn can, and sometimes do, interbreed with humans.
The Djinn And Sorcery: Djinn are vulnerable to magic. Sorcerers or magicians can enslave Djinn and force them to do their bidding. One of the best examples of this behavior would be the enslavement of the Djinn by King Solomon. According to legend, King Solomon possessed a magic ring that allowed him to command the spirits. Solomon used the ring to order the Djinn to build the temple attributed to him. It is a common belief that black magic practitioners will send out a Djinn to harass, harm, or even kill a person.
Djinn As "Genies": The popular image of the "genie-in-a-bottle" is in fact a reference to a Djinn which has been trapped in a bottle, container, or gem or crystal via the use of magic or sorcery. Djinn can and do promise the granting of wishes to mortals in return fro releasing them. Unfortunately, many of the Djinn who were imprisoned in such containers tend to be of the evil and violent type of Djinn.
Powers: Djinn possess the powers of invisibility and shape-shifting. The Djinn can also possess a person or object. Djinn are impervious to human weapons.
Defense Against Djinn: Djinn can be exorcised from a possessed person. Djinn are vulnerable to magic. The most common method of dispatching a Djinn is to magically trap a Djinn in a bottle or container. Once trapped the Djinn can no longer harm humans.
Djinn In Popular Culture: Djinn make appearances in several books and movies. The classic One Thousand And One Nights, is perhaps the most famous. Movies such as Disney's Aladdin and the Wishmaster series also feature Djinn. A Djinn also features prominently in The X-Files episode, Je Souhaite.