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The Role Of Genies And Magical Arabian Spirits In 2020
Genies, also referred to as jinni or genii, are evil spirits found in many African and Middle Eastern cultures. However, they are also an important part of other cultures across the globe from ancient times and they define various superstitions.
The Origins Of Genies
The word “genie” originates in the Arabic word jinni, which is defined as an evil spirit that can shapeshift into persons or animals. A genie can also find its host in the elements such as air or fire and other lifeless items. Moreover, genies were thought to possess magical powers and the Qur'an mentions Allah created the magical Arabian genie using fire that had no smoke coming out of it. There is an interesting tale in the Quar'an that mentions a jinni that was sent to hell because be did not want to bow down to Adam, Allah's creation. Arabian Genies are, therefore, similar to the concept of the devil in Christianity.
Roman And Early Islamic Genies
The Romans considered genies as spirits that watched over people, shaping their character and guiding them in life from cradle to grave. Genies were, therefore, considered inborn features and women were thought to share an almost identical spirit called a juno. There were also Romans who believed in an evil genius spirit that was said to fight against good geniuses to gain control over the fate of a person. Later on, genies were seen as guardians of the house or the local communities, helping them grow and thrive.
Early Islamic traditions spoke about the invisible jinn that the people could not see, with some people accepting Islam and some refusing to embrace it. Jinns were, therefore, considered reflections of the people's behaviors and beliefs; however, the believes that a genie had were considered superior to the ones that humans expressed, since they were considered supernatural. These magical Arabian spirits were also believed to be the reason why people experienced various frustrations and were tempted to sin or to bad deeds.
The power of a genie could wreak havoc, provided it was not managed the right way. Since most genies were thought to be confined inside various lamps, jars and vessels, they were regarded as symbols of imprisonment. They were also often times associated with the granting of several wishes, with justice playing an essential role in the process. People who do not deserve to have their wishes granted may be able to still enjoy them, but, at the same time, they will suffer the consequences.
Magical Arabian Spirits Today
Despite the ancient history, the magical Arabian spirits continue to play a central role in the literature, music, gaming, and cinematography of today.
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights mentions more tales focusing on genies, and Alladin's story is probably the most popular of them. After getting trapped into a magic lamp he took from a cave when a sorcerer followed him to do it, he used a magic ring with a genie inside to escape the lamp. Later on, when Alladin's mother rubbed the lamp trying to clean it, she summoned the genie living in the lamp by mistake. The jinni granted Aladdin a palace, lots of riches and the hand of the emperor's daughter. Finally, when the sorcerer finds Aladdin again, he makes his wife give him the lamp. Alladin summons the genie in his magic ring to get in touch with the sorcerer and get his lamp back. This story was used by cartoon makers, children's books writers and even movies like The Thief of Baghdad or Disney's Alladin.
Even the gaming industry is familiar with the idea of magical Arabian spirits and genies and the latest Pragmatic Play game releases revolve around them. The slots game is called 3 Genie Wishes and it is centered around an Arabian spirit. It features 50 lines and finding the Magic Lamp symbol means being granted three wishes that can increase your luck of winning. The game developer has made the game available also in Arabic and according to ArabicBet, this game is one of the most popular among their readers.
Genies are also an important part of modern-day novels or cinematography, with titles like Bartimaeus Trilogy, Declare, or Dream of Jeannie depicting them.
Even Christina Aguilera's song Genie In A Bottle talks about a genie (“I feel like I've been locked up tight/For a century of lonely nights/Waiting for someone to release me/I'm a genie in a bottle”), perfectly describing the idea of genies that are magical, grant wishes and are capable of doing extraordinary things. No wonder Genies continue to be important to us!