Myths and Legends: Journeys Through Time

June 1st, 2012


  “Arabian niiiiiiiiights, like arabian daaaaaaaaaaays, More often then not, Are hotter than hot in lots of good ways..”~Arabian Nights Disney’s Aladdin 1992-1993.

Aladdin is the first Disney movie that I really, really loved. The Little Mermaid was pretty
good…but a little bit too long for my taste at the time, and there were a lot of overtones I didn’t understand. Aladdin however… Aladdin made me laugh. Specfically Genie made me laugh. Hey it was Robin Williams..who wouldn’t laugh? I idolized Genie. I told my mom that I wish I could find a magic lamp and have Genie come out of it and hang out with me. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that Genie was special. Genie in the world of mythology simply didn’t exist. At least not happy, fun loving, comical types like Genie was. Genie is based off of a being called a Jinn (also spelled djinn, djinn, djini, and genie). Jinn are….well in a way you could say that Jinn are the Islamic version of demons. They’re said to be made of smokeless flame or scorching fire. Although like human beings, they can be nice, neutral or evil. Most commonly they are portrayed as evil. The earliest known stories of Jinn are in the ever famous book  “One Thousand and One Nights” .  There are diffrent types of Jinn. The main type simply known as Jinn, fire types known as Ifrit (also spelled Efreet, Efreeti) and water types known as Marids. Dungeons and Dragons delves into a few different other types including an earth jinn (I believe known as a Saad) and an air Jinn. Of all the Jinns though, the Ifrit are the most evil. Marid are mostly neutral but are benevolent more often then not and Jinn can go either way….it depends on who summoned them and what they were summoned for. Jinn naturally live in a plane parallell to our own…and end up imprisoned in bottles due to be summoned and then captured. Most of the time…if they grant you three wishes then they are set free, released back to their plane. You have to be careful though of what you wish for. As shown in the movie series The Wishmaster, Jinn (Ifrit and Marid too) will twist your wish in ways you didn’t expect if you’re not explicit. For example…one of  the first wishes the Jinn in the first Wishmaster movies grants is giving a person $1,000,000…only he got that money because his mother died. Since all the man wished for was $1,000,000 and didn’t specify how he wanted it, the Jinn granted his wish by causing his mother to die. The one thing a Jinn cannot do however is go against it’s master, or kill it’s master. That’s some small comfort I guess…knowing that your wishes will be twisted if you’re not specific but also knowing you can’t be killed by the one granting your wishes.  It’d be cool if all Jinn were like Aladdin’s Genie….life would definitely be interesting. On the other hand…perhaps it’s a good thing that Jinn make you stop and really think about what you want in life…. After all life wouldn’t be fun if you could always wish for something and get it. There would be no satisfaction in that and it would be boring all the time.

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