I know that ancient Arabians had a mythology about evil creatures made of dust and fire called djinn, now my question is this: how were they different from Demons and devils?


It would seem that in the pre-Abrahamic cultures of Europe and Arabia, Jinn and Daemons are broadly similar in that they are both spirits higher than humans and worthy of worship but not necessarily Gods (bare in mind sources for this period might be limited) see Greek Religion (1995), and Islam, Arabs, and Intelligent World of the Jinn (2009).

The key differences seem to appear post-Abrahamic religions, where Daemons were, well, Demonised. Daemon was used as the term in Greek for other semi-divine malicious beings, idols, or foreign deities in translations of the Bible, Demonology (1973). Whereas Jinns seem to have been to a greater or lesser extent incorporated into Islamic theology as a neutral group; capable of malicious or beneficent actions due to their free will, in the same way as Human beings, capable of salvation, see Quran 51:56.

Their post-Abrahamic form seems far more akin to the Irish Tuatha Dé ('God Tribes'), who at times by various authors are rationalised as fallen angels who did not fall quite as far as the forces of Satan, and thus exist in the earth and sea as neutral forces. Though only capable of salvation if they give up their immortality and accept death, see Ireland's Immortals (2016).

  • 1
    Welcome to SE:Mythology! (Although I don't disagree with your conclusion, the answer itself would be greatly strengthened with some excerpts from the referenced material.)
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 20 '18 at 20:22

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