The Jinni in the Bottle

September 25, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Here is a link to the first time I ever heard the word Jinn. It is a wonderful scene in the 1940 movie Thief of Bagdad, starring Sabu as the thief, and Rex Ingram as the Jinni (which is usually anglicized as “genie.”)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I742bNHifm8&feature=related

Forward to about the 2:58 mark, as Sabu opens the bottle he finds on the beach, and listen as the Jinni materializes as smoke and says, “Two thousand years ago, King Solomon, master of the all the Jinn, imprisoned me in that bottle.”

Then buy Master of the Jinn to read my own interpretation of the many Jinn legends :)

Ya Haqq!

PS:  There is actually a legend that in Biblical times, the King of Arabia begged King Solomon to help in controlling a wicked and powerful Jinni, an Ifrit,  that was wreaking havoc within his kingdom. King Solomon came and by the power of his seal ring, given to him by God to control the Jinn, imprisoned the wicked Jinni in a bottle, or oil lamp in some versions.


A Cup Overflowing

January 26, 2009

Love is a cup overflowing
Yet without bottom

How is this possible?
Where does all this joy come from?

Does love have no beginning,
No middle, no end?

Praise God! It must be so!
The cause and course of life

A treasure lent to spirit
His light formed in earthen clay

The true meaning of
Every verse of every Holy Book

And the hidden name of God
On King Solomon’s ring,

That the Jinn, created by the
Fire of that Love, could not disobey

Bless us then with Love, O Lord!
As Thy Name is praised

Make of it our garment
Clothe us in Thy ways

That with each breath may flow
The prayer of all our days

And bless the ink and pen
That writes these words

The eyes that read them
And the heart that knows

- Irving Karchmar, © January 2009


King Solomon and the Jinn

July 13, 2006

And now listen, those that have ears, to a tale of Solomon the King. Yes, Solomon, the mightiest and wisest ruler of the earth that ever was or shall be. Wealthy beyond measure was Solomon, and with such wisdom as only Allah may bestow. And lo, he commanded the wind, and both men and Jinn, birds and animals. All were servants unto him. Yet he lost favor in the sight of God, for neither wealth nor power nor wisdom brought him enlightenment.

His true name was Jedidiah, the ‘friend of God’ but was
later made Shelomo, Solomon, the ‘King of Peace,’ because of the peace that prevailed during the greater part of his reign. And other names he had also: Ben, because he was the builder of the Temple; Jekeh because he was the ruler of the known world; and Ithiel, because God was with him.

It is written that at the time Solomon began the building of the Temple, Assaf, the Vizir of Solomon, complained that someone was stealing precious jewels from his rooms, and from other courtiers as well. Even the royal treasury was not immune. Now Assaf was also renowned for his wisdom and knew that no ordinary thief could have done these deeds. ‘Some evil spirit causes this mischief,’ he counseled the King.

Solomon then prayed fervently to God to deliver the wicked spirit into his hands for punishment. At once his prayer was answered. The archangel Michael appeared before the
King, and put into his hand the mightiest power that ever was or shall be in this world…a small, golden ring, inset with a seal of engraved stone.

And Michael said: ‘ Take this ring, O Solomon King, son of
David, the gift which the Lord God hath sent unto thee. Wear this ring, and all the demons of the earth, both male and female, thou wilt command.’

Now, many medieval sources claim that the pentalpha, or
pentacle, the ancient sign of sorcery, was engraved on the ring, because Solomon was said to have been a master of the magic arts. But the pentacle is older than Solomon,
first seen on pottery from Ur of the Chaldees, in ancient Babylon.

Other sources describe the ring as made of pure gold, set
with a single shamir stone; a diamond perhaps, or the same heavenly green shamir stone said to have been part of the Temple. The stone was cut and set in the form of an eight-rayed star. On it was engraved the hexagon seal, and within that the four letters of the ineffable name of God.

No stone was ever so renowned as the stone in the ring of Solomon. For with it the whole earth came under his sway. Only death was beyond his power to control. Yes, death is beyond all power, save the One. There is no remedy for death other than to look it constantly in the face. We who are born will die; we must submit. Even he who held the world under the seal of his ring is now only a mineral in the earth.

Armed with the ring, Solomon commanded the guilty spirit
to appear. He wore the ring on the mid-finger of the right hand, and pointed it at the foot of his high throne,
saying, ‘By the power of the seal of the one God, I command thee, troublesome spirit, to come forth.’

A roaring column of flame instantly appeared, reaching
nearly to the high ceiling of the throne room many cubits above, and just as quickly was gone. Whether the flame itself took shape, or merely preceded him, could not be seen, but where the flame had been, the demon stood, caught in his mischief; for he still clutched in his hands a great many jewels just stolen from the royal vaults.

So great was his surprise that he dropped the gems, which scattered like pebbles on the marble floor, and his red eyes darted back and forth like twin flames in that broad,
swarthy face. And wide wonder came into those terrible eyes that some power existed among mortal men that was greater than his will.

Twice the height of the King he was and more, greater even than Goliath that David slew, the King’s father. And of so dark and menacing a countenance was the demon that even Assaf the wise drew back in horror. Only Solomon stood firm, and a light shone before him.

Then the demon saw the face of the King, whose arm pointed toward him, and beheld the seal of the ring. The demon’s cruel, lidless eyes went wide, and he let out such a ghastly, howling shriek that the very stones of the palace trembled to their foundation. It was so horrible a sound that all the people of the kingdom who heard it covered their ears and cast themselves on the ground in fear. Oxen died of terror in the fields and birds fell from the sky, for it was like unto the cry of a soul newly plunged into the flames of hell.

But the power of God was within the ring, so that even the
demon was helpless. He fell to his knees and prostrated himself before the King.

‘Mercy, Master!’ cried the Jinni.

‘Name thyself, demon.’ commanded Solomon.

‘I am called Ornias, O Great King!’

‘Why hast thou done such mischief to my household? Speak truly!’

‘Hunger, Lord of the World! Hunger insatiable!’ And he
revealed himself as a vampire spirit, who with fangs harder than adamant pierces the gems of the earth to drink their light.

‘Why dost thou drink the light of earthly jewels?’ demanded
Assaf the Vizir, ‘It is a thing unheard of among the wise.’

But the Jinni was silent.

Speak the answer,’ said the King, ‘I command it.’

‘Thou knowest my answer, King of Wisdom,’ said the demon.

Then Solomon looked into his heart, for the forty-nine
gates of wisdom were open to him, as they had been to Moses. This derives from the belief that each word of the Torah has forty-nine meanings. And he discerned there the answer, and it amazed him, so that he looked on the creature before him with a new understanding and pity.

Know then the sorrow of the demon. For the gems
of the earth were born at the dawn of the world, created by the death of ancient forests buried beneath the weight of mountains. It was a time of upheaval when both Jinn and Angels were cast out and the world was broken. The light of the new sun was still in the green life of those forests as slowly they were transformed, crystallized
by the long years into the light that sparkles from the cut and polished jewels. And so Ornias the demon, denied the light of heaven, drinks the light of the first morning, feeding his sorrow and his loss.

And so, Solomon burned the seal into the neck of Ornias as a brand of his sovereignty, and the Jinni from that moment did his bidding, and was given the task of cutting stones for the building of the Temple.

And other of the Jinn who were causing mischief within the
realm were also commanded to come forth: Onoskelis, who had the shape and skin of a fair-hued woman; Asmodeus, who professed the Hebrew faith and was said to observe the Torah; Tephros, the demon of the Ashes, and after him a group of seven females spirits who declared themselves to be the thirty-six elements of the darkness; and Rabdos, a ravenous, hound-like spirit. All were branded with the seal of the ring.

Others there were also for another tale, but one more for
this: A demon having all the limbs of a man, but without a head. The demon said, ‘I am called Envy, for I delight in
devouring heads. But I hunger always, and desire YOUR HEAD NOW.’

The Master smiled. “Indeed, envy is the prison of the spirit,” he said.

Adapted from Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel


The Angel of Death

June 25, 2006

“And now listen, those that have ears, to a tale of Solomon the King. Yes, Solomon, the mightiest and wisest ruler of the earth that ever was or shall be. Wealthy beyond measure was Solomon, and with such wisdom as only Allah may bestow.

“And lo, he commanded the wind, and both men and Jinn, birds and animals. All were servants unto him. Yet he lost favor in the sight of God, for neither wealth nor power nor wisdom brought him enlightenment.

“One day, while King Solomon was walking alone in the royal garden, he came upon Azrael, the Angel of Death, who was pacing back and forth with a most worried expression. Solomon knew well the face of the Deadly Servant, for with the sight given unto him he had seen Death often, hovering over battles, or in the tents of the ill and wounded. When Solomon asked what troubled him, the Angel sighed, saying that he had on his list of those destined for the next world two scribes of Solomon, the brothers Elihoreph and Alijah.

“Now Solomon was grieved at the thought of losing his scribes, for he had known them since childhood and loved them like brothers. So he ordered the Jinn to carry Elihoreph and Aljah to the fabled city of Luz, the only place on earth where Death has no power. Instantly the Jinn did as he commanded, but the two scribes died at the very moment they reached the gates of that city.

“The next day Azrael appeared before Solomon. The Angel of Death was greatly pleased and said, ‘I thank thee, O King, for speeding thy servants to the place appointed. The fate destined for them was to die at the gates of that far city, but I had no idea how they were to travel so great a distance.’

“Now the King wept exceedingly, torn between sorrow and wrath at the death of his friends and the inescapable doom of men. And Azrael wondered greatly at this. ‘Why do you weep, O Lord of the World?’

‘For the long friends of my youth who are with me no more,’ said the King. ‘Have you no pity for those whose life you end?’

‘Pity?’ exclaimed Azrael scornfully. ‘You weep for the loss of their companionship. Your true sorrow is for yourself, and your wrath is truly self-pity. Alas, it has darkened your wisdom. Death is the most sublime gift of God, distilling from this life of fleeting joys and many sorrows that single drop which is the soul. Of such wine, O King, is poured the Sea of Light. Praise Allah that I, who am to you the Angel of Death, am in truth the Angel of Mercy.’“

From Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel


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