THE INFLUENCE OF ANIMISM ON ISLAM
WHEN the Moslem loudly professes belief in the one true God, the second article of the creed adds that he also believes in the existence of God s angels. The word here used for angels is mala'ikat, derived from the Arabic root
"alaka," which means to carry a message. The derivation therefore is similar to that of the English word angel. The Moslem term, however, covers three distinct orders of created beings.
First, angels proper. Heavenly messengers imbued with subtle bodies and created of light. They neither eat or drink or have any distinction of sex. Their general characteristic is complete obedience to the will of God. They are included in His army of slaves. Their place is in Heaven, and their general work consists in praising and executing His commands. Their forms are beautiful and they are divided into ranks and degrees. The four archangels whose names are
well-known; two recording angels, one on the right shoulder and the other on the left, constantly watch the believer; the guardian angels; the cherubim; the angels of the tomb and the special guardian of Paradise called Ridwan. Another order of spiritual beings are the devils with their chief, Satan, whose original name was Azazil. The third class of super
natural creatures find their place between men and angels.
They are called Jinn.
According to Moslem tradition the Jinn were created of fire some thousands of years before Adam. The Jinn are
considered to be like men, capable of future salvation and damnation; they can accept or reject God s message. They
are believers or non-believers. According to the Koran Mohammed was sent to convert the Jinn to Islam as well as the Arabs. (Suras 72 : 1-7 and 15 : 27.) The Jinn are reported to be eaves-droppers and constantly trying to go behind the curtain of heaven in order to steal God s secrets.
For this reason the good angels throw stones at them, that is shooting stars, and the common name given to these demonic transgressors is therefore "the stoned ones" Ar-rajim.
(See the commentaries on Suras 55:14; 51:56; 11:120, etc.)
The general abode of all of these spirits or demons is said to be the mountains of Qaf which are supposed to encircle
Although Mohammed destroyed polytheism with its priesthood and idols, the substratum of paganism remained and was
incorporated into Islam by his revelations on Jinn. Wellhausen has shown how belief in Jinn was universal in Arabia before Islam. Men and Jinn are often spoken of as the Thaqalan, i. e., the two classes of material beings endowed
with souls. The etymological derivation of the word is interesting and its cognate words such as those for garden, foatus, shield, show the same root meaning: to hide, cover.
Among the names for Jinn the following are female: gliul, si'lat, aluq and auluq. The male Jinn are called afrit and
azab, etc. The word afrit occurs in the Koran (Sur. 27:39).
Professor Macdonald in his fascinating book, "The Religious Attitude and Life in Islam,"; throws considerable light
on the doctrine of Jinn both before and after the rise of Islam.
He tells us how Hasan ibn Thabit, a close friend of Mohammed, and one who praised him in his poetry, was initiated
into his verses by a female Jinn. "She met him in one of the streets of Medina, leapt upon him, pressed him down and
compelled him to utter three verses of poetry. Thereafter he was a poet, and his verses came to him as the other Arab poets from the direct inspiration of the Jinn. He refers himself to his brothers of the Jinn who weave for him artistic words, and tells how weighty lines have heen sent down to him from heaven in the night season. The curious thing is that the expressions he uses are exactly those used of the sending down, that is revelation of the Qur-an."
Dr. Macdonald points to the close parallel between the terms used in the story of Hassan ibn Thabit s inspiration and the account we have of the first revelation of Mohammed.
"Just as Hassan was thrown down by the female spirit and had verses pressed out of him, so the first utterances of prophecy were pressed from Mohammed by the angel Gabriel.
And the resemblances go still farther. The angel Gabriel is spoken of as the companion (qarin) of Muhammad, just as though he were the Jinni accompanying a poet, and the same word, nafatha, blow upon/ is used of an enchanter, of
a Jinni inspiring a poet and of Gabriel revealing to Muhammad."
In the preceding chapter on the Qarina this belief in a double or twin guardian soul was fully treated. Here we deal with the subject in general as unfolded in the Koran and in orthodox tradition. The Jinn are referred to in the Koran in the following passages:
Chapter VI: 100: "Yet they made the jinn partners with God, though he created them! and they ascribed to Him sons and daughters, though they have no knowledge; celebrated be His praise! and exalted be He above what they attribute to Him! The inventor of the heavens and the earth! how can He have a son, when He has no female companion, and when He has created everything, and everything He knows?"
Chap. VI : 127: "And on that day when He shall gather them all together, O assembly of the jinns ! he have got much out of mankind. And their clients from among mankind shall say, O our Lord! much advantage had we one from another; but we reached our appointed time when thou hadst appointed for us. Says He, The fire is your resort, to dwell therein for aye! save what God pleases; verily, thy Lord is wise and knowing!
Chapter VII: 36: "He will say, Enter ye amongst the nations who have passed away before you, both of jinns and men into the fire; whenever a nation enters therein, it curses its mate; until, when they have all reached it, the last of them will say unto the first, O Our Lord! these it was who led us astray, give them double torment of the fire!
He will say, To each of you double ! but ye do not know.
And the first of them will say unto the last, Ye have no preference over us, so taste ye the torment for that which ye
Chapter VII: 177: "We have created for hell many of the jinn and of mankind."
Chapter XXIII: 70: "Is it that they did not ponder over the words, whether that has come to them which came not to their fathers of yore? Or did they not know their apostle, that they thus deny him? Or do they say, He is possessed by a jinn? Nay, he came to them with the truth, and most of them are averse from the truth."
Chapter XXXIV: 45: "Say, I only admonish you of one thing, that ye should stand up before God in twos or singly, and then that ye reflect that there is no jinn in your companion. He is only a warner to you before the keen torment." Chapter LV: 14: "He created men of crackling clay like the potters. And He created the jinn from smokeless fire."
Chap. LV:32: "O assembly of jinns and mankind! if ye are able to pass through the confines of heaven and earth pass through them! ye cannot pass through save by authority!
"The whole of the chapter of the Jinn namely, Chapter LXXII. The important passages are the earlier ones:"
Say, I have been inspired that there listened a company of the jinn, and they said,"We have heard a marvelous Qurran
that guides to the right direction; and we believe therein, and we join no one with our Lord, for, verily, He may the majesty of our Lord be exalted! has taken to Himself neither consort nor son. . . .
"And, verily, a fool among us spake against God wide of the mark! . . .
"And we thought that men and jinn would never speak a lie against God. . . .
"And there are persons amongst men who seek for refuge with persons amongst the jinn, but they increase them in their perverseness. And they thought, as ye thought, that God would not raise up any one from the dead.
"But we touched the heavens and found them filled with a mighty guard and shooting-stars; and we did sit in certain
seats thereof to listen; but whoso of us listens now finds a shooting-star for him on guard."
And the last chapter of the Koran, one of the first chronologically, reads:
"Say, I seek refuge in the Lord of men, the King of men, the God of men, from the evil of the whisperer, who slinks off, who whispers into the hearts of men! from jinns and men!
The belief in jinn among Moslems is almost the same as the belief in spiritual beings demons, sprites, elves, etc. in the African religions. Nassau writes (p. 50):
"The belief in spiritual beings opens an immense vista of the purely superstitious side of the theology of Bantu African religion.
All of the air and the future is peopled with a large and indefinite company of these beings. The attitude of the Creator (Anyambe) toward the human race and lower animals being that of indifference or of positive severity in having allowed evils to exist, and His indifference making Him almost inexorable, cause effort in the line of worship to be therefore directed only to those spirits who, though they are all probably malevolent, may be influenced and made benevolent." One has only to compare this with the popularpractice of Islam to see how close is the parallel.
Jinn are called forth by whistling or blowing a pipe. Thistherefore is considered an omen of evil. Before Islam as
now certain places were considered as inhabited by the jinn.
Higar (the city of the dead from the days of Thamud) , graveyards and outhouses are their special resort. Whenentering
such places a formula must be uttered to drive them away.Jinn are specially busy at night and when the morning-star
appears they vanish. Wherever the soil is disturbed by digging of wells or building there is danger of disturbing the jinn as well. Whenever Mohammed changed his camp he was accustomed to have the Takbir cried in order to drive them away. The whirlwind is also an evidence of the presence of jinn. When the cock crows or the donkey brays it is because they are aware of the presence of jinn (Bokhari 2:182). They also dwell in animals and, as Wellhausen rightly says,
"The zoology of Islam is demonology." The wolf, the hyena, the raven, the liudhud, the owl are special favorites in this conception. A specially close connection exists between the serpent and the jinn; in every snake there is a spirit either good or evil. Examples of the Prophet's belief in this superstition are given by Wellhausen.1
In the old Arabian religion the jinn were nymphs and satyrs of the desert. They were in constant connection with wild animals and often appeared in brute forms. Robertson Smith in his "Religion of the Semites," shows us the relations that were supposed to exist between these spirits of the wild and the gods. He says: "In fact the earth may be
1 Reste Arabischen Heidentums," Berlin, 1897, p. 153.
said to be parceled out between demons and wild beasts on the one hand, and gods and men on the other. To the former
belong the untrodden wilderness with all its unknown perils, the wastes and jungles that lie outside the familiar tracks
and pasture grounds of the tribe, and which only the boldest men venture upon without terror; to the latter belong the regions that man knows and habitually frequents, and within which he has established relations, not only with his human
neighbors, but with the supernatural beings that have their haunts side by side with him. And as man gradually encroaches on the wilderness and drives back the wild beasts before him, so the gods in like manner drive out the demons; and spots that were once feared, as the habitation of mysterious and presumably malignant powers, lose their terrors and either become common ground or are transformed into the seats of friendly deities. From this point of view, the recognition of certain spots as haunts of the gods is the religious expression of the gradual subjugation of nature by man."
To the Arabs of Mohammed's day this teaching formed the background of their supernatural world. The heathen of Mecca considered the jinn as the sons and daughters of Allah.
When Islam came this relation was denied, but the existence of the jinn and their character remained unchanged. Dr.
Macdonald quotes a number of instances in the history of Islam where the saints had intercourse with God through
Jinn (pp. 139-152). We need not marvel at these stories of later tradition for we find in Moslem books a number of instances given where Mohammed himself held converse with jinn. The following is a typical example:
"One day the Prophet prayed the morning prayer with us in the Mosque of Al-Madina. Then when he had finished, he said, Which of you will follow me to a deputation of the jinn tonight! But the people kept silence and none said anything.
He said which of you ? He said it three times ; then he walked past me and took me by the hand, and I walked with him until all the mountains of al-Madina were distant from us and we had reached the open country. And there were men, tall as lances, wrapped completely in their mantles from their feet up. When I saw them a great quivering seized upon me, until my feet would hardly support me from fear. When we came near to them the Prophet drew with his great toe a line for me on the ground and said, sit in the middle of that. Then when I had sat down, all fear which I had felt departed from me. And the Prophet passed between me and them and recited the Qur-an in a loud voice until the dawn broke. Then he came past me and said, 'Take hold of me.' So I walked with him, and we went a little distance. Then he said to me, Turn and look; dost thou see any one where these were? I turned and said, O Apostle of God, I see much blackness! He bent his head to the ground and looked at a bone and a piece of dung, and cast both to them. Thereafter he said, They are a deputation of the jinn of Nasibin; they asked of me traveling provender; so I appointed for them all bones and pieces of dung.
"Al-Tabarani relates on the strength of respectable authorities, on the authority of Abu-Tha labah al-Khushani Al-
Khushati, (MishJcat al-Masabih) that the Prophet said," The genii are of three kinds; the genii of one kind have wings
with which they fly in the air ; those of the second kind are snakes; and those of the third kind alight and journey to
distant places. "And again," All the Moslems hold the opinion that our Prophet was sent for the genii as well as for
men. God has said, ( Say) This Kur an was inspired to me to warn you and those it reaches. It reached the genii, (as well as man). God has also said, And when we turned towards thee some of the genii listening to the Kur'an, and when they were present at (the reading of) it, they said, "Be silent!" and when it was over they turned back to their people warning them."
Moslem tradition leaves no doubt as to the dealings which Mohammed had with these inhabitants of the air (p. 451).
"It is related in (Kitab Kliair al~bushr bi-khair al-bashar) by the Imam, the very learned Muhammed b. Dafar on the
authority of Ibn-Mas ud who said, The Apostle of God said to his Companions, being at the time in Mecca," Whoever
of you likes to be present to-night to see the affair of the genii, let him come with me"; so I went out with him, and when
we reached the upper part of Mecca, he marked out a boundary line for me, and then going away stood up and commenced to recite the Koran, upon which he was concealed (from my view) by many bodily forms which came between me and him, so much so that I could not hear his voice; then they dissipated as clouds do, and went away, only as clouds do, and went away, only a small company of them under ten (in number) remaining behind. The Prophet
then came and asked (me), "What has the small company done?" and I replied, "There they are, O Apostle of God."
He then took a bone and some dung and gave them to them and prohibited the use of a bone or dung for cleaning oneself after answering the call of nature.
A similar tradition is found in the Sahih of Muslim (pp. 452-3).
"We were with the Prophet one night, and we missed him; so we searched for him in the valleys and watercourses, and said (to ourselves), He has been either taken away quickly, as though birds have carried him away, or has been beguiled, taken away to a place, and there slain. We spent that night in the worst way that any people could spend; but when the morning dawned, he came from the direction of Ilira, and we said to him, O Apostle of God, we missed you
and therefore searched for you, but did not find you and spent the night in the worst manner that a party could spend (it), upon which the Prophet replied, 'A caller of the genii came to me, so I went away with him and recited the Koran to
them. He then went away with us and showed us the traces of their fires; they (the genii) then asked him for traveling
provisions and he said (to them), For you is every bone over which the name of God has been taken (at the time of slaughtering), which you may take and which will fall into your hands with the largest quantity of flesh (over it), and all the globular dung as fodder for your animals. The Prophet then said (to us), Do not clean yourselves with them for
they are the food of your brethren. Again (p. 455),
Al-Bukhari, Muslim, and an-Nasa i relate, on the authority of Abu-Hurairah, that the Prophet said, An Afrit (a wicked genius) out of the genii came suddenly upon me last night, desiring to disturb me in my prayer, so I strangled him and wished to tie him to one of the columns of the mosque, but I remembered the words of my brother, (the prophet) Sulaiman.
The following story reminds us somewhat of the Wandering Jew and is also related on good authority. It is given by
Damiri (p. 461).
"I was with the Apostle of God outside the mountains of Mecca, when an old man approached leaning on a staff. The Prophet said, The walk is that of a genius and so is his voice, and he replied, Yes, The Prophet then asked him, From what kind or tribe of genii? and he replied, I am Hamah b. al-Himmor b. Him b. Lakis b. Iblis, upon which the Prophet said, I see that only two generations (fathers) have passed between you and him (Iblis), and he replied, I have eaten (lived through) the (whole) world excepting a little of it; during the nights when Cain (Kabil) killed Abel (Habil) I was only a boy, a few years old, and used to ascend high hills to look down, and used to incite discord between mankind. The Apostle of God thereupon said, Wretched was the action ! but he replied, O Apostle of God, leave off reproaching me, because I am one of those who believed in Noah and repented through him; I then reproached him for his prayer (against his people al-Kur an LXXI:27), upon which he cried and made me cry, and said, I am by God, verily one of those who have repented and I take refuge with God from being one of the ignorant ones. I then met Hud and believed in him, and I met Abraham with whom I was in the fire when he was thrown into it, and I was with Joseph when he was thrown into the well, preceding him to the bottom of it; I met Jethro (Shu aib), and Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary, who told me, "If you meet Mohammed greet him with my salutation," and now I have delivered to you his message and have believed in you. The Prophet thereupon said, Salutation to Jesus and to you! What is it you want, O Hamah? and he replied, Moses taught me the Pentateuch, and Jesus taught me the Gospel and now teach me the Koran. In another version, it is said that the Prophet taught him ten chapters out of the Koran.
So firm is the belief in jinn that long disputes have arisen regarding the question of 40 people being present in the Friday congregation. Some authorities hold that they are counted among them and others will not accept the testimony
of those who claim to see them. Special sections are also devoted in books of Moslem law regarding marriage of Jinn
with human beings and their rights of inheritance!
We also learn that jinn do not enter a house in which there is a citron. "It has been related to us regarding the Imam
Abu l-IIusain Ali b. al-Hasan b. al-Husain b. Mohammed al-Khila i he was so surnamed on account of his selling robes of honor and was one of the disciples of al-Shafi i; his grave is a well-known one at al-Karafah, and prayers addressed in its name are answered ; he was called the kadi of the jinn, as having informed that they (the genii) used to come to him and recite the Koran (for the purpose of learning it); one Friday they kept away from him, and when they came again he asked them the reason of that, and they replied, "There was in your house a citron, and we do not enter a house in which that fruit is." 2
Similar precautions against evil germs of the spirit world are common in India and Egypt to-day. In Egypt as in Morocco the belief in jinn includes such things as setting aside dishes of food at dusk to propitiate them. Others keep loaves of bread under their mattresses with a similar idea; while meal and oil are thrown into the corner of new houses for the
jinn. The placing of knives and daggers under the pillows of the sick is for the same purpose.
Skeat in his book "Malay Magic" gives a complete account of the Malay pantheon and shows how the jinn, good and
bad, dominate the thought of the masses. There is an interesting account of the origin of the jinn according to Moslem
belief, and he speaks of how they may be bought at Mecca at a fixed price. He gives a picture of the black and white
"The White Genie is said to have sprung, by one account, from the blood-drops which fell on the ground when Habil and
Kabil bit their thumbs; by another, from the irises of the snake Sakatimuna's eyes (benih mata Sakatimuna), and is
sometimes confused with the White Divinity ( Toh Mambang Puteh), who lives in the sun.
"The name of his wife is not mentioned, as it is in the case of the Black Genie, but the names of three of his children have been preserved, and they are Tanjak Malim Kaya, Pari Lang (lit. kite-like, i.e., winged Skate), and Bintang Sutan (or Star of Sutan).
"On the whole, I may say that the White Genie is very
2 All page references are to Ad-Damiri s Hayat al-Eayawan (Jayaker).
seldom mentioned in comparison with the Black Genie, and that whereas absolutely no harm, as far as I can find out, is
recorded of him, he is, on the other hand, appealed to for protection by his worshipers."
"A very curious subdivision of Genii into Faithful (Jin Islam) and Infidel (Jin Kafir) is occasionally met with, and it is said, moreover, that Genii (it is to be hoped orthodox ones) may sometimes be bought at Mecca from the Sheikh al Jin (Headman of Genii) at prices varying from $90 to $100 apiece." 3
One may almost say of popular Islam what Dr. Warneck does of the heathen Battaks of Sumatra: "The worship of
spirits, with the fear underlying it, completely fills the religious life of the Battaks and of all animistic peoples. Their
whole daily life in its minutest details is saturated with it.
At birth, name-giving, courting, marriage, house-building, seed-time and harvest, the spirits must be considered." 4
What the Moslem belief in jinn involves can best be indicated by giving here the table of contents of one of the standard works on the subject called Akam ul Mirjan fi Ahkam al Jann by Mohammed ibn Abdallah al-Shibli who died 789 A. H. It is for sale in every Moslem city throughout the world. I follow the chapter headings without note or comment: the reader will pardon its literalisms:
Introduction: Proof of the existence of Jinn.
Moslems, People of the Book and the infidels of the Arabs agree on the existence of jinn.
Great philosophers and physicians proclaim their existence
Beginning of creation of jinn.
The origin of jinn is fire as the origin of man is earth.
Bodies of jinn.
3 Skeat's "Malay Magic," pp. 95-96.
4 "Living Christ and Dying Heathenism," p. 80.
Kinds of jinn.
Residence of jinn.
Diversification of jinn.
Demons ability of diversification.
God gave different forms to angels, jinn and men.
Some dogs are of the jinn.
Jinn look at the private parts of man when exposed.
What prevents demons from sleeping at men s houses.
Man s Companion of the jinn, the Qarina.
Jinn eat and drink.
Some traditions concerning this subject.
The Devil eats and drinks with his left hand.
What prevents jinn from taking the food of man.
Jinn marry and beget children.
That jinn have responsibilities.
Were there any prophets of jinn before the Prophet? The jinn are included in the mission of the Prophet.
The jinn went to the Prophet and heard him.
Sects of jinn.
Worship of jinn with man.
Reward of jinn.
Infidels of jinn enter the Fire.
Believers of jinn enter Paradise.
Do the believers of jinn see God in Paradise? Prayers behind a jinni.
A jinn passed between the hands of a praying man.
A man kills a jinni.
Marriage of jinn.
Jinn expose themselves to women.
Some jinn prevent others from exposing themselves to women.
If a jinn cohabited with a woman must she purify her
self ? The hermaphrodites are the sons of the jinn.
What if a jinn robs a woman of her husband?
Prohibition of eating and burnt offerings of jinn.
Jinn give fatwas.
Jinn preach to men.
Jinn teach medicine to men.
Jinn and men quarrel before men.
Jinn fear men.
Jinn obey men.
How to get refuge against jinn.
The influence of the Koranic verses on the bodies of jinn.
Why jinn obey amulets.
Solomon was the first man who took servants of Jinn.
What must be written for the sick.
Jinn reward men for good and evil.
How jinn cast down men.
How jinn enter men s bodies.
Are the motions of the epileptic due to jinn?
How to heal him.
The plague is of jinn.
The passions caused by Satan.
The evil eye caused by Jinn.
Its effect on men.
Jinn are bound with chains in the month of Ramadan.
The worship of jinn by men.
Jinn foretell the mission of the Prophet. Heaven is
guarded from them by shooting stars.
Jinn told of the Prophet s attack.
Jinn told of his converts.
Jinn told of Badr story.
Jinn told of the murdering of Said ibn Ebada.
It is allowed to ask jinn concerning the past, not the future.
Testimony of jinn on the day of Judgment.
Jinn lament and eugolize several dead Moslems.
Was Satan of the angels?
Did God speak to Satan?
Satan s fault in saying he is better than Adam.
Satan s whispering.
God s name drives away the whisper. Stories concerning that.
Satan s call to man.
Evil-doing is desired by Satan.
How Satan seduces man.
Satan is always with the one who contradicts others.
The learned man is stronger than the pious before Satan.
Satan weeps at the death of the believer for being unable to seduce him.
Angels wonder at the escape of the believer s heart from Satan.
The four wailings of Satan.
Satan s throne is over the sea.
Satan s place.
Satan gave his five children five positions.
The presence of Satan at cohabitation.
The presence of Satan at the birth of every child.
Satan runs through man's veins.
Satans expose themselves to boys at night.
What diverts Satan from boys.
Satan sleeps on the vacant bed.
Satan never takes a siesta.
Satan ties three knots over the head of the sleeping.
Bad dreams are from Satan.
Satan never imitates the Prophet.
The Sun arises and sets betwen the two horns of Satan.
The sitting-place of Satan.
Satan flees at prayer call.
Satan accompanies the unjust judge.
Satan walks in one shoe.
Satan flees if man repeats El-Sajada.
Yawning, sleeping and sneezing are from Satan.
Haste is from Satan.
A donkey brays when he sees a demon.
Satan exposes himself to the people of the mosques.
Satan s pride not to have knelt down to Adam and to have
seduced him to eat from the tree.
Is Eden in heaven or on earth?
Satan showed himself to Eve.
Satan showed himself to Noah in the ark.
Satan showed himself to Abraham when he was about to offer up Isaac.
Satan showed himself to Moses.
Satan showed himself to Zul Kifl.
Satan showed himself to Job.
Now all this and nearly every chapter is a door to a world of groveling superstition and demonolatry finds its parallel in the beliefs of the animist. Among them the earth, air and water are supposed to be peopled with spirits. They are most numerous in the forest and in the waste fields, where they lie in wait for the living, and afflict them with disease
and madness, or drag them away to an awful death.
"They prowl round the houses at night, they spy through the crevices of the partitions or come into the house in the form of some man or beast. Sometimes in epidemics they can even be seen. There are men who have the spiritual gift of being able to see spirits and souls. Sometimes these men see the spirit of the dead stepping behind the coffin and perching the soul of a living man upon it the inevitable result of which is, that the man must die. The number of dangerous spirits to which human misery is traced back is legion. Names are given and attributes ascribed to spirits of particularly bad repute, such as the spirit who causes cholera: he is of a terrific size, and carries a mighty club with which he smites his victim to the earth." 5
The spirits are mostly mischievous and ill-disposed. They lurk in tree-tops and all sorts of places and cause disease,
misfortune and death. It is much more important to keep the hurtful ones in good humor than to honor the kindly disposed, who are, therefore, practically ignored.
There are all sorts of legends current among animists of India as to the origin of these ghosts or spirits, but most of
them have some admixture proving their comparatively late date. A clear distinction must be made between gods and
spirits. There are no gods in Animism proper. The word god implies a higher degree of personality, and where that is
attributed to these spirits the influence of some more advanced creed can generally be traced. The impersonal element in Animism must strike any one who tries to investigate it.
Undefined shadowy powers with no settled habitation sigh in the wind, whisper in the rustling leaf and lurk in silence in
the tree-tops. They may attach themselves for longer or shorter periods to a particular object. Any striking natural feature such as a blasted or lonely tree, a waterfall, a mountain peak, is sure to be thus inhabited. But the primeval
forest is their special domain, and as this is cleared little sacred groves must everywhere be left standing. Constantly
one is told of some tree or grove, "a very strong spirit lives there," but if you ask its name or origin none can be assigned.
Its existence and power are undoubted, and many tales of the mischief it has caused will be quoted in proof. In every particular the popular Moslem doctrine of jinn is Animistic, except their belief in Allah as Lord of jinn, as well as the
Lord of men. He is over all, God blessed forever and yet for fear of the jinn the Moslem masses are all their lifetime
subject to fear and dread and bondage.
5 "The Living Christ and Dying Heathenism," Warneck, p. 68.
What Warneck writes of the pagan tribes in Malaysia is not less true of their Moslem neighbors and of Moslem women
and children in Arabia and the villages of the Delta. "Except in case of necessity,"; he says, "no one leaves the house
after sunset or in moonlight, when the spirits swarm in great numbers. Houses and villages are shifted here and there to
escape the influence of evil spirits. Sick people are carried secretly by night into another house to get away from the tor
menting spirit. They prefer to deceive the spirits. During harvest loud singing and whistling are avoided, lest the spirits
should suppose that men were rejoicing at an abundant harvest, and out of envy take their share." 6
When I traveled in Yemen nothing so distressed my Arab companions as the awful habit of whistling. There are traditions to prove that Mohammed forbade any one to blow a pipe or whistle especially at night-time.
In regard to devil-worship and the fear of evil spirits, Wilkinson says that in Malay "the upper stratum is, of course, Moslem; the Malays accept the whole demonology of the Persians and Arabs and have even added to it by assuming mere demon-epithets such as "accursed" (mcdaun) or "misbegotten" (haramzadah, jadah} to be the names of new
varieties of devils. The next stratum is Hindu because Hanuman is still vaguely remembered as a dog-faced or horsefaced demon, meteors are described as the ghostly arrows of Arjuna, and the legends of the Indian Ramayana have be come folk-lore in the Northern States. The ancient literature of the Malays is also full of references to Hindu mythology. "His concluding words are significant:" It is comparatively easy to identify those portions of Malay demonology which owe their existence to the historic Moslem or Hindu influences, but below these upper strata of beliefs we find further strata belonging to primeval religions
6 "The Living Christ and Dying Heathenism," p. 79.
of whose character we know very little. We are here dealing with a very mixed race of people who have probably preserved traditions handed down to them from several distinct sources. A few facts stand out fairly distinctly. The fishermen along the coast of the Peninsula sacrifice to four great spirits of the sea who go by many names but whose scope of authority is always the same; one is the Spirit of Bays, another that of Banks or Beaches, another that of Headlands, and the last and fiercest is the Spirit of Tideways or Midcurrents.
Most of the designations given to these ancient divinities are merely descriptive of their functions. So long as things go well, the names of the four Moslem Archangels are considered sufficient; if things go badly Sanscrit words
are used; if matters become desperate, the fisherman throws prudence to the winds and appeals to the spirits in pure Indonesian terms which they cannot fail to understand."7
7 "Malay Beliefs," pp. 26-27.