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See also Genie for a complete list of references to clarify differences between these closely named or closely related articles.

The genie from Aladdin.

Djinn, sometimes spelled jinn, are a type of supernatural creature whose origins date back to Arabic folklore, mostly via the tales of One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights. In modern contexts they are usually referred to as Genies. Djinn are powerful mystical entities whose spiritual essences are traditionally confined to a container, such as a magic lamp. A magic lamp is an ornate oil lantern that houses the essence and power of a djinn. The original magic lamp from the tale of Aladdin worked in connection with a magic ring - both of which contained their own respective genies.

Contact with the lamp, usually through the act of rubbing or cleaning it, enables the essence of the genie to manifest before the one who summoned it, which it now regards as its master. The master can command the genie to use his power to grant them whatever they wish for. Modern interpretations of stories with magic lamps places the restriction of three wishes per user, though this was not part of the original tale.

In film


The Genie struts his stuff.

In the 1992 Walt Disney Pictures version of Aladdin, the eponymous hero, Aladdin, discovered the magic lamp in the Cave of Wonders near the sultanate of Agrabah. The genie that came from the lamp was a broad-shouldered blue-skinned huckster that granted Aladdin three wishes, with the added restriction that he could not wish for more wishes, he could not command the genie to make someone fall in love with him, he could not have the genie kill for him and that he could not make the genie bring someone back from the dead.

Aladdin's wishes throughout the course of the movie are as follows:

  1. He wished to become a prince.
  2. To be saved from drowning. [1]
  3. To set the genie free.

It should be noted that the genie mistakenly believed that Aladdin's first wish was to get out of the Cave of Wonders, which he obliged to do. However, as Aladdin pointed out, he never actually framed his commentary in the form of a wish, so it did not count against his three wishes.

Another questionable trait is the nature of the second wish, which is also indicated in the footnotes on this page. Aladdin never verbally commands the genie to save him from drowning as he is unconscious at the time, but the genie interprets his pending doom as important enough to violate the laws governing genie magic and saves him anyway. This calls into question all of the supposed rules that a genie must abide by.

In the second half of the film, the villain Jafar gains possession of the magic lamp and as such, is owed three wishes. He tries to command the genie to grant him wishes that go against the rules of wish fulfillment, such as making Princess Jasmine fall in love with, but the genie does not abide him. Jafar's wishes are as follows.

  1. To become the Sultan of Agrabah.
  2. To become the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
  3. To become the most powerful genie of all.

Unfortunately for Jafar, he was tricked into this last wish by Aladdin, who knew that by transforming into a genie himself, he would then be enslaved to his own magic lamp. Once the shackles of imprisonment appeared upon him, the Jafar genie was then sealed up inside the lamp and pitched into the Cave of Wonders.

The 1994 direct-to-video sequel, Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, established that by destroying the lamp, one could then destroy the genie. At the conclusion of the film, Jafar's lamp was dropped into a lava fissure, destroying it, and thus destroying Jafar.


The Djinn from the Wishmaster film series.

Another account posited that the Djinn were a race of supernatural creature whose origins date back to Arabic folklore. It is said that when God created light, the Angels followed forth, but from the darkness cast from the shadow of that light, there came the Djinn. In modern contexts Djinn are usually referred to as Genies. Djinn are powerful mystical entities whose spiritual essences are traditionally confined to a container, such as a gemstone or a magic lamp. Upon being set free, the Djinn is then obligated to grant three wishes to the one who freed him. What takes place after the three wishes are granted are subject to interpretation. For starters, the Djinn is freed from the mystical bonds that tethered him to his containment structure. One account posited that a freed Djinn would be able to call forth others of his race and they would lay siege to the world. Such creatures were once described as the following:

Once, in a time before time, God breathed life into the universe. And the light gave birth to Angels. And the earth gave birth to man. And the fire gave birth to the djinn, creatures condemned to dwell in the void between the worlds. One who wakes a djinn shall be given three wishes. Upon the granting of the third, the unholy legions of the djinn shall be freed upon the earth. Fear one thing only in all that is... fear the djinn.

One particular Djinn came to prominence during the late 1990s when he was loosed upon the unsuspecting populace of an American city after having been confined in a statue for the past 870 years. The goal of the Djinn was to open the dimensional gateway between the real world and world of the Djinn, allowing legions of Djinn to dominate the Earth. To facilitate this, the Djinn needed to charge the Stone of the Secret Fire with human souls. He acquired these souls by granting single wishes to random individuals. One individual however, assumed the task of being the Keeper of the Stone of the Secret Fire. To this one person, the Djinn was obligated to grant three wishes. Only upon the completion of the third wish could the doorway be opened.


Character Film/Series
Genie of the Lamp Aladdin film series
Jafar Aladdin
Wishmaster Djinn Wishmaster film series

Films that feature Djinn


  1. This presents a slight loophole in the laws governing genie magic. Aladdin never actually wished to be saved, but the genie interpreted it for himself and performed the deed.
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