mentioned in the Qur'an 1, where we are told that they were made of fire 2, as were the angels and the demons. The word itself seems to be Persian, for the singular Jinni is the Avestic Jaini 3, a wicked (female) spirit.

In examining the question of the origin of the Muhammadan legend regarding the "Balance," we saw that it is stated in the Traditions that in his Mi'raj Muhammad saw Adam weeping in heaven when he looked at 4 the "Black Figures" (al aswidah) on his left hand, but rejoicing when his glance rested on those which stood at his right.

These black figures were the spirits of his descendants as yet unborn. They are generally termed "The Existent Atoms" (adu dharratu'l kainat). They differ from the beings mentioned in the "Testament of Abraham" (from which the main features of that portion of the tale are borrowed) in the fact that, in the latter book, Abraham sees the spirits of his descendants who had died, while in the Muhammadan tradition he sees those of men not yet born, in the form of "Existent Atoms." The name by which these beings are known in Muhammadan religious works

1 Surahs VI., 100, 128; XV., 27; XXVI., 212; XLI., 24, 29, &c.
2 Surahs XV., 27; LV., 14.
3 Yasna, X., § 4: 2, 53. If the word were Arabic and from the root
جَـنّ, it would be not jinni but janin (like qalil from قـَـلّ ). Nor is it derived from jannat, Paradise, for then it would be janni. Moreover, the Jinns have no connexion with Paradise, and are not allowed to enter it.
4 pp. 207, 208.

is undoubtedly a purely Arabic one. But the idea seems to have been derived from the Zoroastrians, among whom these beings were called fravashis 1 in Avestic and feruhars in Pahlavi. Some have fancied that possibly the Persians adopted this idea from the ancient Egyptians, but this hardly seems probable. Whether it be so or not, the Muslims are indebted for their belief in the preexistence of men's spirits to the Zoroastrians.

The Muslims speak of the Angel of Death very much as the Jews do, though the latter say that his name is Sammael, while the former call him 'Azrail. But this latter name is not Arabic but Hebrew, once more showing the extent of the influence exercised by the Jews upon nascent Islam. As this angel's name is not mentioned in the Bible, it is evident that what the Jews and the Muslims say about him must be borrowed from some other source. This is probably Persian, for the Avesta tells us of an angel called Astovidhotus or Vidhatus, "the divider," whose duty it is to separate body and spirit. If a man fell into fire or water and was burnt to death or drowned, the Zoroastrians held that his death could not be due to the fire or to the water — for

1 The Fravashis are both spiritual prototypes and guardian angels, protecting Ormazd's creatures. Every such being, whether born or unborn, has fravashi, as have even Ormazd, the Amshaspands and the Izads. The "Grandson of the Waters," the genius who presides over fertility and fecundity, brings the fravashis to their bodies in Yesht VIII., 34.