Jinn or Džin

Demonic creatures that have an aberrant form, which were created out of a flame. The Bosnian people describe the Jinn as small creatures with one eye and a tail. Each Jinn is limping. Even though they can take various human or animal forms they prefer to appear to humans in a form of a dark man (dark silhouette) whose face can never be seen. They also like to show themselves in a form of a black dog, a cat or a snake. It is believed that the Jinn are faithful servants but also masters of witches and wizards. When the Jinn want to seduce and subject someone to them, they dance a fiery circle and call out the name of the one they want. This usually happens when that person is sleeping. Jinn can dance a circle during the day but at that time in a whirlwind, that is why people avoid whirlwinds to this day. It is believed that as soon as the human utters: “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful” and blows towards the whirlwind, that the whirlwind will disappear. A special group of Jinn by the name Al-Karisi attack women who have recently given birth, and babies in the first 40 days after the birth.

Šejtani or Sheitan

They are demonic creatures that are similar to the Jinn. They are less powerful than the Jinn, because when a Šejtan enters a human, the human starts enjoying vices, impurity, lies or theft; but when a Jinn enters a human being, then the person suffers mental illnesses. Šejtan are easily frightened and they run away from humans as soon as the following words are uttered: “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”. A Bosnian legend claims that that the Šejtan was present when the first man, Adam, was created. Namely, when God created the human body. He left it lifeless for three years. Each day the Šejtan would come and observe the human body and he would batter his fingers on the body. When he would reach the human’s head, he would batter it to and say: “This head won’t be empty”. At the passing of the third year God gave life to the human and it rose to life. God warned the human immediately about the Šejtan and told him not to speak to the first creature that approaches him and not to tell him his name. In the beginning Adem resisted the Šejtan’s advances, but after some time he gave in to the Šejtan’s blandishment and questions and he started a conversation with the Šejtan. The cunning Šejtan jumped on his left shoulder and exclaimed that he will remain there forever since they are now friends. As soon as God saw what had happened he sent an angel to land on to Adem’s right shoulder to stop the Šejtan from influencing the human to do evil all the time. In Bosnia against the Šejtan there is a saying: “Šejtanu nalet te bilo!”.

Angels or Meleci

It is believed among the people that there are two angels, one of them is blind and the other one is deaf, which are sent by God to stir up the clouds and the storm to places where God wishes to punish the people because of some sin. If the blind one hears the prayer from the mosque he will immediately redirect the clouds and save that place from the storms. It is further believed that the Šejtan wants to hinder him in his intent and that a fierce fight between them arises. According to the legends when the angel swings his sword towards the Šejtan a lightning flashes in the sky. When a baby is smiling it is believed that it has seen an angel. The angels are considered to be the protectors of babies because of the baby’s purity and impeccability. It is believed that babies are actually angels until the moment when they learn to speak because then they can utter the bad words along with the good ones and so they lose their gracious ability.

Soul or Duša

According to belief a man should never be woken abruptly because his soul leaves his body while he sleeps and travels around the world without any limitations. There is a similar belief amongst the Bosniaks about witches, they can also travel in the same manner with their physical bodies while they are asleep. When a witch falls asleep her soul exits through her mouth and wanders off to do evil to other humans. Her body then becomes blue and cold, her mouth stretches and her lips blacken. Before dawn her soul returns in a form of a bumblebee and enters her mouth at which moment she awakes abruptly from this mystic state. It is believed that the souls of children haven’t yet completely merged with the body and that their souls wander the world almost every time they fall asleep. Because of this reason mothers who want to move their child while it is sleeping, call the child by its name, or she lightly pulls its nose, wanting to alarm the soul about what is happening at that moment. Immediately the soul returns to the body. Otherwise, if the soul isn’t warned, it is believed that the child can get ill or have serious psychological consequences. Today in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is believedthat a dying man’s soul can not leave his body until his family and his neighbours “ne halale” (forgive him for his sins).


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