Jinn Doppelgangers in Islam and Akbarian Sufism

By Dunja Rašić

Subjects: Islam, Sufism, Anthropology, Sociology Of Religion, Mysticism
Series: SUNY series in Islam
Hardcover : 9781438496894, 220 pages, March 2024
Paperback : 9781438496887, 220 pages, September 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-02

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Transcription and Transliteration System

1. Neither of the East, nor of the West

2. Signs on the Horizons

3. The Devil Within

4. The Red Death


A groundbreaking study of jinn doppelgangers and the problem of evil in Akbarian Sufism.


Ghouls, ifrits, and a panoply of other jinn have long haunted Muslim cultures and societies. These also include jinn doppelgangers (qarīn, pl. quranāʾ), the little-studied and much-feared denizens of the hearts and blood of humans. This book seeks out jinn doppelgangers in the Islamic normative tradition, philosophy, folklore, and Sufi literature, with special emphasis on Akbarian Sufism.

Muḥyī al-Dīn Ibn ʿArabī (d. 1240) wrote on jinn in substantial detail, uncovering the physiognomy, culture, and behavior of this unseen species. Akbarians believed that the good God assigned each human with an evil doppelganger. Ibn ʿArabī’s reasoning as to why this was the case mirrors his attempts to expound the problem of evil in Islamic religious philosophy. No other Sufi, Ibn ʿArabī claimed, ever managed to get to the heart of this matter before him. As well as offering the reader knowledge and safety from evil, Ibn ʿArabī’s writings on jinnealogy tackle the even larger issues of spiritual ascension, predestination, and the human relationship to the Divine.

Dunja Rašić is a researcher at the University of Religions and Denominations, in Qom, Iran. She is the author of The Written World of God: The Cosmic Script and the Art of Ibn ʿArabī.


"Bedeviled offers a niche and exciting exploration of Jinn doppelgangers in Islamic thought; it lays out both clearly and concisely debates Ibn Arabi and others were having about the qarin and gives the read an excellent introduction into the world of jinn studies." — Middle East Monitor

"This is the first solid treatment in English of Jinn in Akbarian Sufism, which is the least studied aspect of Ibn ʿArabī’s teachings. Rašić has a firm grasp of Ibn ʿArabī and articulates his recondite teachings in clear and simple language without compromising the nuances of his ideas." — Mukhtar H. Ali, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign