I’ve had an idea that has been kicking around my head for awhile about what Smokey (in any of his forms) may actually be. I’ve held off on posting this idea because until recently, I hadn’t seen anything in Lost that would suggest this idea. After the scene in ‘Dr. Linus’ where Smokey unlocks Ben’s shackles with the snap of the fingers and after Jacob’s description of the Island being like a cork in a bottle this idea may be relevant to Lost after all. Maybe Smokey is a Jinn (the Western term is Genie ).

I found an interesting article on called “God’s Other People, the Jinn” by Jimmy Dunn. The information that follows is taken from this article and I believe it fits with what we know about Smokey.

When you say the word ‘genie’ to most people they think of either the television show “I Dream of Jeannine” or the tale of “Alladin and the Magic Lamp.” The genies of these stories are based on the Jinn known throughout the Arabic world, including Egypt. According to the Quarantine the Jinn were made of fire by Allay but it is thought that the Jinn predate Adam. Once brought to Egypt, the belief in the Jinn took hold and the Egyptians even attributed the building of the pyramids and temples to the Jinn.

The belief in the Jinn in Egypt is relatively new compared to Egypt’s Pantheon of gods and came into Egypt after the Arabic invasion. The Jinn once covered the entire world but offended God because the Jinn caused much wickedness to spread upon the world so He sent the angels to cause the Jinn to flee the regions where they lived (perhaps this is how Smokey came to be on the Island). It was also thought that the Jinn protected the tombs of the dead and temples (remember Robert telling Rousseau that the Smoke Monster was a security system guarding the temple).

In “The Thousand and One Nights” the movement of Jinns are described as a whirlwind of sand and dust (think of the look of the picture that Locked drew and the general look of Smokey). Upon seeing a whirlwind some Egyptians utter, “Iron, thou unlucky”, because apparently jinn greatly dread iron (think of Smokey’s reaction to the ash).

There were several classes of Jinn. The Si’la were treacherous spirits that could assume many forms. The Ghul could also take many forms and haunted burial grounds. They were also thought to kill and devour humans that fell into their path. And finally there are the Efreets, the most powerful, evil, and malicious of the Jinn. The Efreets were the Jinn thought to reside in tombs and temples. Another type of Jinn was the Agathodaemon. Each city was thought to have one of these Jinn as a guardian of the city and usually took the form of a serpent.

Jimmy Dunno presents a very interesting article about the Jinn. I believe that the description of the Jinn that he provides parallels closely to what we know about Smokey, particularly after the most recent episodes. So now the question is will the Jinn escape from the bottle?

Share with fellow Losties

Written by


Lungbarrow, Achalli Number516644 Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - T.H. Huxley

28 thoughts on “Jinn

  1. In the third paragraph that should read ‘Quaran’, not ‘quarantine’. I did this post from my droid and the predictive text whammy struck again.

  2. This is really interesting… and I was quite shocked to read it because after the last episode re: the scene where Richard and Jacob speak on the beach… I said to my friend (quite sarcastically I might add) “Great, so basically he’s a genie and he’s granting wishes. We’re watching Aladdin.”

    But I guess there was some true, innate idea caught in my comment, because your theory here (removing the mainstream view of a genie/jinn) is very unique, interesting.

    I’m not exactly buying it, but I could see the parallels. Good post!

  3. Achalli, upon reading this I didn’t like the idea very much. Then I looked up wikipedia for genie, and it actually relates very much to the show!

    Wikipedia says a genie is a supernatural creature which occupies a PARALLEL WORLD…and another quote from wikipedia:

    “In other cultures, as in the Mythology Guanche (TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS, Spain), also existed the belief in beings that qualify as genies, such as the so-called Gods paredros or Maxios (domestic spirits and nature), the Tibicenas (evil genies) and also demon Guayota (aboriginal god of evil) that, like the Arabic Iblis, is sometimes identified with a genie.”

    Pretty coincidental no?! We’ve just seen where Richard comes from: Tenerife..

  4. Waycurious, thanks. I’m glad you liked it.

    ADayAfar, I originally started thinking along this line in between season 5 and 6 but couldn’t see anything really suggesting it in the show. I started reconsidering it again after Smokey released Ben, and the conversation about the cork in the bottle just cemented the idea in my mind.

    Stone, nice catch on the Tenerife connection. I missed that. Nice job.

  5. I was reading more about this on Wikipedia and found that in Islamic theology, the Shaytan (another name they use for Jinn / Devil) and his minions are “whisperers”, who whisper into the hearts of men and women, urging them to commit sin. This is where the desire to sin comes from, according to Islam. Maybe the whispers we have been hearing are from smokey whispering to them to commit sins.

  6. Something else cool I just found from wikepedia….In Arabic folklore, a Marid (Arabic: مارد‎), in common mythology, is a jinn associated with open waters of the seas and oceans where it finds sanctuary. Marids are often described as the most powerful type of jinn, having especially great powers. They are the most arrogant and proud as well. Like every jinn, they have free will yet could be compelled to perform chores. They also have the ability to grant wishes to mortals, but that usually requires battle, and according to some sources imprisonment, rituals, or just a great deal of flattery. Bells immediately starting going off when I read that they can grant wishes.

  7. he said he was once a man, I can’t wait for the background story on MIB/Jacob, it’s going to be awesome. Anything about how people become genies on wikipedia?

  8. I really like this theory and a Jinn goes much better with alot of the Egyptian stuff we see on the show than the smoke monster being Tezcatlipoca.

  9. Hi Achalli, interesting thoughts on this. I took the liberty of looking up the ‘Djinn’ on Wikipedia, which may answer the question raised by JacobsDoubleWide on whether a man can be a ‘genie’.

    “In Arabic, a genie (also jinn, Djinn, from Arabic جني jinnÄ«) is a supernatural creature which occupies a parallel world to that of mankind, and together with humans and angels makes up the three sentient creations of God (Allah). Possessing free will, a djinn can be either good or evil.”

    Considering that Nemesis and Jacob both acknowledge that Nemesis was once a man, I’m wondering if Jacob actually had the power to turn Nemesis/Smoke Monster into a ‘supernatural creature’, as it seems that it is God who creates these sentient beings.

    It is clear to me that Jacob is responsible for Nemesis’ current state. I’m just not sure what that is.

    It’s a great idea!

  10. Perhaps Sun’s and Jin’s names are clues. The name “Sun” represents the sun god Jacob and “Jin” represents the jinn MIB/Smokey.

  11. That is certainly a new theory about Smokie, and I have to say quite a good one. It would certainly fit in with the ancient Egyptian motif of the island, and the smoke effect seems to fit perfectly with the notion of a jinn. Maybe Jin’s name itself was meant to be a hint of things to unfold…I wouldn’t put it past the writers. I’ve a feeling they have some mind blowing twists in store for us.

  12. Wow… I just got home from work and the response to this is better than I thought.

    JacobsDoubleWide, at this time I have not been able to locate anything on Wikipedia or other sources that indicate that humans can become genies. However I would agree with Dabs line of thinking in her comment. I am still looking into the question and will get back to you when I find something.

    Roland, I agree with you. I never thought that this idea would be close to anything on the show but now it seems to be a pretty good bet.

    Dabs, thanks for the assistance with JacobsDoubleWide’s question. I agree with your reasoning on this at this time. At the very least Jacobs is more than human. As ADayAfar alludes to in his comment it may be possible that Jacob is a jinn also.

    Ilie, I really like your thought on Sun and Jin. Good thinking!

    Rockitman88, that certainly is a good possibility.

    ClaireBlueEyes, I’m thrilled that you’re doing research into this yourself and finding all these interesting tidbits.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    One more thing. I found a site called and they mention in their entry about Jinns that they excel at exploiting loopholes.

  13. Great, I now have Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle” song in my head! hehe 😛

    Great post Achalli, I just had a look at and it mentioned the Jinn in pre-Islamic mythology was “believed to have been responsible for the diseases and manias of lunatics” – made me think of the infections, Claire being crazy etc.

    @ClaireBlueEyes – I like your find on the whispers, interesting!

  14. Achalli great post!

    Immediately when I saw the wine bottle, it seemed such a weird prop and then when Jacob gave it MIB, and MIB broke it I was like oh ok, that’s why they have it.
    But the more I thought about it the more the bottle looked familiar, and once I realized it kinda has a shape like the iconic bottle from “I Dream of Jeannie”, and then I started to research and then I saw your post and well thank you!

    Also I wanted to mention about MIB being a “man” at one point (this has probably already been brought up) that in the movie Aladdin, Jafar’s wish is his downfall. He wishes to be a powerful genie, which seals his fate and traps him in the lamp. So maybe this is something along that concept. Maybe, Jacob and MIB were friends or brothers and Jacob was blessed or given power and that made MIB jealous and he committed a bunch of evil, somehow trapped a Jinn (genie) and made a wish to be one, therefore sealing the deal and unwittingly allowing himself to be imprisoned. And maybe Jacob tells him, “I can’t let you go, you’re evil and will bring the downfall of mankind.” And Maybe MIB is like “No mankind is evil, it’s not me.” and then that would relate to the whole conversation on the beach. Maybe if MIB could have proved man was inherently bad then Jacob would have let him go. But now since Jacob is dead, MIB needs a candidate to be on his side and wish him out of there.

    Can you tell I wrote that in a flustered fanatical push to get out what I am trying to say???? 😉

    Anyway, your post got my brain going, thanks!!

  15. Hasben, I just discovered monsterpedia and wished I knew about it before. It looks like UT has a wealth of information. In everything I’ve looked at, the Jinn are usually evil.

    Loominary, I had the research done well before this episode aired. I just got lucky with the timing. I’m glad you liked it.

  16. I want to really thank Achalli for bringing this theory to my attention and for his initial findings on it that he shared with us. From what I have found on the Jinn and more and more he stuff I have found seems to be adding up. Most of what we know about Jinn’s seems to be come from the Qu’ran and Islamic beliefs.

    In the last episode the devil or Satan was reference quite a bit. Satan was a Jinn and not a fallen angel according to Islam. Satan was the Jinn who refused to fall prostrate before Adam after he was created. He is the leader of evil ones in the world. This is why he must be contained because if he is released then he will lead all that is evil in this world straight to hell. Dogen also said that Flocke is “evil incarnate,” and being a Christian myself this immediately made me think of Satan as it is told in the Christian Bible.

    Jinn’s have the ability to choose between good and evil. Dogen said that within everyman lies good and evil. Well, MIB Jinn could have chosen between good and evil and he chose evil and this is why Jacob has tried to show him that there is good because he can come back to the good side, but he has to choose to come back. Some philosophers (both modern and contemporary) claim that the jinn refer to those evil inclinations in the souls of mankind while the angels refer to the good intentions planned by mankind. Jacob is an angel and MIB is a Jinn. Jacob truly believes in the good intentions of man and tries to help in the planning and executing of those good intentions.

    Apparently, humans do not have the ability to see them in their true form.. However, such animals as dogs are believed to be able to see them. Perhaps if they ever bring Vincent back then it will show that he was able to see MIB in his true form all along. Also, the jinn have the ability to take on the shapes of humans and animals. According to Islamic religion, on the day of the battle of Badr, Satan approached the Prophet’s enemies in the form of a man called ‘Suraqa Ibn Malik’ and promised them aid and triumph. This sounds identical to what Flocke did after the Tempel purge. He promised to help those who came with him. He also promised Sawyer that he would aid him in his quest to get off the island.

    The Qur’an tells us that the jinn have been given such power and ability to which humans have no access. Of these great speed is the most significant. We have been told that a stalwart of the jinn promised King Solomon that it would only take him a shorter time than that taken by someone standing from his sitting place to bring the throne of Sheba to Jerusalem. In Ab episode MIB says that he will see Jacob sooner then he thinks, which seems to tie into this ability to speed up progress.

    Muslims believe that for his punishment, Allah sentenced Satan to eternity in Hell. However, at Satan’s request, Allah permitted him to roam the earth and misguide man until the Day of Judgment. MIB Jinn has been misguiding the Losties throughout their journey here. I think the biggest way he has been doing this is through whispers. Jinn and his minions are “whisperers”, who whisper into the hearts of men and women, urging them to commit sin. This is where the desire to sin comes from, according to Islam. Maybe the whispers we have been hearing are from MIB and the people who has been able to infect (his minions) whispering to them to commit sins.

    Like humans, the jinn cannot go beyond the limits set to them by Allah, for He says in the Qur’an:“assembly of jinn and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass beyond (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah!)”(55:33). Jacob said that no one goes in the statute (and I’m thinking off the island or other places on the island) until he says so. Jacob put Dogen in place and was able to make it so that MIB could not go into the temple until Dogen was dead.

  17. Amazing, I definitely think you may be onto something here, and the writers were ALWAYS adamant about denying people’s theories. I’ve never heard anything like this… I think you are DEFINITELY onto something here…

  18. Sinster, I apologize for not responding sooner. You’re quite right that this idea clicks in so many ways. The one scene that really sold it to me (not the bottle discussion ) was the scene in Dr. Linus where Smokey snapped his fingers and Ben’s shackles fell of. I’m surprised that many more people have said anything about that scene. It not only stood out to me but it waved a few flags.

  19. Achalli, I definitely think this is right….l I’ve told other losties your theory, and they also agree… It makes so much sense…

    I just still think more is going on the island then Jacob and MIB… Welcome back Desmond…

  20. Spinster, I got a little chill when Widmore told Smokey that he knew him from myths and legends.

    I agree with you that something bigger is going on.

  21. Good points on that line in connection with this thought!

    That was a great scene between those two. Widmore delivering that line, and Locke delivering “A wise man once said ‘war id coming to this island’, I think it just got here…

Leave a Reply