Jinn is typically the name by which any unclassified Jinni are called. There are many conflicting historical documents that present the power rankings of Jinni. Various sources will describe anywhere from two to five different classes of Jinni. All people agree, however, that they are classified in more powerful positions with increasing age and wisdom. For convenience, here is the largest list.
- Jann are the lowest and weakest class of genie. Jann are typically found crawling in unsanitary conditions and don’t tend to cause much harm. They are always the youngest and only know a limited number of spells.
- Djinn are the most common type, but still lack power. They are reportedly the most ugly of the Jinni and are often caught in bottles or lampss. The Djinn is a typical persons idea of a genie, albeit slightly less powerful. These immature genies entertain themselves by tormenting people for the fun of it. Think The Monkey’s Paw.
- Shaitans (sometimes spelled Shaytan) have a respectable amount of power. They typically know seven or eight different types of magic. Once a Jinn reaches Shaitan-level, it is assigned to a human. They abandon their small-time mischief and spend their time urging their victims to do evil. To counterbalance the evil influence of the Shaitans, a guardian angel is also assigned to the same person. In some accounts, Shaitans are shapeshifters (although limited in their shifting) and live entirely off of garbage and dirt. Yuck.
- Afrits are not always included in descriptions of Jinni. They are of a power level higher than Shaitans, but other than, that not much changes. Although they could change form, Afrits would often appear in the form of an ostrich.
- Marida are the most powerful of all. The Marida are assigned to only the most important people, such as kings or high priests. Their knowledge of magic is extensive. Understandable, it takes a long time to command respect in the Jinni world. Marida are always over 2000 years old (an average lifespan is around 2500 years). A short list of the spells they could command: Healing, Illusion, Curses, Protection, Shapeshifting, Transmutation, and Control of Nature.
Jinn do not have the power to alter reality and, as such, can not truely grant three wishes. An imprisoned Jinn, however, is required to provide services for its captor. Before 900 BC, the genie was only required to grant one wish; however, the number changed to three after 900 BC. The reason for the change in legend is unknown, but most likely has to do with King Solomon, who reportedly commanded many Jinni. The services are normally not anything complicated, since the only Jinni that are imprisoned are lower class and without much knowledge of magic. There is also a certain risk involved with releasing a genie. When released, the Jinn has a certain predetermined wish that, when asked for by its captor, will allow the genie to kill the person and be freed. They also took great pleasure in twisting the wishes into disadvantageous situations.
To sum it up:
Be Careful What You Wish For