Much more than a desert: my trip to the Sahara

The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert and the third largest desert behind Antarctica and the Arctic.

Located in North Africa, it covers 9,200,000 square kilometers (3.6 million square miles), nearly a third of Africa.

My journey through a fraction of this majestic place was nothing short of sensational.

Trip route
Trip route

The sand dunes, beautiful wild camels, excruciating heat, vastness, hospitable nomads and their stories..the magical spirits..a once in a lifetime experience.

Speaking of, here’s a fun fact about camels: a camel can drink 200 liters (53 gallons) of water in three minutes !

That’s insane !

A bunch of camels chillin’ in a Canyon (Oasis), Chad

Anyway, I don’t know about y’all, but I love stories about supernatural creatures, angels and jinns.

  • What are jinns, exactly?

Jinns are usually known as genies (yeah, like the one in Aladdin) in western literature.

Jinns are magical spirits who may appear in the form of a human or an animal and can take control of a person.

They’re said to inhabit caves, graveyards, deserted places and darkness. The Sahara Desert, like the ocean, is where many Jinns actually live. And believe me, it’s feelable (spooky!).

Jinns lead similar lives to us humans. While they’re believed to be invisible (mostly), jinns have the ability to eat, drink, sleep, breed and produce offspring that resemble their parents.

They also have free will to choose between good and evil. Therefor, jinns can be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, etc.

But unlike us, jinns have numerous powers that are exclusively theirs.

For instance, jinns are capable of moving extremely heavy objects with relative ease.

There’s always been some sort of air of mystery and mystique around the topic of jinns, and rightfully so.

Fun fact: Jinn means “hidden” or “concealed” in Arabic.

As per a hadith narrated by Ibn e Masood, there are 3 main types of jinn: those who fly, those who appear in the form of dogs and snakes, and those that stay in travel.

Jinns live much longer than us. It is said that they can live up to thousands of years.

  • Preferences

Jinns delight in punishing humans, intentionally or unintentionally, and are said to be responsible for many diseases and all kinds of accidents

It’s been said that jinns eat like humans, but instead of fresh food, they prefer rotten flesh and bones. Yuk!

Fun fact: King Solomon PBUH, one of God’s beloved prophets, was bestowed with many God-given gifts, including the ability to speak to animals and jinn.

While many people are aware of the existence of Jinns, Hinns, on the other hand, are barely ever talked about.

Here are a few interesting theories about the Hinn.

  • Theories

In early Islam, a common belief held that mankind is actually the successor of other intelligent creatures such as Jinn and Hinn. Medieval Muslim traditions referred to the Jinn as pre-Adamites, depicted as human-like in various ways.

According to Ibn Kathir, the hinn belongs (together with the jinn) to those creatures who shed blood on earth before humankind, causing the angels to question God’s command to place Adam PBUH as a vicegerent.

In his work Al-Bidāya wa-n-Nihāya (The Beginning and the End), Ibn Kathir relates that the Hinn (and binn) were exterminated by the jinn so that they could dwell on the earth.

Even more interestingly, Muhammad Al-Tahir ibn Ashur states in his work at-Tahreer wa’t-Tanweer that the hinn (and binn) may be a reference to Persian mythology or the ancient Greek Titans, who were driven away by their deities.

Worth looking into !

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