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SI’LAT

Si'lat, depicted from Muḥammad al-Qazwīnī‘s “Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing

The Si’lat is a centaur-like jinn. It is an expert shape-shifter, able to mimic a human's appearance with ease, and is said to be the smartest of the Jinn. They most often appear as beautiful women. They tend to live in forests and desert oases, but they are more open-minded about humans than other types of jinn and can easily integrate themselves into human society. They prefer to talk their way out of trouble than use force. They are not usually malicious but have been known to hide oases from travelers they don’t like. They also can be meddlesome, and their attempts to help humans with their problems often make them worse.

They are mentioned in the Qur'an and other Islamic texts and inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans. Together, the Jinn, humans and angels make up the three sapient creations of God. The Qur'an mentions that the Jinn are made of a smokeless and "scorching fire", but also physical in nature, being able to interact physically with people and objects and likewise be acted upon. Like human beings, the Jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent and hence have free will like humans and unlike angels. The Jinn are mentioned frequently in the Qurʾan, and the 72nd sura is titled Sūrat al-Jinn.

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