Comparing Jinn and Houris to Cherubim and Seraphim

A fascinating comparison is that between the Islamic jinn and houris to the Biblical cherubim and seraphim. There are many similarities, as well as many differences. This paper will highlight some of these similarities as well as some of the differences.

Firstly, what are jinn, houris, cherubim and seraphim? Jinn are spirits that, according to the Koran, Allah created from a smokeless fire. Jinn, or Jinee in singular form, are either good or evil, however, they are usually depicted as devilish. They are to be avoided if not feared and Satan himself is said to be a jinee. Jinn are not peculiar to Islam, as they were believed in in the Arabia before Muhammed, and the Arabic word jinnee inspired the word genie, as in Aladdin.

Houris are beings created by Allah, that inhabit the Gardens of Paradise. They are depicted as beautiful virginal women, who are the companions or wives of the men who live in the Gardens of Paradise in the after-life. Oddly enough, there are no male counterparts of the Houris.

Cherubim, according to the Latter Day Saint Bible Dictionary, are figures representing heavenly creatures, the exact form being unknown. They are found in the Holy of Holies, on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant, on Solomon's Temple and in the visions of Ezekiel. In account of the Fall, cherubim are represented as keeping "the way of the tree of life." In 2 Samuel 22:11 and also in Ezekiel 9:3, we learn that the Lord rides cherubim, when he comes to earth when he is angry. Though the forms of cherubim are unknown, they are depicted today as naked babies with wings. We do however know that cherubim do in fact have wings. (Exodus 37:6)

Seraphim, also according to the Latter Day Saint Bible Dictionary, are fiery, angelic beings. They are mentioned in the account of Isaiah's vision. They are represented as winged and partly human in form. They are the attendants of Jehovah's court, the ministers of the heavenly sanctuary, joining in adoration before the throne. In Isaiah 6:2 it tells us that seraphim have six wings—two covering their faces, two covering their feet and the other two to fly with.

All of these beings are depicted as spirits, angelic spirits for the most part. Seraphim and Jinn are both fiery, and though cherubim are mentioned often, yet unknown, I think of them as pleasant and houris are also pleasant. Seraphim and Houris are, at least in form, partly human.

The biggest difference between them is the fact that cherubim and seraphim are Christian and Jewish, and houris and jinn are Islamic. However, another large difference is that seraphim and cherubim are always good, and though houris are always good, jinn can be evil, devilish or mischievous.