Monday, January 4, 2016

2 More Supernatural Creatures of Islam

An extension of 10 Supernatural Creatures of Islamic Tradition on Listverse.

12 Bahamut

In addition to being the center of Christianity, Jesus of Nazareth is also a figure in Islam, but Muslims don't consider him the son of God, rather he is a prophet and a messenger. In “Arabian Nights” Jesus beholds a creature of such enormous size that he falls unconscious from attempting to look at it. The Bahamut is so large that all the seas of the world, if placed in its nostril, would be like a mustard seed laid in the desert.

The Bahamut is a fish with the head of a hippopotamus or an elephant. On its back stands a titanic bull. When the bull inhales, the ocean tides go out, and when he exhales the tides come in. On the back of the bull is a mountain, and on the top of that mountain is an angel that supports the seven worlds on its shoulders, much like Atlas from Greek mythology. Beneath Bahamut is the void—violent winds blasting thick mist through veils of darkness.

Although Bahamut is the fish in Arabian Nights, things are a bit different in Islamic scripture. Here it says that Bahamut is the bull.

11 Sand Sprites


Strange things happen in the desert. The heat plays tricks on your mind. Ancient Arabs believed a sandy whirlwind to be an evil jinni crossing the desert. Whenever Arabs saw one of these mini-tornadoes, they shouted “Iron! Iron!” because jinn were afraid of iron. Some still shout at whirlwinds, but it is more or less out of superstition now.

In addition to the whirlwind jinn, pixie-like beings called Ahl al-trab were thought to exist in the Saharas desert. The Ahl al-trab were trickster that lived just below the surface of the sand and waited by pools of water for a traveler to approach. When the thirsty traveler drew near, Ahl al-trab would drink up the pool of water so that it would run out just as the traveler arrived. They also like to trip-up passing camels, just as an extra bit of knobbery.

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