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Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Journal of Social and Political


ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

asia insitute of research, journal of social and political sciences, jsp, aior, journal publication, humanities journal, social journa
asia insitute of research, journal of social and political sciences, jsp, aior, journal publication, humanities journal, social journa
asia insitute of research, journal of social and political sciences, jsp, aior, journal publication, humanities journal, social journa
asia insitute of research, journal of social and political sciences, jsp, aior, journal publication, humanities journal, social journa
open access

Published: 24 July 2023

The Jinn: Islam, Exorcism, and Psychology

Kevin Volkan

California State University, California Lutheran University

journal of social and political sciences
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Pages: 1-14

Keywords: Exorcism, Jinn, Mass Media, Object Relations, Possession, Psychoanalysis


The belief in malevolent spiritual beings is found in religions throughout the world. Islam is no exception, and this religion includes the belief in beings known as jinn. These beings often cause harm to humans, typically by possessing them. Jinn possession can be understood in several different ways in Islam and there are specific forms of exorcism depending on the type and strength of the jinn doing the possessing. Additionally, several customs related to the prevention of harm from jinn are prevalent in the Muslim world. Mass media, such as horror films or novels may play a role in perpetuating belief in jinn. While jinn possession is considered pathological some people experience secondary gain from being in a possessed state. These gains include getting attention, having their behavior excused as deviating from cultural norms, and experiencing a release of inhibitions. From a psychological point of view jinn possession is similar dissociative identity disorder. Delusional misidentification disorders may also have a relationship to jinn possession. Psychoanalysis suggests that jinn possession is a symbol of repressed unconscious instincts, and psychoanalytic treatment can be understood as a form of exorcism. Object relations psychology suggests that imaginary beings such as jinn are the projection of unwanted bad objects. Traditional healing techniques from Islam can be used in combination with psychodynamic techniques to help those suffering from jinn possession.


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