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Afreet, also spelled ifrit, efreet, also ifreet, afrit (Arabic: ʻIfrīt: عفريت, pl ʻAfārīt: عفاريت) are supernatural creatures in Arabic and Islamic cultures. They are in a class of infernal djinn, spirits below the level of angels, noted for their strength and cunning. An ifrit is an enormous winged creature of fire, either male or female, who lives underground and frequents ruins.

Contents

Traits

According to some, Ifrits live in a society structured along ancient Arab tribal lines, complete with kings, tribes, and clans.

Ifrits generally marry one another, but they can also marry humans. While ordinary weapons and forces have no power over them, they are susceptible to magic, which humans can use to kill them or to capture and enslave them. As with the jinn, an ifrit may be either a believer or an unbeliever, good or evil, but he is most often depicted as a wicked and ruthless being.

Etymology

The term Ifrit (عفريت) comes from the Phoenician term "𐤏𐤐𐤓𐤕" (`PRT) meaning the grave or the netherworld as mentioned in the Phoenician Punic Dictionary by Charles Krahmalkov.

Ifrit in Islamic scripture

Ifrit is mentioned in the Qur'an, Sura An-Naml (27:39-40)

An ‘Ifrit (strong one) from the jinn said: "I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work. One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: "I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!" Then when Solomon saw it placed before him, he said: "This is by the Grace of my Lord - to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself; and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly my Lord is Rich (Free of all needs), Bountiful. Sura An-Naml:40. (27:40)

Ifrit's mention in the Qur'an and the Hadith, the eyewitness narratives of Muhammad's "sala Allah alaihe wa 'aalihee wa salam" words and actions, is always in the phrase “the ifrit of the jinn”. Ifrit has come to refer to an entire class of formidable, rebellious beings, but in the confused world of underworld spirits.

Ifrit in Arabic literature

In The Thousand and One Nights, in a tale called The Porter and the Young Girls, there is a narrative about a prince who is attacked by pirates and takes refuge with a woodcutter. The prince finds an underground chamber in the forest leading to a beautiful woman who has been kidnapped by an ifrit. The prince sleeps with the woman and both are attacked by the jealous ifrit, who changes the prince into an ape. Later a princess restores the prince and fights a pitched battle with the ifrit, who changes shape into various animals, fruit, and fire until being reduced to cinders. Deifri is mentioned in New Testament, Timothy VI 15,16...

Ifrit in contemporary literature

The term ifrit is used to describe the small animal familiars who seek out humans with magical powers in John Levitt's "Dog Days" and "New Tricks." In the series, ifrits are creatures that take the shape of small animals and protect their human counterparts. No one understands where they come from or where they go when they leave.

In Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods there is a downtrodden ifrit that drives a cab in New York City. Another appears in "The Graveyard Book" as a member of the supernatural Honour Guard.

In Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy, afrits are spirits of the 4th level: more powerful than djinni but less powerful than marids (the most powerful spirits commonly summoned).

In Walt Disney's Aladdin, ifrits were spirits associated with elements. At least two ifrits were mentioned in the TV series, the rock ifrit that could petrify any being by the spray of its toxin (it was a small dinosaur/gargoyle-like animal with claws and bat-like wings) and the ice ifrit, who was a humanoid, could talk, yet was very naive, although he could create ice, he could not turn living beings to ice like the rock ifrit.

Ifrits have also been used in several manga such as Mahou No Iroha and Bastard!! as great infernal beings who are either summonded or who reside within magical objects such as swords.

In the anime/manga Bakukyu HIT! Crash B-Daman, the main character's B-Daman is named after the Ifrit.

In most games of the console game series Final Fantasy Ifrit is a summonable creature, though it has also been used as a name for an airship in Final Fantasy XII. In another Square game, Vagrant Story, Ifrit is the most powerful fire elemental to be defeated near the end, at the Great Cathedral.

In the first Devil May Cry Ifrit takes the form of gauntlets which give Dante the power of fire and enhanced strength.

In Dungeons and Dragons, an efreeti (plural efreet) is a type of genie.

In Heroes of Might and Magic PC game series, Efreets are recruitable units.

In Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, an 'afreet' is a purchasable, female, assault unit of the 'Alin' race, that hurls fireballs.

In Disgaea, an Efreet is a wyrm type monster with fire based elemental attacks you can face as an enemy or create as a playable character.

In Stitch!, ifrits were Ryukyuan summonable immortal creatures associated with elements that can talk. At least five ifrits were mentioned in the TV series, the steel ifrit, who was a grey-skinned humanoid goblin, that turns a trees into steel and glass, the water ifrit that could use a water attacks to make a flood (he was a small turtle-type creature with rhino-like horn on his snout), the earth ifrit that could use earth attacks that causes earthquakes who is armadillo-type creature, the air ifrit that could use a powerful air attacks like cyclones and wind (he was a pterodactyl-type creature with dragon-like horns and two frog-like legs) and the fire ifrit that could use a invincible fire attacks, filled with flames and molten lava (he was a reptilian-dinosaurian igneous creature with volcano-like top head).

See also








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