Marid (Arabic: مارد mārid) is a type of powerful devil in Islamic traditions. The Arabic word meaning rebellious is applied to such supernatural beings.


The word mārid is an active participle of the root m-r-d (مرد), whose primary meaning is recalcitrant, rebellious. Lisan al-Arab , the encyclopedic dictionary of Classical Arabic compiled by Ibn Manzur, reports only forms of this general meaning.[1] It is found as an attribute of evil spirits in the Qur'an (aṣ-Ṣāffāt, 37:7), which speaks of a "safeguard against every rebellious devil" (Arabic: شيطان مارد, romanizedshayṭān mārid). From the same Semitic root come the Hebrew words for rebellion (Hebrew: מרד, romanizedmɛrɛḏ) and rebel (Hebrew: מוֹרֵד, romanizedmoreḏ).

The Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic also gives secondary meanings of demon and giant[2] (Persian: دیو, romanizeddiv). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon cites a source where it "is said to be applied to an evil jinnee of the most powerful class",[3] but this distinction is not universal. For example, in the standard MacNaghten edition of One Thousand and One Nights one finds the words marid and ifrit used interchangeably (e.g., in The Story of the Fisherman).[4]

Konstantin Jireček believed that mārid refers to the Greek: Μαρδαϊται, romanizedMardaitai, marauder mercenaries in the Arab–Byzantine wars, eponymous to the Albanian tribe of Mirdita.[5]


Amira El-Zein describes the marid as a creature who strives to predict the future by ascending to the heavens and spying on the angels.[6](p 143) According to the Quran, the lower heavens are equipped with stars to protect against the rebellious devils (shaytan marid).[6](p 143)

Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi recorded a narration attributed to Ali that when God intended to create Adam, he decided to punish human's predecessors. God obliterates the nasnas, created a veil between jinn and humans, and made "the rebellious giants" (maradah) inhabiting the atmosphere.[7] According to Maliki sc Atharism scholar Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in his book, Al-Tamhîd, the Marids were a demon which more sinister than regular Jinn, but less powerful than Ifrit[8] A mārid is explicitly mentioned in the Sirat Sayf ibn Dhi-Yazan. Accordingly, the eponymous king Sayf ibn Dhi Yazan demands the mārid lead him to Solomon's hoard. Following his nature, the mārid does the exact opposite of what he was commanded. King Sayf later learned from Khidr that he must command the opposite of that he desires him to do.[9]

According to Muhammad Al-Munajjid, student of Abd al-Aziz Ibn Baz and founder of, the mārids are different type of devil from the Shaitan, or Satan, as he cited Ibn Khuzayma interpretation of the hadith from Al-Nasa'i that during Ramadan, the mārids were a type of devil which chained in that month, while Shaitan are not.[10] In a study of Muslim beliefs in Egypt, it is said that if God had not bound the jinn and demons, the marid would have annihilated humanity.[11]

Meanwhile, both mārids and ifrits are often considered as powerful devils, but the mārid is described the opposite of the cunning ifrit. While the ifrit described as treacherous and deceitful, the mārid can be easily tricked by humans.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Manzur, Ibn. "Lisan al-'arab (entry for m-r-d)". p. 5376.
  2. ^ Wehr, Hans; Cowan, J.M. A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (3rd ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Spoken Language Services. p. 903.
  3. ^ Lane, Edward William. "An Arabic-English Lexicon: Derived from the best and the most copious Eastern sources". Archived from the original on 8 April 2015.
  4. ^ Mac Naghten, Sir William Hay, ed. (1839). Alif Laila. Vol. 1. Calcutta: W. Thacker and Co. p. 20.
  5. ^ Jireček, Konstantin (1879), Die Handelsstrassen und Bergwerke von Serbien und Bosnien während des Mittelalters, p. 16
  6. ^ a b
    el-Zein, Amira (2009). Islam, Arabs, and Intelligent World of the Jinn. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0-8156-5070-6.
  7. ^ Ayoub, Mahmoud M. (1984). The Qur'an and Its Interpreters, Volume 1, Band 1. Albany, New York: SUNY Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-791-49546-9.
  8. ^ Humam Hasan Yusuf Shalom (2021). Sulaiman : Raja Segala Makhluk (Bukel) (in Indonesian). Pustaka Al Kautsar. p. 131. ISBN 9789795929277. Retrieved 15 November 2023. Marid." - Jika yang dimaksudkan adalah jin yang lebih kuat dan lebih dari itu, maka mereka berkata, "Ifrit."
  9. ^ Tobias Nünlist Dämonenglaube im Islam Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2015 ISBN 978-3-110-33168-4 p. 100 (German)
  10. ^ Muhammad Al-Munajjid (2014). "How could the Shaytaan appear to the disbelievers in the battle of Badr when he is chained up during Ramadan and the battle was in Ramadan?". Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  11. ^ Sengers, Gerda. Women and Demons: Cultic Healing in Islamic Egypt. Vol. 86. Brill, 2003.
  12. ^ Fartacek, G. (2010). Unheil durch Dämonen? Geschichten und Diskurse über das Wirken der Ǧinn ; eine sozialanthropologische Spurensuche in Syrien. Österreich: Böhlau. p. 68