Of Canaan) stood in awe of the demons (Jinn) of the desert, just as the Arabs at the present day described in Doughty's Arabia deserta.
In Palestine and Syria, where demoniacal beings are frequently associated with water, local opinion is sometimes uncertain whether the water is under the care of a jinn or of a patron-saint.
Demons, when they are regarded as spirits, may belong to either of the classes of spirits recognized by primitive animism; that is to say, they may be human, or non-human, separable souls, or discarnate spirits which have never inhabited a body; a sharp distinction is often drawn between these two classes, notably by the Melanesians, the West Africans and others; the Arab jinn, for example, are not reducible to modified human souls; at the same time these classes are frequently conceived as producing identical results, e.g.
Higher in rank came various mediating forms, like Wisdom, Memra (the Word) or Shekinah (the Presence), more or less definitely personalized. :Mahommedanism still recognizes innumerable jinn peopling the solitudes of the desert, and over the grave of the deceased saint a little mosque is built, and prayers are offered and miracles performed.
Similarly in Egypt at the present day the jinn are believed to swarm so thickly that it is necessary to ask their permission before pouring water on the ground, lest one should accidentally be soused and vent his anger on the offending human being.