アラブ・ムスリムのお化け信仰 : ヨルダン北部一村落の事例を中心に [in Japanese] The Arab Muslims' Belief in Ghosts and Spirits : A Case Study of a North Jordanian Village in Comparative Perspective [in Japanese]
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Although a rich folklore of ghosts and spirits exists in Arab Muslim societies, the anthropological study of this subject is extremely scarce. The purpose of this article is to present a description. and analysis of the Arab Muslims'belief in ghosts and spirits in the village of Kufr Yuba in North Jordan, compared with the cases in the other Arab Muslim societies and those in the non-Muslim societies, particularly in Japan. The fieldwork on which this article is based was carried out in the years 1986-1988 when I was a research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Yarmouk University, Irbid. Kufr Yuba is an Arab village located at about six kilometers west of the city of Irbid, with a population of some nine thousand Sunni Muslims. Although it is originally a cereal-growing village, its occupational structure is at present diversified and the agricultural population is estimated approximately at twenty percent of the total. The literary Arabic (al-fusha) equivalent of the Japanese term yurei, which is mostly translated in English as ghost, is generally shabah. In Kufr Yuba, however, the term shabah is not always equivalent to the yurei. First of all, the villagers' general image of the shabah is quite different from that of the Japanese yurei. The yurei is generally regarded as the disembodied soul of a dead person appearing to the living in the shape of what he was before death, whereas the shabah is conceived as a kind of jinn, that is, spirits mentioned in the Qur'an. The term jinn, which is a plural in literary Arabic, is a masculine singular in Kufr Yuba, and its feminine singular form is jinniyya. A lot of villagers believe in the existence of such spiritual beings exactly because they are referred to as one of the various creations of 'Allah in the Qur'an. Therefore, not a few anecdotes have been woven around jinn, and for example, during my stay in the village, the weekly newspaper al-Haqiqa (26 May 1987) carried a report entitled "li-man raqs al-jinn ala muthallath Kufr Yuba (Who performs a jinn dance at the T-crossroads of Kufr Yuba?)". According to the Qur'an, there are good jinn and bad jinn, that is, Muslims and infidels. The people of Kufr Yuba in general stand in fear of all of the jinn, however, thinking of them as evil and harmful. It is presumably because they entertain some apprehensions about the unidentified natural shape of the jinn. The Qur'an says nothing but that the jinn were created of fire. Such 'fearful' jinn have played a very important role in what is called islamization. Islam has introduced its own spirits in the form of jinn, and has placed all the local spirits and pagan gods in the category of jinn.
- Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies
Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies 7(0), 273-310, 1992
Japan Association for Middle East Studies (JAMES)