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

In Arabic sourcesEdit

The word mārid is an active participle of the root m-r-d (مرد), whose primary meaning is recalcitrant, rebellious. Lisān 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" (شَيْطَانٍ مَارِدٍ, shaitān mārid). From the same Semitic root come the Hebrew words "Mered" (מרד "rebellion") and "Mored" (מורד "rebel").

The Wehr-Cowan dictionary of modern written Arabic also gives secondary meanings of demon and giant[2] (Persian: dīv: دیو). 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]

A mārid is explicitly mentioned in Sirat Sayf ibn Dhi-Yazan. Accordingly, Sayf demands from the marid to lead him to Solomon's hoard. But following their nature, the demon does the exact opposite of that he was commanded. Later he learned from Khidr, he must command the opposite of that he desires him to do.[6]

In modern fantasy genresEdit

In Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Sequence novel series, marids are the most powerful type of demons summoned by magicians.[7]

In S. A. Chakraborty's Daevabad Trilogy, the marid are elemental creatures created from water. These creatures are said to be extremely powerful and had not been seen for centuries at the time of the first book in the series, The City of Brass.[8]

In the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game, marids are genies from the Elemental Plane of Water.[9]

In the Fairyland stories by Catherynne M. Valente, marids are sea beings who eat rocks and salt and who have the power to grant wishes, but only to someone who can wrestle them to submission.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ibn Manzur. "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 (in Arabic). 1. Calcutta: W. Thacker and Co. p. 20.
  5. ^ Konstantin Jireček (1879), Die Handelsstrassen und Bergwerke von Serbien und Bosnien während des Mittelalters, p. 16
  6. ^ Tobias Nünlist Dämonenglaube im Islam Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2015 ISBN 978-3-110-33168-4 p. 100 (German)
  7. ^ Stroud, Jonathan (2004). The Amulet of Samarkand. The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1 (Reprint ed.). Disney-Hyperion. p. 36.
  8. ^ Chakraborty, S.A. (2017). The City of Brass. Harper Voyager. p. 528.
  9. ^ Mearls, Mike; et al. (2014). Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast. p. 142.