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(777 words)

Ghūl ,“ghoul,” is a type of jinn, usually thought to be malevolent and capable of appearing in different but invariably terrifying forms. The ghūl is variously classified as male or (more often) female; when male, it tends to be regarded as the male equivalent of the female siʿlāh. However, an early Muslim tradition identifies these as two distinct subclasses of jinn, with the former inhabiting deserts and the latter bathhouses and rubbish heaps. Unlike most jinn, which are ethereal beings, the ghoul eats, drinks, and copulates, in concert with its portrayal as, essentially,…

Cite this page
Szombathy, Zoltan, “Ghūl”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 14 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004252691, 2013, 2013-4

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