Belief in Jinn is superstitious Arab paganism. Jinn are unique to Arab paganism. Jinn are the "mythical bad guys" of Arab culture. Rather than discarding the widespread concept of the "Jinn" believed by the Pagan Arabs, modern religion has rubber-stamped these mythical manmade creatures and brought them right into the Koran!
EARLY Arab history is a mixture of fact and fantasy ... Tradition tells us that Allah made the jinn two thousand years before He made Adam. Though invisible, they loved and married, begat children and died. In the beginning, all jinn were good, but long before the time of Adam they rebelled against their settled existence and tried to change the order of things. During the course of the revolt, one of the evil jinn, Iblis, gained great power and became the Satan of the Arab world. Iblis retained his power even after the angels of Allah had quelled the rebellion. Jinn haunted ruins and dwelt in rivers and oceans. The Arab saw them in whirlwinds and waterspouts. The jinn's main abode, however, was a mysterious mountain called Kaf which, in the imagination of the Arab, was founded on an immense emerald. Indeed, this sparkling gem gave the azure tint to the sun's rays so often in evidence over desert regions. (Islam and the Arabs, Rom Landau, 1958 p 11-21)
The Bedouin peopled the desert with living things of beastly nature called jinn or demons. These jinn differ from the gods not so much in their nature as in their relation to man. The gods are on the whole friendly; the jinn, hostile. The latter are, of course, personifications of the fantastic notions of the terrors of the desert and its wild animal life. To the gods belong the regions frequented by man; to the jinn belong the unknown and un-trodden parts of the wilderness. A madman (majnun) is but one possessed by the jinn. With Islam the number of jinn was increased, since the heathen deities were then degraded into such beings.'(History Of The Arabs, Philip K. Hitti, 1937, p 96-101)
"Before Islam, the religions of the Arabic world involved the worship of many spirits, called jinn. Allah was but one of many gods worshiped in Mecca. But then Muhammad taught the worship of Allah as the only God, whom he identified as the same God worshiped by Christians and Jews." (A Short History of Philosophy, Robert C. Solomon, p. 130)
Among these gods there may be some that were originally jinn, mythical ancestors or legendary heroes, elevated little by little to the rank of god. On the other hand, some of the gods developed directly from the personification of natural forces (in Quzah, for example, one may still discern the features of a storm god).' It should not be thought, however, that these gods must first have passed through a spirit or demon stage, and that celestial beings are posterior to earth spirits." Pre-Islamic Arabic stellar myths (which are, at least in part, Bedouin in origin)" prove that the sky was studied and that stars also were personified. (Studies on Islam, edited by Merlin L. Swartz, Pre-Islamic Bedouin Religion, by Joseph Henninger, 1981, p 3-22)
There are also references to magic practices, notably a mysterious process of 'blowing on knots'( 113.4). A defense against magic was to 'take refuge with (adha) some superior power. The last two suras of the Qur'an are formulas of 'taking refuge' against certain specified evils, and are known as the Mu'awwidbatayn. In these two suras and elsewhere Muslims are encouraged to 'take refuge with God' both from Satan (7-200; 16.98; 41.36) and from men (40-56; etc.); pagans are criticized for 'taking refuge' with jinn (72.6). All this shows something of the variety of religious practice in Arabia the Arabia of 600 AD. (Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic, p26-45)
There is much in the Qur'an about both angels and jinn, but apart from this identification with the goddesses they belong not to the divine world but to the created world, in which they constitute orders distinct from that of human beings. Some of the jinn even became Muslims (72-1-19). Muhammad's Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt, Chapter 3: Religion In Pre-Islamic Arabia, p 26-45)