According to Alawi faith, the Hinn are part of the "circle of time", belonging to a period preceding the creation of mankind. Therefore before human, the
rimm, jann and jinn roamed the earth. These six periods symbolize a negative progress until humans emerge, thus the first letters of the first four circles mean
Habtar (here referring to the personification of evil) and the latter referring to Jann and Jinn as subordinates of the devil. The following circle divides human history, starting with Adam and ends with Muhammad, the period in which humans now live.
Alternatively, hinn have been said to be associated with air and another creature, binn, with water in a document called, "
Revelations of ʻAbdullah Al-Sayid Muhammad Habib". In the same document, hinn and binn are said to be extinct, unlike jinn.
According to Ibn Kathir the hinn belongs together with the jinn to those creatures who shed blood on earth before humankind, causing the angels to protest against God's command to place Adam as a vicegerent. In his work Al-Bidāya wa-n-Nihāya he relates, the hinn and binn were exterminated by the jinn, so that they could dwell on earth.
Muhammad al-Tahir ibn Ashur states in his work at-Tahreer wa’t-Tanweer, the hinn and binn may be a reference to Persian mythology or the Ancient Greek Titans, who were driven away by their deities.