|Muslim man reciting Quran in the Red Sea. (Click image for larger view.)|
Then I read what Wiki had to say about Jinn of the sea: "In Arabic folklore and common mythology, a Marid (Arabic: مارد mārid), is a jinn associated with open waters of the seas and oceans where it finds sanctuary. Marids are mentioned in pre-Islamic Arabian mythology and inside the One Thousand and One Nights alongside the Jinn in the story of The Fisherman and the Jinni."
"Mythology: Marids are often described as the most powerful type of jinn, having especially great powers. They are the most arrogant and proud as well. Like every jinn, they have free will yet could be compelled to perform chores. According to folklore, they also have the ability to grant wishes to mortals, but that usually requires battle, imprisonment, rituals, or just a great deal of flattery."
If I were to consider the mythology of sea Jinn, perhaps the man was invoking a wish on behalf of the woman, to be healed from an illness or perhaps granted a child.
Either way, subhan'Allah, it was something I had never seen before and actually quite interesting to witness.