Angel Gabriel (Jibra’eel)

Notes : Ma’laikah Series

Angel Gabriel 

The name Jibreel is universal 

Gabriel (Biblical) Gabriel (Biblical Greek), Gavri’el (Biblical Hebrew), Gabriel (Biblical Latin), Gavrail, Gavril (Bulgarian),Gabriel, Biel (Catalan), Dzhabrail (Chechen), Gabrijel (Croatian), Gabriel (Czech), Gabriel (Danish), Gabriël (Dutch), Gabriel, Gabby, Gabe (English), Gabriel, Kaapo,Kaapro (Finnish), Gabriel (French), Gabriel (German), Gavriil (Greek), Gavriel (Hebrew), Gábor, Gábriel, Gabi (Hungarian), Gabriele (Italian), Gabriels (Latvian),Gabrielius (Lithuanian), Gavril (Macedonian), Gabriel (Norwegian), Gabriel (Polish), Gabriel (Portuguese), Gabriel, Gavril, Gabi (Romanian), Gavriil (Russian),Gavrilo (Serbian), Gabriel (Slovak), Gabriel (Spanish), Gabriel (Swedish), Cebrail (Turkish), Havryil (Ukrainian), Gavrel (Yiddish)

Who is Jibreel or Gabriel?  

GENDER: Masculine
USAGE: Arabic
OTHER SCRIPTS: جِبْرِيل (Arabic)
PRONOUNCED: jib-REE:L

His name is pronounced Jib-reel and it can also be pronounced Ji’bra’eel (جِبْرِيل)

Meaning, Mention, & History throughout times
Also in the Hebrew pronunciation גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri’el) meaning “God is my strong man”. Gabriel was also one of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition.
It is the name of the angel of revelation in the Quran, known as Gabriel in English. He is also the Angel that was responsible for giving the message to all previous prophets messengers, and men/women of God. Jibreel is mentioned three times in the Quran.
He is mentioned in verses 66:4 , 2:97, and 2:98

Quran 2:97

“Say: Whoever is the enemy to Gabriel (Jibril) – for indeed he revealed it to your heart by God’s permission, confirming that which is before it (co-existent) and a guidance and glad tidings for the believers”

Quran 2:98

“Whoever is an enemy to God and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel (Jibril) and Michael (Meekael), then indeed God is an enemy to the disbelievers.”

Quran 66:4

“If you both turn to God, then indeed your hearts are already inclined (to this); and if you back up each other against him, then indeed God, He it is Who is his Guardian / Protector, and Gabriel (Jibril) and righteous believers and the angels after that are his assistants.”

In verses 2:98 and 66:4 the term Angels (Ma’laikah) and Gabriel (Jibreel) were both in essence separated with the conjunction’wa’ or ‘و’

Verse 2:98  follows this specific order

first  —-> God ( Allah), Angels (Malaikah), Messengers (Rasuli), Gabriel (Jibreel), and Michael (Meekal).

 Verse 66:4 follows this specific order 

first —-> God (Allah), Gabriel (Jibreel), Righteous believers (Salihul mu’minina), Angels (Malaika)

 

This separation of Jibreel from the collective angels mentioned within the ayah and this mention along with the conjunction ‘و’ shows that there seems to be an emphasis that Allah (the most High) is giving to Angel Jibreel.

It is not unusual for the Quran to mention one subject separately to provide additional emphasis despite the conjunction ‘wa’ (and) apparently providing separation.

For example, in the following verse, one notes:

055:068

“In both of them (are) fruits (Arabic: fakihatun) and (wa) date-palms and (wa) pomegranates”

Here the conjunction ‘wa’ (and) when used with date-palms and pomegranates only clarifies the ‘fruits’, seemingly providing additional emphasis and is not read / understood as separate from the category of fruits (fakihatun).

Another example is noted in the following verse:

002:238-39

“Be guardians for your prayers (salawati) and (wa) to the middle prayer (salat-ul wusta) and stand up truly obedient to God.

Once again, a particular salat has been singled out for specific emphasis from the general category of prayers.

Therefore in this case, Gabriel is also given emphasis by Allah pointing to his great status before Allah.

 

What does his name mean?

His name means;

Names he is referred by in the following ayaat “Al-Ruh”

017.085

“They are asking thee concerning the Spirit (Arabic: ruhi). Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord (Arabic: ruh min-amr), and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little.”

Other thoughts on the term Ruh to describe Jibreel within the Quran;

078.038

“The Day that the Spirit (Arabic: ruhu) and the angels (Arabic: malaikatu) will stand forth in ranks, none shall speak except any who is permitted by (God) Most Gracious, and He will say what is right”

070.004 

“The angels (Arabic: malaikatu) and the spirit (Arabic: ruhu) ascend to him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years”

097.004 

“Descend the angels (Arabic: malaikatu) and the Spirit (Arabic: ruhu) therein by permission (of) their Lord for every affair”

The Quran further uses the term ‘Ruh’ (spirit) in two main contexts:

(1)    ‘Ruh’ as the Holy Spirit

(2)    ‘Ruh’ as Divine Energy

(1)    ‘RUH’ AS THE HOLY SPIRIT (RUH AL-QUDUS)

Before we analyse the term from the Quran’s perspective, it is important to take note of the following verse. This verse makes it absolutely clear that very little information is imparted by the Quran with regards the nature of ‘The Spirit’ or what it completely entails.

017.085

“They are asking thee concerning the Spirit (Arabic: ruhi). Say: The Spirit is by command of my Lord (Arabic: ruh min-amr), and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little.”

The first point to note is that Gabriel has never been mentioned as an ‘angel’ (malaika) in the Quran. Furthermore, it appears from a Quran’s perspective that ‘Gabriel’ is synonymous with the ‘Holy Spirit’ (ruh al-qudus).

016.102 

“Say, the Holy Spirit (Arabic: ruh al-qudus) has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims”

002.097 

“Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabrielfor he indeed brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by God’s will, a confirmation of what went before (Arabic: bayna yadayhi *), and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe”

* bayna yadayhi (Please see related article [1] below)

In the following verse, it appears that the ‘ruh al-qudus’ has also been described as a ‘True / Trustworthy Spirit’ (ruh al-ameen).

026.192-193

“And indeed! it is a revelation of the Lord of the Worlds, Which the True / Trustworthy Spirit (Arabic: Ruh al-ameen) has brought down”

The ‘ruh al-qudus’ (Holy Spirit) has been used to strengthen Prophet Jesus (pbuh)

002:087 (Part)

“…We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (Arabic: ruh al-qudus)…”

(Please also see verses 2:253 and 5:110)

It is very likely that the ‘Ruh’ that was sent to Mary was also Gabriel (ruh al-qudus / Holy Spirit) which changed form into the likeness of perfect man.

019:017

“Then she chose seclusion from them. Then We sent to her Our Spirit (Arabic: ruhana) and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man”

(2)    ‘RUH’ AS DIVINE ENERGY – SPIRIT OF HIS COMMAND

There appears to be two further types of Divine energy being suggested by the Quran

(1)    Divine energy which manifests as a command (ruh min amr)
(2)    Divine energy which is breathed to form life endowing it with certain faculties (min ruh)

It is quite possible that the two are actually synonymous and that the Divine energy to form life is part of the Divine command.  However, for the purposes of this article, they will be addressed separately.

DIVINE ENERGY AS A COMMAND

016.002 

“He sends down His angels with the Spirit of His Command (Arabic: ruhi min amrihi), to such of His servants as He pleases, (saying): “Warn (Man) that there is no god but I: so keep your duty to Me.”

040.015 

“Raised high above ranks (or degrees), (He is) the Lord of the Throne (of Authority): by His Command does He send the Spirit of His command (Arabic: ruha min amrihi) to any of His servants he pleases, to warn (men) of the Day of the Meeting”

042.052

“And thus have We inspired in you (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command (Arabic: Ruha-min amr(ina)). You knew not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! you verily do guide to a right path,

DIVINE ENERGY TO FORM LIFE

015.029 

“So When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit (Arabic: min ruhi), fall ye down in obeisance to him.”

032.009 

“Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit (Arabic: min ruhihi). And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!”

From the following verse, it appears clear that a ‘Ruh’ from God is also used to strengthen believers. Whether the reference in this verse is an appeal to God’s Divine energy as a command or is synonymous with the Holy Spirit (as used to strengthen Prophet Jesus (pbuh)  in verse 2:87) is open to discussion.

058:22 (part)

“…. For such He has decreed faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself (Arabic: ruhi-minhu). And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow”

IS GABRIEL SYNONYMOUS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?

It is once one compares verse 2:91 with verse 16:102 of the Holy Quran, that a striking overlap is noted whereby both Gabriel and the Holy Spirit are mentioned as being responsible for revealing the Quran by God’s permission.

002:097

“Say: Whoever is the enemy to Gabriel (Jibril)for indeed he revealed it / brought it (nazzala) to your heart by God’s permission, confirming that which is before it (co-existent) and a guidance and glad tidings for the believers”

016.102 

Say, the Holy Spirit (Ruh al-Qudoos) has revealed it / brought it (nazzala) from your Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as guidance and glad tidings to Muslims”

entity from the general category of angels. This is also discussed in a dedicated article. Please see [1] below.

078.038
The Day that the Spirit (al-Ruh – singular) and the Angels (al-Malaikatu – plural) will stand forth in rows, none shall speak except any who is permitted by the Most Gracious (God), and He will say what is correct”

 016.002

“He sends down the Angels with the Spirit of His command (Ruhe-min-amr) to whom He will of His bondmen / slaves, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no God save Me, so keep your duty to Me.”

 070.004
The Angels (Malaika) and the Spirit (al-Ruh) ascend to him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years: ”

097.004 

“Descend the Angels (Malaika) and the Spirit (al- Ruh) therein by the permission of their Lord, on every errand”

In another verse, the Holy Spirit also seems to be referred to as the Faithful / Trustworthy Spirit and once again, responsible for revealing the Quran to the Prophet. This once again strengthens the suggestion that Gabriel is indeed the Holy / Faithful Spirit.

026.192-195 
“And indeed, it surely is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful / Trustworthy Spirit (Ruh al-ameen) has revealed it / brought it (nazala) upon your heart that you may be of the warners. In plain / clear Arabic language”

History of Angel Gabriel 

Jibreel (AS) is known to be perhaps the first being that Allah (SWT) ever gave life to. He was created before heaven and hell as per the hadith recorded in Bukhari.

When Allah (SWT) created the Garden, He asked the Angel Jibreel (AS) to go and take a look at it. So he went and looked at the Paradise and at all that Allah had prepared for its inhabitants. Then he said “O My Lord! By Your Honour, No one who hears about this place would stay away from it.” Then Allah surrounded the Paradise by difficulties and hardships and asked Jibreel again to go and take another look. Jibreel went again and after looking at it came back and said “O My Lord! By Your Honour, I am afraid now that no one will be able to enter it.” Then after Allah created the Hell, He asked Jibreel to go and take a look. When Jibreel came back he said “O My Lord! By Your Honour, no one who hears about it will ever enter it.” Then Allah surrounded the Hell by all kinds of lusts and desires and asked Jibreel to take another look. This time after looking at it Jibreel said “O My Lord! By Your Honour, I am afraid that no one will be able to avoid it.”

The name Jibreel is broken down and translates as: Jibra (‘Abd/Slave) + Eel (Allah) = Jibreel (Abdullah/Slave of Allah). All inhabitants of heaven obey and respect Jibreel, not because he is fierce but because he is trustworthy. One of Jibreel’s names is an-Namoos, the keeper of the secret (revelation). This is the opposite of jasoos, a spy, which generally has negative or evil connotations. Other variations of the name include Jibraeel and Jibreen. Sometimes the Prophet (SAW) would say Jibreel SalAllahu Alayhi Wasallam.

Jibreel (AS) apportions the commands of Allah (SWT) and is responsible for revelation and war, war being against those who reject revelation. He is responsible for the light in our heart through bringing us the revelation. He brings us our soul and gives us life by giving us revelation.

Jibreel (AS) has 600 wings… Pearls and diamonds drip from these wings… Dehya ibn Kalbi (RA) was the most handsome of the Companions of Muhammad (SAW) and it is narrated that he resembled Jibreel…

Jibreel (AS) had relationships with many of the Prophets of Allah, as detailed in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and briefly outlined below:

– Idris (AS)

He was the first Prophet to write with a pen. Jibreel took him to the heavens to the Angel of Death in the fourth heaven to ask how much time he had to live, and his soul was taken there and then.

– Ibrahim (AS)

Jibreel appeared when Ibrahim (AS) was thrown in the fire, and asked if he could help Ibrahim, who responded that Allah (SWT) is enough for him. We learn that Jibreel (AS) always wanted to help the prophets.

Jibreel also came to help Haajar, the wife of Ibrahim (AS), tapping his heel to produce the water of Zamzam.

A group of Angels also went to the house of Ibrahim (AS) to give him the glad tidings of a righteous son in his old age, and that they are there to destroy the nation of Lut (AS).

– Lut (AS)

Angels were also sent to the city of Lut (AS) – Sodom and Gomorra where Angel Jibreel was also sent and commanded to destroy the city for their disobedience to Allah.

– Yusuf (AS)

As soon as Yusuf (AS) was thrown into the well by his brothers, Jibreel (AS) was standing at the bottom of the well to catch him. He caught him and comforted him (AS). As soon as Yusuf (AS) left the protection of his father, Allah (SWT) and Jibreel (AS) became his protectors.

– Zakariyya (AS)

Zakariyya (AS) came to Maryam (AS) asking her where she gets all her provisions from. He was given the glad tidings of a son, Yahya (AS).

– Maryam (AS)

When Maryam (AS) went to the east to contemplate and be away from the people, Jibreel (AS) came in the form of a perfect symmetrical man, whereupon she told him to fear Allah in case he had bad intentions, so he changed to his angelic form. He (AS) gave Maryam (AS) the glad tidings of Isa (AS).

– Isa (AS)

Jibreel (AS) raised Isa (AS) to Allah (SWT) when the people came to kill him. Isa was raised to Allah and Judas was made to look like Isa and was killed instead of Isa (AS).

– Muhammad (SAW)

Jibreel (AS) was the wali of the Prophet (SAW). Their first interaction was when Jibreel came down and Muhammad’s heart was cleansed as a child. At Mount Hira, Jibreel (AS) came to Muhammad (SAW) in the form of a human being and the process of Revelation began with Jibreel squeezing Muhammad (SAW) and ordering him to read.

The nature of revelation was such that it caused angels to faint. The sound would be like the pulling of a heavy chain over Mount Safa. Angels would ask Jibreel what Allah (SWT) had said, and he would reply ‘haqq’ (Abu Dawud). Angels could not handle the Revelation, so imagine the weight upon the heart of the Prophet (SAW). Revelation would shatter a mountain. The Prophet said the Revelation was like the ringing of a bell and then he would remember what Jibreel (AS) had brought to him from Allah (SWT). Sometimes he (SAW) would lose consciousness and sweat on a cold day.

The Prophet (SAW) was on a camel when Surah An’am revealed. 70000 angels brought it down. It was a harsh task, hence the squeezing by Jibreel in Hira as a preparation.

Jibreel (AS) had modesty. He would not enter when Muhammad (SAW) was in the lap of Khadijah (RA) or when Aisha (RA) was not fully covered.

Jibreel (AS) would teach the Prophet the Sunnah as well as the Qur’an in the same way, for example when he (AS) told the Prophet to take his shoes off while praying as there was dirt on them.

Umar (RA) who said “One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (SAW), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He came and sat next to the Prophet (SAW). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (SAW) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully or correctly.’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ The Messenger of Allah (SAW) responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His messengers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, both the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ The Prophet (SAW) answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, you know He sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about the time of the Hour,’ The Prophet (SAW) answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitute shepards competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he (SAW) said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘It was the angel Jibreel who came to teach you your religion.’ (Muslim)

Angel Jibreel is a great Angel of Allah, and one entrusted with all of the messages between the Creator and mankind. Anyone who dislike Gabriel is in essence severing ties with their Creator. As Angel Gabriel is beloved to Allah, all of Allah’s angels and messengers, and all true believers.

-May Allah forgive me for any wrongfully transmitted and incorrect information, and Allah knows best.


SOURCES THROUGH OUT:

[1] Saheeh Muslim.

[2] Ibn Abbas & Qutadah.

[3] The use of the term he is for grammatical ease and in no way indicates that the angels are male.

[4] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[5] Sunan Abu Dawood

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