Jibreel was not an Angel?

Posted: December 21, 2015 by millatibraheem in Bid'ah, Rebuttals

The Quran does not teach the belief that Jibreel (Gabriel) was an angel.  Jibreel is mentioned three times in the Quran by name, and twice he is mentioned separately from the angels:

مَن كانَ عَدُوًّا لِلَّهِ وَمَلائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبريلَ وَميكالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِلكافِرينَ

man kaana ʿaduwwan li-llaahi wa-malaaʾikatihī wa-rusulihī wa-jibrīla wa-mīkaala fa-ʾinna llaaha ʿaduwwun li-l-kaafirīn

‘Whoever is an enemy of Allah, His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael; Allah is indeed the enemy to the disbelievers.’

(al-Baqara 2:98)

And in Surah at-Tahrim 66:4:

إِن تَتوبا إِلَى اللَّهِ فَقَد صَغَت قُلوبُكُما ۖ وَإِن تَظاهَرا عَلَيهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَولاهُ وَجِبريلُ وَصالِحُ المُؤمِنينَ ۖ وَالمَلائِكَةُ بَعدَ ذٰلِكَ ظَهيرٌ

ʾin tatūbā ʾilā llāhi fa-qad ṣaghat qulūbukumā wa-ʾin taẓāharā ʿalayhi fa-ʾinna llāha huwa mawlāhu wa-jibrīlu wa-ṣāliḥu l-muʾminīna wa-l-malāʾikatu baʿda dhālika ẓahīr

If you both turn to Allah, then indeed your hearts are already inclined; and if you back up each other against him, then surely Allah it is who is his Guardian, and Jibreel and -the believers that do good, and the angels after that are the aiders.

Both of these ayaat isolate Jibreel from the angels.  However, one can say to mention Jibreel separately shows his special status.  This could be true if there was support for this statement.

Also, we should note in other verses, Allah differentiates between “Ruh” and “al-Malaikat” or the Angels:

يَومَ يَقومُ الرّوحُ وَالمَلائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لا يَتَكَلَّمونَ إِلّا مَن أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحمٰنُ وَقالَ صَوابًا

yawma yaqūmu r-rūḥu wa-l-malāʾikatu ṣaffan lā yatakallamūna ʾillā man ʾadhina lahu r-raḥmānu wa-qāla ṣawāba

The Day that the Spirit/ar-Ruh and the angels/al-Malaaikat will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct.

(an-Naba 78:38)

This distinction between “Ruh” and the angels can be read in other parts of the Quran = an-Nahl 16:2, al-Ma’arij 70:4, al-Qadr 97:4.  So we have four verses as evidence of “Ruh” not being from the angels.

Now, a well-known belief exists among certain sects that Jibreel is indeed “Ruh al-Qudus;” since Allah mentions in Surah al-Baqara 2:97 that “…Jibreel…brought/nazzala (the revelation?) to your heart…” and also in Surah an-Nahl 16:102 in similar wording except “nazzala” is connected to “Ruh al-Qudus

If this is true -Jibreel is Ruh al-Qudus- then this further shows Jibreel “Ruh al-Qudus” was not an angel but in fact something different.

In Sahih Muslim there is a single narrative attributed to ‘Aaisha reporting Rasolullah allegedly said:

…خُلِقَتِ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ

“The angels were created from light/noor…”

Allah says about the “Ruh”:

وَيَسأَلونَكَ عَنِ الرّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرّوحُ مِن أَمرِ رَبّي وَما أوتيتُم مِنَ العِلمِ إِلّا قَليلًا
wa-yasʾalūnaka ʾani r-rūḥi quli r-rūḥu min ʾamri rabbī wa-mā ʾūtītum mina l-ʿilmi ʾillā qalīla[n]
And they ask you concerning ar-Ruh; Say: “The Ruh, it is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you have been given only a little.”
(al-Israa 17:85)
Hence, we do not know much about the “Ruh” and what it is created from.  It would be conjecture to say angels and the Ruh are created from “noor.”
Therefore, we have Jibreel being isolated from the angels; the angels being mentioned separate from “ar-Ruh”; Both Jibreel and “Ruh al-Qudus” brought/revealed things with Allah’s permission.
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Comments
  1. As-salaamu alayka, at-taqillaah! From ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood (radiAllaahu ‘anhum) who said: the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw Jibreel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allaah knows about them.” It was reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, and Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidayah that its isnad is jayyid. And the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, describing Jibreel: “I saw Jibreel descending from heaven, and his great size filled the space between heaven and earth.” [Muslim].

    • Admin says:

      asalaam alaykum,

      Thank you for bringing this up, however your first reference is incorrect; and as you can also see, it’s not a saying of Muhammad Rasulullaah. The second reports’ isnad is ambiguous from the narrator Isma’il b. Ibraaheem up to Masruq, making this narration unreliable, as three reporters did not say whether they were told this hadith or if they heard it from the previous. Instead, they said “An,” and this is not sufficient as transmission.

      However, the issue isn’t whether the Prophet saw Jibreel or Jibreel having wings; many species have wings and aren’t called angels. Yet, even in these narrations, they do not identify Jibreel as an angel. The Quran is very clear in separating Jibreel from angels and no authentic Hadith would say something the Quran does not support.

      Despite that before we use a Hadith -Unlike the Quran- we must first see if they come from reliable sources.

  2. Takfiri says:

    So is Michael also not angel? Because both him and Gabriel are isolated in the first ayah and grouped together beside each other.

    • Admin says:

      Michael is in similar situation. There is no mention of ‘him’ being an angel either. Both of their angelic attributes come from Christian and Jewish beliefs.

  3. It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (radiAllaahu ‘anha) that al-Haarith ibn Hishaam (may Allaah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “O Messenger of Allaah, how does the Revelation come to you?” The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, which is the hardest of all, then it passes once I have grasped what is said. And sometimes the angel comes to me in the form of a man and speaks to me, and I grasp what he says…” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari, n. 2]

    End quote.

    And the angel mentioned in the hadith is jibreel, because it was he who brought the revelation to Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

    W’Allaahu a’laam.

    • Admin says:

      “the angel comes to me in the form of a man” Even the Prophet didn’t say it was Jibreel. How do you know this?

      • Abu Aslam says:

        Assalamu aleikum, if it wasn’t jibril who could it be?…
        Since it’s jibril that Allah (swt) has appointed to bring the message to rasul (s.a.w)

      • Admin says:

        aleikum salam, the reason being is al-Quran makes no mention of Jibreel being an angel. This description comes from Judeo-Christian sources, and it is not confirmed by the Quran. It is a curious case and nothing major. Whether Jibreel is or not an angel is not important. But to believe in things without clear-cut evidence is dangerous.

      • takfiri says:

        so if the angel in the hadith is not Jibreel then it means that someone other than Jibreel also brought down revelation?

        so the widely believed idea that only Jibreel brought down revelation is wrong then?

      • Admin says:

        asalaam alaykum,

        Why hold the belief that only Jibreel brought down revelation? Where did this belief come from? The source we used was the Qur’an and anything that does not agree with Allah’s speech, it would be questionable. If the Qur’an makes no mention of it, there should not be any hadith doing so.

  4. Assalaamu aleykum, brother, fear Allah and leave these arguments that spread doubts in the weakest hearts. Really there are many ahaadeeth, exegesis and words of the ‘ulamaa’ of Islaam that confirm the angelic nature of Jibreel, subhaana Allaah… But it seems that you reject the ahaadeeth, exegesis and words of the ‘ulamaa’ that generations of Muslims have accepted…

    It was narrated that Aboo Huraira (radiAllaahu ‘anhu) said: “Jibreel, peace be upon him, asked permission to enter upon the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he said: “Come in.” He said: “How can I come in when there is a curtain in your house on which there are images? You should either cut off their heads or make it into a rug to be stepped on, for we Angels do not enter a house in which there are images.” [Sunan an-Nasaa’i 5365, saheeh]

    In this case, narrated directly from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), is the same Jibreel saying he himself to be one of the angels.

    If you still continue to stay on your opinion, against the opinion of Ahl as-Sunnah and against the sound reason, at least you say “W’Allaahu a’laam”.

    May Allaah guide us all.

    • Admin says:

      asalaam alaykum,

      This issue is not related to the fundamentals of the Deen, it is merely a thoughtful expression by reading the Quran. There is not ‘deviancy’ involved whichever view point you take. But there must be explicit evidence for one to adopt a belief and relate it to Islam. We are not here to entertain the so-called ‘Ahl ul-Sunnah’, a sect among many man-made sects. Muhammad ar-Rasululaah is free from every sect, including ‘Ahl ul-Sunnah’. We are students of the Quran and not sectarian students who are wiling to change the Deen to suite a dogma.

      So here again: The Quran does NOT support this belief of Jibreel being an angel. No mater how many hadiths one can bring, they are not supported by the Quranic teachings. Is it not a bit odd? Why are hadith speaking about a matter that is not in Quran?

      The hadith you mentioned from Sunan an-Nasa’i, the beginning are a wording attributed to Abu Hurayrah and not the Messenger. Here is the full hadith with isnad from Sunan an-Nasa’i:

      أَخْبَرَنَا هَنَّادُ بْنُ السَّرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ، عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ مُجَاهِدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ اسْتَأْذَنَ جِبْرِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ ادْخُلْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ كَيْفَ أَدْخُلُ وَفِي بَيْتِكَ سِتْرٌ فِيهِ تَصَاوِيرُ فَإِمَّا أَنْ تُقْطَعَ رُءُوسُهَا أَوْ تُجْعَلَ بِسَاطًا يُوطَأُ فَإِنَّا مَعْشَرَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ لاَ نَدْخُلُ بَيْتًا فِيهِ تَصَاوِيرُ

      “Abu Hurayrah said: Jibreel asked permission to enter upon the Prophet” – Abu Hurayrah was not present and nor could we take his words as Prophetic. How does he know it was Jibreel? And you will find almost every hadith mentioned in this manner to be weak.

      One of the first things you will notice about the ‘isnad’ is that it is being reported through ambiguous means, with ‘An’, until an-Nasa’i mentions ‘akhbarna’ Hanaad.

      أبو بكر بن عياش الأسدي – Abu Faraj al-Jawzi mentioned him among the weak and the discarded

      Our first and main concern is Quran. If you have evidence from Quran, please do share it as we are all here to learn what Allah sent down. Otherwise, a hadith cannot teach a belief that does not have its origin from the Qura.

  5. farid says:

    Asalamu alaykum akhi,
    Can you write an article on the meaning of ibaadah [obedience/submission] and the meaning of mukhlis? JazakAllahu khairan

    • Admin says:

      alaykum salam,

      Ibaadah means service/submission/obedience, it is wrongly translated as “worship” in English. Being a slave/’Abd to Allaah ar-Rahmaan is the core meaning of Ibaadah. A good servant obeys his Master (Rabb).

      Mukhlis is the one who is loyal and pure heart, i.e. fully devoted to Allaah

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