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Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Superiority of the One Who Descended with the Quran

Within various Verses of the Quran, Allah spoke highly of the one who descended with the Quran to our Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh). I am referring here to none other than Jibreel (Gabriel), the angel that was entrusted with the task of conveying divine revelation to the Prophet (pbuh). Allah praised Jibreel (Gabriel) for this superior qualities in a number of Verses, such as the following Verse from Surah An Nahl :

Allah Says:

“ Say ( O Muhammad ) Ruh ul Qudus (Gabriel) has brought it ( the Quran) down from you Lord with truth, that it may make firm and strengthen ( the faith of) those who believe and as a guidance and glad tidings to those who have submitted ( to Allah as Muslims).” (Quran 16:102)

The word Ruh means soul or spirit, but in the context of the above mentioned Verse it refers to Jibreel (Gabriel); And Qudus connotes the meanings of purity and virtue. Allah used the word Ruh to describe Jibreel in another verse as well:

Allah says:

“Then We sent to her Our Ruh (Angel Gabriel).” (Quran 19:17)

And in yet another Verse, Allah said:

“And truly, this (the Quran) is a revelation from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Which the trustworthy Ruh (Gabriel) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad) that you may be (one) of the warners.” (Quran 26:192-194)

We know that Ruh means spirit or soul, so why was Jibreel given the name Ar Ruh? Scholars have answered this question with various explanations, such as these ones:

*Jibreel is in fact a pure and virtuous soul, and so Allah named him thus a way of honoring him and proclaiming his lofty status.

*The religion of Islam is alive through Jibreel, just as a body of a person is alive through his soul.

*This makes sense since Jibreel was charged with the duty of bringing down the revelation not just to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) but to previous Prophets as well.

*Spirituality is one of the dominant qualities of all angels, but to a greater degree with Jibreel than with any other angel.

Allah said:

“Verily, this is the Word (this Quran brought by) a most honorable Messenger (Gabriel, from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad).Owner of power, and high rank with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne, Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens).” Quran 81:19-21)

In this verse Allah described Jibreel with five Qualities:

He is ‘most honorable.’
He is an’ owner of power’
He enjoys a high ranking with Allah
He is obeyed in the heavens
He is trustworthy.

Upon contemplating this Verse and all of the above mentioned Verses, one is made to appreciate and to stand in awe of the chain of the Noble Quran. “Chain” in this context refers to a chain of a narration; every Hadeeth, for instance, has a chain: so and so related from so and so, who related so and so , who related from such and such Companion that the Messenger of Allah. Upon studying the chains of the most authentic of Ahadeeth, one finds the names of many eminent scholars of Hadeeth from various generations, the likes of Abu Hurairah, Abdullah bin Masood, Sufyaan Ath Thuwree, Maalik Ibn Anas, Saeed, Al Hasan, and so on. Now consider the lofty and awe-inspiring chain of the Noble Quran:

The Messenger of Allah related from the angel Jibreel who related directly from the Lord of all that Exists, Allah.

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