Holy Spirit (Islam)

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The Holy Spirit (Arabic: الروح القدس, al-Rūḥ al-Quds) in Islam is mentioned several times in the Quran, and is interpreted by Muslims as referring to the angel Gabriel.

The Holy Spirit, al-Ruh al-Quds, in the Quran[edit]

The phrase al-Ruh al-Quds is used twice in the Quran:

"Say, the Holy Spirit 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.

— Qur'an, sura 16 (An-Nahl), ayat 102 [1]

"Then will God say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to thee and to thy mother. Behold! I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel and behold! thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but evident magic."

— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 110 [2]

The Spirit, al-Ruh, in the Quran[edit]

The Spirit of Allah is used in the Quran in two senses:

Allah uses it to blow into our mothers' wombs our human-spirits(souls). Creation of life:

"But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His Spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!

— Qur'an, sura 32 (As-Sajda), ayat 9 [3]

"When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of 'My Spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."

— Qur'an, sura 15 (Al-Hijr), ayat 29 [4]

"And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

—" Qur'an, sura 21 (Al-Anbiya), ayat 91 [5]

"And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our Spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).

— Qur'an, sura 66 (At-Tahrim), ayat 12 [6]

It is used to provide Divine Guidance to the Believers, those whom Allah Almighty Loves and Favors. It is not just the Holy Spirit that gives Guidance. Angels too give it:

"Raised high above ranks (or degrees), (He is) the Lord of the Throne (of Authority): by His Command doth He send the Spirit (of inspiration) to any of His servants he pleases, that it may warn (men) of the Day of Mutual Meeting,

— Qur'an, sura 40 (Ghafir), ayat 15 [7]

"Thou wilt not find any people who believe in God and the Last Day, loving those who resist God and His Apostle, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself. And He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein (for ever). God will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of God. Truly it is the Party of God that will achieve Felicity.

—Qur'an, sura 58 (Al-Mujadila), ayat 22 [8]

The Quran against the Trinity[edit]

God is neither a trinity, nor duality, nor plural in Islam:

"They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.

— Qur'an, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayat 73 [9]

"Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.

—Qur'an, sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1-4[10]

"Say: "O People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians)! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will)."

— Qur'an, sura 3 (Aal-e-Imran), ayat 64 [11]


Jibril from book 'The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of Existence', 14th century.

In the view of some Muslims the term al-Ruh al-Quds refers to the Angel Gabriel (referred to as Jibral, Jibrīl, Jibrael, 'Džibril, Jabrilæ or Jibrail (جبريل, جبرائيل, [dʒibræːʔiːl], [dʒibrɛ̈ʔiːl], or [dʒibriːl]) in Islam),[12][13][14] the high-ranked angel who was assigned by Allah to deliver his revelation to all apostles and prophets.[15] He is also the angel who delivered the Annunciation to Mary and also delivered the Qur'an to the prophet Muhammad in the cave of Hira by Mecca.[12]

Gabriel's physical appearance is described in the Hadith (Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:54:4:55):

Narrated by Abu Ishaq-Ash-Shaibani: I asked Zir bin Hubaish regarding the statement of God: "And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; So did (God) convey the inspiration to his servant (Gabriel) and then he (Gabriel) conveyed (that to Muhammad). [Quran 53:9] From ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood, who said: the Messenger of God saw Gabriel 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 God knows about them."[16]

The Qur'an has referred to Gabriel both by name and by using the "spirit" designation. Gabriel is regarded with exactly the same respect by Muslims as all of the Prophets, and upon saying his name or referring to him a Muslim repeats: "peace be upon him". Gabriel's primary tasks are to bring messages from God to his messengers. As in Christianity, Gabriel is said to be the angel that informed Mary (Maryam, Arabic مريم) of how she would conceive Isa:

She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then we sent to her our Ruh [angel Jibrael (Gabriel)], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects. She said: "Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (God) from you, if you do fear God." (The angel) said: "I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son." She said: "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?" He said: "So (it will be), your Lord said: 'That is easy for me (God): And (we wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from us (God), and it is a matter (already) decreed (by God).' " [Quran 19:17]

Muslims believe Gabriel to have accompanied Muhammad in his spiritual ascension to the heavens, where Muhammad also is said to have met previous messengers of God and was informed about the Islamic prayer (Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:8:345). Muslims also believe that Gabriel descends to Earth on the night of Laylat al-Qadr in spirit & essence ("The Night of Destiny"), a night in the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan (Islamic calendar) which is believed to be the night in which the Qur'an was first revealed.[17]

See also[edit]