Who is the Holy Spirit In Islam?


By Sami Zaatari




Just like in Christianity, we the Muslims also believe in the Holy spirit, however so our belief in the Holy spirit is quite different than the Christian belief on this matter. However so who is the Holy spirit that the Quran often refers to? :


YUSUFALI: 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.


YUSUFALI: Then will Allah 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.'


So who exactly is the Holy Spirit? Let us consult Ibn Kathir's tafsir:


Jibril is Ruh Al-Qudus

The proof that Jibril is the Ruh Al-Qudus is the statement of Ibn Mas`ud in explanation of this Ayah. This is also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Isma`il bin Khalid, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and Qatadah. Additionally, Allah said,

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(Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad ) that you may be (one) of the warners) (26:193-194).

Al-Bukhari recorded `A'ishah saying that the Messenger of Allah erected a Minbar in the Masjid on which Hassan bin Thabit (the renowned poet) used to defend the Messenger of Allah (with his poems). The Messenger of Allah said,


(O Allah! Aid Hassan with Ruh Al-Qudus, for he defended Your Prophet.)

Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith in his Sunan as did At-Tirmidhi who graded it Hasan Sahih. Further, Ibn Hibban recorded in his Sahih that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

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(Ruh Al-Qudus informed me that no soul shall die until it finishes its set provisions and term limit. Therefore, have Taqwa of Allah and seek your sustenance in the most suitable way.)

Reminding `Isa of the Favors that Allah Granted him

Allah mentions how He blessed His servant and Messenger, `Isa, son of Maryam, and the miracles and extraordinary acts He granted him. Allah said,

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(Remember My favor to you) when I created you from your mother, without male intervention, and made you a sign and clear proof of My perfect power over all things. d

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(And to your mother) when I made you testify to her chastity and you thus absolved her from the sin that the unjust, ignorant liars accused her of,

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(when I supported you with Ruh - il-Qudus) the angel Jibril, and made you a Prophet, calling to Allah in the cradle and manhood. I made you speak in the cradle, and you testified that your mother was free from any immoral behavior, and you proclaimed that you worship Me. You also conveyed the news of My Message and invited them to worship Me.

And also here is what one Sheikh writes concerning this matter:

Praise be to Allaah.

The "Holy Spirit" (Rooh al-Qudus) is Jibreel (peace be upon him). Shaykh al-Shanqeeti said: "The words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning), ?and [We] supported him with Rooh al-Qudus' [al-Baqarah 2:87] refer to Jibreel according to the most sound view. This is indicated by the words (interpretation of the meaning): ?Which the trustworthy Rooh has brought down' [al-Shu'ara' 26:193] and ?then We sent to her our Rooh' [Maryam 19:17]." 

Ibn Abi Haatim narrated from Ahmad ibn Sinaan. Abu'l-Za'raa' told us: ?Abd-Allaah said: Rooh al-Qudus ("the Holy Spirit") is Jibreel, then he said: something similar was narrated from Muhammad ibn Ka'b al-Qurazi, Qutaadah, ?Atiyah al-?Awfi, al-Saddi and al-Rabee' ibn Anas

This view is supported by the above and by the report narrated by the two Shaykhs [al-Bukhaari and Muslim] with their isnaads from Abu Salamah ibn ?Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ?Awf, that he heard Hassaan ibn Thaabit al-Ansaari asking Abu Hurayrah to bear witness, "I ask you by Allaah, did you hear the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say, ?O Hassaan, respond on behalf of the Messenger of Allaah. O Allaah, support him with Rooh al-Qudus'?" Abu Hurayrah said, "Yes."

 (al-Tafseer al-Masboor by Dr. Hikmat Basheer, 1/192-193)

 Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: the majority of scholars said that this refers to Jibreel (peace be upon him), and that Allaah called him al-Rooh al-Ameen, Rooh al-Qudus and Jibreel."

(Daqaa'iq al-Tafseer, part 1, p. 310)

 He wrote an entire chapter on that and said:

 Chapter on the meaning of Rooh al-Qudus:

 Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning):

 "O ?Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Remember My Favour to you and to your mother when I supported you with Rooh ul Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)]."

[al-Maa'idah 5:110]

Allaah supported the Messiah (peace be upon him) with Rooh al-Qudus as He mentions in this aayah. In al-Baqarah Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"And We gave ?Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), clear signs and supported him with Rooh-ul-Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)]

[al-Baqarah 2:87]

"Those Messengers! We preferred some  of them to others; to some of them Allh spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); and to ?Eesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Rooh ul Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)]"

[al-Baqarah 2:253]

 This is not limited only to the Messiah; others were also supported in this way. (The scholars) mentioned that Dawood said, "Do not stop supporting me with Rooh al-Qudus." And our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Hassaan ibn Thaabit, "O Allaah, support him with Rooh al-Qudus." According to another report: "Rooh al-Qudus will be with you so long as you are defending His Prophet." Both versions are narrated in al-Saheeh.

 According to the Christians, the "Holy Spirit" dwelt in the Disciples, and according to them the "Holy Spirit" is something experienced by all of the Prophets. But Allaah says in al-Nahl (interpretation of the meaning):

 "Say (O Muhammad) Rooh ul Qudus [Jibreel (Gabriel)] has brought it (the Qur'aan) down from your 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 Allaah as Muslims)"

[al-Nahl 16:102] 

"Which the trustworthy Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] has brought down

Upon your heart (O Muhammad)"

[al-Shu'ara' 26:193]

 "Whoever is an enemy to Jibreel (Gabriel) (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur'aan) down to your heart"

[al-Baqarah 2:97] 

So it is clear that Rooh al-Qudus here refers to Jibreel. No one suggests that Rooh al-Qudus means the life of Allaah; nor is this indicated by the wording and this phrase is never used in that sense. 

Daqaa'iq al-Tafseer, part 2, p. 92

So it is a consensus among Islamic Scholarship that the Holy Spirit is Jibreel, and this isn't just a mere opinion, the Islamic texts and sources prove this fact, the scholars didn't just make it up. For instance the Quran says this concerning the Holy Spirit:

YUSUFALI: 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.

So the Holy spirit has brought down the Quran to the prophet Muhammad, this is non other than the angel Jibreel, this is what the Quran says concerning Jibreel:

YUSUFALI: Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by Allah's will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,-

So as you can see the Holy spirit can be non other than the angel Jibreel, the Holy spirit brings down the revelation which strengthens and guides the believers, the angel Jibreel brings down the revelation which strengthens and guides the believers! Hence the Holy Spirit is Jibreel and Jibreel is the Holy spirit!

So in conclusion the Holy Spirit in Islam is not God, nor a semi-God, the Holy Spirit in Islam is non other than the angel Jibreel.

And Allah Knows Best!