Virtues of Gabriel (Jibrael) –
The Greatest Archangel of Allah
This article is about the virtues of Angel Gabriel, the greatest archangel of Allah. Allah has sent the human race on the earth as the noblest of all creatures. However, humans received guidance through Prophets and heavenly books and revelations to be educated about the difference between right and wrong as well as to gain the gnosis of Allah. This allowed man to understand his position of always being humble as he is merely a creation. He also realized that Allah is the Supreme Master of the Universe. Consequently, man can acknowledge Allah as the Provider and recognize His Oneness with truth of certainty (haq-ul-yaqin). All the Prophets declared following the heavenly books and revelations as the key to success. Surely, having faith in the Last Prophet, Prophet Mohammad and the heavenly book revealed upon him, the Holy Quran is the source of our betterment.
BELIEF IN THE ANGELS AND GABRIEL:
Apart from having faith in the Prophets and heavenly books, it is also necessary to believe in the angels of Allah. Angels are the creation of Allah made out of Divine Light. Moreover, they are pure without any other material added to process their creation. Among all the creations, Allah created angels solely for the purpose of invoking and praising Him and also to follow His commands. Furthermore, they do not have the ability to disobey the Divine commands in the least. From their creation till the time they will perish, all the angels would keep on praising Allah and following His commands.
GABRIEL-THE ANGEL OF ALLAH
The exact number of the angels created by Allah is unknown to anyone. Nor does anyone know about their duties and obligations. They are engaged in executing the concealed and revealed affairs commanded by Allah.
In addition, the medium of communication between Allah and man have been the Prophets. However, the connection between Allah and the Prophets was the leader of angels, the archangel, Angel Gabriel (Jibrael). Through revelations, he would deliver the messages and commands of Allah to His Prophets. Prophethood has ended and hence, the system of revelation.
GABRIEL-THE GREATEST ANGEL
Angel Gabriel is the most senior and elevated angel of Allah. Moreover, his status and rank is above all the other angels. Imam Al-Suyuti says that the existence of an angel is specific to a fixed appointed work. The commands and deeds assigned to Gabriel are the greatest in comparison to those of the rest of the angels. Hence, he is also the greatest among all the angels. Among the other closest angels of Allah are the archangels Angel Azrael (Israel), Angel Michael (Mikael) and Angel Israfil.
Every new-born cries no matter which creation he belongs to. In contrast, the angels invoke and praise Allah from the moment of their creation. The creation of angels began from the creation of Angel Gabriel.
Sa’id ibn al-Musayyib relates the tradition that at the time of Angel Gabriel’s creation, he said:
لَاحَوْلَ وَ لَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰہ
Meaning: There is no power and no strength except with Allah.
He added that the angels have no power of their own.
AGE OF ANGEL GABRIEL
Abu Huraira reports the tradition that Prophet Mohammad asked Angel Gabriel regarding his age. Angel Gabriel replied, “I swear by Allah! I know nothing except that from the fourth Divine veil, after every seventy thousand years, an enlightened star appears. I have witnessed it seventy two thousand times.” Prophet Mohammad said, “O Gabriel! By the grace of Allah indeed I myself am that star.” (Jawahir al-Hijaar edition II, Ruh al-Bayan edition II, Sirat-e-Jalbiya edition I)
THE APPEARANCE OF GABRIEL
Prophet Mohammad said, “I have been permitted to reveal about only one pure soul (Angel Gabriel) who resides beneath the Throne and is holding the Crown of Allah. His (Angel Gabriel’s) earlobe and the distance between his shoulders is of seven hundred years.” A tradition from Ibn-e-Khazima is that Prophet Mohammad said, “The distance is that of seven hundred years’ flight of a bird.”
In another tradition Prophet Mohammad said, “Angel Gabriel resides beneath the Throne. I saw him, he had six hundred wings and was covering all the skies. He was sitting on the throne granted by Allah with his wings spread out. From his wings showered valuable pearls and expensive gems.”
Prophet Mohammad also said, “The colour of his wings is green as well as that of the sole of his feet.”
LEGEND OF GABRIEL AND PROPHET MOHAMMAD’S HEART
Anas bin Malik relates the tradition that Prophet Mohammad saw Angel Gabriel in the year when his mother passed away. Prophet Mohammad was busy with other children. Suddenly, someone appeared, held him and pushed him to the ground. Terrified and scared, the rest of the children ran away. Prophet Mohammad says, “That person split my chest open and held my heart. He picked out something from my heart and said
ھٰذا حَظ الشیطان مِنکَ
Meaning: This evil was within you.
He threw it away. He placed my heart in a saucer of gold and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he sewed my chest again. When the rest of the children returned with their parents, by that time my chest was back to normal.” At that time, Prophet Mohammad was only six years of age.
THE FIRST MEETING WITH GABRIEL, THE INTERMEDIARY OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD
Umm-ul-Momineen Ayesha bint Abu Bakr relates that six months before Prophethood, she witnessed changes in the daily routine and behaviour of Prophet Mohammad. He would regularly dream of true events. By the order of Allah, he got used to staying in solitude. Moreover, to worship in loneliness, he started visiting the cave of Hira. It is located at a distance of two hours elevation by foot. This is where Prophet Mohammad saw Angel Gabriel in the form of a man at the entrance of the cave. He got terrified at his arrival. Angel Gabriel embraced him heavily and revealed the message of Allah:
اِقْرَاْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّکَ الَّذِیْ خَلَق
Meaning: Read in the name of your Lord.
GABRIEL-THE DIVINE HERALD
Prophet Mohammad was shocked and perplexed after the event. He shared the whole incident with his wife, Khadija bint Khuwaylid. She took him to Waraqah ibn Nawfal who testified that it was the same entity who used to bring revelations upon the previous Prophets.
After that, Angel Gabriel kept visiting Prophet Mohammad till he left this world. By the order of Allah, he fulfilled his services time after time.
GABRIEL-THE PROTECTOR AND COMPANION OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD
Once Abu Jahl swore by the idols that if Prophet Mohammad offers Salat (prayer), prostrates or even mentions about monotheism then he would (God forbid) kill him. Then Prophet Mohammad came and started his Salat facing Kaaba. However when Abu Jahl pounced towards Prophet Mohammad, he suddenly halted. He started to slap himself, screamed and ran away. Later when inquired about the incident, he said, “I saw a sea of fire between Mohammad and myself and I felt its burning heat.”
Prophet Mohammad said, “Had he tried, Gabriel would have killed him.” He added, “Every Prophet has two earthly and two heavenly companions who guard him. My heavenly companions are Angel Gabriel and Angel Michael whereas my companions on earth are Abu Bakr and Umar.”
STATUS OF GABRIEL
According to Risala al-Shifa, Prophet Mohammad asked Angel Gabriel, “O Gabriel! Allah has titled me as Mercy for All Worlds (Rehmat-ul-Alameen) in the Holy Quran. Does any part of my mercy, reaches you as well?” Angel Gabriel replied, “O Mohammad! It is through you that I got the security of my status. When Allah told you, ‘He is the close to his Lord’ then by your mercy I realized my status.”
PROPHET MOHAMMAD REVEALS ABOUT HIS DEATH:
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri relates that one day, Prophet Mohammad was among his companions and he was in good health. Suddenly, he said, “Allah blessed one of His servants so that he can choose between the life and pleasures of the world or the hereafter. The servant chose the latter.” All the companions assumed that Prophet Mohammad has narrated something usual. In contrast, Abu Bar burst into tears hearing this. He had understood that the time of Prophet Mohammad’s death was near. Also, that Prophet Mohammad was talking about himself through the narration.
PROPHET MOHAMMAD’s HEALTH DETERIORATES:
After the incident, Prophet Mohammad’s health started deteriorating. His fever would keep increasing and he would find it difficult to walk. He would rarely come out of his room. He could not stand to offer Salat or to meet anyone. Prophet Mohammad’s family realized that his time of death had approached. Umm-ul-Momineen Ayesha bint Abu Bakr would help him sit and walk.
Once Prophet Mohammad glanced the miswak (teeth cleaning twig) in the pocket of Abdul Rahman ibn Abu Bakr. Ayesha bint Abu Bakr asked Prophet Mohammad if he wants the miswak. He nodded in affirmative. Ayesha took the miswak from her brother, chewed it to soften it and gave to Prophet Mohammad.
ANGEL GABRIEL COMES TO TAKE PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
According to Ayesha bint Abu Bakr, as soon as he finished using miswak, Angel Gabriel walked in the door. Ayesha says that as soon as she looked at the countenance of Prophet Mohammad, it shone with happiness and he smiled in delight.
Angel Gabriel saluted Prophet Mohammad and said, “O Mohammad! By the command of Allah, He sent me to give you the choice. Allah says that if you wish you can stay in this world with your companions forever or you can also chose to adopt the companionship of Allah instead.”
Prophet Mohammad replied:
بل الرفیق الاعلٰی۔ بل الرفیق الاعلٰی۔ بل الرفیق الاعلٰی
Meaning: I accept the companionship of the Best Companion.
Ayesha bint Abu Bakr says that he passed away as soon as he said these words.
DEATH OF ANGELS:
Prophet Mohammad said, “On the Day of Judgment when trumpet would be blown and everything will perish, then below the Holy Court of Allah, only four angels would remain. These would be the archangels Angel Gabriel (Jibrael), Angel Israfil, Angel Michael (Mikael) and Angel Azrael (Israel). Allah would ask Angel Azrael, “Who is left?” Angel Azrael would reply, “O Master of Universe! Your slaves Gabriel, Michael, Israel and I.” Allah would order, “Take Michael’s soul” and it will happen.
Then Allah would ask him again, “Who is left?” Angel Azrael would reply, “O Master of Universe! I, Gabriel and Israel.” Allah would order him to take Angel Israel’s soul and it will happen.
DEATH OF ANGEL GABRIEL:
Then Allah would ask Angel Azrael again, “Who is left?” Angel Azrael would reply, “O Master of Universe! I and Gabriel.” Allah would order, “Take Gabriel’s soul” and it will happen. At that time, Angel Gabriel with his wings spread would be praising Allah and he would fall straight to the ground.
Again, Allah would ask Angel Azrael, “Who is left?” Angel Azrael would reply, “O Master of Universe! I, Your slave.” Allah would order and Angel Azrael would also die.
At that time, Allah would say:
کُلُّ مَنْ عَلیْھَا فَانٍ۔ وَّ یَبْقٰی وَجْہُ رَبِّکَ ذُوالْجَلَالِ وَالْاِکْرَام
Meaning: Whoever is on earth will perish. And the essence of your Lord, who is the Mater of glory and splendour and the Master of bounty and honour, will remain. (ar-Rehman 26-27)
Then Allah would say to Himself, “Today, who is the King?” and would reply to Himself, “Allah! The One and Powerful.”
ANGEL GABRIEL STANDS BESIDE ALLAH:
Prophet Mohammad said that on the Day of Judgment the soul of every human would rise by the command of Allah and the earth would level. No one would be able to move from his appointed place. I would be the first to enter the Holy Court of Allah and I would prostrate as soon as I enter. When I would raise my head, I will witness Angel Gabriel on the right side of Allah. I swear by Allah! That would be first day when Angel Gabriel would see Allah. I would say to Allah by pointing at Angel Gabriel:
یَا رَبْ اِنَّ ھٰذا اَخْبَرْنِیْ اِنَّکَ اَرسَلَہُ اِلَیَّ
Meaning: O my Lord! He said that You sent him to me.
Allah would testify, “It is true.”
TITLES OF ANGEL GABRIEL:
Angel Gabriel holds the greatest status and rank among the group of Angels. His signs and miracles are all over the world. Angel Gabriel is the companion of Prophets and best slave of Allah. Apart from delivering revelations to Prophet Mohammad, Angel Gabriel also came to train and explain Allah’s messages by the order of Allah. Additionally, Allah sent Angel Gabriel to all Prophets and he is their secret-keeper. Allah has graced Angel Gabriel with the titles of the Holy Spirit (Ruh al-Qudus) and the Trustworthy Spirit (Ruh al-Amin).
ANGEL GABRIEL SENT TO ALL PROPHETS:
All life stories of Prophets and Messengers mention Angel Gabriel because he came to all the Prophets and Messengers. Moreover, according to Hadiths mentioned in Musnad Imam al-Ahmad, the number of Prophets is one lakh twenty-four thousand. Out of these, three hundred and fifteen are Messengers and Angel Gabriel met all of them. By the command of Allah, he met all the Prophets to train, help and protect them from harm.
ANGEL GABRIEL BURIED PROPHET ADAM:
When Prophet Adam came to the earth from heaven, Allah stopped conversing directly with him and instead chose Angel Gabriel to deliver His messages to Prophet Adam. When Prophet Adam died, there was no custom of burial because no one was aware of the concept of death. Therefore, Allah sent a group of angels with Angel Gabriel who bathed Prophet Adam’s body. They wrapped it in coffin and buried it. Angel Gabriel connects to the human race since the time of Prophet Adam.
ANGEL GABRIEL MADE ZAMZAM ERUPT:
According to a Sahih Bukhari Hadith, Prophet Mohammad said that when Hagar (Bibi Hajrah) was walking between the dry and rocky path of the mountains of Safa and Marwa while holding Prophet Ishmael, she looked everywhere for help. There was nobody but she heard a voice and said, “Whoever it is, come forward and say what you have to.” Suddenly, Angel Gabriel appeared. He struck his heel on the ground and there erupted fountains of water. Prophet Mohammad says, “May Allah bless Prophet Ishmael’s mother. Had she not made a boundary around the water of Zamzam, its water would have touched all the corners of the world.”
Today, numerous Muslims benefit from the water of Zamzam and this miracle continues forever. This well is eight by three feet and researchers say that it is providing eight thousand litres per second, which makes it sixty nine crores litres per day. It came into being by a single stroke of Angel Gabriel’s foot on the ground by the order of Allah.
According to a tradition, when Prophet Abraham and Prophet Ishmael had finished the construction of Kaaba, then Prophet Abraham prayed, “O Allah! Also teach us the rituals of Hajj (pilgrimage).” Prophet Mohammad says regarding this, “Allah sent Angel Gabriel and he performed pilgrimage with Prophet Abraham. At the station of Jamarat, Satan tried to deceive him, then Angel Gabriel, by the order of Allah, guided Abraham to hit Satan with stones.” Today, all the Muslims follow this action when performing the rituals of Hajj.
ANGEL GABRIEL SAVED PROPHET JOSEPH IN HIS ARMS:
When the brothers of Prophet Joseph, threw him into a well out of jealousy, then it was Angel Gabriel who took Prophet Joseph into his arms without letting him get hurt by hitting the ground of the well.
ANGEL GABRIEL HELPED PROPHET LUT DESTROY THE WRONGDOERS:
According to a tradition, the whole community of Prophet Lut, which was astray, and their great city met destruction by the hit of edge of one strand out of the wings of Angel Gabriel. He lifted the whole city on the edge of his one wing and by the command of Allah, threw it hence the whole community died.
ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK JESUS’ FROM EARTH:
In the Quran, Allah says about Jesus as he ascended from the earth:
ایدناہ بروح القُدس
Meaning: And We helped him through the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, it is Angel Gabriel’s duty to take Jesus to heaven from earth and from heaven to the earth. By the order of Allah, Angel Gabriel took him to the heaven till Allah orders to take him back to the earth.
Anas abu Talha relates the tradition that once Prophet Mohammad’s face started gleaming in the gathering. I asked the reason and he revealed, “Angel Gabriel just came to me and asked that am I not happy that when someone says Salawat for me once, he says Salawat for him ten times.”
If you also want the Leader of Angels, Angel Gabriel to say your name then send Durood to our beloved Prophet Mohammad:
صلی اللّٰہ علیہ وآلہٖ وسلم
Meaning: Salutation and blessings upon the Holy Prophet and his sacred Progeny.
Khutbaat Umar Suleman
This article was originally published in the May issue of Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (the monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) as ‘Fazail-e-Jabrael’ written by Fauzia Fareed Sarwari Qadri. This article is its translation in English done by Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri. If you wish to read the original article, please visit:
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What is the Archangel Gabriel known for?
Archangel Gabriel is popular for bringing revelations and announcements from God in all Abrahamic religions.
What does Gabriel mean?
Derived from Hebrew, Gabriel means ‘God is my strength’ or ‘God is my strong man’.