Holy Spirit In Islam

The Holy Spirit in Islam is also known as the Spirit of/from Allah. The Qur’an claims to confirm the previously revealed scriptures. The holy spirit in Islam is not the Holy Spirit in Christianity. The holy spirit in Islam is not about the Holy Spirit as poured out onto creation, making all things new. It is therefore not about redemption, but it does have a role in guiding humanity. After all, it mediates the message of God to humanity. What is God’s message to humanity?

The Holy Spirit (روح القدس‎ Ruh al-Qudus, “the holy spirit“) is mentioned four times in the Quran, where it acts as an agent of divine action or communication. The Muslim interpretation of the Holy Spirit is generally consistent with other interpretations based upon the Old and the New Testaments. Further, the Quran refers to rūḥ as Ruh al-qudus (روح القدس‎, “the holy spirit” or “spirit of holiness“) and al-ruh al-amin (“the faithful/trustworthy spirit”). The holy spirit is more commonly known as archangel Gabriel (جبريل‎ the messenger to all the prophets.

In Sufismrūḥ (روح‎; plural arwah) is a person’s immortal, essential self — pneuma, i.e. the “spirit” or “Nafs (The Soul)“. The Quran itself does not describe rūḥ as the immortal self. Nevertheless, in some contexts, it animates inanimate matter. Further, it appears to be a metaphorical being, such as an angel. In one instance, rūḥ refers to Jesus.

Outside the Quran, rūḥ may also refer to a spirit that roams the earth; a ghost.

Among the al-Laṭaʾif as-sitta (اللطائف الستة‎) it is the third purity.

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Holy Spirit – abstract

Ruh al-qudus

Ruh al-qudus (روح القدس‎, “the holy spirit” or “spirit of holiness”), al-ruh al-amin (“the faithful/trustworthy spirit”), and ruh (spirit) are Quranic expressions that describe a source or means of prophetic revelations, commonly identified with the angel Gabriel. Quranic commentators disagreed in their identification of Gabriel with various uses of the word ruh

The Arabic phrase “al-Qudus” (القدس) translates into English as “the Holy One” or “the Exalted One”. “Al-Quddūs” is one of the 99 Names of God in Islam.

In Quran

Brought the revelation to Muhammad

Surah 16:102, “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.”

Strengthened Jesus

Surah 2:87, “We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you an apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?—Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!”

Surah 2:253, ” Those apostles We endowed with gifts, some above others: To one of them Allah spoke; others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding generations would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they (chose) to wrangle, some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah Fulfilleth His plan.”

Surah 5:110, “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….”

Strengthens others

Surah 58:22, “Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah 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). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they with Him. They are the Party of Allah. Truly it is the Party of Allah that will achieve Felicity.

Spirit of God

Breathed into Adam

Surah 38:72, “When I have fashioned him [Adam] (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

Surah 15:29, “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

Breathed into Man

Surah 32:9, “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!”

Breathed into Mary to make Jesus

Surah 21:91, “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.

Surah 66:12, “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).”

Spirit of Inspiration

Surah 40:15, “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.”

In Shia Islam

In Shia Islam ruh is described as “a creature (khalq) of God larger than Gabriel or Michael”, who was sent to inform and guide Muhammad and is now with the Imams. In some Shia traditions, ruh al-qudus (spirit of holiness) is one of the five spirits possessed by the Imam. Unlike the other four spirits, it is always vigilant and available to inform the Imam on any issue. There is disagreement on whether ruh is an angel.

As interpreted to refer to the Archangel Gabriel

The term Ruh al-Qudus also applies to the Archangel Gabriel (referred to as Jibral, JibrīlJibrael, ‘DžibrilJabrilæCebrail or Jibrail (جبريل, جبرائيل), who is related as the Angel of revelation and was assigned by God to reveal the Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad and who delivered the Annunciation to Mary.

In the two suras in which the Qur’an refers to the angel Gabriel, it does so by name. However, some hadith and parts of the Qur’an may arguably lend support to the alternative view.

It appears to be indicated by the Quran in sura Maryam ayat 16–21, that it was the angel Gabriel who gave to Mary the tidings that she was to have a son as a virgin:

She chose to seclude herself (from her people); then we sent to her Our Spirit, 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 man) 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).’ ” [Quran19:17]

It is narrated in hadith that the angel Gabriel accompanied Muhammad during the Mi’raj, an ascension to the heavens in which Muhammad is said to have met other messengers of God and was instructed about the manner of Islamic prayer (sujud). (Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:8:345.) It is also held by Muslims that the angel Gabriel descends to Earth on the night of Laylat al-Qadr (“The Night of Fate”), a night in the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan (Islamic calendar) which is said to be the night on which the Qur’an was first revealed.



As soul

God is believed to endow humans with rūḥ and Nafs (The Soul) (نَفْس, psyche, i.e. ego or “(inner) soul“). The rūḥ “drives” the nafs, which comprises temporal desires and sensory perceptions. The nafs can assume control of the body if the rūḥ surrenders to bodily urges. The nafs is subject to bodily desire, whereas the rūḥ is a person’s immaterial essence, beyond the emotions and instincts shared by humans and other animals; rūḥ makes the body alive. Some arwah (pl. spirits) dwell in the seventh heaven. Unlike the angels, they are supposed to eat and drink. An angel called Ar-Rūḥ (the spirit) is responsible for them.


To attain Tajalli ar-rūḥ, (the ultimate manifestation of divine truth in the human soul) the Salik (Sufi aspirant), must cultivate the following 13 spiritual qualities or virtuous practices, thus facilitating the gradual awakening in order of the various centres or subtle plexuses of his/her jism latif (subtle body).

  1. Irādah or Commitment with God
  2. Istiqāmah or Steadfastness in the way with God
  3. Hāya or Shame in committing evil
  4. Ḥurīyyah or Freedom: Ibrahim Bin Adham said, “A free man is one who abandons the world before he leaves the world”. Yaḥyā Bin Maz said, “Those who serves the people of world are slaves, and those who serve the people of ʾĀkhirah are the free ones”. Abū ʿAlī Daqāq said, “Remember, real freedom is in total obedience. Therefore if someone has total obedience in God, he will be free from the slavery of non God”
  5. Fatoot or Manliness: Abū ʿAlī Daqāq said, “Manliness is in one’s being of continuous service to others. This is an etiquette that was perfected by Prophet Muhammad only”.
  6. Ḥub or Love for God
  7. Aboodiyah or Slavery under God
  8. Maraqiba or Complete Focus on God
  9. Duʿāʾ or Prayer
  10. Faqar or Abandoning of materialism
  11. Tasawwuf or Wearing a dress of no material significance
  12. Suhbat or Company of the righteous ones
  13. Adab or Following Protocols of respect for the great ones

See also

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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