Muhammad himself could not at first identify the spirit that possessed him, and the Qur'an mentions him by name only three times. Jibril, however, became Muhammad's constant helper. He and the archangel Mikal purified Muhammad's heart in preparation for the Prophet's ascension to heaven (mi'raj), and then Jibril guided him through the various levels until they reached the throne of God. When Muhammad recited a supposed revelation acknowledging the pagan goddesses al-Lat, al-'Uzza, and Manat, Jibril chastised him (Muhammad) for presenting as divine a message inspired by the devil. Jibril also helped Muhammad in times of political crises, coming to his aid at the Battle of Badr (624) with thousands of angels, then telling him to attack the Jewish tribes of Banu Qaynuqa' and Banu Qurayzah.
Muhammad generally only heard the voice of his inspiration, but, according to 'A'ishah, his wife, he saw Jibriltwice “in the shape that he was created� and on other occasions as a man resembling Dihyah ibn Khalifah al-Kalbi, an extraordinarily handsome disciple of Muhammad. Others have described the archangel as having 600 wings, each pair so enormous that they crowd the space between East and West. Jibril has also been depicted as sitting on a chair suspended between heaven and earth. The popular image of Jibril is of an ordinary, turbaned man, dressed in two green garments, astride a horse or a mule.
Muslim traditions concerning Jibril largely concur with biblical accounts of Gabriel, but his special relationship with Muhammad has inspired a mass of mythical detail. Jibril is said to have appeared at Adam's side after his expulsion from paradise and shown him how to write and work iron and raise wheat. Jibril later appeared in Egypt to help Moses and to deceive the Egyptians into entering the Red Sea in pursuit of the Jews. The name of Jibril figures in the preparations of charms and appears with the names of the other archangels on the sides of magic squares.
(Ref: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. On-line 2002)