Archangel Gabriel

Information Pictures and Links regarding Archangel Gabriel

Archangel Gabriel has a remarkable position as one of the few cultural figures who plays an important role in more than one major religion. He is refered to in the Old Testament as appearing to Daniel. In Christian tradition he appears to the Virgin and to Zachariah. In Islamic tradition he is renowned for dictating the Holy Koran to the Prophet Mohammed.

The frequent references to Gabrial in literature and Art mean more than any other Gabriel defines most people's idea of what an angel is. In particular the potent image of Angel Gabriel announcing the impending birth of the Messiah to Mary has inspired generations of artists in the process creating one of the most iconic images of Western culture.

This blog collects together a collection of links and information about the references to Archagel Gabriel through the centuries.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Islamic Angels - Jibrail

found at:
Jibrail or Jibril descending from heaven to meet Muhammad
Also spelled Jabra'il in Islam, the archangel who acts as intermediary between God and man and as bearer of revelation to the prophets, most notably, to Muhammad. In biblical literature Gabriel is the counterpart to Jibril.
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.
On the night of Ishra Jibril and Mikhail cleansed Muhammad before the night trip to heaven. As angels watch, Jibril is cleansing the Prophet (on the right)

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)