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Description of Jibril (‘Alayhis Salam)

Question

Is there any narration on the description of Jibril (‘alayhis salam)?

 

Answer

Angels are heavenly bodies that have been given the power to assume multiple different forms.

(Refer: Fathul Bari, before Hadith: 3207 and Al-Bidayah Wan Nihayah vol. 1 pg. 68)

Therefore, narrations containing different descriptions of Jibril (‘alayhis salam) should be understood in light of the different forms that he may have assumed, unless they are stated as his original form.

 

Listed below are a few narrations mentioning the descriptions of Jibril (‘alayhis salam):

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saw Jibril (‘alayhis salam) having six hundred wings.

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 4857)

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saw Jibril (‘alayhis salam) in his original form having six hundred wings; each wing completely covered up the horizon [the entire range of vision] and had descending [falling] below it a glamorous spectrum of different [shaded and] colored pearls and gems.

(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1 pg. 395; Also see Al-Bidayah Wan Nihayah vol. 1 pgs. 73-74)

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) saw Jibril (‘alayhis salam) in a garment of very fine silk, he encompassed all that was between the sky and the earth.

(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3283)

 

Jibril (‘alayhis salam) assuming the form of Sayyiduna Dihyah Al-Kalbi (radiyallahu ‘anhu) has also appeared in a few narrations; he was an extremely handsome person.

(See: Sahih Bukhari: 3633; Also see Al-Isabah, number: 2390)

 

In the famous Hadith known as Hadith Jibril, Jibril (‘alayhis salam) appeared as a stranger dressed in radiant white clothes having jet black hair. [This entails that Jibril -‘alayhis salam- appeared assuming the form of a human other than Sayyiduna Dihya -radiyallahu ‘anhu-].

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 50 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 8; also see Fathul Bari, Hadith: 50)

 

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

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