Gabriel (Hebrew, “God is my warrior”) is an archangel. He along with Michael are the only angels mentioned in the Jewish Bible, namely in the¬†Book of Daniel¬†several times. In rabbinic literature and later¬†Judaism¬†he is at the left hand of God and guards the left side of humans as they sleep. He saved¬†Abraham¬†from the fired into which Nimrod cast him, and was one of the three angels who visited him and saved¬†Lot¬†from Sodom. He is the Prince of Fire, and will fight the mighty battle with the Leviathan at the end of the world. In Christianity he announces the births of¬†John the Baptist¬†and¬†Jesus¬†(Luke 1:19, 20) suggesting eschatological importance of these events.

Im Islam Gabriel is identified as¬†jibril¬†or¬†jibra’il. He is one of the angels named three times in the Qur’an, and once having brought the message, Qur’an, to the heart; the intermediary¬†jibril is identified with the spirit, and also with the vision of a noble messenger‚Ķbefore the Lord of the Throne. Allah may send the messenger, with Allah’s permission, to reveal what he wills. In¬†tafsir¬†and hence in Muslim thought, it is¬†jibril¬†who brought the revelation and as related in the¬†hadith¬†held conversations with¬†Muhammad. He was Allah’s messenger from¬†Adam¬†onward.¬†A.G.H.


Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 364