Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Angel Gabriel – Allah’s Other Divine Partner

Sam Shamoun

We have spent a considerable amount of time and cyber ink showing that according to the official sources of Islam Muhammad transformed himself into Allah’s partner in all matters of faith and practice. In so doing, Muhammad has become another god and lord besides Allah. For the documentation please go here.

In this particular article we shall see how both the Quran and the so-called authentic sources of Islam have pretty much done the same thing with Gabriel, i.e. they have taken this glorious creature of God and turned him into another deity besides Allah and Muhammad.

Gabriel the Almighty?

The Quran claims that Muhammad saw and was taught by a figure described as mighty in power, one who is vigorous and free from any defect:

By the Star when it setteth, Your comrade erreth not, nor is deceived; Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save an inspiration that is inspired, Which one of mighty powers (shadeedu al-quwa) hath taught him, One vigorous (Thoo mirratin); and he grew clear to view When he was on the uppermost horizon. Then he drew nigh and came down Till he was (distant) two bows’ length or even nearer, And HE revealed unto HIS SLAVE (abdihi) that which HE revealed. The heart lied not (in seeing) what it saw. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he seeth? And verily he saw HIM yet another time by the lote-tree of the utmost boundary, nigh unto which is the Garden of Abode. When that which shroudeth did enshroud the lote-tree, the eye turned not aside nor yet was overbold. Verily he saw one of the greater revelations of his Lord. S. 53:1-18 Pickthall

According to this same text Muhammad saw this figure another time by the lote-tree. More on this later.

It seems reasonably certain that the entity that appeared to Muhammad was Allah since the passage states that, “HE revealed to HIS SERVANT what HE revealed.” This must be referring to Allah manifesting himself to Muhammad in order to convey some of the so-called revelations to him. Otherwise, if this isn’t speaking of Allah then Muslims are left with the fact that their own scripture identifies Muhammad as the slave of someone other than Allah!

The phrase “His servant” may explain why some of the Muslim scholars identified the entity whom Muhammad saw on this particular occasion, as well as at another time by the lote-tree, as being none other than Allah himself:

Ibn Humayd – Harun b. al-Mughirah and Hakkam b. Salm – ‘Anbasah – Abu Hashim al-Wasiti – Maymun b. Siyah – Anas b. Malik…

Then he took him to Paradise, and there before him was a river whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, with pearly domes on either side of it. “This is al-Kawthar, which your Lord has given to you, and these are your dwellings.” Then Gabriel took a handful of its earth and lo! it was fragrant musk. Then he went out to the Sidrat al-Muntaha, which was a lote tree bearing fruits the largest of which were like earthenware jars and the smallest like eggs. THEN HIS LORD DREW NEAR.

Till he was distant two bows’ length or nearer.” Because of the nearness of its Lord the lote tree became covered by the like of such jewels as pearls, rubies, chrysolites, and colored pearls. God made REVELATION TO HIS SERVANT, caused him to understand, and know, and prescribed for him fifty prayers (daily). (The History of al-Tabari – Muhammad at Mecca, translated and annotated by W. Montgomery Watt & M.V. McDonald [State University of New York Press (SUNY), Albany 19 88], Volume VI, pp. 78, 79)

That Q. 53 is asserting that Muhammad supposedly saw his god is further confirmed by the fact that the Muslim scripture describes Allah as the owner or possessor of might and power:

And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah (al-quwwata lillahi jamee’an) and that Allah is Severe in punishment. S. 2:165 Hilali-Khan

Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power (thoo al-quwwati), the Most Strong. S. 51:58 Hilali-Khan

Similar to the behaviour of the people of Fir'aun (Pharaoh), and of those before them; they rejected the Ayat (proofs, verses, etc.) of Allah, so Allah punished them for their sins. Verily, Allah is All-Strong (Allaha qawiyyun), Severe in punishment. S. 8:52 Hilali-Khan – cf. 22:40, 74; 27:39, 33:25, 40:22; 57:25; 58:21

Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty (al-qawiyyu al-azeezu). S. 42:19 Hilali-Khan – cf. 11:66

In fact, according to the Islamic theological tradition these titles happen to be some of the exclusive names of Allah:

Al-Qawi, Dhu'l-Quwwa: The All-Strong, The Possessor of Strength

Strong. It is either an equivalent of qadir, or qawî has a stronger meaning. He possesses the plenitude and perfection of power.

Al-Qawi is one of the Ninety-Nine Names. (Aisha Bewley, The Divine Names)

Hence, names such as thoo al-quwwa cannot be ascribed to any creature of God, no matter how exalted s/he may be. In light of these factors, it seems reasonably certain that according Q. 53 Muhammad allegedly saw his lord on at least two separate occasions.

Yet this is where the problem lies for the Muslims since the Quran specifically says that there is one messenger in particular who is actually called by one of the exclusive names of Allah, i.e. the owner of power!

Verily, this is the Word (this Qur'an brought by) a most honourable messenger [Jibrael (Gabriel), from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad]. Owner of power (Thee quwwatin), and high rank with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne, Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens). S. 81:19-21 Hilali-Khan

As the readers can see, the translators here believed that the honorable messenger spoken of here was actually Gabriel. However, there are other Muslim scholars who actually thought that this referred to Muhammad:

One of His names is the Generous/Noble (al-Karim). It means the One with Much Good. It is said that it means the Overflower. It is said that it means the Forgiving. It is said that it means the One of His names is the Generous/Noble (al-Karim). It means the One with Much Good. It is said that it means the Overflower. It is said that it means the Forgiving. It is said that it means the High. In the hadith related about his names we find, “He is the most generous.” Allah calls the Prophet “noble” when He says, “It is the word of a noble messenger” (81:19) It is said that this refers to Muhammad and it is also said that this refers to Jibril. The Prophet said, “I am the noblest of the children of Adam.” All the meanings of the name can be validly applied to him. (Qadi Iyad Ibn Musa al-Yahsubi, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], Part One. Allah’s great estimation of the worth of his Prophet expressed in both word and action, Chapter Three. On The Sound And Well-Known Traditions Related About The Immense Value Placed On Him By His Lord, His Exalted Position And His Nobility In This World And The Next, p. 128; underline emphasis ours)


One of the names of Allah is the Strong (al-Qawi), the One with Strength, and the Firm. Allah describes him with that, saying, “Endued with power with the One with the Throne, secure” (81:20) It is said that this refers to Muhammad and it is also said that it means Jibril. (Ibid., pp. 129-130; underline emphasis ours)


It is related that the Prophet said to Jibril, “Has any of this mercy touched you?” He replied, “Yes, I used to have fear about what would happen to me, but now I feel safe because of the way Allah praised me when He said, ‘Possessing power, secure with the Lord of the Throne, obeyed, then trusty.’” (81:21) Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Allah calls his Prophet a light and a light-giving lamp. He says, “A light and a Clear Book have come to you from Allah.” (5:15) Allah also says, “We sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news and a warner, one who calls to Allah with His permission and a light-giving lamp.” (Ibid., Chapter One. Allah’s praise of him and his great esteem for him, Section 1. Concerning praise of him and his numerous excellent qualities, p. 6)

Some of these commentators also believed that the figure whom Muhammad saw in Q. 53 was actually Gabriel, not Allah!

He has been taught (this Qur’an) by one mighty in power [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. Dhu Mirrah (free from any defect in body and mind), Fastawa [then he (Jibrael Gabriel) rose and became stable]. [Tafsir At-Tabari]. S. 53:5-6 Hilali-Khan


The first vision (that Muhammad had of Gabriel) was, in the words of the Almighty, when, “(an) ALL-POWERFUL (angel) taught him, the one endowed with supreme power, who (appeared) in his natural form while in the highest point on the horizon. He then drew near and came close, until he was two bow lengths away or closer. Then he made his revelation to HIS servant” (surat al-Najm; LIII, v. 6-10).

That took place at al-Atbah. Gabriel stretched out over the Messenger of God, the enormity of his being dominating all between earth and sky, until there was only the space of a bow length’s or two between them both.

This is what is authentic in the exegesis, as is affirmed by the words of the eminent Companions mentioned heretofore… As for Shurayk’s comment about Anas concerning the tradition relating to the night journey, “and then al-Jabbar, the Omnipotent, the Lord of Glory drew close and descended, becoming as close as a bow’s length or two,” this might be the understanding of the reciter, and so he inserted it into the hadith. But God knows best. (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization: First paperback edition, 2000], Volume II, pp. 66-67; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Needless to say, these Islamic sources are guilty of shirk since they have taken the exclusive names and attributes of Allah and ascribed them to one of his creatures. According to Muslim scholars, this is a direct violation of tauhid al-asma wa-sifaat, e.g., the teaching of Islam which says that there is no creature that possesses or shares in any of the unique names and qualities of Allah:

5. Maintaining the unity of Allah’s names also means that Allah’s names in the definite form cannot be given to His creation unless preceded by the prefix ‘Abd meaning "slave of" or "servant of”. Many of the Divine names in their indefinite form like Ra’uf and Rahim are allowable names for men because Allah has used some of them in their indefinite forms to refer to the Prophet…

But ar-Ra’uf (the One Most Full of Pity) and ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful) can only be used to refer to men if they are preceded by ‘Abd as in ‘Abdur-Ra’uf or ‘Abdur-Rahim, since in the definite form they represent a level of perfection which only belongs to God. Similarly, names like ‘Abdur-Rasool (slave of the messenger), ‘Abdun-Nabi (slave of the Prophet), ‘Abdul-Husayn (slave of Husayn), etc., where people name themselves slaves to other than Allah are also forbidden. Based on this principle, the Prophet forbade Muslims from referring to those put under their charge as ‘abdi (my slave) or amati (my slave girl). (Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) [International Islamic Publishing House, Riyadh, 2nd Edition: 2005], Chapter One. The Categories of Tawhid, pp. 29-32; bold emphasis ours)


2. Shirk by deification

This form of shirk in al-Asma’ was-Sifat relates to cases where created beings or things are given, or claim, Allah’s names or His attributes. For example, it was the practice of the ancient Arabs to worship idols whose names were derived from the names of Allah. Their main three idols were: al-Lat, taken from Allah’s name al-Ilah; al-‘Uzza, taken from al-‘Aziz; and al-Manat, taken from al-Mannan. During the Prophet Muhammad’s era there was also a false prophet in a region called Yamamah, who took the name Rahman which only belongs to Allah. (Ibid., Chapter Two. The Categories of Shirk, Shirk in al-Asma’ was-Sifat, p. 51; underline emphasis ours)

This makes absolute sense since it is simply blasphemous to call Gabriel all-powerful/the omnipotent, or to describe him as the owner/possessor of strength/power, when it is God alone who can be depicted in this manner. Moreover, al-Jabbar is another one of the names of Allah, and the Lord of glory is a title which his befitting the majesty of God alone.

Thus, Muslims must either accept that Muhammad did see his god or contend with the fact that their own sources are guilty of taking the unique names and characteristics of God and ascribing them to one of God’s creature!

However, if they accept the fact that Muhammad saw his lord on at least two different occasions then they must also acknowledge that their god is capable of appearing in a variety of visible forms and shapes.

Yet accepting the second view means that one must accept the fact that all of these Muslim writers and scholars are in hell for committing shirk which is the unpardonable sin in Islam:

Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. S. 4:48 Hilali-Khan – cf. 4:116

Gabriel as THE Truth?

This isn’t the only time that the Muslim sources took God’s exclusive names and titles and attributed them to Gabriel.

According to the ahadith and sirah, it was the truth (al-haqq) that appeared to Muhammad in order to commission him as a prophet and messenger. These very same sources identify the truth as the angel Gabriel:

3. 'A'isha, Umm al-Mu'minin said, “The beginning of the revelation to the Messenger of Allah took the form of the true dream. Whenever he had this kind of dream, it was clear like the break of day [and was true]. Then he was made to love retreat and used to go into retreat in the cave of Hira' where he would devote himself to the worship of Allah alone, continuing in this worship for a number of nights until he felt inclined to return to his family. He would take provision for his stay. Then he would return to Khadija to restock with provision to do the same again. This lasted until THE TRUTH came to him while he was in the cave of Hira’.

The ANGEL came to him and said, ‘Read!’ He said, ‘I cannot read.’”

The Prophet said, “He seized me and squeezed me until all the strength went out of me and then released me and said, ‘Read!’ I said, ‘I cannot read.’ Then he seized me and squeezed me a second time until all the strength when out of me and then released me. Then he seized me and squeezed me a third time and then released me, and then he said , ‘Recite: In the Name of your Lord who created, created man from a blood clot. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Generous.’”

[She went on,] “Then the Messenger of Allah returned with that and his heart was quaking. He came to Khadija bint Khuwaylid and said, ‘Wrap me up! Wrap me up!’ They wrapped him up until the state of terror had left him and then he told Khadija what had happened and said, ‘I am afraid for myself.’ Khadija said, ‘No, by Allah, Allah would never bring disgrace upon you. You maintain ties of kinship, bear people's burdens, help the destitute, give hospitality to your guests and help those who have been afflicted by calamities.’” (Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 1: The Beginning of the Revelation; bold and capital emphasis ours)


Ahmad b. ‘Uthman, known as Abu al-Jawza – Wahb b. Jarir – his father – al-Nu‘man b. Rashid – al-Zuhri – ‘Urwah – ‘A’ishah: The first form in which the revelation came to the Messenger of God was true vision; this used to come to him like the break of dawn. After that, he grew to love solitude and used to remain in a cave on Hira’ engaged in acts of devotion for a number of days before returning to his family. Then he would return to his family and supply himself with provisions for a similar number of days. This continued until THE TRUTH came to him unexpectedly,96 AND SAID: “Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God.” [Describing what happened next], the Messenger of God said, "I had been standing, but fell to my knees; and crawled away, my shoulders trembling. I went to Khadijah and said, ‘Wrap me up! Wrap me up!’ When the terror had left me, he came to me and said, ‘Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God.’” (The History of al-Tabari, Volume VI, pp. 67-68; bold and capital ours)

Suffice it to say that the truth (al-haqq) is also one of the names of Allah:

That then is God, your Lord, the True (al-haqqu); what is there, after truth, but error? Then how are you turned about? S. 10:32 Arberry

High above all is God, the King, the Truth (al-haqqu)! Be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to thee is completed, but say, "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge." S. 20:114 Y. Ali

Wherefore let God be exalted, the King, the Truth (al-haqqu)! There is no god but He! Lord of the stately throne! S. 23:116 Rodwell

That is because Allah, He is the True (al-haqqu), and that whereon they call instead of Him, it is the false, and because Allah, He is the High, the Great. S. 22:62

On that Day God will pay them back (all) their just dues, and they will realise that God is the (very) Truth (al-haqqu), that makes all things manifest. S. 24:25 Y. Ali

That is because Allah, He is the Truth (al-haqqu), and that which they invoke besides Him is Al-Batil (falsehood, Satan and all other false deities), and that Allah, He is the Most High, the Most Great. S. 31:30 Hilali-Khan

The following Muslim authors both list al-haqq as one of the ninety-names of Allah:

Al-Haqq: The Truly Real

The Truth, the Real, the Really-existing, He whose existence and divinity are true, the One who creates according to the requirements of wisdom, justice, right, rightness, the Necessarily-existing by His own Essence, He whose existence is undeniable. Every reality exists from His essence and nothing has any intrinsic reality except Him.

Al-Haqq is one of the Ninety-Nine Names. (Bewley, The Divine Names)


52. Al-Haqq
The Truth, the Real (Haddad, Allah's Names and Attributes)

This explains why the English translator of the History of al-Tabari claims that Muhammad may have initially thought that it was Allah who appeared to him and physically manhandled him in the cave:

96. In this usage, the Truth (al-haqq) is God, and the apparent declaration of Muhammad’s messengership by God supports the view that he originally took the visions to be of God. (Ibid., p. 67)

However, since the hadiths and biographies on Muhammad all claim that it was Gabriel who appeared to Muhammad this means that the Muslims have once again ascribed one of the divine names of their god to his creation. In so doing, these scholars are again guilty of violating tauhid al-asma wa-sifaat.

Gabriel on the throne?

As if it couldn’t get any more confusing, there are reports which say that at least on one occasion the angel appeared to Muhammad seated on a throne:

Ibn al-Muthanna – ‘Uthman b. ‘Umar b. Faris – ‘Ali b. al-Mubarak – Yahya, that is, Ibn Abi Kathir: I asked Abu Salamah which part of the Qur’an had been revealed first, and he replied:

“O you enveloped in your cloak, arise and warn!”

I said, “They say that it was

Recite in the name of your Lord”,

but Abu Salamah replied, “I asked Jabir b. ‘Abdallah which part of the Qur’an had been revealed first, and he said, ‘O you enveloped in your cloak.’” I said, “What about ‘Recite in the name of your Lord?’” but he answered, “What I am telling you is what the Prophet told me. He said, ‘I was in retreat on Hira’, and when I had completed my retreat I came down the mountain and went into the bottom of the wadi. Then I heard a voice calling me; I looked right and left, behind me and in front of me, but could not see anything. Then I looked up, and there he was SITTING ON A THRONE between heaven and earth, and I was afraid of him (fa-khashitu minhu).’” Ibn al-Muthanna: These were Uthman b. ‘Umar’s words, but the correct version is “I was terror-stricken by him” (fa-ju’ithu minhu). “‘Then I went to Khadijah and said, “Envelop me!” So they enveloped me in a cloak and poured water over me, and then “O you enveloped in your cloak, arise and warn!” was revealed to me.’” (The History of al-Tabari, Volume VI, pp. 73-74; bold and capital emphasis ours)


The Prophet used to relate this story as follows: “I was walking one day when I saw the angel who used to come to me on Hira’ on a throne between heaven and earth. I was terror-stricken by him, and I went to Khadijah and said, ‘Wrap me up! ’” So we wrapped him up (zammalnahu), that is, enveloped him in a cloak (daththarnahu), and God revealed:

O you enveloped in your cloak, arise and warn! Your Lord magnify, your raiment purify! (Ibid., p. 76; bold emphasis ours)

This same report is found in Sahih Muslim, which is considered by Sunni Muslims to be the second most authentic ahadith collection after Sahih al-Bukhari:

Jabir b. 'Abdullah al-Ansari who was one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah reported: The Messenger of Allah told about the intermission of revelation and narrated: While I was walking I heard a voice from the sky, and raising my head I saw the angel who had come to me in Hira', sitting on a Throne between heaven and earth. I was terror-stricken on that account and came back (to my family) and said: Wrap me up, wrap me up! So they wrapped me up, and the Blessed and Most Exalted Allah sent down: "You who are shrouded, arise and deliver warning, your Lord magnify, your clothes cleanse, and defilement shun," and, "defilement" means idols; and then the revelation was followed continuously. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0304)

Yahya b. Abi Kathir has reported this hadith with the same chain of transmitters and narrated: And there he was sitting on the Throne between the heaven and the earth. (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0308)

But that’s not at all. Ibn Kathir reports that the sahih or sound hadiths state that Muhammad actually knelt down to this angel that he saw seated on a throne!

In both sahih collections there is a tradition from ‘Abd al-Razzaq, from Ma‘mar, from al-Zuhri, who said that he heard Abu Salama ‘Abd al-Rahman relate from Jabir b. ‘Abd Allah, who had heard the Messenger of God talking about the intermission in the revelation, say, “While I walked, I heard a voice from heaven. I raised my sight towards the sky and there I saw the angel who came to me in Hira’, seated upon a throne amidst the sky. I knelt down before him in fear, right down to the ground…’”

… The Messenger of God said, “I spent a month in seclusion in Hira‘ and when it was over I went down into the heart of the valley. I heard a voice calling out to me and I looked ahead, behind me and to left and right, but I saw nothing. Then I looked up at the sky and there he was, on a throne in the air…”

According to a variant account he used the words, “And there was the angel who had come to me in Hira‘ seated on a throne between the heavens and the earth, AND I KNELT DOWN BEFORE HIM.” (Ibn Kathir, The Life of the Prophet Muhammad (Al-Sira al-Nabawiyya), translated by professor Trevor Le Gassick, reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Fareed [Garnet Publishing Limited, 8 Southern Court, south Street Reading RG1 4QS, UK; The Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization: First paperback edition, 2000], Volume I, pp. 299-300; bold and capital emphasis ours)

These reports raise a few problems. In the first place, the Quran nowhere refers to angels sitting on thrones. Rather, they are depicted as standing around and/or bowing before Allah, praying for the believers and praising Allah:

the thunder proclaims. His praise, and the angels, in awe of Him. He looses the thunderbolts, and smites with them whomsoever He will; yet they dispute about God, who is mighty in power. S. 13:13 Arberry

He sends down the angels with the Spirit of His command upon whomsoever He will among His servants, saying: Give you warning that there is no God hut I; so fear you Me! S. 16:2 Arberry

And to Allah prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. S. 16:49 Hilali-Khan

And thou shalt see the angels encircling about the Throne proclaiming the praise of their Lord; and justly the issue shall be decided between them; and it shall be said, 'Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being.' S. 39:75 Arberry

Nearly the heavens might rent asunder from above them (by His Majesty), and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth, verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. S. 42:5 Hilali-Khan

The Quran further says that at the last day angels will be standing in ranks, as well as at the sides of Allah’s throne, with the exception of eight angels who shall actually be carrying the throne:

Then on that Day shall the (Great) Event befall, And the heaven will split asunder, for that Day it (the heaven will be frail (weak), and torn up, And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them. That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden. S. 69:15-18 Hilali-Khan

Upon the day when the Spirit and THE ANGELS STAND in ranks they shall speak not, save him to whom the All-merciful has given leave, and who speaks aright. S. 78:38 Arberry

No indeed! When the earth is ground to powder, and thy Lord comes, and the angels rank on rank, and Gehenna is brought out, upon that day man will remember; and how shall the Reminder be for him? S. 89:21-23 Arberry

The angels are also sent on assignments, in order to accomplish specific tasks, which is why they are portrayed as descending from and ascending to Allah:

And (remember) the Day when the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and the angels will be sent down, with a grand descending. S. 25:25 Hilali-Khan

Those who have said, 'Our Lord is God.' then have gone straight, upon them the angels descend, saying, 'Fear not, neither sorrow; rejoice in Paradise that you were promised. S. 41:30 Arberry

The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years: S. 70:4 Y. Ali

The Night of Power is better than a thousand months; in it the angels and the Spirit descend, by the leave of their Lord, upon every command. S. 97:3-4 Arberry

Secondly, thrones are symbolic of power, authority, dominion, rulership etc. To, therefore, portray an angel sitting on a throne located in the sky above basically means that Muhammad believed that he had encountered a spirit ruler, a being that had(has) royal power and a kingdom.

However, the Quran is quite clear that Allah does not allow anyone to share in his dominion over the heavens and the earth since he is the sole ruler and sustainer of creation:

And say: 'Praise belongs to Allah, who has not taken to Him a son, and who has not any associate in the Kingdom (wa-lam yakun lahu shareekun fee al-mulki), nor any protector out of humbleness.' And magnify Him with all the magnificence. S. 17:111

Exalter of ranks is He, Possessor of the Throne (thoo al-arshi), casting the Spirit of His bidding upon whomever He will of His servants, that he may warn them of the Day of Encounter, the day they sally forth, and naught of theirs is hidden from God. 'Whose is' the Kingdom today?' 'God's, the One, the Omnipotent. Today each soul shall be recompensed for that it has earned; no wrong today. Surely God is swift at the reckoning.' S. 40:15-17 Arberry

Possessor of the Glorious throne (Thoo al-arshi amajeedi); S. 85:15 Rodwell

Hence, in claiming to have seen an angel seated on a throne in heaven Muhammad attributed a partner with Allah in his unique rule and dominion over all creation. According to Muslim Scholars, this is to commit shirk in tauhid al-rububiyah, e.g. believing that a creature shares in Allah’s exclusive rulership and sovereignty:

Shirk in Rububiyah

This category of shirk refers to either the belief that others share Allah’s Lordship over creation as His equal or near equal, or to the belief that there exists no Lord over creation at all. Most religious systems fall into the first aspect of Shirk in Rububiyah while it is the philosophers and their man-made philosophies that tend to fill the second aspect…

Christian belief states that the one God reveals himself in three persons of Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit. These three persons are nevertheless regarded as a unity, sharing one ‘substance’. Prophet Jesus is elevated to divinity, sits on the right hand of God and judges the world. The Holy Spirit, who in the Hebrew Bible is the means by which God exercises His creative power, in Christian thought becomes a part of the Godhead. Paul made the Holy Spirit the alter ego of Christ, the guide and help of Christians, first manifesting itself on the day of Pentecost. Consequently, Shirk in Rububiyah occurs in the Christian belief that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God’s partners IN ALL OF HIS DOMINION, in their belief that Jesus alone pronounces judgment on the world, and in their belief that Christians are helped and guided by the Holy Spirit. (Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed, Chapter Two. The Categories of Shirk, Shirk in al-Asma’ was-Sifat, 1. Shirk by association, pp. 45, 46; capital and underline emphasis ours)

Moreover, by kneeling down before the angel Muhammad was guilty of committing shirk in tauhid al-uluhiyyah/ibadah, which is the sin of bowing down to and worshiping someone other than Allah.

Who actually created Jesus according to Islam? – Gabriel as Co-Creator and Life-giver with Allah

The Quran states that Allah is the truth who gives life and causes death:

That is because Allah, He is the Truth (al-haqqu), and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is Able to do all things. S. 22:6 Hilali-Khan

How can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return. S. 2:28 Hilali-Khan

And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death and We are the Inheritors. S. 15:23 Hilali-Khan

It further says that he is the one who creates life in the womb:

And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. S. 2:228 Hilali-Khan

However, according to the Quran Allah sent his Spirit to Mary in order to give her a faultless son, a boy most holy and pure:

And mention in the Book Mary when she withdrew from her people to an eastern place, and she took a veil apart from them; then We sent unto her Our Spirit (Ruhana) that presented himself to her a man without fault. She said, ‘I take refuge in the All-merciful from thee If thou fearest Allah!’ He said, ‘I am but a messenger come from thy Lord, to give thee a boy most pure (li-ahaba laki ghulaman zakiyyan).’ She said, ‘How shall I have a son whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchaste?’ He said, ‘Even so thy Lord has said: “Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us; it is a thing decreed.”’ S. 19:16-21

The Arabic word for “give” (ahaba) means to give/grant/bestow/present etc., just as the following lexical source confirms:

Waw-ha-Ba = to give/grant/bestow, dedicate, offer as a present/gift.

Wahaba (prf. 3rd. p. m. sing.): Has granted etc.
Wahabat (prf. 3rd. p. f sing.): She dedicated, offered.
Wahabnaa (prf 1st. p. plu.): We granted.
Yahabu (imp. 3rd. p. m. sing.): He grants.
Ahabu (imp. 1st. sing.): I give.
Hab (prt. m. sing.): Bestow.
Al-Wahhaab (n. ints.): The most liberal bestower. One of the names of Allah.

wahaba vb. (1)
perf. act. 6:84, 14:39, 19:49, 19:50, 19:53, 21:72, 21:90, 26:21, 29:27, 33:50, 38:30, 38:43
impf. act. 19:19, 42:49, 42:49
impv. 3:8, 3:38, 19:5, 25:74, 26:83, 37:100, 38:35

wahhab n.m. 3:8, 38:9, 38:35

Lane's Lexicon, Volume 8, pages: 222, 223 (Project Root List)

This means that it was the Spirit who gave Mary a child, causing her to get pregnant.

That it was the Spirit who granted Mary a son can be further seen from the following verses which say that Allah breathed his Spirit into Mary:

And she who guarded her private part: WE breathed into her of OUR Spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples. S. 21:91

And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her private part; and WE breathed into it 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). S. 66:12

It is evident that the reason why Allah sent forth his Spirit to enter into Mary’s body is so that the Spirit could cause her to conceive Jesus, thereby confirming that it was in fact the Spirit who gave her a child while she was still a virgin.

This implies that it is the Spirit who is actually Jesus’ creator, not Allah, since it was the Spirit who caused Mary to get pregnant!

What makes this interesting is that the Muslim expositors claim that the Spirit who spoke with Mary was actually Gabriel, and that Allah sent Gabriel to breathe the Spirit into Mary:

… (to give you a boy – 19:19) Here Sayyidna Jibra’il had attributed to himself the gift of the child because Allah Ta‘ala had sent him in order that HE SHOULD BREATHE into her collar, and this breath would be the means of her conceiving the child, whereas in reality this gift was by the act of Allah. (Mufti Shafi Uthmani, Maariful Quran, Q. 19:16-21, Volume 6, p. 35; capital and underline emphasis ours)



This verse directs the Holy Prophet to tell his people the story of the pious lady who controlled her passions and then THROUGH Jibra’ail Allah had breathed His Spirit into her and she gave birth to a son (Sayyidna ‘Isa) who was a symbol of Allah’s Divine Power that He can cause babies to be born without a father, also without both the parents as in the case of Sayyidna ‘Isa. (Mufti Shafi Uthmani, Maariful Quran, Q. 21:91, Volume 6, pp. 229-230; underline emphasis ours)


(And Maryam, the daughter of `Imran who guarded her chastity (private part).) meaning, who protected and purified her honor, by being chaste and free of immorality...

(And We breathed into it (private part) through Our Ruh,) meaning, through the angel Jibril. Allah sent the angel Jibril to Maryam, and he came to her in the shape of a man in every respect. Allah commanded him to blow into a gap of her garment and that breath went into her womb through her private part; this is how `Isa was conceived. This is why Allah said here…

(And We breathed into it through Our Ruh, and she testified to the truth of her Lords Kalimat, and His Kutub,) meaning His decree and His legislation… (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Q. 66:12; bold emphasis ours)

Here is another:

And, mention Mary, the one who guarded her virginity, [the one who] preserved it from being taken, so We breathed into her of Our spirit, namely, Gabriel, when he breathed into the opening of her garment and she conceived Jesus… (Tafsir al-Jalalayn, Q. 21:91; bold emphasis ours)


(And Mary, daughter of Imran, whose body was chaste, therefore We breathed therein something of Our Spirit) and so Gabriel breathed inside her garment and she became pregnant with Jesus… (Tanwir al-Miqbas min tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas, Q. 66:12; bold emphasis ours)

If these expositors are correct then this means that Gabriel must be Allah since he can do what Allah does such as create and give life! It also shows that Gabriel is one of those speaking directly in the Quran, and therefore proves that the plural pronouns, which appear all throughout the Muslim scripture, should be viewed as evidence for a numerical plurality within the being of Allah. At the very least, the use of the plural should be taken as proof that there are other gods besides Allah.

With the foregoing in perspective perhaps there is a Muslim out there who would be kind enough to explain to us who actually created Jesus. Was it Allah or his Spirit who did?

And who actually did the breathing? Was it Allah who breathed his Spirit into Mary or was it Gabriel? Perhaps it was both?

If so then does this mean that the Spirit belongs to Gabriel just as much as it belongs to Allah? Moreover, wouldn’t this imply that Gabriel, like Allah, possesses the breath of life seeing that he is able to breathe out the life-giving Spirit to others?

Concluding Remarks

Here is a break down of our discussion thus far in order to help our readers see all of the mass confusion created by the Islamic sources.

  • The Quran claims that Muhammad saw one mighty in strength and the owner of power on at least two occasions (Q. 53).
  • The Muslims confirm that these are the qualities and characteristics which belong only to Allah.
  • Muhammad is also said to be the slave of this being.
  • This makes it reasonably certain that Muhammad supposedly saw his god.
  • However, certain sources claim that the being whom Muhammad saw was the angel Gabriel, not Allah.
  • Another surah (Q. 81) calls a specific messenger the owner of power.
  • Some Muslims identified this messenger as Gabriel, whereas others said it was Muhammad.
  • In either case, this means that Muslims were guilty of ascribing the unique names and attributes of Allah to specific creatures, thereby committing shirk.
  • Muhammad is said to have seen the truth (al-haqq), another one of Allah’s exclusive names, in the cave of hira who came to appoint him as a prophet.
  • The Islamic sources unanimously agree that this was the angel Gabriel.
  • This again means that certain Muslims were guilty of shirk since they ascribed another one of Allah’s divine names to a creature.
  • Muhammad supposedly saw Gabriel sitting on a throne in heaven and knelt before him.
  • Muhammad was therefore guilty of committing shirk in both tauhid al-rububiyah and tauhid al-uluhiyyah/ibadah.
  • According to Q. 19:16-21, 21:91 and 66:12 Allah sent his Spirit in order that he might give Mary a holy son.
  • The Spirit did this when Allah breathed him into Mary for the obvious purpose of impregnating her.
  • This makes the Spirit Jesus’ creator since he caused Mary to get pregnant, not Allah.
  • Moreover, the contexts of both Q. 21:91 and 66:12 show that the plural pronouns “We breathed” and “Our Spirit” refer to what Allah did by breathing or sending forth his Spirit.
  • Muslim scholars are adamant that the plural pronouns do not refer to anyone else besides Allah.
  • Yet the Muslim expositors also believe that it was Gabriel who actually breathed Allah’s Spirit into Mary.
  • This would therefore imply that Gabriel is also god and a co-creator with Allah, which would then mean that the Quran’s use of plural pronouns do not refer to Allah alone (at least not in these particular contexts). They must be referring to both Allah and Gabriel together!
  • Hence, this not only shows that Gabriel is one of the divine speakers of the Quran but that he is also god in the same sense that Allah is!
  • However, Muslims deny that Gabriel is god or that the plural pronouns include him.
  • This, therefore, shows that the Muslim expositors are again guilty of attributing divinity to a creature, thereby turning a created spirit being into a co-equal partner with Allah.

What all of this demonstrates is that Islam also has a trinity of its own, namely a triad consisting of Allah, Muhammad and the angel Gabriel; and let no Muslim dare tell you otherwise!

In light of our examination it becomes abundantly clear that Islam does not uphold absolute monotheism nor is it a coherent religion. It is obvious from the Muslim sources which we cited that the Islamic faith is an unintelligible belief system that is polytheistic at its very core. It is nothing more than repackaged Arabian paganism, with the main difference being that Muhammad replaced most of the false gods of the Kabah with both himself and certain spirit creatures that he erroneously claimed were the same as the elect angels that are mentioned in the Holy Bible, the only inspired Word of God for man today, such as Gabriel.

Further Reading

To read further concerning this topic we recommend the following articles:

The Confusion Concerning Identity of the Spirit and Gabriel in the Quran
Is “the Holy Spirit” Only Another Name for the Angel Gabriel?
The Spirit and the Angels
A Muslim’s Attempt of Addressing the issue of the Holy Spirit being Gabriel And Why He fell Short
A Muslim’s Second Attempt of Addressing the Issue of the Holy Spirit Being Gabriel And why he still falls short
The Holy Spirit in Christianity and Islam: Examining the Evidence which proves that the Spirit is God (Part 1, Part 2)
Quran Contradiction: Can Angels take away life?
More on the Quran Contradiction of Angels Creating and Causing Death


(1) This wouldn’t be the only time where the author(s) of the Quran attributed one of the divine names of Allah to a creature, thereby violating tauhid al-asma wa-sifaat. The Muslim scripture applies the divine names al-qawi and al-quwwa to both Moses and an unnamed group of individuals:

Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them, the man said: “O Musa (Moses)! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday? Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land, and not to be one of those who do right.” So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said: “My Lord! Save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)!" And when he went towards (the land of) Madyan And there came a man running, from the farthest end of the city. He said: “O Musa (Moses)! Verily, the chiefs are taking counsel together about you, to kill you, so escape. Truly, I am to you of those who give sincere advice.” (Midian) he said: “It may be that my Lord guides me to the Right Way.” And when he arrived at the water of Madyan (Midian) he found there a group of men watering (their flocks), and besides them he found two women who were keeping back (their flocks). He said: “What is the matter with you?” They said: “We cannot water (our flocks) until the shepherds take (their flocks). And our father is a very old man.” Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. She said: "Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us." So when he came to him and narrated the story, he said: "Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, disbelievers, and wrong-doers)." And said one of them (the two women): “O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong (al-qawiyyu), the trustworthy.” 28:19-26 Hilali-Khan

Qarun was doubtless, of the people of Moses; but he acted insolently towards them: such were the treasures We had bestowed on him that their very keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men (al-quwwati), behold, his people said to him: “Exult not, for God loveth not those who exult (in riches).” S. 28:76 Y. Ali

So much for Islam being the purest form of monotheism and a theologically consistent system.