Ar-Rooh/ The Spirit

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Ar-Rooh mentioned in Al-Quran is the spirit (understanding) of the Word of Allah. Languages use ‘words’ to convey the understanding or ‘spirit’ behind these ‘words’. Different languages may use different words to convey the same ‘spirit’ behind these words. For example, a message comprising of words ‘bring me water’ can be in any language, however the understanding/meaning behind these words would be the same.  When Al-Quran mentions Ar-Rooh/The spirit it means the spirit of the Word of Allah i.e the true understanding of Al-Quran. It is not the rooh which is commonly used to refer to the essence of life forms. Quran’s Ar-Rooh, (the spirit) is always mentioned in singular form.

Al-Kitab mentions that Allah invokes this spirit (understanding of the Word of Allah) in his khalifa/vicegerent on Earth (15:29). When Mariam/Mary, protected her private parts and made a barrier between the the (sayings of) people and herself, the spirit of Allah was invoked in her (66:12). The spirit brings the message of Allah; the bringer of the message, is in the form of a human being (19:17).  Allah invokes his spirit in any of his slaves he wishes, and after getting this spirit (of the Word of Allah) this person becomes the warner to people (40:15). Allah invokes this spirit (understanding of the Word of Allah) on the messenger, before the invocation of this spirit, the messenger does not know what is Al-Kitab and what is Iman/belief (42:52). Allah strengthens the Iman/belief in believers with the help of this spirit (58:22). Spirit is called the ameen/honest  so that it does transfers the true understanding of Al-Kitab with out any loss of message (26:193). Spirit is also named Al-Qudus i.e the revered spirit (2:253, 16:102).  Another name of this revered spirit is Jibreel in Al-Quran. This Spirit comes with the order of Allah (17:85). This spirit when it comes with the order of Allah in one night of determination on a person of choice, the understanding of the Words of Allah, gained by the person , could be more than what may be possible to achieve in an entire life span of a human being which normally could be around 1000 months/83 years (97:3). All the angels/malaika/Forces of Universe are bowing down to the spirit of Allah except the rebellious one (15:29) who makes comparisons in creations on the basis of self made criterion (38:73-76) and give arguments from both left and right side for wrongful justifications. (7:17)

40:15   رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَاتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِي الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ لِيُنذِرَ يَوْمَ التَّلَاقِ

“Raised high above ranks (or degrees), (He is) the Lord of the Throne (of Authority). by His Command doth He send the spirit (of inspiration) to any of His servants he pleases, that it may warn (men) of the Day of Mutual Meeting,-“

Only after the spirit of the Word of Allah, is inspired on the Messenger, he then gets the perception of the Book and the Belief.

42:52  وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا ۚ مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ وَلَٰكِن جَعَلْنَاهُ نُورًا نَّهْدِي بِهِ مَن نَّشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۚ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَهْدِي إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

“And Likewise, We have inspired you (the messenger) Ar-Rooh/the spirit from our order, you (the messenger) did not have the perception, what is the Book and the belief, but We have made it light, We guide with it whom We will from Our servants. And surely you (The messenger) guide towards the straight path.”

The spirit is honest/ameen as it transfers the true understanding behind the Word of Allah to His messengers.

26:192-4 وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ  نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ -عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

“This is a definitely a revelation from the Lord of the universe. Sent down with it is the honest spirit; into your heart, that you may be one of the warners.”

The spirit is also ‘revered’ and is called Rooh ul Qudus. Allah makes the believers stead-fast with by means of it.

16:102  قُلْ نَزَّلَهُ رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ مِن رَّبِّكَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيُثَبِّتَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

‘Say the revered spirit has revealed it from your Lord with the truth so that to strengthen those who believe and a guidance any good news for Muslims/submitters.’

Another name for this revered spirit is Jibreel/Gabriel;

2:97  قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Say. Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel-for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by Allah’s will, a confirmation of what is between the hands (in Book form), and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,-

Mariam/Mary took a barrier between her and the people,  after that the spirit appeared for her. The teachings which are not from Allah are normally prevalent in one’s atmosphere and they interfere with ones ability of recognize the spirit of Word of God. So, an important step is to distance one self from other teachings and focus solely on Allah in order to get His spirit (i.e the spirit of the Words of Allah)

19:17  فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا

“Then she took a hijab/veil apart from them, then We sent to her Our Rooh/Spirit. So he was an even example of a human for her. “

This Spirit came to her in a form of a human being i.e a human being with the spirit of the Words of Allah in him.

When the true sprit of the Words of Allah comes to a person, he may find it hard to be true, as it may be quite different from his current belief systems. Mariam was also confused at first and she asked Allah’s refuge from the spirit that came to her.

19:18  قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيًّا

She said. “I seek refuge from you to (Allah) Most Gracious, if you fear Allah.”

Prophet Essa Ibne Mariam is also termed as Word and a spirit from Allah.

4:171  يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ ۚ انتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ ۘ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your judgement. Nor say about Allah but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary is a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Three/Trinity” . desist. it will be better for you. for Allah is one God. Glory be to Him. (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.

Prophet Essa ibne Mariam was aided by the revered spirit. 

2: 253  تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ ۗ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن بَعْدِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَٰكِنِ اخْتَلَفُوا فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ آمَنَ وَمِنْهُم مَّن كَفَرَ ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلُوا وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

These are the messengers We endowed some above others; Of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); to Jesus the son of Mary We gave clear (Signs), and strengthened him with the revered/holy spirit. If Allah had so willed, succeeding people would not have fought among each other, after clear (Signs) had come to them, but they disagreed (among themselves), some believing and others rejecting. If Allah had so willed, they would not have fought each other; but Allah does what He wills.

Allah invokes His spirit in the bashar/human who He intends to make His khalifa/vicegerent on Earth. The order to all angels/malaika is to bow down to His khalifa who has the spirit of (words of) Allah in him.

38:71-72  إِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن طِينٍ  فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

When your Lord said to the angels; Surely I am creating a human being from clay. When I have made him even and breathed into him from My spirit, then you all fall down prostrating for him.”

The rebellious one, who does not bow down to this Allah’s khalifa, tries to justify himself by minusing the spirit of Allah, i.e he alludes only to the body form of khalifa and does not mention the spirit of Allah (which was the reason for the order of bowing down). The rebellious ones tries to create confusions in matters of creations of Allah by making comparisons on the basis of self made criterion (e.g fire better than clay). Rebellious one till this day instead of bowing down to khalifa, tries to dissuade by making left and right side arguments, tries to create confusion in matters of creation and making false comparisons.

38:73-76  فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ كُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ إِلَّا إِبْلِيسَ اسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ  قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ ۖ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ  قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ ۖ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

So the angels prostrated, all of them together: Except Iblees, who sought greatness and became from the rejectors. He (Allah) said: O’ iblees / devil what prevented you to prostrate for what I have created with my hands. Did you seek greatness or are you from the higher class? He(Iblees) said. “I am better than him. You have created me from fire, and created him from clay.”

The spirit comes with the order of Allah. The knowledge with the man-kind is limited.

17:85  وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

They ask you about the spirit. Say: ” The spirit is from the order of my Lord and you are not given from the knowledge except only a little.”

The sprit is mentioned in singular form in Al-Quran. The below ayat mentions the spirit establishing with angles in ranks on a day. 

78:38  يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

The day when the spirit and the angels will stand forth in ranks, none shall speak except any who is permitted by the Most Gracious, and will say what is right.

70:4  تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a period/interval of time the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years.

This could be at the time of the end of an era of civilization when the angels and the spirit ascends towards the Lord.


A lecture by scholar Mohammad Shaikh about Rooh in Urdu:

Rooh (2008)

One thought on “Ar-Rooh/ The Spirit

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