Meaning of the word Rooh in verse 17:85
Fatwa No: 273832

Question

Asalamu Alaikum My question is in regards to 17:85 in the Qur'an. The ayah 'And they ask you about the Spirit. Say, "The Spirit is of the Command of my Lord; and in no way have you been brought of knowledge except a little.' If I'm correct, the Ruh is in reference to Jibreel. In this ayah, why didn't Allah reveal that the Ruh's name was Jibreel. When was the name Jibreel established in the Prophet's time(s.a.w)?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

The word Rooh (human spirit) in this verse does not refer to Jibreel (Gabriel)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. Rather, it refers to the "soul" or "human spirit" that is breathed into the body and brings life to it.

Ibn Al-‘Arabi commented on the verse that reads (what means): {And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little."} [Quran 17:85] He said: "The soul is a creation among Allaah's creations; Allaah put it in the human body and gave it life by it, and gave it knowledge and power; and He based on it the noble qualities and honorable traits, and He made their opposites in contrast to them belonging to the shortcomings of human nature. Were the person to try denying the existence of the soul, he would not be able to do so given its evident effects. Were he to try to know about it while it inhabits his own body, he would be unable to attain that knowledge given his inability to grasp its true essence and that he was not given knowledge of it." [Ahkaam Al-Quran]

As for the second part of the question, we do not understand what the questioner exactly means in his question: "When was the name Jibreel established in the Prophet's time?"

Allaah Knows best.

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