Is Jibra’īl a teacher of Rasūlullāh

Is Jibra’īl a teacher of Rasūlullāh
Questions & Answers

Is Jibra’īl a teacher of Rasūlullāh

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Feb 25, 2021

QUESTION:

As per the most authentic view, the words

. عليمه شديد القوى

One endowed with severe force taught him.1

Refer to Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām. In such a case, is it permissible to refer to Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām as a teacher of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam?

ANSWER:

A teacher is generally one who, together with teaching what was conveyed to him, includes his own findings and conclusions. Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām only conveys Allāh’s speech or divine revelation. This is why the commentators explain the word عليمه as “passed on”, “conveyed” or “brought down”. Thus, عليمه شديد القوى is in the meaning of بليغه and أنزله .

Thus, Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām cannot be referred to as a teacher of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam. We can say:

“One endowed with severe force taught him” or “Jibra’īl taught him”, but the normal meaning of “taught” will not be taken. Rather, it will mean “conveyed to him” or “brought down to him”.

Tanwīr al-Adh-hān:

2. علمه شديد القوى” أي نزل به عليه وقرأه عليه وبيينه له

Taysīr al-Karīm ar-Rahmān:

“علمه شديد القوى” أي: نزل بالوحي على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم جبريل عليه
3.السلام

Mawāhib ar-Rahmān:

The divine revelation which came down to him was taught to him by the one endowed with severe force. In other words, he conveyed it to him.4

Moreover, in the Hadīth-e-Jibra’īl Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam said:

  (فإنه جبرئيل أتاكم ليعلمكم دينكم (رواه مسلم

That was Jibra’īl who came to you to teach you your religion.

Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam did not say:

أتاني يعلمني

He came to teach me.

Fatāwā Dār al-‛Ulūm Deoband has the following:

Question: Was Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām Rasūlullāh’s teacher or merely a conveyor and messenger?

Answer: It is established from the absolute texts of the Sharī‛ah that Allāh ta‛ālā personally taught Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam and that He was his direct teacher and mentor. Jibra’īl was merely a conveyor. This can be likened to a large number of people performing salāh [and there is no sound system]. When the imām says the takbīr to go to the different postures, a mukabbir repeats it so that the rest of the congregation may hear it and be able to go into rukū‛, sajdah and so on. In such a case, the mukabbir will not be referred to as the imām. Similarly, if a teacher writes down the solution to a problem and sends it by post to his student, the postman who delivers the letter is not referred to as the teacher. This is the reason Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām did not have the right to change the words [which were sent by Allāh ta‛ālā].

The proof of this is to be found in the verses of Sūrah al-‛Alaq. Together with the word “Read!”, the words “In the name of your Lord” are added. In this way, reference is made to the fact that your mentor and trainer is Allāh ta‛ālā; He is the one who is to teach you. Furthermore, the words: “Read, and your Lord is the most bountiful. Who taught by the pen. He taught man what he did not know”1 show that Allāh ta‛ālā is the teacher and He is the one who will teach Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam. This is really a reply to what Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam had said in the beginning when he was asked to read. He had said: “I cannot read.” So Allāh ta‛ālā said: You cannot read but your Allāh is so bountiful that through the pen He teaches those who can read and write. In the same way, He can also teach without the agency of a pen and writing.

The same is conveyed in Rūh al-Ma‛ānī as follows:

فكما علم سبحانه القاري بواسطة الكتابة بالقلم يعلمك بدونها، وحقيقة الكرم إعطاء ما
ينبغي لا لغرض( إلَ قوله) والإشعار بأنه تعالَ يعلمه عليه الصلاة والسلام من العلوم ما لا
5.یحيط به العقول ما لا يخفى

We learn from the above that Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām is not Rasūlullāh’s teacher. Instead, Allāh ta‛ālā personally took it upon Himself to see to his education.

To sum up, Jibra’īl ‛alayhis salām was not Rasūlullāh’s teacher. He was merely a messenger, a conveyor and a courier. In fact, we learn from the Qur’ān that man – Ādam ‛alayhis salām – was the teacher of the angels:

وعلم آدم الأسماء كلها…فلما أنبأهم بأسمائهم

Allāh taught Ādam the names of all things…When he [Ādam] told them [the angels] their names…
Allāh ta‛ālā knows best.

REFERENCE:

1. Sūrah an-Najm, 53: 5.

2. تنوير الأذهان: 4 \ 172
3. تيسير الكريم الرحمن في تفسير کلام المنان، ص: 760

4 Mawāhib ar-Rahmān, vol. 8, p. 52.

5. روح المعاني: 3 \ 180

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