GOD tells us that our 'Soul' is called 'Nafs', and that this 'Nafs' is what is taken at death and what is judged on j-day (then rewarded or punished). The 'Nafs' is YOU, it is your entire being, it is your slate, which is burdened or lightened by your actions... So, if the 'Soul' is the 'Nafs', then what is the Rouh = Spirit?
“… These are those in whose hearts he has inscribed faith, and strengthened them with a spirit from Him…” (Qur’an 58:22). In his commentary on the Qur’an, Yusuf Ali says that the phrase used is stronger than that for the Holy Spirit (Rouhul-Quds) in the Qur’an who is identified in Islam as the Angel Gabriel. Ali implies that this Spirit of God is greater than the mighty angel and says it is, “the divine spirit which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of God.”
The Muslim commentator has, unintentionally but very impressively, given a precise definition of the Holy Spirit as it is in the Bible. He is the “divine spirit” who cannot be defined in human language with terminology other than that used for God himself. God says in the Qur’an: “They are asking thee concerning the Spirit (the 'Rouh'). Say: ('The 'Rouh') The Spirit is by command of my Lord, and of knowledge ye have been vouchsafed but little.” (Qur'an 17:85)
Muslims believe Gabriel is the Holy Spirit of Allah. If that is the case, then we can substitute Gabriel for Allah's Spirit in the following Qur’an verses:
The Holy Spirit In regards to Adam: Allah's Spirit was breathed into Adam.
“So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My Spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him.” (Qur'an 15:29)
(“So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of Gabriel, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him.”)
Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay; Then He made his seed from a draught of despised fluid; Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye! (Qur'an 32:6-9)
(… Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of Gabriel; …)
And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, (Qur'an 38:72)
(And when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of Gabriel, then fall down before him prostrate,)
Allah breathed something of his Spirit into Mary.
And she who was chaste, therefor We breathed into her (something) of Our Spirit and made her and her son a token for (all) peoples. (Qur'an 21:91)
(And she who was chaste, therefor We breathed into her (something) of Gabriel and made her and her son a token for (all) peoples.)
And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient. (Qur'an 66:12)
(And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Gabriel. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient.)
Some other verses where the phrase “Spirit” occur, try to read Angel Gabriel instead of the Spirit:
Qur'an 12:87 Go, O my sons, and ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! none despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.
(the Spirit of Allah means Gabriel of Allah?)
Qur'an 16:02 He sendeth down the angels with the Spirit of His command unto whom He will of His bondmen, (saying): Warn mankind that there is no Allah save Me, so keep your duty unto Me.
Qur'an 40:15 The Exalter of Ranks, the Lord of the Throne. He causeth the Spirit of His command upon whom He will of His slaves, that He may warn of the Day of Meeting,
Qur'an 58:22 Thou wilt not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan. As for such, He hath written faith upon their hearts and hath strengthened them with a Spirit from Him, and He will bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. They are Allah's party. Lo! is it not Allah's party who are the successful?
(strengthened them with a Spirit from Him means strengthened them with a Gabriel from Him?)
Qur'an 70:1-4 A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall upon the disbelievers, which none can repel, from Allah, Lord of the Ascending Stairway (whereby) the angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years.
Qur'an 78:38-39 On the day when the angels and the Spirit stand arrayed, they speak not, saving him whom the Beneficent alloweth and who speaketh right. That is the True Day. So whoso will should seek recourse unto his Lord.
Qur'an 97:4 The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees.
Let’s compare Biblical explanations of the Holy Spirit, since the Qur'an confirms the previously revealed scriptures.
To understand the Holy Spirit in the Bible, one must also understand the language used. The word "ruach" comes from the Hebrew meaning "spirit", "wind", "breath", or "air". The Greek equivalent is "pneuma" and the Latin is "spiritus". Some examples of its usage in relation to God:
- "Ruach Ha-Kodesh" means Holy Spirit.
- "Ruach Elohim" means Spirit of God.
Here are some verses that seem to best represent what/who the Holy Spirit is from the books the Qur'an is confirming:
The Spirit of God was with God in the beginning.
Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Was it angel Gabriel hovering over the waters?
God's Spirit can be with people.
Psalm 51:11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
God creates when he sends his Spirit.
Psalm 104:30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
Mary conceived through the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 1:18-20 See also: Luke 1:26-37 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."
People can be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:11 See also: Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, & John 1:32 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
The Spirit of God descended on Jesus.
Matthew 3:16 See also: Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, & John 1:32 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
The Qur’an and the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. Thus, we can summarize what we have.
1. The Holy Spirit of God is NOT the angel Gabriel.
2. The 'Rouh' is from GOD. The 'Spirit' – the Rouh is a gift from GOD, it is NOT yours, you do not own it, all people have access to it. The Spirit of God is not a created angel; the Spirit of GOD (Rouh'u Allah) is within you.