Pearl of Wisdom

'The ultimate goal of Islam is submission and the ultimate of submission is gaining the blessed abode of Paradise.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ghurar al-Hikam, nos. 6349-6350

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Question : #404 Category: Holy Qur'an
Subject: Tafsir of Ayah of Surah Qadr
Question: Surah Qadr mentions that "the angels and the Ruh" descend on the night of Qadr (tanazzalul malaa-ikatu war-ruhu fiha...). What is the "Ruh" referring to in this Ayah?
Answer: Describing the Night of Honour (Qadr) in details. it says: "The Angels and the Spirit descend therein by their Lords leave for every affair".

Regarding the term / tanazzala / which is originally / tatanazzala / and which is a future tense verb with the sense of continuity, makes it clear that the Night of Honour (Qadr) is not only for the period of the Call and the descent of the Quran, but it is a permanent fact and it is a night that repeats annually.

For the meaning of / ruh / 'spirit' some have said that it refers to Gabriel, the trustworthy, who is also called / ruh-ul-amin /, while some others have rendered / ruh / to mean 'inspiration' in comparison with: "And thus, have We, by Our Command, sent inspiration to thee...", (Sura Shura. No.41. verse 52).

Therefore, the meaning of the verse becomes thus: "The Angels of Divine inspiration descend therein for every affair".

Here, there is a third commentary which seems the most appropriate of all. It says: / ruh / is an important creature greater than Angles. It is said in a tradition from Imam Sadiq (a) that a person asked him whether 'Ruh' is the same as Gabriel and he replied:
"Gabriel is one of the Angels and Ruh (Spirit) is greater than angels. Has Allah, the Exalted, not said: 'The Angels and Spirit descend?'"

The objective meaning of / min kull-i-amr / 'for every affair' is that the Angels descend to proportionate and assign the fates, and to bring any blessing and goodness on that night. The fulfillment of these actions is the purpose for their descent.

The sense of / rabb-i-him / 'their Lord', of which the emphasis is on the subject of Lordship and assignment of the world, has a close agreement with the action of these angels, saying that they descend to proportionate and assign the affairs, and their accomplishment is a part of the Lordship of the Lord.

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