In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
1. Praise be to God, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet those who disbelieve ascribe equals to their Lord.
2. It is He Who created you from clay, then decided a term-a term determined by Him. Yet you doubt.
3. He is God in the heavens and the earth. He knows what you keep secret and what you make public; and He knows what you earn.
4. Not one of their Lord’s signs comes to them, but they turn away from it.
5. They denied the truth when it has come to them; but soon will reach them the news of what they used to ridicule.
6. Have they not considered how many generations We destroyed before them? We had established them on earth more firmly than We established you, and We sent the clouds pouring down abundant rain on them, and We made rivers flow beneath them. But We destroyed them for their sins, and established other civilizations after them.
7. Had We sent down upon you a book on paper, and they had touched it with their hands, those who disbelieve would have said, “This is nothing but plain magic.”
8. And they say, “Why was an angel not sent down to him.” Had We sent down an angel, the matter would have been settled, and they would not have been reprieved.
9. Had We made him an angel, We would have made him a man, and confused them when they are already confused.
10. Messengers before you were ridiculed, but those who mocked them became besieged by what they ridiculed.
This is Gabriel doing what Angels do best-praising the Lord of the Universe they live to serve. The capital “He” is when Gabriel is talking about God and how God created humans. I believe in human terms, “He” is best to describe the Fatherly duty of God. We are all children of God, in a way, that he created as an active force, and teaches indirectly. We were made from the elements that science can study. Clay is ultimately wet mud, so Gabriel is explaining how we were created out of carbon and other elements of the earth, and molded into the shape that we have when we are born.
Muhammad is being told about how others have denied the truth before him, and will deny the Signs from God once again. Switching to the “We” pronoun could be then talking about the Angels and God. Angels may be used to destroy civilizations along with nature. All we know is angels are beings of energy or God’s Light, and so we may not be able to see them as they come to earth destroying the ancient pagan civilizations that no longer exist today.
There is an allusion to the idea that before humans, there were other earth creatures living here that were more established on earth than humans. This to me could mean that there were beings living more highly advanced or more in connection to the flow of the earth. But something happened within their society to start to cause them to go astray to the point where they started to sin in ways that could not sustain their lives any longer. It could be a matter of things (terrible blood sacrifice, waring nature, imbalance of evil and arrogance which caused them to lose the message of God completely within generations), that caused them to be destroyed and new humans created in their place.
The next few lines are interesting which express that the Quran revelations are not a solid book yet, but instead it is only a deeply memorized conversation, that later becomes written down word for word. And Gabriel may not be an angel in the flesh, but a being or energy in service to God that can be described as a Holy Spirit or Archangel projected on Muhammad. Cause right here Gabriel is saying that the people will ask why an angel was not sent to him directly just as they have asked about in the past. The answer is so that faith can be established in something that the people could not see with their own eyes. Sending an angel down for all to see may have then impeded on the nature of Free Will. The eyes would have no choice, but to register what was in front of them. Therefore no soul would have to work towards faith, if they saw an angel at face value. Also the word “reprieve” means to pardon, so if an angel was ever sent directly to the people, that is the end of their civilization. Almost like it is the last straw, before God destroys a people and does not want to pardon them for their sins.
I will say another idea pops into my head, that possibly Muhammad was “channeled” this information from the Angel, but did not physically see this being in the cave. Like the bodiless form of God’s voice from the burning bush that Moses heard. There are many accounts of people saying they have channeled higher beings who give them information without seeing the entity. I believe we should not go seeking answers from unseen energies that are not the Creator of the universe, but if an angel or higher being comes to you without looking for it, it would be wise to listen as Muhammad chose to.
Line 9 explains that making humans into angels, would have confused people even more into the spiritual nature of God. And as we learn in other parts of the Quran, God is subtle, but does not wish to confuse. A good teacher in life shows the way gently or guides, never confuses a student. This is what God does too. There is always a subtle guiding towards the right path for humans, but it is never confusing or twisting things to make you question existence. Satan is the one who confuses as the trickster, and God is our Creator that makes things clear again.
Here Gabriel is saying that before Muhammad, there was messengers that were mocked, but to not worry. They will be judged and punished for the what they have done in their lives. The good and bad are always accounted for.
The elements that make up a human