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In Surah Al-Baqarah verse 98, Allah says:

Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael - then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.

Doesn't Gabriel and Michael fall under the category of angels? It seems they were distinguished here. Why so?

  • Well Gabriel and Michael are also angels, so yes. It does fall under the category of angels – Alex A Mar 19 '18 at 5:00
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Gabriel and Michael are angels and messengers. They are mentioned separately for emphasis.

The emphasis is either:

  • To demonstrate their prominence among the angels, since they are the greatest and most honorable among them: they are arch-angels.

    Examples of this from elsewhere include:

    فيهما فاكهة ونخل ورمان

    In both there are fruits and date-palms and pomegranates.

    Quran 55:68

    When both dates and pomegranates are also fruits.

    ثم قفينا على آثارهم برسلنا وقفينا بعيسى ابن مريم وآتيناه الإنجيل

    Then We sent following their footsteps Our Messengers and followed [them] with Jesus, the son of Mary, and gave him the Gospel.

    Quran 57:27

    When Jesus is also a Messenger.

    وإذ أخذنا من النبيين ميثاقهم ومنك ومن نوح وإبراهيم وموسى وعيسى ابن مريم وأخذنا منهم ميثاقا غليظا

    And [mention, O Muhammad], when We took from the Prophets their covenant and from you and from Noah and Abraham and Moses and Jesus, the son of Mary; and We took from them a solemn covenant.

    Quran 33:7

    When Muhammad, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus are all also Prophets.


  • OR because the verse is a continuation of a response that specifically relates to Gabriel and Michael:

    Some Jews of Medinah asked the Prophet about who among the angels brought him revelation and on learning that it was Gabriel they asserted that Gabriel is their punisher and destroyer while Michael is their advocate and ally and the angel of mercy; and they claimed that they would have believed if Michael brought the Quran. The revelation rejected this notion:

    قل من كان عدوا لجبريل فإنه نزله على قلبك بإذن الله مصدقا لما بين يديه وهدى وبشرى للمؤمنين من كان عدوا لله وملائكته ورسله وجبريل وميكال فإن الله عدو للكافرين

    Say, "Whoever is an enemy to Gabriel - it is [none but] he who has brought the Qur'an down upon your heart, [O Muhammad], by permission of Allah, confirming that which was before it and as guidance and good tidings for the believers."

    Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael - then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.

    Quran 2:97-98

    There are also variants of this, one is that the Jews said that Gabriel is their enemy because Allah commanded him to bring prophecy among them but he went to a stranger.

Further References:

  1. Tafsir Qurtubi on 2:97 & 2:98
  2. Tafsir Baghawi on 2:97 & 2:98
  3. Tafsir Razi on 2:97-98
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The ayah should be understood in the context it was revealed.

When Abdullah bin Salam heard of the arrival of the Prophet in Al-Madinah, he was working on his land. He came to the Prophet and said, `I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a Prophet.

What will be the first sign of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle' ?

Allah's Messenger said, "Jibril has just told me the answers."

Abdullah said, `He (i.e. Jibril), among all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.'

Then Allah's Messenger recited the Ayah,

مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِلَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِلْكَافِرِينَ

Allah's Messenger then said, "The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be the caudate lobe of the liver of fish. As for the child resembling his parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and his discharge is first, the child will resemble the father. If the woman has a discharge first, the child will resemble her side of the family."

On that Abdullah bin Salam said, "I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and you are the Messenger of Allah."

Abdullah bin Salam further said, `O Allah's Messenger! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they will tell a lie about me.'

The Jews came to Allah's Messenger , and `Abdullah went inside the house.

Allah's Messenger asked the Jews "What kind of man is `Abdullah bin Salam"

They replied, "He is the best among us, the son of the best among us, our master and the son of our master."

Allah's Messenger said "What do you think if he would embrace Islam?"

The Jews said, "May Allah save him from it."

Then `Abdullah bin Salam came out in front of them saying, "I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah."

Thereupon they said, "He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest among us."

And they continued talking badly about him. Ibn Salam said, "This is what I feared, O Messenger of Allah!"

Source: Sahih al-Bukhari 3329

The Jews of the time preferred Angel Michael and took Gabriel as their enemy. Hence, they seem to be subject of the ayah.

Also note that among the angels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael (Israfil) are the angels explicitly known by name to have visited the Prophets (including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammed) and the Prophet Muhammed (SAW) is also know to have sent salaam on them explicitly.

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