Meulensteen, who left Manchester United's coaching team in the summer following Sir Alex Ferguson's departure, will take up the role immediately.
The move to bring in Meulensteen comes with the club inside the relegation places after 11 games.
Meulensteen indicated Jol had played a key role in bringing him to the club, after he was touted as a possible replacement for Ian Holloway at managerless Barclays Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
Meulensteen revealed he had spoken at length with his countryman Jol before opting to help Fulham's bid to pull away from the drop zone.
"It is our job to make sure we can bring this vision to life on the pitch for the fans."
Fulham chief executive officer Alistair Mackintosh said Meulensteen, who lasted just 16 days as coach of Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala earlier this season, was "one of the best coaches in the world".
"We are all delighted to welcome Rene to Fulham," he said.
"There was always going to be a battle for Rene's services and, with the assistance of our chairman Shahid Khan, we have been able to bring one of the best coaches in the world to Fulham."
Fulham have lost their past three league games to sink into the bottom three, while they have conceded seven goals in their past two defeats to Manchester United and Liverpool.