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Belief in the Angels

{But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, honorable writing down (your deeds)}

Source : / 14 Mar 2013

Allah, the Almighty, created various types of creatures, both visible and invisible.

We can see the sun, the moon, the mountains, the rivers, trees, animals, birds, and fish. Even the minutest creatures that we cannot see with the unaided eye such as germs, bacteria, microbes and the particulates of matter can be seen and recognized through special equipment that magnify them hundreds of times.

Yet, there are other creatures created by Allah that we can neither see nor recognize with our senses such as the Jinn and the angels.

Belief in the angels is one of the six pillars of faith and is one of the bases of Islamic doctrine.

Allah Says (what means): {And whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.} [Quran 4:136]

When the Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, was asked about faith, he sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam said:        

"To believe in Allah, His Angels and His Books, and His Messengers and the Last Day and Divine Predetestination, whether good or evil."

Why can’t we see the angels?

We can neither see nor hear the angels because they are created from light and are created in a special way. Yet, we believe in them and that Allah gave them special properties and characteristics. They do not eat, drink, or sleep. They are not males and females like human beings. They are completely different creatures.

Angels never disobey Allah

Allah made the angels (may Allah exalt their mention) infallible and He protected them from committing sins.

Allah Says (what means): {Who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.} [Quran 66:6]    

They glorify Allah day and night and they never get tired or bored because of excessive worship. They never do any action unless Allah commands them to do so.

Description of the angels

Allah created the angels in the best shape and He made them extremely beautiful, bright and strong. He provided them with wings. Some of them have two wings, others have three while still others have four. Some even have more according to the mission for which Allah created them.

We cannot imagine these wings and how they look. They are not like the wings of the birds. It is not even permissible to hold a comparison between their wings and those of birds. The resemblance of their wings to those of birds is only in the name but not in their essence.

Allah Says (what means): {All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the (only) Originator [or the (only) Creator] of the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings, - two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.} [Quran 35:1]

Angels may appear in human shape

Some angels appeared in human form to Prophet Ibrahim, may Allah exalt his mention, and his wife Sarah. The angels visited Prophet Ibrahim as guests and they gave his wife glad tidings that she would give birth to a son although she had been infertile.

Allah Says (what means): {Has the story reached you, of the honored guests [three angels; Israel Jibreel (Gabriel) along with another two] of Ibraaheem (Abraham)? When they came in to him, and said, "Salaam,!" He answered; "Salaam," and said: "You are a people unknown to me,") Then he turned to his household, so brought out a roasted calf [as the property of Ibraaheem was mainly cows]. And placed it before them, (saying): "Will you not eat?" Then he conceived a fear of them (when they ate not). They said: "Fear not." And they gave him glad tidings of an intelligent son, having knowledge (about Allah and His religion of True Monotheism).} [Quran 51:24-28]

Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, also appeared to Maryam (Mary) and gave her glad tidings that she would give birth to ‘Eesaa (Jesus) without a father so that he would be a miracle to all people.

Allah Says (what means): {And mention in the Book (the Quran, O Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, the story of) Maryam, when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent to her Our Ruh [angel Jibrael], and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects. She said: "Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Beneficent (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah." (The angel) said: "I am only a Messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son."} [Quran 19:16-19]

Jibreel, may Allah exalt his mention, also used to come to the Prophet Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, in the shape of an unknown, graceful Bedouin. Sometimes, he would come in the shape of a companion named Dihyah Al-Kalbi who was a graceful handsome man.

The number of angels

Allah created a large number of angels. Only Allah knows their exact number.

Allah Says (what means): {And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He.} [Quran 74:31]

Some names of angels:

Jibreel (Gabriel) "the Angel of Revelation": He is the best of all the angels. He conveyed revelation from Allah, the Almighty, to the Prophets. He gave Maryam glad tidings that she would give birth to ‘Eesaa without a father. He was sent down with the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, for the first time in the Cave of Hiraa'.

- Israafeel "the angel who will blow the trumpet": On the Day of Judgment, he will, upon the command of Allah, blow the trumpet and then all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon.

Then he will blow again and everyone will be resurrected by the Will of Allah.

Maalik "the guard of Hellfire": he is the angel in charge of Hellfire on the Day of Judgment as he will push forward all the disbelievers, sinners, and criminals into the Hellfire.

The missions of the angels:

There are many types of angels, and they have various missions which Allah charged them to perform. They obey Allah in whatever He commands them to do and never disregard His instructions. Among these angels:

·  The bearers of the Throne: They are the angels who bear the Throne of Allah. They are constantly praising and glorifying Allah and they pray to Allah to forgive the obedient believers.

· The angels of revelation: They are sent down with revelation to the selected Prophets and Messengers.

· The angels of Paradise: they receive the believers who will dwell in Paradise and provide them with the marvelous blessings and joys found there.

· The guards of Hellfire: They are stern and severe angels appointed by Allah to inflict a just penalty on the criminals who had spread corruption on earth.

· The angels who are scribes: Every human being has two appointed angels who write down whatever good or evil he says or does. Allah Says (what means): {But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, honorable writing down (your deeds)} [Quran 82:10-11]

· The angels who take away the souls of man: in the case of a faithful slave, white-faced angels with a coffin from Paradise will come and take away his soul. In the case of a disbeliever, angels with gloomy faces who have a coffin from the Hellfire will take away his soul.

· The angels questioning human beings in the grave: There are two angels: Munkar and Nakeer. When a person is put into the grave and people leave, the two angels will come and make him sit up and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his Prophet.

· The angels of the mountains: they are in charge of the affairs of the mountains.

· The angels assigned to guard human beings: Allah assigned some angels to guard every human being. These angels succeed each other day and night. They accompany the person and never leave him/her. By the Command of Allah, these angels guard human beings against detrimental and death-causing incidents.

Houses entered by the angels

· The House of Allah (the Mosque): angels like mosques, attend the Muslims' prayer, and invoke Allah to grant forgiveness to the Muslims.

·  A house where the Quran is recited: the angels attend the meetings where Allah is being mentioned and the Quran is recited. The angels keep on invoking forgiveness for the believer as long as he is reciting the Quran.

·  Islamic knowledge gatherings: angels like Islamic knowledge gatherings, whether they are in mosques, schools, institutes or even at home. Angels surround students seeking religious knowledge and provide them with love and care.

Angels witness the human beings' deeds

· Angels attend the Friday prayer: the angels receive the Muslims going to Friday prayer and record their levels and good deeds depending on who came to the mosque first. When the preacher ascends the pulpit, the angels would sit down to listen to him.

· The angels know the Muslims who go to the mosques: the angels like them and write down a good reward and wipe out an evil deed for every step to the mosque.

· The angels attend the gatherings for mentioning Allah and Quranic recitation: they attend every Quranic gathering and meeting in which Allah is mentioned and they ask Allah to forgive those who mention Him and recite the Holy Quran.

· The angels attend religious knowledge classes: the angels like religious knowledge classes and they lower their wings in appreciation and respect of students of religious knowledge. 

·The angels accompany those who ask Allah for forgiveness and those who repent: Allah created angels who roam around seeking those who ask Allah for forgiveness, those who repent and those who invoke Allah out of love, sincerity and sub massiveness.

· The angels attend funerals: the angels are present when a Muslim dies, ask Allah to forgive him, say "Aameen" (Amen) whenever the other Muslims supplicate for the dead and they attend the funeral procession. Allah gives whoever attends the funeral rewards as weighty as the mountain of Uhud.        



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