The Angels



All praise is due to Allah, the Lord and the Cherisher of the Universe. May the peace and mercy of Allah be upon our beloved prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), his household, companions and all followers of the right guidance till the Day of Judgment.

Allah, the Exalted, says,

"It is not righteousness that you face the east or the west. But righteousness it is to believe in Allah and the Last Day and the ANGELS and the Book and the Messengers; to spend of your substance out of love for Him for your kin for orphans for the needy for the wayfarer for those who ask and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing." Q2:177.

Faith is very important in Islam, there are six articles of faith one of which is to believe in the Angels of Allah. Some people confuse angels with jinns. These are two distinct creatures of Allah. I have written about the jinns in the past. Like human being, some jinns believe and worship Allah while some do not, the leader of disbeliever among the jinns is Satan. Satan (Iblis) belongs to the family of the jinns, he is not a "fallen angel". Satan is an enemy and rival of human beings because Allah gave both of them freewill but Allah honored human beings above the angel and jinn.

"We have honored the sons of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favors above a great part of Our Creation". Q17:70

"We created man from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; And the Jinn race We had created before from the smokeless fire. Behold! Thy Lord said to the angels: 'I am about to create man from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit fall you down in obeisance unto him' So the angels prostrated themselves all of them together: Not so Iblis (satan): he refused to be among those who prostrated themselves". Q15:26

"Behold! We said to the angels 'Bow down to Adam': they bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the JINNS and he broke the Command of his Lord.  Will you then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers". Q18:50

"(Allah) said: 'what prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?' He said: 'I am better than he: thou did create me from fire and him from clay'. Q7:12.

The angels were created from light. Aisha (RA) narrated that Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said:

"The Angels were created out of light and the Jinns were created out of the smokeless fire and Adam was created as he has been defined (in the Qur'an) for you (i.e. he is fashioned out of clay)". (Muslim 7134)

Angels are Messengers of Allah, the Exalted, they do not eat, drink, reproduce, get old or die unlike man and jinn. Satan requested Allah to give him respite till the end of the world. He (Satan) said:

"give me respite till the day they are raised up". (Allah) said: "be thou among those who have respite."Q7:14-15. So, only Satan, among the jinns, will live till the end of the world to mislead and seduce mankind from the worship of Allah."

Angels have no freewill like human beings and jinns, they obey Allah absolutely in everything.

"O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones over which are (appointed) ANGELS stern (and) severe who flinch not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah but DO (PRECISELY) WHAT they are commanded". Q66:6

Angels are spirits with wings,

"Praise be to Allah Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth Who made the angels messengers with wings two or three or four (Pairs): He adds to Creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things". Q35:1.

They can change their form like the jinns.

Angel Gabriel visited prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a very handsome man while the prophet was in the presence of his companions. One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, one man came and asked, 'What is faith?' Allah's Apostle replied, 'Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection'. Then he further asked, 'What is Islam?'.... 'What is Ihsan (perfection)?' Allah's Apostle replied, 'To worship Allah as if you see Him ...." Then he further asked, 'When will the Hour be established?' Allah's Apostle replied, "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner...The Prophet then recited: Q31:34. Then that man left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, 'That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion'. (Bukhari 1.47)

In Islam, angel Gabriel is also known as the Holy Spirit. Some of the angels have specific duties that Allah assigned to them.

"He (Allah) sends down His angels with inspiration of His Command to such of His servants as He pleases (saying): 'Warn (Man) that there is no god but I: so do your duty unto Me." Q16:2. "But how (will it be) when the angels take their souls at death and smite their faces and their backs?' Q47:27

Most importantly, we need to know that each and every one of us has two angels with him/her. The angel do not leave the person except when he/she enters the toilet and their duties include recording the deeds and guiding each person from adversity that is not destined for him/her. Allah says:

"And indeed We have created man and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein. Behold two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and note them) one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him ready (to note it). Q50:16-18. "Nay! But you do reject Right and Judgment!  But verily over you (are appointed angels) to watch, kind and honorable writing down (your deeds): They know (and understand) all that you do." Q82:9-12

The Prophet (PBUH) said,

"Angels keep on descending from and ascending to the Heaven in turn, some at night and some by daytime, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and 'Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you overnight ascend unto Allah Who asks them, and He knows the answer better than they, 'How have you left My slaves?'; They reply, 'We have left them praying as we found them praying'. If anyone of you says 'Amin' (during the prayer at the end of the recitation of Surat-al-Fatiha), and the angels in Heaven say the same, and the two sayings coincide, all his past sins will be forgiven". (Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Bukhari 4.446)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

"Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write)...." (Narrated by Ibn Abbas, Al-Bukhari 8.498).

So, the angels record whatever we do whether secretly or openly and we will be questioned on the Day of Judgment. Furthermore, Allah, the Exalted, knows everything about us including our thoughts;

"And whether you hide your word or publish it He certainly has (full) knowledge of the secrets of (all) hearts. Should He not know He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them)". Q67:13-14.

We should therefore fear Allah in secrete and in the open because nothing is hidden from Him.

"They may hide (their crimes) from men but they cannot hide (them) from Allah seeing that He is with them (by His Knowledge) when they plot by night in words that He does not approve: and Allah ever encompasses round all that they do." Q4:108

May Allah have mercy on us and give us the grace to be righteous.

Ma salam.