‘Belief in the Angels’
The angels are creation from the World of al-Ghayb who worship Allaah and possess nothing from the Divine Qualities of Ruboobiyyah and Uloohiyyah. Allaah created them from Light and granted them the complete submission to His Command and the ability to execute it.
”And those who are near Him (i.e. the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of worshipping Him). They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so) “. (Qur’aan 21:19-20).
They are great in number, none can enumerate them except Allah. It is confirmed from the hadeeth of Anas _ in his narration of the story of al-Mi’raaj that the Prophet ﷺ said: “ …I was shown al-Baitil-Ma’moor. I asked Jibreel about it and he said: ‘This is al-Bait al-Ma’moor where seventy thousand angels perform Salaat daily. When they leave, they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes .into it daily).” (Bukhari)
Faith In The Angels
Angels are one of Allah’s creations. A servant’s faith is invalid unless he believes in them, and in all the attributes and works ascribed to them in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, without any addition or subtraction or false interpretation.
The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers (Al-Baqarah – Aayah 285)
In the Hadith. narrated by Muslim and al-Bukhaaree on the authority of Umar Ibnu al-Khattaab, when the angel Jibreel asked the Prophet ﷺ about faith, he said about faith:
“(It means that) you believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day; and believe in predestination, (whether you encounter) good fortune or hardship“.
Thus the existence of the angels is affirmed with indisputable proof. To deny their existence is, as Allah says in the Qur’an, tantamount to disbelief (Kufr).
(And whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away) An-Nisa’ – Aayah 136.
It is noted that the Qur’anic verses and the Ahaadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ which talk about the angels, their attributes, conditions and work, refer mostly to their relationship with the Creator, the universe and man. Allah (S.W.T.) has given us enough knowledge of them to assist us in purifying our creed, sanctifying our hearts and rectifying our deeds. But He kept to himself knowledge of their essence, the manner in which they were created and the details of their circumstances.
This is a general characteristic of Islamic teachings. They impart an amount of knowledge of the laws of the universe limited by what human beings actually need for the correct conduct of their lives and by their restricted understanding. Allah did not give us insight into all hidden things, whether they concern His majesty, names and attributes, or His unseen creatures. A true believer should affirm everything the Creator communicated to mankind, in general and in detail, with no addition to it or subtraction from it, and he should not attempt to inquire or delve into what the Creator has kept from us.
Creatures of Light
The Qur’an and the Sunnah tell us that the angels are beings of light, having no physical body which can be discerned by the human senses. They are unlike man in that they don’t eat, drink, sleep or procreate; they are pure, devoid of animal desires, sins and misdeeds; nor do they have any of the tangible physical attributes of mans.
The relationship of angels with Allah is based upon pure worship, obedience and absolute submission to His commands. This is the only way in which they relate to Allah. They are neither gods in association with Him, nor are they His offspring as the polytheists had claimed.
The Number of Angels
There are vast numbers of angels. Only Allah knows how many there are. Allah (S.W.T.) says:
“And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire; and We have fixed their number (19) only as a trial for the disbelievers – in order that the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) may arrive at certainty, and the believers may increase in faith – and that no doubts may be left for the people of the Book and the believers, and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the disbelievers may say, “What Allah intends by this example?” Thus Allah leads astray whom He Wills, and guides whom He Wills. And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He. And this (Hell) is nothing else than a warning to mankind?“
Their Relationship with The Universe and Mankind
While their relationship with Allah is that of pure worship of Him and total obedience to His command, the relationship of the angles to the Universe and mankind is an extension of this worship and obedience. As the Almighty had informed us, their worship is not confined to praising and glorifying Him, but also includes the execution of His will. The angels are charged with managing the affairs of the Universe and watching over it. Those duties cover all creation, movement and activity, living beings and inanimate objects, laws and universal principles. In so doing they execute Allah’s Divine Preordainment in accordance with His predestination for all creation. They carry out His will in observing and recording all the voluntary and involuntary movements in the heavens and on the earth. Each and every movement is part of their responsibilities as Allah, Who created them, Wills.
The Qur’an and the Sunnah have indicated the existence of several kinds of angels, each of which is charged with a certain aspect of the universe. Allah entrusted the sun and the moon to certain angels, and He did the same with the planets, the mountains, the clouds and rain. The wombs were entrusted to angels who supervise the nutfah (sperm) and the stages it goes through until it completes the human form. He entrusted death to certain angels, and to every servant He assigned angels who guard over him. Each creature, and every event and phenomenon in the universe is under the supervision of particular angels.
BELIEF IN ANGELS AND THEIR TASKS
It is an obligation for every Muslim to believe in the angels. It is a particular obligation to believe in those whose names have been mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Three of the most important of those are Jibreel, Mika’il and Israfil.
Jibreel is the angel in charge of revelation, the sustenance of hearts and spirits. His name is mentioned in ‘the Qur’an, along with Mika’il. Allah (S.W.T.) says in the Qur’an:
(Say: “Whoever is an enemy of Jibreel, for indeed he has brought down (this Qur’an) to your heart by Allah’s Permission, confirming what came before it (the Torah and the Gospel) and guidance and glad tidings for the believers. Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His angels, His Messengers, Jibreel and Mika’il, then verily. Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers”)
Allah has praised Jibreel with the most excellent praise and described him with the most beautiful characteristics. Allah (S.W.T.) says:
(So verily, I swear by the planets that recede (that is disappear during the day and appear during the night). And by the planets that move swiftly and hide themselves, and by the night as it departs; and by the dawn as it brightens; Verily, this is the Word (this Qur’an is brought by) a most honourable Messenger (Jibreel, from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ). Owner of power, and high rank with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne, Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens)
Mika’il is the angel in charge of rain, which is vital sustenance for the life of earth, plants and animals. Israfil is the angel in charge of blowing the trumpet on the Day of resurrection, and by which people are given life after death.
Malik, keeper of the Hell-Fire. Allah says: (And they will cry: “O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end to us!” He will say, “Verily, you shall abide forever”).
Therefore, we should believe in the angels whose names have been mentioned in the authentic Ahaadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, and in the duties and functions entrusted to them. As for the angels who have not been specifically mentioned, we should believe in them on the whole, as well as in their types and duties referred to in the Qur’an and the Sunnahs’.
We should believe in the honourable angels who are appointed to have charge of us. Allah (S.W.T.) says:
Malakul Mawt (The Angel of Death): Assigned to pull out the souls at the time of death.
And if you could but see when the Thaalimeen (polytheists, wrongdoers, etc.) are in the agonies of death, while the angels stretching forth their hands (saying): “Deliver your souls”. (Qur’aan 6:93).
The angels appointed to the womb: When the embryo completes four months in the mother’s womb, Allaah sends to him an angel and orders him to record his provision, his life term, his deeds, and whether he will be of the wretched or the blessed (in the Hereafter).
The angels appointed to watch and keep records of the deeds of the children of Adam (mankind): one sitting on the right and one on the left of each person.
Allaah, the Exalted, said:
Every human amongst us has two angels that are responsible over him – an angel on his right side recording his good deeds and another on his left side recording his bad deeds. Allaah says: “When the two receivers receive (i.e. record his deeds) from his right side and his left side, sitting. Not a word does he utter, except that there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” (Surah Qaaf: 17-18)
These guardian angels accompany a human being whether he is on a journey or sitting at home – they are next to him at all times under all conditions – during his prayer, while he is prostrating, etc. – they accompany him and do not leave him alone except under specific circumstances, such as when the person is relieving himself (in the bathroom). So these angels record his statements and his actions.
Munkar and the other Nakeer, the angels assigned to question the dead once they are buried. When a dead person is buried, two black (looking) angels having blue eyes, one called Munkar and the other Nakeer, will come to him. They will ask about Allaah, the Prophet ﷺ and his religion.
Please join our free online certificate course “THE GRAVE”, to learn more about death, the journey of the soul and what the angels say/do to a good and bad soul. https://learn-islam.org/the-grave (available online now, register and learn).
Note this is not part of the course, it is an independent course that can be done at your own pace and at your own convenience.
Az-Zabaniyyah, the angels who in charge of the Fire: may Allah protect us from it. They are known as az-Zabaaniyyah and are lead by nineteen angels.
The angels in charge of the Gardens of Paradise, who prepare the Gardens for those who will inhabit them, preparing the food, drink, clothes, artefacts and other things which have never before been see, heard or dreamed of.
And the angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): “Salaam be upon you for that you persevered in patience. Excellent indeed is the final home.” (Qur’aan 13:23-24).
Angels at the Masjid on Friday, the Prophet ﷺ said: “On every Friday the angels take the stand at every gate of the mosque recording the names of the people one after the other (according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer), and when the Imaam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the Thikr (Khutba: the Friday speech).” (Bukhari)
There are also angels that have responsibilities in this universe that only Allaah has knowledge of. There are angels that are put in charge of the seas and angels put in charge of the days. There are angels responsible for the winds and angels put in charge of carrying out many other duties.
All of the events that occur in the universe and which constantly transpire within it on a daily basis are only by Allaah’s decreeing that. As for the angels, they carry out whatever tasks Allaah orders them to execute.
The Effect of Belief in the Angels on the Life of a Believer
Allah does not reveal to us any of the unseen, unless doing so is a benefit and is a great blessing for mankind. It was a great benefaction from Allah to communicate to us knowledge of these blessed angels. Belief in them is an aspect of belief in the unseen. This is an essential characteristic of believers.
Some of the great benefits in the life of a Muslim are as follows:
Being aware of Allaah’s Greatness, Power, and Authority. Certainly, the greatness of creation (in this case the angels) is due to the Greatness of the Creator.
Allah has protected us against the myths and fictitious tales believed by those who do not have faith in the unseen nor receive their knowledge from Divine revelation by informing us of the believing spirits and their works.
When a believer feels in his heart the presence of those angels, when he is convinced that they witness his deeds, utterances and every movement, he avoids doing anything which displeases Allah. Knowing well that everything that issues from him is recorded and accounted for, how can he possibly disobey or defy Allah, in secret or in public?
Belief in the angels strengthens the believer’s patience, endurance and perseverance in striving in the way of Allah. It helps him reject despair and despondency. He obtains security and a sense of belonging to a blessed company.
Angels protects us from harm. There are also angels that are responsible for protecting humans from perils. A human being is prone to walk into dangers everyday. However, Allaah entrusts angels that guard and protect him from these dangers during his lifetime, which Allaah has ordained for him. This earth, which a human being walks upon everyday, contains many dangers. There are wild beasts, snakes, scorpions, not to mention transgressors from among humans – enemies and oppressors. However, Allaah has placed these angels around the human being. Allaah says: “He has those (angels) who constantly surround him – from before him and behind him, protecting him by the Command of Allaah.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11]
Therefore, so long as Allaah has decreed that this individual will be safe from harms, these angels will protect and guard him, and no human will be able to harm him. But if Allaah desires to bring an end to his appointed time, He removes them from him – one from before him and one from behind him. “Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they (first) change the condition of themselves. And when Allaah desires a bad end for a people, there is no turning it back.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11] So if Allaah’s Divine Pre-Decree comes to pass and He desires to put an end to this person, the angels that constantly surround him withdraw themselves from him because they do not refrain from carrying out Allaah’s Command. These are the angels that constantly surround a person.
The angels worship Allah and dedicate their lives to Him as the believer does. The angels bless each of man’s footsteps, strengthen his resolve and remind him of the good reward that awaits him. Thus, this true believer is not alone on the road to Allah.
ANGELS PRAY FOR US
Allah Ta’ala has given us direct access to call Him, 24/7. In fact, making duas constantly increases our eemaan and makes us better human beings. But still we ask others to make dua for us— for instance those who are going for Hajj, or those whom we think are knowledgeable and pious. And it makes sense – Allah gives to those who are closer to Him.
Now imagine the sinless creation of Allah– the angels— making dua for you. But how can we ask an invisible angel to make dua to Allah for us? It’s incredibly easy, and we don’t even need to ask.
1. Become a seeker of knowledge.
Nowadays it’s become incredibly easy to gain Islamic knowledge– you can practically carry your university around with you in your pocket by means of your smartphone. So let us take benefit of this blessed opportunity, and be amongst those special people in whose favour Allah and His creation supplicate.
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The superiority of the learned over the devout worshipper is like my superiority over the most inferior amongst you (in good deeds). Allah, His angels, the dwellers of the heaven and the earth, and even the ant in its hole and the fish (in water) supplicate in favour of those who teach people knowledge”. (Tirmidhi, Riyad al-Salihin 12)
2. Make dua for others when they’re absent.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:” He who supplicates for his brother behind his back (in his absence), the Angel commissioned (for carrying supplication to his Lord) says: Amen, and it is for you also.” (Sahih Muslim)
3. After the daily prayers, remain seated, doing dhikr or reading the Quran.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said “The angels supplicate in favour of one of you so long as he remains in the place where he has performed Salat (prayer) in a state of Wudu’. They (the angels) say: ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! Have mercy on him.’ “ [Al- Bukhari; Riyad al-Salihin 72].
4. Make dua while visiting a sick person or the deceased.
When Abu Salamah died, some of his family wept and wailed. He said: Do not supplicate for yourselves anything but good, for angels say” Amen” to what you say. Then he made dua. (Sahih Muslim 920)
5. Be among the true believers.
“Those [angels] who carry the Throne and those around it exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed, [saying], “Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire. Our Lord, and admit them to gardens of perpetual residence which You have promised them and whoever was righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring. Indeed, it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. And protect them from the evil consequences [of their deeds]. And he whom You protect from -evil consequences that Day – You will have given him mercy. And that is the great attainment.” (40:7-9)
(We will study about the believers & the promises of Allah to them in the upcoming classes).
Now we can see why creating the angels was a great blessing from Allah, and why belief in them has a great benefit for our hearts, our deeds and our rectitude.
The Places often Frequented by the Angels
There are angels that travel throughout the earth looking for gatherings where Allaah is remembered. When they find a gathering of Allaah’s remembrance, they say: “Come quickly to your necessity.” The Remembrance of Allaah is of various types, amongst which are:
THE PLACES OFTEN FREQUENTED BY THE DEVILS
1. Those who preoccupy themselves with forms of vain entertainment such as songs and instruments – these individuals are surrounded by the devils who gather near them, while the angels distance themselves from them.
2. The one who places pictures in his house – the angels do not enter his home, as is stated in the hadeeth, where the Prophet ﷺ said: “Verily, the angels do not enter the home in which there is a dog and images.”So the angels of mercy do not enter into homes that have pictures in them, regardless of whether they are hanging on the wall or stored in frames and boxes for the sake of memories or to beautify the walls of the home.
The pictures here, refers to images of things possessing souls. This drives the angels away. So the angels do not enter homes in which the likes of these pictures exist. However, the pictures that have been allowed for one to acquire because of necessity, such as ID cards, passports and personal identification cards, these are permitted out of necessity for them. These pictures are not taken in order to admire them. So these types of pictures are the exception to the prohibition. The same goes for images that are trampled on (i.e. on the floor) and sat upon. We are only talking here about the images that are hung for the sake of memories or stored for the sake of showing off. These are the types of images that are not permitted, as there is no necessity for them to be taken. These types of pictures cause the devils to come into the homes while preventing the angels from entering them.
We ask Allaah to endow us with true Faith, beneficial knowledge and righteous actions. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be on our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, his family members and his Companions.
TIPS OF TEST