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Lesson 9

Belief in Angels

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Main Points

Belief in angels

This means to believe in angels within the limits of what is provided by Qur’an and Sunnah, i.e., they are creatures not recognized by human senses.

*  Angels obey Allah in everything.[6] They have different roles determined by Allah; some are delegated to protect human beings from odiousness, others for registering human deeds, bringing victory to the believers … etc.[7]

The Qur’an mentioned some angels like Gabriel (Jibril), the angel of revelation, Mika’il (Michael), Malik (the Keeper of Hell-Fire), the angel of death, and the nineteen angels of the Scorching Fire (Saqar).[8]  


The nature of angels:

Allah says:

]وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَلَدًا سُبْحَانَهُ بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُّكْرَمُونَ. لا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُم بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ[
(الأنبياء: 27 - 26 )

This means: “And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or children)." Glory to Him! They [those whom they call children of Allah i.e. the angels, 'Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), etc.], are but honored slaves. They speak not until He has spoken, and they act on His Command.” (21, Al-Anbiya’: 26 - 27)

Allah says:

]وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ. يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِم وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُون[
(النحل: 49 - 50)

This means: “And to Allah prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.”
(16, An-Nahl: 49 - 50)

Allah says:

]وَمَا مِنَّا إِلا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَّعْلُومٌ. وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّافُّون.َ وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْمُسَبِّحُون[
(الصافات: 164 - 166)

This means: “There is not one of us (angels) but has his known place (or position); Verily, we (angels), we stand in rows for the prayers (as you Muslims stand in rows for your prayers); Verily, we (angels), we are they who glorify (Allah's Praises i.e. perform prayers).” (37, As-Saffat: 164 - 166)

Allah says:

]يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلائِكَةٌ غِلاظٌ شِدَاد لا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُون[
(التحريم: 6)

This means: “O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” (66, At-Tahrim: 6)

Allah says:

]الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلائِكَةِ رُسُلا أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَى وَثُلاثَ وَرُبَاعَ يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ مَا يَشَاء إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلّ شَيْءٍ قَدِير[
(فاطر: 1)

This 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.” (35, Fatir: 1)

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“Angels were created from light and the jinn from blazing fire. But Adam was created from that which you have been told.” (Reported by Muslim)

The roles of angels:

Allah says:

]لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللّه[
(الرعد: 11)

 This means: “For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him.[They guard him by the Command of Allah.”
(13, Ar-Ra`d: 11)

Allah says:

]الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُون لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ[
(غافر: 7)

This means: “Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) (saying): "Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!” (40, Ghafir: 7)

Allah says:

]أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لا نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُم بَلَى وَرُسُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ[
(الزخرف: 80)

This means: “Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? (Yes We do) and Our Messengers (appointed angels in charge of mankind) are by them, to record.” (43, Az-Zukhruf: 80)

Allah says:

]وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِين.َ كِرَامًا كَاتِبِين.َ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُون[
(الإنفطار: 10 - 12 )

This means: “And surely there are indeed over you Preservers, Honorable Writers, (Who) know whatever you perform.” (82, Al-Infitar: 10 - 12)

Allah says:

]وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ. نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الأمِينُ[

This means: “And truly, this (the Qur'an) is a revelation from the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists), Which the trustworthy Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] has brought down.” (26, Ash-Shu`ara’: 192 - 193)  

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Angels come to you in succession by night and day and all of them get together at the time of the Fajr and `Asr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you (or stayed with you) ascend (to the Heaven) and Allah asks them, though He knows everything about you, ‘In what state did you leave my slaves?’ The angels reply, ‘When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.’”
(Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has mobile squads of angels who go about in the bazaars or on the roads seeking those who remember Allah. When they find people doing so, they call one another and say, ‘Come to what you are looking for.’” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with his quest.” (Reported by Ibn Majah)

Angels mentioned in the Qur’an:


Allah says:

]عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى. ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى. وَهُوَ بِالأُفُقِ الأعْلَى. ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى. فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى. فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى. مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى[ (النجم: 5 - 11)

 This means: “One of valiant powers has taught him. Owner of resolute splendor; (Literally: ability to transform; to convey revelation, i.e. Jibrîl “Angle Gabriel) so he leveled himself. (When) he was on the most exalted horizon. Thereafter he (came) within reach, then hung suspended, So he was at two bows (distance) or (even) closer (still). Then He Allah) revealed to His bondman what He revealed.  In no way did the heart-sight lie (about) what it saw." (53, An-Najm: 5 - 11)

Allah says:

]إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيم. ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ. مُطَاعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِين.ٍ وَمَا صَاحِبُكُم بِمَجْنُون.ٍ
وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ بِالأُفُقِ الْمُبِين

(التكوير: 19 – 23)

This means: “Verily, this is the Word (this Qur'an brought by) a most honorable messenger [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. Owner of power, and high rank with (Allah) the Lord of the Throne, Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens). And (O people) your companion (Muhammad (SAW) is not a madman; And indeed he (Muhammad (SAW) saw him [Jibrael (Gabriel)] in the clear horizon." (81, At-Takwir: 19 - 23)

Allah says:

]قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ مُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَهُدًى وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ[
(البقرة: 97)

This means: “Say (O Muhammad (peace be upon him):Whoever is an enemy to Jibrael (Gabriel) (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur'an) down to your heart by Allah's Permission, confirming what came before it (i.e. the Tawrah (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)) and guidance and glad tidings for the believers.”
(2, Al-Baqarah: 97)  

Gabriel and Michael:

Allah says:

]مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّلّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِّلْكَافِرِين[ (البقرة: 98)

This means: “Whoever is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, His

 Messengers, Jibrael (Gabriel) and Mika’el (Michael), then verily, Allah is

 an enemy to the disbelievers.” (2, Al-Baqarah: 98)  

The angel of death:

Allah says:

]قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَّلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكِّلَ بِكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ تُرْجَعُون[
(السجدة: 11)

This means: “Say: "The angel of death, who is set over you, will take your souls, then you shall be brought to your Lord.” (32, As-Sajdah: 11)

Malik, the keeper of the Hell-fire:

Allah says:

]وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ قَالَ إِنَّكُم مَّاكِثُون[
(الزخرف: 77)

This means: “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."” (43, Az-Zukhruf: 77)

The nineteen angels of the Scorching Fire (Saqar):

Allah says:

]سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ. وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ. لا تُبْقِي وَلا تَذَرُ. لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَر. عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشرَ[ (المدثر: 26 - 30 )

This means: “I will cast him into Hell-fire. And what will make you know exactly what Hell-fire is? It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburnt)! Burning the skins! Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell).” (74, Al-Muddathir: 26 - 30)

The angels who bear the Throne of Allah:

Allah says:

]وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَى أَرْجَائِهَا وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَة[
(الحاقة: 17)

This means: “And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.” (69, Al-Haqqah: 17)