What Does It Mean to Believe in Angles?
“Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allah, nor would the angels near [to Him]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He will gather them to Himself all together.” (An-Nisa’ 4:172)
The Angels are a creation of Allah which He created from light. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “The angels were created from light, the Jinn were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and Adam was created from what was described to you (in the Qur`an: black dry clay).” (Muslim)
Allah created them to do certain tasks; which they execute. Allah says:
“[The angels say], ‘There is not among us any except that he has a known position. And indeed, we are those who line up [for prayer]. And indeed, we are those who exalt Allah.’” (As-Saffat 37:164-166)
Allah has informed us of some of their names, such as Jibreel (Gabriel), Mikaa`eel (Michael), and Israafeel (Rafael). Allah says:
“Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His Angels and His Messengers and Gabriel and Michael – then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:98)
Jibreel is the angel who descends with the revelation upon the messengers, who convey it to their nations. Allah says:
“The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down. Upon your heart, (O Muhammad ﷺ), that you may be of the warners.” (Ash-Shuraa 26:193-194)
What Do the Angles Do?
One would recognize the mercy Allah shows to his slaves; for Allah assigned to every individual angels who guard him and take care of his affairs.
Meekaa`eel is assigned with the task of distributing rain and vegetation, while Israafeel has been assigned the task of blowing the horn that signals the events of the Last Day. He will blow it for the first time, and all would be struck with terror. Allah says:
“And [mention] the Day the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will be terrified except whom Allah wills.” (An-Naml 27:87)
Thereafter, he would blow the trumpet two more times on the Day of Judgment; the second with which all would die, and the third with which all would be resurrected and brought back to life. Allah says:
“And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on.” (Az-Zumar 39:68)
Among the angels is also the Angel of Death and his helpers. Allah says:
“And He is the subjugator over His slaves, and He sends over you guardian-angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail [in their duties]. Then they are returned to Allah, their true Lord. Unquestionably, His is the judgment, and He is the swiftest of accountants.” (Al-Ma’idah 6:61-62)
Among them are also those who bear the Throne of Allah, and those who are also close to Him. Allah says:
“And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them].” (Al-Haqqah 69:17)
Some have been assigned tasks in Jannah, while others have been assigned tasks in Hellfire. Allah says:
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire, whose fuel is people and stones, over which are angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” (At-Tahrim 66:6)
Among them are those who have been assigned the task to protect humans. Allah says:
“For each [person] there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah.” (Ar-Ra`d 13:11)
Some of them record man’s deeds. Allah says:
“And indeed, (appointed) over you are keepers, noble and recording; They know whatever you do.” (Al-Infitar 82:10-12)
Allah created Angels to worship Him. He says:
“To Him belongs whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And those near Him are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, nor do they tire. They exalt [Him] night and day and do not slacken.” (Al-Anbiya’ 21:19-20)
No one knows their exact number except Allah. Allah says:
“And We have not made the keepers of the Fire except angels. And We have not made their number except as a trial for those who disbelieve.” (Al-Muddaththir 74:31)
Whoever desires to learn more on this subject may read books (which are based on the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah) which talk about the angels and their duties.
What Are the Merits of Belief in the Angels?
1- One would understand the greatness of Allah, His power and ability, and His All-Encompassing Knowledge, from the greatness of His creation, which is a proof confirming the greatness of the Creator.
2- When a Muslim knows that there are Angels who record all that he says and does, and that everything he does is either for him or held against him, he would be keen to perform righteous deeds and abstain from sins, whether he is alone or in public.
3- One would safeguard himself from believing in superstitions and fables.
4- One would recognize the mercy Allah shows to His slaves; for Allah assigned to every individual angels who guard him and take care of his affairs.
Source: This article is based on Abdur-Rahman Al-Sheha’ My First Step in Islam published by Osoul International Center.