In Islam, angels hold a significant place in the spiritual realm. They are celestial beings created by Allah, entrusted with various roles and responsibilities.
This article explores some prominent angels mentioned in the Quran and Hadith, shedding light on their attributes and functions. Let us delve into the celestial world of angels and their divine tasks.
What is the Significance of Angels in Islam?
Angels hold a significant place in Islamic theology and are considered an integral part of the faith. In Islam, angels are beings made of light who exist in a realm beyond human perception. They are believed to be purely obedient to God and carry out His commands without question. The importance of angels in Islam is rooted in their role as messengers, protectors, and recorders of human actions.
- Messengers of God: Angels are often depicted as messengers sent by God to deliver important revelations and messages to prophets and messengers. The first and foremost among these is the Angel Gabriel (Jibril), who was crucial in delivering the Quranic revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran itself refers to Gabriel’s role in conveying divine messages to various prophets throughout history.
- Protectors and Guardians: Angels are believed to serve as protectors and guardians for individuals, communities, and even nations. Muslims believe that every person is assigned two recording angels, known as Kiraman Katibin, who record their good and bad deeds. These angels are constantly present, accompanying individuals throughout their lives, and they record every action, word, and thought.
- Worship and Praise: Angels are also seen as beings constantly engaged in the worship of God and the praise of His glory. In Islamic tradition, it is believed that angels continuously worship God in a state of humility and submission. Muslims are encouraged to follow their example and engage in acts of worship and remembrance of God.
- Roles in the Afterlife: Angels play a crucial role in Islam’s belief system surrounding the afterlife. On the Day of Judgment, angels will gather all humans for their final reckoning. They will weigh the deeds of each person on a scale, and the result will determine their eternal fate. Angels are also responsible for ushering believers into Paradise and guarding the gates of Hell.
- Role Models: Angels are often considered exemplary beings due to their unwavering obedience to God and submission to His will. They serve as role models for believers, emphasizing the importance of devotion, humility, and the fulfillment of one’s duties.
Islamic Quotes on Angels
1. Mika’il – The Angel of Mercy:
Mika’il, also known as Michael, is one of the archangels in Islam. He is the angel of mercy and responsible for overseeing the sustenance and distribution of blessings upon Earth. Mika’il is mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:97) with the following verse:
2. Izra’il – The Angel of Death:
Izra’il, known as Azrael, holds a significant role in the Islamic faith as the angel of death. He is tasked with extracting the souls of human beings upon their death. Izra’il’s presence brings the end of earthly life and the transition into the afterlife. Although not directly mentioned in the Quran, his existence and role are referred to in various Hadiths. One such Hadith states:
3. Israfil – The Angel of the Trumpet:
Israfil is the angel assigned with the responsibility of blowing the trumpet on the Day of Judgment, signaling the end of the world. His call will bring about the resurrection of all beings, preparing them for their ultimate judgment before Allah. Although not explicitly mentioned in the Quran, Israfil is referred to in the Hadith. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) described Israfil as having a beautiful face and said:
4. Munkar and Nakir – The Interrogating Angels:
Munkar and Nakir are two angels appointed by Allah to question human souls in their graves about their faith and deeds. They test individuals on their beliefs and deeds, providing a glimpse into their preparedness for the Day of Judgment. While their names are not explicitly mentioned in the Quran, their roles are described in several Hadiths. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated:
5. Al-Kiram and Al-Katibun – The Recording Angels:
Al-Kiram and Al-Katibun are two angels entrusted with the task of recording the deeds of every individual. They meticulously record all actions, whether good or bad, performed by humans. These records will ultimately be presented before Allah on the Day of Judgment for fair judgment. While not mentioned by name in the Quran, their existence and roles are affirmed in multiple Hadiths.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
6. Harut and Marut – The Testing Angels:
Harut and Marut are two angels mentioned in the Quran who were sent down to Babylon to test humanity. They were given knowledge of magic but warned the people against practicing it as a means of corruption. The Quran mentions their story in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:102):
7 – Jibrael AS (Gabriel)
Gabriel is primarily known as the angel of revelation. He played a central role in delivering the divine revelations from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad, serving as the intermediary between Allah and the Prophet. It was through Gabriel that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was revealed over a period of approximately 23 years.
His role as the angel of revelation extends beyond the delivery of the Quran. He is believed to have been sent to various other prophets and messengers throughout history, including Moses, Jesus, and others, to convey Allah’s messages and guidance to them and their respective communities.
He has the honour of being mentioned 3 times in the Quran and in several ahadith.
Whoever is the enemy of Allah and His angels and His apostles and jibreel and Meekaeel, so surely Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.(سورة البقرة, Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #98)
Angels are highly regarded in Islam for their roles as messengers, protectors, recorders, and worshipers of God. Their significance lies in their connection between the divine realm and humanity, serving as a reminder of God’s power, mercy, and the importance of obedience and devotion in the Islamic faith.
Their existence and functions, mentioned in the Quran and Hadith, underline the divine order and guidance established by Allah for humankind. Recognizing and appreciating the significance of angels deepens believers’ understanding of the spiritual realm and the relationship between the earthly and heavenly domains in Islam.