Muslims affirm the reality of angels. Belief in God as the One and Only Creator and Sustainer of all things, as well as His angels, His Scriptures, His Messengers, the Day of Judgement, and divine foreknowledge, are the six foundations of religion in Islam.
Originally meaning “messenger,” the Arabic term for angel is Malak. Angels are a part of a realm of existence termed ‘Alam al-ghayb that is beyond the realm of occurrences that humans can perceive. We humans, as God’s creations dwelling in this material world, are limited in our ability to think about or imagine things that don’t belong here. Although angels are often imperceptible to human sight, they can take on visible shapes when necessary.
Characteristics of Angels as Described in the Holy Books (The Word of God)
Here is everything you need to know about the characteristics of an Angel as stated by Allah in His Holy Books.
Angels Are Made Out of Light
God produced angels out of the essence of light. As the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) once mentioned, “The angels are made from light,” Though the exact date of the angels’ genesis is unknown, we do know that it occurred before the advent of humans. It is revealed in the Quran that God informed the angels of His plan to send religious messengers to Earth.
Refusing God’s Commandment is Not a Part of an Angel’s Nature
According to an ayah of the Qur’an; (Quran 66:6),
“They, (angels) disobey not the Commands they receive from God, but do that which they are commanded.”
Angels are revered by Muslims because they recognize their artistic value. God calls the angels Dhoo Mirah in verse 53 of the Quran. This Arabic phrase is translated as “tall and beautiful” by respected Islamic scholars.
Without question or hesitation, angels carry out God’s orders. In the angelic hierarchy, every angel performs a certain role. Many angels serve as messengers, while others watch over and assist humans.
Angels Have Wings
It’s important to note that angels have wings and can be rather big in size. Neither the Quran nor Muhammadan tradition suggests that angels are gendered or resemble human infants with wings. However, we do know that angels have wings and that some of them may be rather massive. According to what was stated by Prophet Muhammad, the archangel Gabriel had six hundred wings and was so large that he filled the gap between heavens and earth.
According to an ayah of Qur’an; (Quran 35:1),
“…Who made the angels, messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs)….”
Angels Can Take Up Any Form
Angels may alter their appearance to suit a situation. They exposed themselves to both Prophet Abraham and Prophet Loot . Mary, the mother of Jesus, saw Gabriel in the form of a man, and Muhammad saw him in the form of a man whose clothing was dazzling white and his hair jet black.
The Number of Angels is Uncountable
Only Allah knows the precise number of angels in existence. The Prophet Muhammad, upon his ascent to heaven, went to a place of worship, “al Bayt al-Mamoor,” which is the heavenly counterpart of the Kaaba. Where he roughly stated that there were a large number of angels, approximately 70,000 visiting the place, and then a new group of Angels would follow them.
Angels Do Not Need Food for Survival
Angels, according to the Quranic account of Prophet Abraham, do not require nutrition. Prophet Abraham sacrificed a calf to the angels who came to him disguised as men to deliver the happy news of the birth of a son. After he got afraid because they wouldn’t eat, they exposed themselves in their true selves; angels.
Each Angel Holds a Different Status in the Eyes of God
Angels also vary in their level of importance. The angels that fought in Badr, the first battle, are often considered the best of all angels. This can be confirmed from the following instance that happened with the Prophet Muhammad, after the difficult and First Battle between Muslims and Non-Muslims, the “Battle of Badr”
“Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet and asked, ‘How do you rate the people among you who were present at Badr?’ Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, answered, ‘They are the best of the Muslims,’ or something similar. Gabriel then said: ‘So it is with the angels who were present at Badr.’”
According to an Ayah in Qur’an, (Quran 21:20),
“… For in the presence of your Lord are those who celebrate His praises by night and by day. And they never flag (nor feel themselves above it).”
Each Angel Has a Different Role
Angels have several roles and tasks in the world. Things concerning the cosmos fall under the purview of a few chosen ones. The oceans, the mountains, and the air all fall within this category. The oceans, the mountains, and the air all fall within this category.
On one occasion, stones were thrown at the Prophet Muhammad on one of his visits to Ta’if, a town close to Mecca. Gabriel visited the prophet and proposed burying the unyielding populace alive beneath the ruins of two adjacent mountains as a means of extermination.
Although he was flattered by the offer, the Prophet Muhammad turned it down because he knew that once they settled down and gave Islam a fair shot, they would convert and adore God.
Misconception Regarding Angels
It is not surprising that the word of God in the old times before the advent of Islam has spread like Chinese Whisper. Islam and the Quran are unique because they include all the commands and revelations of Allah and because Muhammad was the final messenger. No new information has come to light. Unfortunately, many misunderstandings about religion arose as a result of incorrect information about the previous Holy Books that had been widely disseminated. While the idea of “Fallen Angels” is widely held, it is based on a myth that has been perpetuated for centuries.
Since it is an Angel’s nature to serve Allah faithfully, the notion of “fallen” angels does not exist in Islam. They are unable to defy God because they are not given the freedom to do so. Though Islam does not believe in “fallen” angels, it does believe in djinn, which are unseen entities with free will (spirits). Iblis (The Devil) is the most well-known djinn.
In the eyes of Muslims, Satan is not a “fallen” angel but rather a disobedient Djinn. Djinn are human-like beings with a life cycle that starts with birth and stops with death. Unlike angels, who live in the heavens, djinn are thought to live among people but are rarely spotted.
Four Primary Angels in Islam and Their Responsibilities
While the actual number of angels in Allah’s service is a mystery, we believe that four angels in particular have been tasked with carrying it out. In Islam, there are four primary angels.
1. Hazrat Gabriel (AS)
The angel Hazrat Gabriel (AS) was tasked with relaying messages from Allah to his prophets. When the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth was brought to Hazrat Maryam (AS), he was the angel that delivered it to her. While Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in meditation in the cave of Hira, he appeared to him with a message from Allah. In the years that followed, he frequently paid the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) visits while disguised as different people. Three different titles for Hazrat Gabriel (AS) appear in the Holy Quran: ruh al-Amin, ruh al-Qudus, and rasulun karim.
2. Hazrat Israfeel (AS)
On the Day of Judgment, Hazrat Israfeel (AS) will be the trumpet-blowing angel. Angel Soor, the Trumpet, is another name for him. According to Islam on the Day of Judgement; Doomsday, the trumpet will be blown. On the first sound of it, the Day of Judgement will take place and every person living on this earth will die. And on the second sound of it, everyone will rise again.
3. Hazrat Azrael (AS)
Hazrat Azrael (AS), also known by his Arabic name, Malak-ul-Maut, is charged with releasing the soul from the body once a person has died.
4. Hazrat Mikail (AS)
By Allah’s command, Hazrat Mikail (AS) is the angel tasked with keeping the natural processes in motion that allow life to persist on Earth. Rainfall, seasonal shifts, wind direction, and the coordination of Allah’s creatures’ prayers are all examples of the kinds of things that come under this category.
More Angels’ Mentioned in the Quran and Hadith References
Among the 70,000+ uncountable angels, there are a few more angels assigned for different duties by Allah.
The Angels of Kiraman Katibin
Each person on Earth has an angel assigned to him whose job it is to keep track of his actions. The angel on a person’s right shoulder keeps track of their good actions, while the angel on one’s left shoulder keeps track of their negative ones. On the Day of Judgment, these angels will deliver a person’s entire record of good and bad deeds before Allah.
Nakir and Munkir
Likewise, there are angels responsible for visiting a dead person in their grave to question them till the Day of Judgement occurs.
Muslims have absolute faith in the reality of angels, despite their non-physical nature, since God and His Prophet, Muhammad, have revealed details regarding them. As God’s creations, angels exist solely to serve and glorify the Creator.