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In a Nutshell: Angels have wings, some having two, others three or four, whilst some have more than that. Whilst we cannot see angels or speculate on their physical shape and appearance, descriptions appear in the revelatory sources. Wings appear to assist them in movement as well as be used in destruction of nations.

Angels are believed to be heavenly messengers created from “Nur” light, and known for of their purity and obedience to Allah (swt). They have many roles mentioned in Quran as faithful servants of Allah carrying out His commands.

As Unseen beings, angels have no specific shape and could take any form. No one has seen the angels in their true form apart from Prophet Muhammad (saw) saw Jibreel in the appearance in which Allah created him. However, their physical characteristics are explained in many Qur'anic versesandtheir features are emphasized in hadiths.


ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَاعِلِ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ رُسُلًا أُوْلِيٓ أَجۡنِحَةٖ مَّثۡنَىٰ وَثُلَٰثَ وَرُبَٰعَۚ يَزِيدُ فِي ٱلۡخَلۡقِ مَا يَشَآءُۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ سورة فاطر: 1
[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, [who] made the angels messengers having wings, two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent. (Qur’an 35:1)

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏ "‏خلقت الملائكة من نور، وخلق الجان من مارج من نار، وخلق آدم مما وصف لكم‏"‏ ‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏
Aishah (ra) reported: The Prophet (saw) said, "Angels were created from light, jinns were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and Adam was created from that which you have been told (i.e., sounding clay like the clay of pottery)." [Muslim]

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَفْصُ بْنُ غِيَاثٍ، عَنِ الشَّيْبَانِيِّ، عَنْ زِرٍّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ ‏{‏ مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى‏}‏ قَالَ رَأَى جِبْرِيلَ - عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ - لَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ جَنَاحٍ ‏ رواه مسلم
Al-Shaibani narrated on the authority of Zirr who narrated it on this authority of Abdullah that the (words of Allah): " The heart belied not what he saw" imply he saw Gabriel (peace be upon him) and he had six hundred wings.


It is believed that angels have wings, yet their exact form and function can’t be realised or speculated by humans. Our knowledge is very limited to what was narrated in the attributes of angels in the Holy Qur’an and Hadith. Hence, we cannot indulge in trying to say more about this matter, because there is nothing in either the Qur’an, or Hadith of Prophet Muhammad that indicate the role of wings in angels. It is possible wings may assist them in movement as well as be used in destruction of nations.


Stephen Burge, Angels in Islam: Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi akhbar al-mala'ik

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