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in category Angels and Jinn

Does Islam or Qur'an recognise angels?

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Islam acknowledges the existence of angels.

Angels are a non-rational matter, but their existence can be shown to be reasonable, i.e. coherent within its own frames of reference. They are not rationally demonstrable in the sense of being captured in a test-tube or in a Petri dish.

Angels are second only to Allah as a principle of belief, and without them, it is not possible for God to be known. They are, in a sense, integral to divine unity: without angels, God's names and attributes cannot be perceived or fathomed. So they're important conceptually and they're an important conceptual bulwark against the secularism of faith that is such a problem these days.

Several are mentioned in the Qur'an and others in the hadith literature.

Angels are not equal in status, delegated different tasks to perform.


Jibril (Gabriel)

The angel of revelation who was responsible for revealing the Qur'an to Muhammad (saw). He communicated with all of the earlier prophets and messengers, also descending with Allah's blessings on the night of Laylat al-Qadr (the night of Destiny).

Jibril was a warrior in Islamic tradition, leading an army of angels into the Battle of Badr and fighting against Iblis when he tempted Isa.

Mikail (Michael)

The archangel of mercy, providing nourishment for bodies and souls while responsible for bringing rain and thunder to Earth.

Some scholars say Mikail is responsible for the angels who carry the laws of nature.

Israfil (Raphael)

The archangel who blows into the trumpet in the end time, therefore also associated with music in some traditions.

Israfil is responsible for signaling the coming of Qiyamah (Judgment Day) by blowing a horn.

Azrail

The archangel of death. He and his subordinate angels are responsible for parting the soul from the body of the dead and carry the believers to heaven (Illiyin) and the unbelievers to hell (Sijjin).

Naziaat and Naashitaat are helpers of Azrail who take the souls of the deceased. Naziaat takes out the soul painfully, he is allocated for taking out the souls of disbelievers. Naashitaat takes out the souls of momineen.

Kiraman Katibin (Honourable Recorders)

Two angels, one on each shoulder, are charged to every human being; one writes down good deeds and another one writes down evil deeds. They are described as 'Raqeebun Ateed' in the Qur'an.

Mu'aqqibat (The Protectors)

They keep people from death until its decreed time and who bring down blessings.

Maalik

​​​​​​​Chief of the angels who govern Jahannam (Hell). Nineteen angels of hell, commanding the Zabaniyya, to torment sinful people in hell.

Hamalat al-Arsh

​​​​​​​The angels who carry the Arsh (Throne of God) comparable to the Christian Seraph.

Harut and Marut

​​​​​​​Often depicted as fallen angels who taught the humans in Babylonian magic.

Al-Ra'd

​​​​​​​The Angel of Thunder who according to al-Qurtubi:

"It is said that he is the angel in charge of clouds and he drives them as ordered by Allah, and he glorifies His Praises".

There are then:

  • The angel of life gives the soul to every human being;
  • The angels of the Seven Heavens;
  • Jundullah angels who helped Muhammad in the battlefield;
  • Angels who breath the ruh into the fetus in the womb and are charged with four commands: to write down his provision, his life-span, his actions, and whether he will be wretched or happy;
  • Malak al-Jibaal (the angel of the mountains) met by the Prophet after his ordeal at Taif;
  • Munkar and Nakir who question the dead in their graves;
  • Ridwan the keeper of Paradise;
  • Artiya'il the angel who removes grief and depression from the children of Adam;
  • Habib an angel Muhammad met during his night journey composed of ice and fire;
  • The angels charged with each existent thing, maintaining order and warding off corruption. Their exact number is known only to God; and
  • Darda'il (the travellers) who travel the earth searching out assemblies where people remember God's name.


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