Among the most important matters of the belief is to believe in the angels, although we don’t usually see them. The angels exist and they are one of the kinds of creations that Allaah created. Allaah created the angels from light. They are neither males nor females. They all worship Allaah and obey His orders; they do not sin.

Angels are wondrous creations of Allaah and have a very high status among His creations. Allaah created all of the angels from light, all at once. Imam Muslim narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, which means:

Allaah created the angels from light, created the jinn from the pure flame of fire, and Adam from that which was described to you (i.e., the clay.)

This is a sahih hadith and it also proves that Iblis was not an angel who blasphemed, thus becoming the devil–as some people claim. Iblis is a jinn and is the father of all the jinn-kind; as Adam is a human and is the father of all the human kind.

Allaah created the angels as they are now. They do not grow or develop or age. In their original shape, they are gentle bodies; gentle bodies meaning they can’t be grasped or held by the hand. Although they are gentle bodies, they do not have internal cavities–unlike humans and jinn–and they do not eat or drink. This is why, when Prophet Ibrahim gave food to the angels, who were visiting him (in the shape of men), they did not eat. The angels have different body parts: feet, shoulders, ears, hands, and wings. Some angels have two (2) wings, some have three (3), others have four (4). Some, like Angel Jibril, ^alayhis-salaam, have up to six hundred (600) wings. If just one of his wings was spread open, it would cover what is between east and west.

Allaah gave the angels the power to change their shapes, and it is permissible that they would take the shape of a man; however, without the male genital organ. Often, Angel Jibril would appear to the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, in the shape of a man to teach him the Revelation. Angels do not take the form of the woman. The one who believes that the angels are female is blasphemous, as Allaah said in Surat an-Najm, Ayah 27, of which the meaning is:

Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are those who name the angels with feminine names (i.e., believe that they are female)

Some of the angels are very big. It was narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, told us about one of the angels who carries the ^Arsh. He said that the distance between that angel’s ear lobe and his shoulder is equal to the distance that a fast flying bird would cover flying for 700 years. There are other angels whose feet are in the seventh earth and upper body above the seventh sky.

Allaah created inherent obedience in the angels. They do not disobey Allaah. All of them are obedient slaves to Allaah, as Allaah described them in Surat at-Tahrim, Ayah 6, of which the meaning is:

They do not disobey Allaah in what He orders them (to do), and they do exactly what they were ordered.

Angels, like humans, have a will, but angels choose only to be obedient to Allaah. They do not sin. They perform only that which Allaah ordered them to do. What was falsely claimed about the two angels, Harut and Marut, committing sins is untrue. Some falsely claimed that they were seduced by a woman named az-Zuhrah, and as a result, drank alcohol and committed adultery. It is also falsely claimed that they, unrightfully, killed a person and prostrated to an idol. These claims are pure fabrication, none were confirmed by the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam. Such claims contradict the Qur’an, the Rules of the Religion, and the Sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam.

What is mentioned in the Religion about Harut and Marut is they came down in Babylon (in Iraq) to teach the people the matters of sorcery. This was not, however, to enable the people to practice sorcery, rather it was to enable the people to differentiate between sorcery and the true miracle.

Angels are the most numerous kind of creation of Allaah. There are more angels than the other creations of Allaah, including the humans and jinn–even the trees. At-Tirmidhiyy related the hadith of the Messenger of Allaah in which he said, which means:

There is no space equivalent to (the width of) four fingers in the sky except that one would find an angel mentioning (worshipping) Allaah–either standing, bowing or prostrating. They stay as such until the Day of Judgment, worshipping Allâh.

Allaah endowed the angels with the strength to perform the obedience without getting tired; and without being in need of food, drink, sleep, or rest. They do not eat or drink or sleep. They perform only that which Allaah ordered them to perform.


Angel Jibril is the Messenger of Allaah to His prophets. Angel Israfil is the angel assigned to blow the horn on the Day of Judgment. ^Azra’il is the Angel of death, whose assignment is to capture the soul of the person when it leaves his body at death. Ridwan is the angel in charge of Paradise. Malik the angel in charge of Hellfire. There are angels in charge of the clouds, the winds, and the plants. With each human, there are eight (8) angels–whose assignment is to protect that person from the harm of the jinn. It was narrated that if it were not for these angels, the jinn would play with the person like the person plays with a ball. The Zabaniyah are angels in charge of torturing the blasphemers in Hellfire. There are other angels who roam around, writing down the leaves that drop off the trees. Some angels are in charge of delivering the salutations to the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, in his grave; for the one that is not present at the grave of the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, who says salaam to him, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam. There is an angel in charge of the womb of the woman. He writes matters on the forehead of the fetus when the fetus is 120 days old and his soul joins his body. There are the angels who carry the ^Arsh. Rata’il is the angel in charge of relieving the sadness of the believers. Mika’il is the angel in charge of the rain. Angel Isma^il is in charge of 12,000 angels in one sky who are his direct assistants. There are the angels who write down the deeds of the person-each one has two with him, one who writes the good deeds, and the other who writes the mubah and the bad deeds. There are the angels, Munkar and Nakir, who question the person in the grave. And many, many more.

Allaah endowed the angels with great strength. Allaah said about Angel Jibril, of which the meaning is:

He is very strong.

Among the examples of his strength is how he destroyed the cities of the people of Prophet Lut, ^alayhi salaam. With just the edge of one of his 600 hundred wings, Angel Jibril pulled out of the ground the (4 or 5) cities of Prophet Lut’s people, and raised them near to the first sky, until the angels inhabiting that sky could hear the barking of the dogs and the crowing of the roosters. Then he turned those cities upside down and sent them down to the earth. Allaah ordered Angel Jibril to destroy those cities of the people of Prophet Lut to punish them because they belied Prophet Lut and harmed him.

Among all the angels, Angel Jibril is the one with the most merit and highest status. He is the Messenger of Allaah to the Messengers of Allaah; meaning that it was mostly Jibril who would bring the Revelation to the Prophets. Angel Jibril, ^alayhis-salaam, would come to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, and convey the Revelation to him; and the Prophet would hear his words and memorize them immediately. Angel Jibril used to come to the Prophet not in his own shape–usually he would take the shape of a man. However, when Angel Jibril brought the Revelation of prophethood to Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, in Cave Hira’, he retained his original shape. When Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, saw Jibril this first time in his original shape, he fainted. He fainted, not out of fear of what he was seeing, (because Jibril did not at all resemble what one usually sees, i.e., humans, animals, the sun, the moon, etc.) and not out of fear that Jibril would harm him. Rather, he felt that he was seeing a very strange and a very great thing, and was so affected by the aura of what he was seeing that he fainted.

During the night of al-Mi^raj, the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, once again saw Angel Jibril in his original shape. However, this time the Prophet, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, did not faint at the sight of Jibril; because, before that, the angels had washed his heart to make it stronger and ready to see the wondrous things in the upper world during the ascension. Allaah, subHanahu wa ta ^Aalaa, gave Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ^alayhi wa sallam, a great strength, enabling him to bear many unfamiliar sights and unusual matters that night.

Angels are truly wondrous creations of Allaah. If one thinks about this creation of Allaah, it will strengthen, with assurance, his belief in the One Who created the angels–the One Who Created everything– Allaah, subHanahu wa ta ^Aalaa.

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