AHADITH ON ANGELS
001.002.047 Narrated Abu Huraira: One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, “What is faith?” Allah’s Apostle replied, ‘Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection.” Then he further asked, “What is Islam?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan.” Then he further asked, “What is Ihsan (perfection)?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you.” Then he further asked, “When will the Hour be established?” Allah’s Apostle replied, “The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents:
1. When a slave (lady) gives birth to her master.
2. When the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah.
The Prophet then recited: “Verily, with Allah (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour–.” (31. 34) Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, “That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion.” Abu ‘Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith.
001.003.086 Narrated Asma: I came to ‘Aisha while she was praying, and said to her, “What has happened to the people?” She pointed out towards the sky. (I looked towards the mosque), and saw the people offering the prayer. Aisha said, “Subhan Allah.” I said to her, “Is there a sign?” She nodded with her head meaning, “Yes.” I, too, then stood (for the prayer of eclipse) till I became (nearly) unconscious and later on I poured water on my head. After the prayer, the Prophet praised and glorified Allah and then said, “Just now at this place I have seen what I have never seen before, including Paradise and Hell. No doubt it has been inspired to me that you will be put to trials in your graves and these trials will be like the trials of Masiah-ad-Dajjal or nearly like it (the sub narrator is not sure which expression Asma’ used). You will be asked, ‘What do you know about this man (the Prophet Muhammad)?’ Then the faithful believer (or Asma’ said a similar word) will reply, ‘He is Muhammad Allah’s Apostle who had come to us with clear evidences and guidance and so we accepted his teachings and followed him. And he is Muhammad.’ And he will repeat it thrice. Then the angels will say to him, ‘Sleep in peace as we have come to know that you were a faithful believer.’ On the other hand, a hypocrite or a doubtful person will reply, ‘I do not know, but I heard the people saying something and so I said it.’ (the same). ”
001.004.184 Narrated Asma’ bint Abu Bakr: I came to ‘Aisha the wife of the Prophet during the solar eclipse. The people were standing and offering the prayer and she was also praying. I asked her, “What is wrong with the people?” She beckoned with her hand towards the sky and said, “Subhan Allah.” I asked her, “Is there a sign?” She pointed out, “Yes.” So I, too, stood for the prayer till I fell unconscious and later on I poured water on my head. After the prayer, Allah’s Apostle praised and glorified Allah and said, “Just now I have seen something which I never saw before at this place of mine, including Paradise and Hell. I have been inspired (and have understood) that you will be put to trials in your graves and these trials will be like the trials of Ad-Dajjal, or nearly like it (the sub narrator is not sure of what Asma’ said). Angels will come to every one of you and ask, ‘What do you know about this man?’ A believer will reply, ‘He is Muhammad, Allah’s Apostle , and he came to us with self-evident truth and guidance. So we accepted his teaching, believed and followed him.’ Then the angels will say to him to sleep in peace as they have come to know that he was a believer. On the other hand a hypocrite or a doubtful person will reply, ‘I do not know but heard the people saying something and so I said the same.’ ”
001.008.436 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The angels keep on asking Allah’s forgiveness for anyone of you, as long as he is at his Mu,salla (praying place) and he does not pass wind (Hadath). They say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him, O Allah! be Merciful to him.”
001.008.466 Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a business center, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and (forgives) crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking for Allah’s forgiveness for him and they keep on saying: ‘O Allah! Be Merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind. (See Hadith No. 620).
001.010.530 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Angels come to you in succession by night and day and all of them get together at the time of the Fajr and ‘Asr prayers. Those who have passed the night with you (or stayed with you) ascend (to the Heaven) and Allah asks them, though He knows everything about you, well, “In what state did you leave my slaves?” The angels reply: “When we left them they were praying and when we reached them, they were praying.”
001.011.620 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The reward of the prayer offered by a person in congregation is twenty five times greater than that of the prayer offered in one’s house or in the market (alone). And this is because if he performs ablution and does it perfectly and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of praying, then for every step he takes towards the mosque, he is upgraded one degree in reward and his one sin is taken off (crossed out) from his accounts (of deeds). When he offers his prayer, the angels keep on asking Allah’s Blessings and Allah’s forgiveness for him as long as he is (staying) at his Musalla. They say, ‘O Allah! Bestow Your blessings upon him, be Merciful and kind to him.’ And one is regarded in prayer as long as one is waiting for the prayer.”
001.011.621 Narrated Abu Salama bin ‘Abdur Rahman: Abu Huraira said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘The reward of a prayer in congregation is twenty five times greater than that of a prayer offered by a person alone. The angels of the night and the angels of the day gather at the time of Fajr prayer.’ ” Abu Huraira then added, “Recite the Holy Book if you wish, for “Indeed, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn (Fajr prayer) is ever witnessed.” (17.18).
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: The reward of the congregational prayer is twenty seven times greater (than that of the prayer offered by a person alone).
001.011.628 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “The angels keep on asking for Allah’s Blessing and Forgiveness for anyone of you as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and does not do Hadath (passes wind). The angels say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him and be Merciful to him.’ Each one of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and nothing but the prayer detains him from going to his family.”
001.012.747 Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Say Amin” when the Imam says it and if the Amin of any one of you coincides with that of the angels then all his past sins will be forgiven.” Ibn Shihab said, “Allah’s Apostle used to Say “Amin.”
001.012.748 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “If any one of you says, “Amin” and the angels in the heavens say “Amin” and the former coincides with the latter, all his past sins will be forgiven.”
001.012.749 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “Say Amen’ when the Imam says “Ghair-il-maghdubi ‘alaihim wala-ddal-lin; not the path of those who earn Your Anger (such as Jews) nor of those who go astray (such as Christians); all the past sins of the person whose saying (of Amin) coincides with that of the angels, will be forgiven.
001.012.762 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the Imam says, “Sami’ a-l-lahu Liman hamida,” you should say, “Allahumma Rabbana laka-l-hamd.” And if the saying of any one of you coincides with that of the angels, all his past sins will be forgiven.”
001.012.764 Narrated Rifa’a bin Rafi AzZuraqi: One day we were praying behind the Prophet. When he raised his head from bowing, he said, “Sami’a-l-lahu Liman hamida.” A man behind him said, “Rabbana walaka-l hamd hamdan Kathiran taiyiban mubarakan fihi” (O our Lord! All the praises are for You, many good and blessed praises). When the Prophet completed the prayer, he asked, “Who has said these words?” The man replied, “I.” The Prophet said, “I saw over thirty angels competing to write it first.” Prophet rose (from bowing) and stood straight till all the vertebrae of his spinal column came to a natural position.
001.012.770 Narrated Abu Huraira: The people said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?” He replied, “Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?” They replied, “No, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?” They replied in the negative. He said, “You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, ‘I am Your Lord.’ They will say, ‘We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him. Then Allah will come to them again and say, ‘I am your Lord.’ They will say, ‘You are our Lord.’ Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, ‘O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us.’
There will be hooks like the thorns of Sa’dan in Hell. Have you seen the thorns of Sa’dan?” The people said, “Yes.” He said, “These hooks will be like the thorns of Sa’dan but nobody except Allah knows their greatness in size and these will entangle the people according to their deeds; some of them will fall and stay in Hell forever; others will receive punishment (torn into small pieces) and will get out of Hell, till when Allah intends mercy on whomever He likes amongst the people of Hell, He will order the angels to take out of Hell those who worshipped none but Him alone. The angels will take them out by recognizing them from the traces of prostrations, for Allah has forbidden the (Hell) fire to eat away those traces. So they will come out of the Fire, it will eat away from the whole of the human body except the marks of the prostrations. At that time they will come out of the Fire as mere skeletons. The Water of Life will be poured on them and as a result they will grow like the seeds growing on the bank of flowing water. Then when Allah had finished from the Judgments amongst his creations, one man will be left between Hell and Paradise and he will be the last man from the people of Hell to enter paradise. He will be facing Hell, and will say, ‘O Allah! Turn my face from the fire as its wind has dried me and its steam has burnt me.’ Allah will ask him, “Will you ask for anything more in case this favor is granted to you?’ He will say, “No by Your (Honor) Power!” And he will give to his Lord (Allah) what he will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then turn his face from the Fire. When he will face Paradise and will see its charm, he will remain quiet as long as Allah will. He then will say, ‘O my Lord! Let me go to the gate of Paradise.’ Allah will ask him, ‘Didn’t you give pledges and make covenants (to the effect) that you would not ask for anything more than what you requested at first?’ He will say, ‘O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched, amongst Your creatures.’ Allah will say, ‘If this request is granted, will you then ask for anything else?’ He will say, ‘No! By Your Power! I shall not ask for anything else.’ Then he will give to his Lord what He will of the pledges and the covenants. Allah will then let him go to the gate of Paradise. On reaching then and seeing its life, charm, and pleasure, he will remain quiet as long as Allah wills and then will say, ‘O my Lord ! Let me enter Paradise.’ Allah will say, May Allah be merciful unto you, O son of Adam! How treacherous you are! Haven’t you made covenants and given pledges that you will not ask for anything more that what you have been given?’ He will say, ‘O my Lord! Do not make me the most wretched amongst Your creatures.’ So Allah will laugh and allow him to enter Paradise and will ask him to request as much as he likes. He will do so till all his desires have been fulfilled . Then Allah will say, ‘Request more of such and such things.’ Allah will remind him and when all his desires and wishes; have been fulfilled, Allah will say “All this is granted to you and a similar amount besides.” Abu Said Al-Khudri, said to Abu Huraira, ‘Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah said, ‘That is for you and ten times more like it.’ “Abu Huraira said, “I do not remember from Allah’s Apostle except (his saying), ‘All this is granted to you and a similar amount besides.” Abu Sahd said, “I heard him saying, ‘That is for you and ten times more the like of it.”
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger said, “Angels do not accompany the travellers who have with them a dog and a bell.”
BELIEF IN THE ANGELS
By Abu’l-Hasan “Al-Jumu`ah” magazine
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Belief in the angels is the second pillar of faith.
“The Messenger believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and [so do] the believers. All believe in Allah, His angels and His messengers.” [2 (Al-Baqarah), 285]
What are angels?
Angels are invisible beings created from light. On the authority of `A’ishah : The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said, “Angels were created from light, jinn were created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you [in the Qur’an].” (Related by Muslim) They do not have desires of their own, nor do they eat or drink. They are honored servants of Allah, and never disobey Him. They are perpetually in His service, in prostration, in a standing posture, or through various other forms of worship. “And those who are before Him are not scornful of worshipping Him, nor do they tire or get bored. They glorify [Him] night and day; they do not halt.” [21 (Al-Anbiya’), 19-20] “They are honored servants, who do not precede Him in speech, and they act according to His command. He knows what is ahead of them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede, except for those whom He approves. [21 (Al-Anbiya’), 26-27]
They have wings : “Praise be to Allah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the creator of angels having wings – two, three or four.” [35 (Al-Fatir), 1] However, we should not try to guess the nature or form of these wings. Certainly, there is no basis in Islam for the corrupt notion, prevalent in the West, that angels are like beautiful little girls with a pair of wings on their backs. We should be careful that our children are not exposed to those books which contain such misleading pictures, so that they do not grow up with an incorrect concept of angels. No gender is attributed to angels, nor do they procreate. Allah has denounced those who regard them as females. Indeed, to do so is the way of the disbelievers. “Those who do not believe in the Hereafter surely call the angels with female appellations.” [53 (Al-Najm), 27] The pagan Arabs, for example, called the angels daughters of Allah, in spite of the fact they themselves were disdainful of female offspring, and were so ashamed of them that they were inclined to bury their daughters alive. “Or, has He taken, out of that which He [Himself] created, daughters, and honored you with sons?! And, when one of them receives tidings of that which he sets up as a likeness to [Allah] Most Gracious, his face becomes black, and he is full of rage. . . . And they consider the angels, who are worshippers of Allah, to be females. Did they witness their creation?! Their testimony shall be recorded, and they will be asked.”[43 (Al-Zukhruf), 16,17,19]
Prophets can see angels in their natural form. `A’ishah has narrated that the Prophet twice saw Gabriel in his natural form. (Related by Bukhari) However, ordinary human beings (i.e. non-prophets) cannot see them unless they take on a visible form. Angels can indeed materialize, and when they do so it is in a pleasant form, such as a handsome man. An example of this is found in the Qur’an [11(Hud), 69-83], where Allah sent angels to firstly give Prophet Abraham alayhis salam glad tidings of a son, and then to assist the Prophet Lot alayhis salam. Lot’s people, being homosexuals, lusted after these angels, but the Allah destroyed the depraved sinners. Also in the Qur’an [19 (Maryam), 17-21] is the incident in which the angel Gabriel came to Mary, the mother of Jesus alayhimas salam to inform her that she would miraculously give birth to Jesus. And, in the sunnah, we have the Gabriel hadith, in which Gabriel came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam in the form of a man, and asked him about Islam, Iman and Ihsan. This was done in public view, and its purpose was to teach the people about their religion. (Related by Muslim)
Angels have various duties, with each having a well-defined role. “And there is not any among us, except that he has a known position. And we are indeed the ones who are arranged in ranks [for prayer]. And we are indeed the ones who glorify [Allah].” [37 (As-Saaffaat), 164-166] They thus serve as role models for us, teaching us that specialization leads to greater efficiency. So, in the Islamic society, some must specialize in the Qur’an and its sciences, some in hadith science, others in medicine, still others in agriculture and so on and so forth, so that the Muslim community is efficient and well-balanced. Similarly, in the home, the responsibilities are divided. While the man is responsible primarily for financially supporting the family, the woman has an important role in the upbringing of the children, although she is by no means confined to only taking care of the children.
Only Allah knows all the details and roles of all the angels : “And none know the hosts of your Lord except He.” [74 (Al-Muddath-thir), 31] but He has told us about some of these through the Qur’an and sunnah.
Gabriel is the most distinguished of the angels, and is entrusted with carrying revelation to prophets. This included bringing the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhe wasallam, which is referred to in the following: “And it is surely the revelation of the Lord of the Worlds. The trusted spirit has brought it down to your heart, in order that you might be one of the warners, in clear Arabic speech.” [26 (Ash-Shu`araa’), 192-195] Gabriel is also called “the Holy Spirit”, as mentioned in the Qur’an. “And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs, and supported him with the Holy Spirit.” [2(Al-Baqarah), 253] Michael is entrusted with the sustenance of creatures, and is also one of the most prominent angels.
It is disbelief to have hate or animosity towards any of the angels. Similarly, it is disbelief to curse them. Some wretched, ignorant individuals curse the angel of death when they are angry. It is obligatory, and in fact an essential part of faith, to respect all of the angels, and particularly Gabriel and Michael. Some Jews once came to the Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam and told him that they had five questions for him, which were such that if he were to answer them all satisfactorily, they would follow him. The Prophet answered the first four to their satisfaction, and then they asked the final question; they said, “There is not any prophet except that he has an angel [assigned to him] who brings him news [from Allah], so tell us, who is your companion?” The Prophet sallallahu alayhe wa sallam replied, “Gabriel, alayhissalam.” They said, “That is the one who brings down war, fighting and punishment; our enemy. If only you had said Michael, who brings down mercy, rain and vegetation, it would have been [that we follow you]!” Then, Allah revealed a reply. “Say : Who is an enemy to Gabriel? For, it is he who has brought it down to your heart, by Allah’s leave, confirming that which was before it, and as a guidance and a mercy to the believers. Whoever is an enemy to Allah, and [to] His angels, and [to] His messengers, and [in particular to] Gabriel and Michael, then [let him know that] Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.” [2 (Al-Baqarah), 97-98] (Related by Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Nasa’i)
Every human being has two angels who accompany him and record his deeds. The generous one records his good deeds, and is so named because each good deed is rewarded ten times over or even more. The recorder of evil deeds is called simply the recorder, because each evil deed counts only onefold. “And, indeed, there are over you scribes, generous and recording. They know what you do.” [82 (Al-Infitaar), 10-12] These angels record our deeds, words and thoughts. “He utters not any word except that there is with him an observer, ready.” [50 (Qaaf), 18] The system for recording of deeds is detailed in the Hadith Qudsi, narrated by `Abdullah ibn `Abbas : The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhe wa sallam said, regarding that which he narrates from his Lord, the Possessor of Blessings, the Exalted, “Indeed, Allah has defined the good and the evil deeds, and then explained them. So, whoever had the thought to do a good deed, but did not do it, Allah writes it for him as a complete good deed, while if he [actually] did it, Allah writes it for him as ten good deeds, [or] upto seven hundred fold, [or] upto [even] many times [more over]. And, if he had the thought to do an evil deed, but [dispelled the thought and] did not do it, Allah writes it for him as a complete good deed, while if he [entertained the thought and] acted on it, Allah writes it as a single evil deed.” (Related by Bukhari and Muslim)
In addition to the recording angels, we have with us other angels who protect us from whatever evil Allah wills to save us from. “He has a succession of angels in front of him and behind him, who guard him by Allah’s command.” [13 (Ar-Ra`d), 11] The succession of angels referred to here is clarified by a hadith, narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, which tells us that the angels of the day and the angels of the night succeed one another, meaning that they perform their duty in shifts. At the time of the dawn (Fajr) and `Asr prayers, both the angels of the night and the angels of the day are present. Then, the angels of the night ascend, and their Lord asks them, although He is the All-Knowing, “How did you leave my servants?” They say, “We came to them while they were praying, and we left them while they were praying.” The Fajr prayer, then, is of special blessing, and we should take great care to perform it on time, and to recite long portions of the Qur’an, for “indeed, the recitation of Fajr is witnessed.” [17 (Al-Israa), 78] i.e. it is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day. The protecting angels only leave us when we answer the call of nature and when we are have conjugal relations, and so we should recite the appropriate supplications from the sunnah prior to performing these acts. Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or pictures (of animate beings). (Related by Bukhari and Muslim)
The angel of death is entrusted with taking the souls of all creatures in the universe. [32 (Al-Sajdah), 11] There are angels who torture wrongdoers at the time of death. “If only you could see, when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieve, [the angels are] beating their faces and their backs.” [8 (Al-Anfaal), 50] Munkar and Nakeer are the two angels in charge of questioning people in their graves about their faith. Israfil will blow the Horn to mark the end of this world. There are angels who watch over Heaven and Hell. The custodian of heaven is named Ridwaan, while Maalik is the custodian of Hell. Hell has nineteen angels who watch over it. [74 (Al-Muddath-thir), 30] There are angels who welcome the believers into heaven, greeting them with peace. [13 (Ar-Ra`d), 23-24] Eight angels will carry the `Arsh, which is Allah’s greatest creation, on the Day of Judgement. [40 (Al-Haaqqah), 7]
ANGELS ENCOURAGE THE BELIEVERS TO WORSHIP AND OBEY ALLAH
The Angels in still in the believers a love of the remembrance of Allah, and endearment to the Qur’an. They encourage believers to seek knowledge and observe good conduct. They attend a believers prayers and his recitation of the Qur’an.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “The prayer offered in congregation is twenty five times more superior (in reward) to the prayer offered alone in one’s house or in a market, because if one performs ablution and does it perfectly, and then proceeds to the mosque with the sole intention of offering the prayer, then for each step which he takes towards the mosque, Allah upgrades him a degree in reward and crosses out one sin till he enters the mosque. When he enters the mosque he is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and the angels keep on asking Allah’s Forgiveness for him and they keep on saying “O Allah! be merciful to him, O Allah! Forgive him, as long as he keeps on sitting at his praying place and does not pass wind”. (Reported by Muslim)
The Prophet said: “Allah has mobile squads of angels who go about on the roads seeking those who remember Allah. When they find people doing so, they call to one another and say: “Here is what you are looking for”; and they surround the servants with their wings till the space between them and the sky of the world is fully covered. Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, asks the angels (although He is the best informed about everything): “What are My servants saying?”. They say: “They are glorifying You (subhaana Allah), uttering Your greatness (Allahu Akbar) and praising You (Al-hamdu-illah)”. He asks: “Have they seen Me?” When the angels reply “No, indeed, they have not seen You”. He asks: “How would they act if they had seen Me”. Thereupon the angels reply: “If they had seen You they would have engaged more earnestly in worshipping and glorifying You and would extolled You more”. He would say: “What do they beg of Me?”. They say: “They beg of You Your paradise”. Allah says: “Have they seen My Paradise?”, They say: “No, Our Lord”. He says: “How would they act if they were to see My paradise?” The angels reply: “Had they see on it, they would have been more intensely eager for it”. The angels say: “They seek Your protection” Allah says: “Against what do they seek My protection?” The angels say: “Our Lord, from the Fire of Hell”. He says: “Have they see the Fire of Hell?”. They say: “No, had they seen it, they would have been more earnest in flying from it and fearing it”. The angels say: “They beg of You forgiveness”. He says: “I call you to witness that I hereby grant pardon to them and confer upon them what they ask for and grant them protection against what is one amongst them who does not belong to the assembly of those who are participating in the remembrance of Allah. He came in connection with his own work”. Allah says: “I also grant him pardon because he is amongst the people whose associate will not be unfortunate”. (Reported by al Bukhari)
The Angels Encourage The Seekers of Knowledge
The Messenger of Allah says: “If anyone travels on a road in quest of knowledge, the angels will lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with his occupation”. (Reported by at-Tirmidthi)
They give the believer strength to persevere in good works, especially in Jihad in the way of Allah.
Allah the Exalted, and Glorious, says: “When your Lord inspired the angels, (saying) “Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes”. (Surah Al-Anfaal, Ayat 12)
BE SHY OF ANGELS
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
“Nay! But you deny the day of recompense. But verily, over you [are appointed angels] to watch over you. Honorable, writing down [your deeds] They know all that you do.” [al infitar:82]
Disbelief in the hereafter makes it easy for a man to disobey his Creator. When man denies the day of judgement, he is also heedless of it. Allah has appointed honorable angels to record every action of man. One must always bear in mind that his or her action is being recorded. Rasulullah (saws) said that these angels do not leave a person except when he is in the toiled or he is the state of sexual impurity. He instructed the Muslims to respect them and take bath behind a curtain (according to ibn abi hatim).
According to another hadith reported by bazzar, rasulullah (saws) said “Allah forbids you to remain nude. Be shy of his angels.” This version also says that while bathing these angels stay away from a person. This hadith shows that if the record of a person put up by the angels before Allah starts with seeking forgiveness and ends with it, Allah will forgive what is in between.
THE ANGELS OF THE THRONE
39:75: “And thou (O Muhammad) seest the angels thronging round the Throne, hymning the praises of their Lord. And they are judged aright. And it is said: Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!”
69:17: “And the angels will be on the sides thereof, and eight will uphold the throne of their Lord that day, above them.”
God has created the divine Throne with light from His light. The greatness of the Throne is such that, besides it, all the seven heavens and the seven earths are like a tiny mustard-seed in the midst of a great desert. When God wanted to show the greatness of the Throne, He created an angel by the name of Harquaeel. This angel has eighteen thousand wings. Delighting in his many wings, this angel was taken by the desire to appraise the size of the divine Throne. God said to that angel: “O Harquaeel, I know that you have an ambition to see the greatness of My divine Throne, so I am granting you another eighteen thousand wings, and allowing you to fly with all your might roundabout My divine Throne.
Harquaeel deployed his wings and flew for three thousand light-years until he grew tired, even though angels do not get tired, and had to rest. Again, the divine command came, saying to him: “Harquaeel, fly on!” A second time, the angel deployed his wings and flew on for another three thousand light-years. Again, he grew tired and had to stop. A third time the command came to him to fly more. And a third time he deployed his wings. He flew on another three thousand light-years until he stopped again, dazed by the great distance which not even his wings allowed him to encompass.
Harquaeel spoke to His Lord: – “O my Lord and Creator, tell me how many times now I have circled Your Throne?” The Lord of heavens and earth and all creation answered: “O Harquaeel! you have been flying for nine thousand light-years, but you have not reached even one pillar of the base of the Throne!” Harquaeel felt shame and repented of his desire to measure the greatness of his Lord’s creation and to know the extent of His secrets. God then spoke to him and said: “O Harquaeel! if I had ordered you to fly incessantly up until the Day of resurrection, you would still not be able to reach the knowledge of the first pillar of the divine Throne. No-one can know the unknowable except by My favor and My grant.”
God has created eight angels to carry the divine Throne. These angels are immensely powerful and awesome. Each has a sevenfold aspect: one face in front, one face in back, one face on the right, one face on the left, one face facing up, one face facing down, and one face at the centerpoint or heart connecting all six faces. This face is the most radiant and powerful. It is the receptacle and source of angelic energy. These seven faces correspond to the seven heavens and the seven earths. In the court of the Almighty, these angels have been granted immense honor. They are from among the very first angels to be created. The first of the eight angels has a human form and is constantly praying on behalf of the human race, saying: “O Lord! give ample provision to mankind, and look upon them with kindness and favor.” The second angel is shaped like a lion, and his prayer is: “O Lord! give their provision to each animal from among the beasts of prey.” The third angel is shaped like an ox and he intercedes on behalf of domestic animals and the pasturing beasts. He prays that their provision never be lacking and that they might be at ease. The fourth angel has the form of an eagle and he prays for the benefit of the birds and all winged creatures. The fifth angel is shaped like the sun and his light shines upon the planet earth. He prays for the benefit of the human race, animals, and nature, so that they may enjoy the energy that he is sending. The sixth angel is shaped like a tree whose leaves represent everything which God has created. He prays for all these leaves that they flourish by receiving the nectar of God’s praise. The seventh angel has the shape of a constellation. He is the source and the center of all the others. He turns to God and receives His light. God placed the greatness of the divine Throne on the shoulders of these angels. Their heads are underneath the Throne and their feet reach below the seven earths. Although angels never tire, the burden of the Throne of the Almighty became too heavy for them. They were too weak to bear it. God then inspired them to praise Him in a certain way: “Glory to You, our Lord, and utmost praise! May Your Name be blessed, and Your Might, and Your Power! There is no god other than You.” Then the Throne grew light on their shoulders.
God has commanded the entire host of angels in the heavens to come forward daily and give their praise to the Throne-bearers. They perform their task of praise in two shifts: one group salutes them in the morning, the other in the evening. God has ordered them to ask forgiveness on behalf of mankind. Their tears are like rivers. From every drop God creates still more angels to praise Him and to ask forgiveness for human beings until the Day of Judgment. The angels of the Throne always bow their heads. They cannot raise up their eyes lest the light that comes from the Throne annihilate them. When the angel Harqaeel saw the greatness of the Throne and of its carriers, he recited:
Can any sustain the Almighty? A servant may carry body and soul. But to carry God’s Throne — Who can grasp its Reality, Its vastness? What eye sees the whole? On no other way does eye see and word comprehend, Except when God says: “Above His Throne exists Mercy without end.” Eight are its pillars, Known by non but their Lord. Muhammad stands first in order by right, Then Ridwan, Malik, Adam columned and bright! Stand arrayed in rank by his side. Over Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil, Does Abraham preside: Eight veiled in darkness, Envision the sight: How the pillars stand hid, In the might of their height.
ANGELS FIGHT ALONG WITH MUJAHIDEEN IN PALESTINE
Khurasaan Jihad Monitor (Khurasaan.com)
13 Jewish soldiers and 100s more were injured in an ‘intense battle’ with the Mujaahideen (April 9th). How did the Mujaahideen injure and kill so many Jewish soldiers? By throwing stones?…
Allaahu Akbar, walillahilhamd, Help from Allaah for our brothers and sisters in Falasteen has come; an army from the Heavens…. I recieved this information from a leader of Hamas in Junain, this news will surely heal and ease the hearts of the mu’mins. Abu al-Barra’ says:
My brothers and sisters in Islaam,
I swear with the name of Allaah, that I and my brethrens saw the Jewish soldiers running away from the battlefield like cowards, leaving the injured and their weapons behind. A few of our brothers from the Mujaahideen reported yesterday (10/4/2002) that some of the Jewish soldiers shot each other during the battle.
And more strangely, the Mujaahideen didn’t even fire a sinlge shot at the Jews, but mysteriously, the Mujaahideen heard shots being fired at the Jews (none of the Mujaahids used their weapons). And then we heard a Jewish soldier who survived the battle, running and shouting, “I saw fierce looking creatures coming towards us, to attack us.The creatures are not humans.”
The incident was reported to TV ANN. The next morning, when i woke up for fajr prayers, I saw on the TV, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi was being interviewed. Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi said: “Bismillahir Rahmaani Raheem, I swear with the name of Allaah, the Most High, that have been making duah to Allaah for His Help 12 days ago and by Allaah, Allaah’s help has indeed come. I swear with the name of Allaah, that I saw in my dream an army from the Heavens come down to Junain to help and fight side by side with the Mujaahideen. What i am saying now is the Truth, and I will be responsible for what I am saying, in front of Allaah, yawmul Qiyaamah. And I am reporting this sanely, and Allaah bears witness that what i am saying is the Truth. I also wish to add that the Mujaahideen fast the whole day during the battle. Till we meet again, in Jannah insha’Allaah.”
Translation by Abu Jihaad (JazakAllah).
Commentry (HammerStorm): There are countless examples of Allah’s Help coming down to assist the Mujahideen in battle. One of the most common statements uttered by the enemy, be he Serb, Soviet, Hindu or a Jew, is “We saw these large creatures coming towards us! Beasts! We did not know what they were!” or something similar. This is because the Angels sent by Allah usually manifest themselves to the enemy, in order to cast terror into their hearts.
It happened during the Battle of Badr, when the dejected leaders of the Quraysh returned after the defeat, they were complaining about the defeat and added: “…and we also had to deal with these strange riders of horses who rode bewteen the heavens and earth; their hooves did not touch the ground…”
It has happenned time and time again; and Allah has promised His Help during such events.
In recent times:
During the Soviet conflict: Often the Mujahideen would defeat Soviet forces, and then ask them in astonishment “How is is that you were captured by us? You have stronger weapons and tanks, how were you defeated?” (i.e. the victor was asking the loser how he, the loser, lost) The Soviets would reply saying that “Your people were on these horses, and everytime we shot at them, they would move very quickly and avoid our bullets, so this is how we lost.” (from Shaykh Abdullah Azzam(ra))
(Mujahideen had no clue what they were talking about)
There was were incidents in Bosnia. One for example, where a small group of brothers were defending an outpost when they noticed a column of the Serbian army advancing upon their position. The mujahideen were very small in number and very heavily out-gunned and outnumbered. They considered two options: calling for back-up and waiting, or confronting the much larger Serbian force. They decided on the latter option and ran towards the Serbians, yelling Allahu Akbar and aiming their weapons. The Serbians stopped, bewildered at first and then many of them started to turn back and run away in fear. The Mujahideen kept pursuing them and caught and bound many of them. They asked the Serbs what had made them turn around and run even though they were the larger force, and the Serbs asked “Where are those huge black beasts that were running alongside you? We saw them and we did not know what they were so we ran…” (‘Under the Shades of Swords’)
(Mujahideen had no clue what they were talking about)
In Sheeshaan, in the current 1999-present conflict, there was one event where the Mujahideen were defending this town, which was well known for being home to a large Islamic educational center. Behind the town was a mountain. The Russians came in order to lay siege to the town; they came with a very heavy force to initiate the siege. The Mujahideen put up as valiant a defense as they could. Soon they noticed tanks being decimated and Russian soldiers being ripped apart by a hail of bullets that was coming from the direction of the mountain. The mujahideen knew that none of their forces were on the mountain. The Russians retreated after being inflicted heavy losses. (Qoqaz)
In the recent fighting at Shah-e-Kot, there was an instance where the mujahideen left a mountain post which had a gun emplacement. After they were quite some distance from the post, they heard heavy firing coming from the guns, directed at American and allied forces below. One of the mujahideen was wondering what was going on, as he knew that no one had stayed behind at that post, so one of the veteran mujahideen smiled and said “Do you think we are the only ones fighting against them here? There are ‘others’ besides us.” (Khurasaan)
The Help of Allah comes down at times like these, to aid the Mujahideen.
In Sheeshaan, so many incidents like these, whereby the Angels came down to help and the Russians aw them and ran away, and many went psychologically mad (Qoqaz). Something the Russians will never tell you is that many of Israel’s psychological treatment medical facilities are filled with Russian soldier who have gone mad from the war in Sheeshaan, they keep mittering about strange beings and beasts and ghosts seen during wartime. In general, the Kuffar dismiss such ravings as shell-shock, but the Yahuud, and those kuffar who have been on the battlefield know full well that the mujahideen are aided by a supernatural force (God’s angels) but they will never admit it because they are stubborn in their Kufr.
One thing I noticed, when the kuffar speak, and when they say this, you can be certain that they have witnessed the Angels coming down in battle: When Gen. Tommy Franks, or when Russian generals, or when IDF commanders say things like: “The fighting was very intense…very pitched battles….lethal combat….hardcore fighters…” when they say these things I know in their minds they are recalling the horror of seeing their own troops running away from or being cut down by unearthly beasts and supernatural beings, for which they will neither admit to nor have any explanation for. When they say such statements, and you can see the sweat on their foreheads as large as marbles, and they have difficulty explaining heavy losses agains a bunch of lightly armed Mujahideen….then you should know that they are referring to seeing such horrors of battle.
The Prophet (saws) as well as the Muslims set their arms aside after their return from the battle of the Trench. An account of what happened thereafter, as related by the traditions, is that Gabriel came to the Prophet (saws) and asked, “O Prophet of God, have you put aside your arms?” When the Prophet (saws) replied that he had, Gabriel said, “By Allah, the angels have not yet laid down their arms. Allah commands you”, continued Gabriel, “to march towards Banu Quraydha, and we will precede you to shake their fortresess and cast terror into their hearts.”
The IDF had a tough time in Lebnaan. But look what the one of the Yahuudi soldiers said, concerning the Battle of Jenin, that Lebanon was “child’s play compared to Jenin”. (BBC)
THE ANGELS AND THEIR ATTRIBUTES
Shaikh Saalih bin Fawzaan Al-Fawzaan
Taken from the introduction to his booklet: “Al-Eemaan bil-Malaa’ikah”
All praise is for Allaah, Lord of all that exists, and may the peace and blessings be upon our prophet, Muhammad, as well as upon his family and all of his Companions. To proceed:
Indeed, Eemaan (Faith) is a great matter, since it is the foundation upon which success in this life and the next rests on. So it is one of the most important levels of the Religion, for when the angel, Jibreel, came to the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in the presence of his Companions, he asked him about Islaam, Eemaan, and Ihsaan, saying: “O Muhammad! Inform me about Islaam.” The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied: “Islaam is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah; to establish the prayer; to give the Zakaat; to fast in Ramadaan; and to perform the Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) if you are able to.” So he explained Islaam as being the implementation of these five pillars: (!) The two testimonies of Faith; (2) Establishing the Prayer; (3) Giving the Zakaat; (4) Fasting in Ramadaan; (5) Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. So the angel Jibreel told him: “You have spoken the truth. Now inform me about Eemaan.” The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is to believe in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in Al-Qadar – the good of it and the bad of it.” So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained that Eemaan was to believe in these six things: Belief in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and Al-Qadar – the good of it and the bad of it.
Jibreel continued: “Inform me about Ihsaan.” So the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded: “Ihsaan is to worship Allaah as if you see Him. But if you don’t see Him, then verily, He sees you.” So he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) clarified that Ihsaan consists of one pillar, which is to worship Allaah as if you see Him. But if you don’t see Him, then verily, He sees you.
These are the three levels of the Religion: Islaam, then Eemaan, then Ihsaan. Each one of these levels has its own set of pillars.
A pillar is the part upon which something stands on. So the pillar of a house refers to the part upon which that house is established. So Eemaan (Faith) rests upon six of these pillars. If one of these pillars is missing, a person is no longer a believer, possessing Faith, since he lacks one of the pillars of Eemaan.
Therefore, Eemaan cannot be established except upon its pillars, just like a building cannot be established except upon its pillars. These six pillars (of Eemaan) are mentioned in the noble Qur’aan. Sometimes they are mentioned altogether and other times they are mentioned separately, as Allaah says: “But rather piety (birr) is he who believes in Allaah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the Prophets.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 177] Allaah mentions five of the pillars of Eemaan in this ayah.
And He says: “The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what was revealed to him from his Lord and (so do) the believers – all of them believe in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. We do not differentiate between any of His Messengers.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 285]
He mentions four of these pillars here. And sometimes, He just mentions two of these pillars: Belief in Allaah and the Last Day, as He says: “Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians – whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 62]
He mentions two pillars in this ayah: Belief in Allaah and the last Day.
As for belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree), then that is mentioned in His statement: “Verily, We created everything with Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree).” [Surah Al-Qamar: 49]
And in His saying: “He has created everything, and assigned its Decree to it.” [Surah Al-Furqaan: 2]
The Meaning of Belief in the Angels:
The subject, which we are focusing on now, is the Belief in the Angels, which is one of the pillars of Eemaan. What Belief in the Angels entails is: Believing in their existence and believing in the duties that they carry out in the universe.
So the angels are one of Allaah’s creations, which He created for the purpose of worshipping Him and carrying out His orders in the universe. Allaah sends His angels in order to execute His Commands. So they are a creation from the world of the Unseen. We don’t see them, yet we believe in them with a firm resolution that doubt cannot penetrate. This is since Allaah has informed us about them, and likewise, His Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has informed us about them in such a definitive manner that causes us to believe in them.
What were the Angels created From?
The Angels were created from light, as is reported in a hadeeth that Allaah created the angels from light and He created the devils from fire and He created the humans from dirt. So the angels were created from light.
The Attributes of the Angels:
The angels are one of Allaah’s creations from the world of the Unseen. No one knows how many in number they are, their manner of being or their natures except for Allaah.
From their Attributes:
First: They are the greatest of Allaah’s armies. Allaah says: “And to Allaah belongs the armies of the heavens and the earth.” [Surah Al-Fat’h: 4] And whilst talking about the guardians of the Hellfire, He mentioned: “Over it are nineteen (angels).” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 30] And He says: “And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire, and We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]
So this means that there are nineteen angels guarding the Hellfire – they maintain it, guard it, kindle it and are entrusted with its affairs.
When one of the disbelievers heard of the number of angels that are guarding the Hellfire, he said, as if to mock their amount: “I will suffice you over them” – meaning if he enters the Hellfire, he will confront them, overpower them and get out of the Hellfire. He said this in order to mock and ridicule, so Allaah refuted them by saying: “And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31] This means they will not be from among the humans.
So if this person claims that he is strong and that he is able to fight against a number of humans, he will not be able to fight against even one of the angels. Allaah says: “And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Hellfire.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31] This means: “We did not make them humans or jinn.” “And We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve, in order that the people of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in Faith, and so that no doubts may be left for the people of the Scripture and the believers, and so that those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) and the disbelievers may say: ‘What did Allaah intend by this example.’” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]
So they lie and seek to belittle this number. How can this great Hellfire, which contains all of these creatures, only be maintained by nineteen? Allaah says: “And We have not made their number (i.e. 19) except as a trial for those who disbelieve.” [Surah Al-Mudaththir: 31]
So no one knows the greatness of the angels and no one knows what Allaah has with Him from armies in the heavens and the earth except for Allaah. Neither these disbelievers nor anyone else knows.
Second: The angels have great physical composure, as Allaah mentioned this about them in His saying: “All praise is for Allaah, the Originator of the heavens and the earth – who made the angels messengers with wings – two or three or four.” [Surah Faatir: 1]
This means that there are some angels that have two wings, some that have three and some that have four. And there are some angels that have more wings than that, for the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw the angel Jibreel and he had 600 wings – each wing blocking the horizon. This is just one of the many angels that exist. Allaah described him as being mighty in power, as He says: “He (Muhammad) has been taught (this Qur’aan) by one mighty in power.” [Surah An-Najm: 5] He is referring to Jibreel. “Free from any defect, then he rose (and became stable).” [Surah An-Najm: 6] This means that he possesses strength and a beautiful appearance.
Third: The angels possess great power, by Allaah’s permission. What indicates their great strength is that if Allaah commands just one of them, then indeed he is able to let out an awful cry in the world, thus destroying the creation, as occurred with the people of Thamood, who were seized by a loud scream. Jibreel unleashed one powerful scream upon them: “Verily, We sent against them a single sayhah (awful cry), and they became like the dry straw of fences.” [Surah Al-Qamar: 31]
So their hearts ceased to function within their bodies and as a result they died and became like dry straw. It was from the custom of the Arabs that when they would settle in a place, they would gather sticks of wood and make fences to surround their sheep and cattle. These fences would eventually dry up and become pieces of straw. So in spite of Thamood’s power and might, they became like dried-up straws as a result of one loud cry from one of the angels.
Allaah also commanded Jibreel to raise up the towns of the people of Loot – and they were seven cities in which could be found humans, buildings, goods and animals. He carried them on one side of his wing and raised these cities until the (other) angels heard the barking of dogs and the crowing of roosters. Then he overturned them and Allaah caused the earth to swallow them up.
This is an example of the mighty power of the angels.
There is also the angel Israafeel, the angel that is entrusted with blowing the Trumpet. What is meant by the Trumpet is a horn that will gather the souls of the son of Aadam (i.e. humans), from the first of them to the last of them. Then Israafeel will blow one time on the Trumpet, and the souls will fly about due to this blow of the horn, going back to their bodies. This is known as the Blow of Resurrection (Nafkhat-ul-Ba’ath). Prior to this, he will strike the Blow of Destruction (Nafkhat-us-Sa’aq), so everyone that is in the heavens and in the earth will die except for he whom Allaah wills. Allaah says: “And the trumpet will be blown and all who are in the heavens and in the earth will swoon away except for he whom Allaah wills.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 68]
Swooning away means to die. Then he will blow on the Trumpet again, which is known as the Blow of Resurrection, “and behold, they will be standing, looking.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 68]
This is just one of Allaah’s angels, and this is just one of his duties, which Allaah has ordered him to carry out. So therefore, the angels are one of Allaah’s great creations. He created them so that they may worship Him and carry out His commands. Allaah says: “Rather, they are honorable slaves. They speak not until He has spoken, and they act on His Command. He knows what is before them and what is after them. and they cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear of Him.” [Surah Al-Anbiyaa: 26-28]
This is a description of the angels.
The duties and tasks of the angels:
The angels have duties. Each of them has a duty that he is entrusted with, and he does not delay in carrying it out. Rather, he executes it acting on Allaah’s order and He doesn’t disobey Him. Allaah says: “(Hell) Over which are angels stern and severe who do not disobey the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Surah At-Tahreem: 6]
Some of their Duties:
First: Those who take charge of the Hellfire. They are known as the Guardians of Hell, meaning, those entrusted with the Hellfire and with tormenting its inhabitants.
Second: Among them are angels that are entrusted with carrying the Throne of Allaah, as He says: “Those who carry the Throne (of Allaah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord and believe in Him. And they ask forgiveness for those who believe, (saying): ‘Our Lord! You encompass all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent.’” [Surah Ghaafir: 7]
And Allaah says: “And bearing the Throne of your Lord on that Day will be eight (angels).” [Surah Al-Haaqah: 17]
The Number of Angels who will Bear the Throne:
The angels that will carry the Throne are four. Then on the Day of Judgement their number will increase to eight. The Throne of Allaah is the greatest of His creations, which will be carried on the Day of Judgement by eight angels. This shows that they are indeed mighty, since they will carry this magnificent Throne, which is the greatest and mightiest of Allaah’s creations. This indicates their power and their tremendous composures.
Third: Among them are those angels entrusted with revelation. Allaah says: “He sends down the angels with the Rooh (spirit/revelation) from His Command to whomever He wills from His servants, (saying): ‘Warn mankind that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Me, so be dutiful to Me.’” [Surah An-Nahl: 2]
The word Rooh (spirit) here means revelation. It is called Rooh because it is the revelation that brings life to the hearts, just as the rain brings life to the earth. In the same sense, it is the created Rooh (spirit) that brings life to the bodies of animals.
Rooh can also stand for the Qur’aan, as Allaah says: “And thus We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) a Rooh (i.e. Qur’aan) from Our Command.” [Surah Ash-Shooraa: 52]
Rooh here stands for the Qur’aan, since it is that which brings life to the hearts of the believers, just as the earth is brought to life by rain. Such is the case with the hearts of the believers – they are brought to life by way of the Qur’aan.
The word Rooh is also used to refer to Jibreel, who is the greatest, most honorable and virtuous of all the angels. He is the one who brought the Qur’aan down from Allaah to Muhammad, as Allaah says: “The trustworthy spirit (Jibreel) brought it (i.e. the Qur’aan) down – to your heart (O Muhammad) in order that you may be from the warners – in a plain Arabic language.” [Surah Ash-Shu’araa: 193-195]
So Jibreel brought the Qur’aan down to the heart of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and he in turn conveyed it to his ummah. In another ayah, Allaah says: “Say: The holy spirit (Jibreel) brought it down from your Lord.” [Surah An-Nahl: 102] This is referring to the angel Jibreel – he is the holy spirit.
The Attributes of Jibreel:
Allaah has described Jibreel with great characteristics, as He says: “So verily, I swear by the planets that recede (disappear during the day and appear at night). And by the planets that move swiftly and hide themselves. And by the night as it departs. And by the dawn as it brightens. Verily, this is the Word (brought by) an honorable messenger (i.e. angel) – Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne. Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens).” [Surah At-Takweer: 15-21]
The First Attribute: Power: Allaah says: “Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne.” [Surah At-Takweer: 20] The “Lord of the Throne” here refers to Allaah.
The Second Attribute: Position: Allaah says: “Possessing power and a high rank with the Lord of the Throne.” [Surah At-Takweer: 20] This means that he possesses a high position in the sight of Allaah, which no one else has reached.
The Third Attribute: Obedience: All of the angels obey Jibreel by the Permission of Allaah.
The Fourth Attribute: Trustworthiness: This refers to the revelation, such that he doesn’t make additions or subtractions to it, but rather, He conveys it just the way that Allaah has revealed it to him.
The Prophet Muhammad’s Seeing Jibreel:
Allaah says: “And your companion is not insane.” [Surah At-Takweer: 22] This is what the disbelievers claimed about him (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). “And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) in the clear horizon).” [Surah At-Takweer: 23] Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw Jibreel on the horizon twice.
The First Time: This was in the valley of Makkah. The Prophet Muhammad (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) lifted his head and saw him in the sky and he had 600 wings. Each one of his wings blocked the horizon.
The Second Time: Allaah says: “And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) at a second descent – near the lote-tree of the utmost boundary.” [Surah An-Najm: 13-14] This occurred during the night in which the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ascended to the heaven and saw him in his natural state.
These are the attributes of Jibreel. Allaah says: “Verily, this is the Word (brought by) an honorable messenger (i.e. angel).” [Surah At-Takweer: 19] This means: Even though the Qur’aan is the Speech of Allaah, it is ascribed to Jibreel here, since he is the one who conveyed it to Muhammad. So he is conveying from Allaah, for he dictated it to our messenger, Muhammad, conveying it from Allaah. However, it is the Speech of Allaah. Speech is only attributed to the one who states it originally, not to the one who says it conveying it from someone else. However, the Speech of Allaah has been attributed to Jibreel here from the perspective of his conveying it.
Fourth: There are angels entrusted with other duties: 1. Mikaa’eel: He is responsible for the raindrops that fall down from the sky. He moves them around and causes the rain to descend wherever Allaah commands. 2. Israafeel is responsible for blowing on the Trumpet. This will be at the time when Allaah wants to resurrect the creatures from their graves. The bodies will be brought forth from the graves and reassembled. Then the only thing remaining (to be integrated) will be the soul. It is at this point that Israafeel will blow on this horn, due to Allaah’s Command, and the souls will float to their respective bodies, which had come out and risen from their graves. Then they will walk to where Allaah orders them to go. Allaah says: “The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as if they were racing to a goal.” [Surah Al-Ma’aarij: 43] And Allaah says: “They will come forth with humbled eyes from (their) graves as if they were locusts spread about. Hastening towards the caller, the disbelievers will say: ‘This is a hard day.’” [Surah Al-Qamar: 7-8]
These are the three angles that are responsible for life. Jibreel is responsible for bringing the revelation, which brings life into the hearts. And Mikaa’eel is responsible for the raindrops, which bring life to the earth after its death. Israafeel is responsible for blowing on the trumpet, which will bring life to the bodies (on the Day of Resurrection). This is why when the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would get up for prayer at night, after saying the opening Takbeer, he (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would say in his opening supplication: “O Allaah! Lord of Jibreel, Mikaa’eel and Israafeel, Originator of the heavens and the earth…”
These are the greatest angels due to the magnitude of their duties.
Fifth: There are also angels that are put in charge of the fetuses in the mothers’ wombs. This has been reported in the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood (radyAllaahu ‘anhu), in which he said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) narrated to us – and he is the truthful one who is believed – saying: ‘Verily the creation of each of one of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period, then a morsel of flesh for a like period. Then the angel is sent to him and commanded with four matters – to write down his means of livelihood, his life span, his actions, and whether he will be happy or unhappy.’” Allaah sends this angel to him to carry out this great important task.
Sixth: There are angels that are in charge of taking the souls when their prescribed time is over. There is the Angel of Death (Malak-ul-Mawt) about whom Allaah says: “Say: ‘The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls.’” [Surah As-Sajdah: 11]
The Angel of Death has assistants that will aid him, as Allaah says: “Until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (i.e. the Angel of Death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to Allaah, their Master, the Just Lord.” [Surah Al-An’aam: 61-62] So taking the soul at the time of death is ascribed to the angels, to the Angel of Death and also to Allaah. “It is Allaah who takes away the souls at the time of their death.” [Surah Az-Zumar: 42] Death is ascribed to Allaah here because He is the One who orders it to occur. It is ascribed to the angels because they are the ones who physically carry that out by gathering the soul and leading it out of the human’s body until it reaches his throat. And it is also ascribed to the Angel of Death – “Say: ‘The Angel of Death, who is set over you, will take your souls’” – because he is the one in charge of seizing the souls after they have been rounded up in the last stage (of death).
Seventh: There are also angels in charge of recording the deeds of the son of Aadam (i.e. humans), as occurs in the hadeeth: “You are constantly being frequented (in successive shifts) by angels at night and angels during the day.” Allaah says: “And verily, there are guardians (i.e. angels recording your deeds) over you – Honorable, recording (your deeds). They know all that you do.” [Surah Al-Infitaar: 10-12]
Every human being has two angels with him:
Every human amongst us has two angels that are responsible over him – an angel on his right side recording his good deeds and another on his left side recording his bad deeds. Allaah says: “When the two receivers receive (i.e. record his deeds) from his right side and his left side, sitting. Not a word does he utter, except that there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” [Surah Qaaf: 17-18]
These guardian angels accompany a human being whether he is on a journey or sitting at home – they are next to him at all times under all conditions – during his prayer, while he is prostrating, etc. – they accompany him and do not leave him alone except under specific circumstances, such as when the person is relieving himself (in the bathroom). So these angels record his statements and his actions.
The angels record People’s Intentions and Objectives:
It has been related that the angels also record a person’s intentions and inner objectives, which are located in the heart. Whatever he intends to do, they record it. This is why a person is rewarded for having good intention, since it is an action of the heart, while he is punished for evil intentions, since the intention is an action of the heart.
These angels are put in charge of recording a person’s deeds from the time that he reaches the age of puberty – the age of discernment – to the time when Allaah takes his soul in death. And they record against him everything that he does in his life – whether that is in the form of intentions, actions, statements, or other than that.
The Status of the Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers amidst the Other Prayers:
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “You are constantly being frequented (in successive shifts) by angels at night and angels during the day. And they gather together during the ‘Asr Prayer and during the Fajr Prayer.” This is why these two prayers are the greatest of all prayers. Allaah says: “Verily, the recitation of the Qur’aan in the early dawn (i.e. Fajr Prayer) is witnessed (by the angels).” [Surah Al-Israa: 78] He is referring here to the Fajr Prayer, which the angels of the night and the angels of the day attend. They gather together to witness the Fajr prayer along with the Muslims and listen to the Qur’aan that is recited in prayer. They also gather together during the ‘Asr Prayer, where Allaah asks them, even though He is most knowledgeable of the answer: “In what state did you leave My servants?” The angels reply, saying: “We came to them while they were praying and we left them while they were praying.” This means that they descended while we were praying ‘Asr and they attended the prayer along with us. And then they rose back up (to the heavens) while we were praying Fajr. Due to this, it has been determined that the ‘Asr Prayer is the “Middle Prayer” that Allaah has encouraged us about, where He says: “Guard strictly the (five daily) prayers, especially the middle prayer (i.e. ‘Asr).” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 238] He means by this the ‘Asr prayer since that is the prayer that the (guardian) angels of the night and the angels of the day attend.
A Call to those who fall short:
So where are those who hold back from attending the Fajr Prayer, sleeping (instead) in their beds and not witnessing this great event every night with the angels of the Most Merciful? This is such that these angels inform about these attendees (of the Fajr Prayer) while in the most highest of gatherings, saying: “We came to them while they were praying and we left them while they were praying.”
What benefit has this person who refrains from going to the Fajr Prayer and instead prefers sleep gained from his actions? And what benefit has this person who misses out on attending the ‘Asr Prayer, due to laziness, preferring sleep or some other deed, gained from his actions?
It is stated in the hadeeth that: “Whoever misses the ‘Asr Prayer, it is as if he lost his family and wealth.” And in another hadeeth it states: “…then he has nullified his actions.” This means that he has taken the prayer out of its proper time. So if he takes it out of its proper time, he has missed it.
Eight: There are also angels that are responsible for protecting humans from perils. A human being is prone to walk into dangers everyday. However, Allaah entrusts angels that guard and protect him from these dangers during his lifetime, which Allaah has ordained for him. This earth, which a human being walks upon everyday, contains many dangers. There are wild beasts, snakes, scorpions, not to mention transgressors from among humans – enemies and oppressors. However, Allaah has placed these angels around the human being. Allaah says: “He has those (angels) who constantly surround him – from before him and behind him, protecting him by the Command of Allaah.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11] Therefore, so long as Allaah has decreed that this individual will be safe from harms, these angels will protect and guard him, and no human will be able to harm him. But if Allaah desires to bring an end to his appointed time, He removes them from him – one from before him and one from behind him. “Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they (first) change the condition of themselves. And when Allaah desires a bad end for a people, there is no turning it back.” [Surah Ar-Ra’ad: 11] So if Allaah’s Divine Pre-Decree comes to pass and He desires to put an end to this person, the angels that constantly surround him withdraw themselves from him because they do not refrain from carrying out Allaah’s Command. These are the angels that constantly surround a person.
Ninth: There are also angels that have responsibilities in this universe that only Allaah has knowledge of. There are angels that are put in charge of the seas and angels put in charge of the days. There are angels responsible for the winds and angels put in charge of carrying out many other duties.
All of the events that occur in the universe and which constantly transpire within it on a daily basis are only by Allaah’s decreeing that. As for the angels, they carry out whatever tasks Allaah orders them to execute.