Role of Angels in Islam


With the help mercy and blessings of Allah, we will try to describe the role of angels in Islam.

Before you make any conclusion after reading this post, make sure you have the concrete knowledge about the verses that are mentioned here.

The various groups of angels and their role : 

Some are assigned to the Throne

Allah says,

وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَىٰ أَرْجَائِهَا ۚ وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ

“And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them.”
Al-Haqqah 69:17

Some are Keepers of Paradise

Allah says,

وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا ۖ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.”
Az-Zumar 39:73

Some of them are Keepers of Hell

Allah says,

◊لَوَّاحَةٌ لِلْبَشَرِ

◊عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً ۙ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا

“Burning and blackening the skins! Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell). And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire. And We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers, in order that the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) may arrive at a certainty [that this Qur’an is the truth as it agrees with their Books regarding the number which is written in the Tauraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] and the believers may increase in Faith (as this Qur’an is the truth).”
Al-Muddaththir 74:29-31

Some are assigned to record the actions of Allah’s slaves.

Allah says,

مَا يَلْفِظُ مِنْ قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

“Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).”
Qaaf 50:18

Ibn Katheer recorded in his tafseer on the authority of Mujahid that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Honor the noble Scribes who do not leave you except when you are in two situations:

  1. When you are cohabiting with your spouses and when you are answering the call of nature.
  2. When anyone answers the call of nature, let him cover himself with a wall or with his camel, otherwise his brother should cover him.”

Mujahid also narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said;

“Allah prohibits you from staying naked. So you should be ashamed in front of Allah and in the presence of the noble Scribes who are with you and do not leave you except in three situations: when you are cohabiting with your spouses, when you are answering the call of nature and when you are bathing. When anyone of you bathes, let him cover himself with a cloth, a wall or his camel.”

The meaning of ‘honoring the angels’ is to be ashamed in their presence by not letting them record evil deeds since they are physiologically and morally noble.

It is authentically reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “(he angels will not enter a house in which there is an image or a dog.”

Muslim also recorded in his collection that the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “(he angels shall not be in the company in which there is a dog or bell.”

Some Angels are dwellers of the Heavens

They fill it with unceasing acts of worship day and night, morning and evening.

Allah says,

 

يُسَبِّحُونَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لَا يَفْتُرُونَ

“They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so).”

Al-Anbiya 21:20

Among them are those who are permanently in the state of prostrating to Allah and those who are permanently in the state of bowing.

Among them are those who visit the Frequented House in groups daily, each group consists of seventy thousand angels who never return there.

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

“The Frequented House is in the Seventh Heaven. Each day, seventy thousand angels enter it and they shall never return until the Hour is established.”

Some witness the funerals of the martyrs and righteous people

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “(his is a man for whom the throne is shaken and the doors of the heavens are opened and whose funeral prayer is witnessed by seventy thousand angels.”

There are some who are assigned to take the souls

Allah says,

وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ ۖ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُمْ حَفَظَةً حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ

“He is the Irresistible, (Supreme) over His slaves, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.”

Al-An’am 6:61

Some are assigned to guard humans

Allah says,

لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِهِ مِنْ وَالٍ

“For him (each person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.”
Ar-Ra’d 13:11

‘Ikrimah narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that he commented on the phrase, ‘(hey guard him by the Command of Allah’: “(he angels guard him from his front and from his back, but whenever Allah’s decree comes, they leave him alone.”

Mujahid said, “Every human has an angel who protects him from the jinn, fellow humans, vermin and reptiles when he is asleep or awake. Nothing shall come to him except that the angel commands that thing to go back.

The only exception is whatever Allah has permitted to affect him.”

Abu Usamah said, “Every human being has an angel who defends him until he surrenders him to that which has been decreed on him.” Abu Mijlaz said,

“A man came to ‘Ali and told him that some rebels wanted to kill him.

‘Ali replied:

“Indeed, with every man are two angels who guard him against the occurrence of what is pre-decreed for him; and whenever what is decreed for him comes, they would leave him. the time of one’s death is a fortified fortress.”

Some of them look for gatherings of remembrance of Allah on the earth

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, “Come to the object of your pursuit.’ “He added, “then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world.” He added. “(after those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels) though He knows better than them: ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘they say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdu-lillah, Allah then says ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No’ By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, How would it have been if they saw Me? The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘they ask You for Paradise.’ Allah says (to the angels), ‘Did they see it? The angels say, ‘No’ By Allah, O Lord! they did not see it.’ Allah says, How would it have been if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek it with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’ Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.’ Allah says, How would it have been if they saw it? The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.”‘ Allah’s Apostle added, “One of the angels would say, ‘(here was so and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.’ Allah would say, ‘These are those people whose companions will not be reduced to misery” (i.e. he will be included amongst those who were rewarded).

Some of them are responsible for conveying greetings to the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) from his Ummah

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Allah has angels who travel over the earth and bring me greetings from my Ummah.”

Some are envoys between Allah and His Messengers

The leader of this group of angels is Jibreel (Gabriel) peace be upon him.

Allah says,

◊وَإِنَّهُ لَتَنْزِيلُ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين 

◊نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ

عَلَىٰ قَلْبِكَ لِتَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُنْذِرِينَ

“And truly, this (the Qur’an) is a revelation from the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists), which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibreel (Gabriel)) has brought down Upon your heart [O Muhammad (peace be upon him)] that you may be (one) of the warners.”
Ash-Shu’ara 26:192-194

 

A group from among them was assigned to driving winds, clouds and storm.

Allah says about them, 

 لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ

“They disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.”
At-Tahreem 66:6
Note: We also believe in angels whose names have been specifically mentioned by Allah and His Messenger, such as Jibreel (Gabriel), Mika’il (Michael), Malik – the Keeper of Hell and Israafil – the angel responsible for blowing the trumpet mentioned in authentic Hadiths.  

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