Faith in the Angels

Reviewing by : A.J. Kassem

The angels are Allah's creatures. Believing in them is one of the Pillars of Faith.  He made them from light. Although we are not able to perceive them, we should believe in them because they are mentioned in the Quran, the final revelation.

{ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ جَاعِلِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ رُسُلاً أُولِي أَجْنِحَةٍ مَّثْنَى وَثُلَاثَ وَرُبَاعَ يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ مَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ }


{All praise is due to Allah, Creator of the heavens and the earth, [who] made the angels messengers, having wings, two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Indeed, Allah is able to do all things.} (The Quran 35:1)


{يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُمْ مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ}


They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.    (The Quran 16:50)

There are two angels assigned to every human being, whether he is a believer or not. The angel that writes the good deeds is on the right side of a human, and the second angel that writes the bad deeds is on the left side of a human. This is true, even though the Creator knows everything that we do, think, and intend with our hearts.


{وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ}


{And we have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.}  (The Quran 50:16)
Allah gave the angels the ability to change their shapes and assume human form. When one of the angels came to Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, in the form of a human, he told her that she would be a mother, and she conceived Jesus, peace be upon them. Allah says:


{ وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَرْيَمَ إِذِ انْتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَانًا شَرْقِيًّا فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِنْ دُونِهِمْ حِجَابًا فَأَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهَا رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَرًا سَوِيًّا قَالَتْ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَٰنِ مِنْكَ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَقِيًّا قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِأَهَبَ لَكِ غُلَامًا زَكِيًّا}


{"And mention in the book, the story of Maryam, when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to an eastern place. She found a hiding place from them; We sent to her Our Spirit, (Gabriel) and he appeared before her as a human in all respect. She said "Verily I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you were pious. The angel said: "I am only a messenger from your God to announce to you the gift of a righteous son"} (The Quran 19:16-19)

Angels can be assigned to help good people in specific ways. It is reported in the Quran that the angels fought alongside the Muslims against the unbelievers, as it happened in the Battle of Badr.


{إِذْ تَسْتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمْ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَكُمْ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُم بِأَلْفٍ مِّنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُرْدِفِينَ}

{Remember when (all of you) you supplicated your Lord (in the battle) for assistance, so He answered you, (saying) “I am fortifying you with 1000 angels, following one another.} (The Quran 8:9)

Angels abound in good places and around gatherings where beneficial knowledge is being learned as well as on special occasions, such as the Night of Power in Ramadan.
As the angels are with believers during their lifetimes, they will also be with them at their times of deaths and on the Day of Judgment. The evildoers, however, have a different relationship with the angels. Some of them erroneously worship the angels and give them feminine names.  Others ignore their existences as a manifestation of  disbelief in the Creator. The fact is that a person who is misguided will not believe in angels, or any other aspect of the unobservable universe that contradicts his or her world view and ability to follow personal desires. At the time of death, when the angels take the souls from their bodies, they will treat the believers kindly and the disbelievers harshly and all will know the truth of the angels and the unseen.


God created this world for the sake of testing humans. The essence of this test is patience and belief in the unseen. On Judgement Day, they will be shown the record of their entire lives and be witnesses against themselves for all that they thought was secret. True faith in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the heavenly books and the apostles renders a person safe and gives them a chance to go to Paradise.  Choosing to disbelieve in these things exposes people to hellfire.  Allah gives every conscious human a choice of whether or not to believe of their own free will. The Quran is a guide to the unseen, even though disbelievers demand to see the unseen when they argue, even though if they could observe everything, they would not be in any need of revelation for guidance.  The basic principle is that human beings do not see angels, but angels can be seen in rare cases when they reveal themselves either in human form or in their true forms.  

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