Angels

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Muslims believe that angels, or malaikah, were created before humans with the purpose of following the orders of Allah (God) and communicating with humans.

The nature and significance of angels

Muslims believe that angels, like all other creatures, were created by God. In Islamic belief, angels communicate messages from Allah to people via the prophets.

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All praise 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 over all things competent.Surah 35:1

According to Islamic belief, the angels constantly praise God: They exalt him night and day and do not slacken (Surah 21:20)

The role of angels

The Qur’an (Surah 74:31) tells Muslims that God appointed angels to:

  • convince the people who follow the teachings of the Qur’an, known as the ‘People of the Book’, that their faith is true
  • increase believers’ faith and get rid of their doubts

In Islam, there are some angels who have specific roles, including as guardian angels. Generally, it is believed that angels have the following characteristics:

  • they are part of God’s creation – they had a beginning and they will exist until the end of time
  • they are made of light and have wings
  • they are pure and always obey and serve Allah
  • they have no free will, or free will that is very restricted, as they must serve God faithfully as his messenger
  • they can appear in human form and watch over human beings
  • they record everything a person does, and this information will be used on the Day of Judgement
  • they welcome Muslims into Paradise and also supervise the pits of Hell

Angel Jibril

In Islam, the Angel Jibril is the chief link between God and humans. He is the bringer of good news and is mentioned in both the Qur’an and the Hadith. Jibril revealed Allah’s words in the form of the Qur’an to Muhammad on the Night of Power.

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Say, [O Muhammad], ‘The Pure Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and good tidings to the Muslims.’Surah 16:102

Because of this, Jibril is also known as the Angel of Revelation, as he played a vital role in communicating the principles of Islam to humanity.

Jibril is known as the Angel Gabriel in Christian scripture. He appeared to Maryam (who is known as Mary in Christianity) to tell her she was pregnant with Isa (known as Jesus in Christianity). Maryam is held to be the most respected woman in the Qur’an. Isa was one of Islam’s great prophets.

According to Islamic belief, Jibril knows the beauty of Paradise but also how hard it is to get there. He has seen Hell and knows that no one would want to be sent there. In the Qur’an, Allah makes it clear that anyone who opposes Jibril or the other angels will become the enemy of Allah (Surah 2:97–8).

Angel Mika’il and other angels

The Angel Mika’il, known as the Angel Michael in Judaism and Christianity, is a friend to humanity. He is known as the giver of rain (to water the land) and food for people. He is believed to guard places of worship and reward people’s good deeds. As the Angel of Mercy, he asks Allah to forgive people’s sins. Muslims believe that both the Angel Jibril and the Angel Mika’il will be present on the Day of Judgement.

There are other angels in Islam, such as Izrail, the Angel of Death, who takes the souls from bodies when people die. It is believed that the Angel Israfil will blow a trumpet to announce the Day of Judgement.

Question

In Islam, which angel is believed to be the chief communicator between God and human beings?

The Angel Jibril.