Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Angels in Islam

I have always loved stories about angels, they're always described as glorious, majestic and all kinds of perfection. I am far from pious, it just happens that I have a huge interest in reading about all the different kinds of creatures that Allah creates. So here goes, some facts about the angels in Islam.

Like humans, the number of angels are uncountable but as Muslims we need to know only ten. Some of the angels in Islam are mentioned not just in the Quran, but in other holy books as well. Don't you think it's interesting that these angels are regarded so highly by various religions that their names are mentioned in scriptures that exist in different centuries and different parts of the world? In Islam, angels are believed to be molded from light, Iblis (satan) from fire and human from earth.

Jibreel / Gabriel
The Archangel. He is the chief of all angels, the angel of revelation. Malaikat yang menyampaikan wahyu. Before Heaven and Hell were created, Allah created Jibreel (hadith Bukhari). When Allah created Heaven, He asked Jibreel to go and take a look at it. So he went and looked at the Paradise and at all that Allah had prepared for its inhabitants. Then he said "O My Lord! By Your Honour, no one who hears about this place would stay away from it." Then Allah surrounded the Paradise by difficulties and hardships and asked Jibreel to go and take another look. Jibreel went again and after looking at it he came back and said "O My Lord! By Your Honour, I am afraid now that no one will be able to enter it." Then after Allah created Hell, He asked Jibreel to go and take a look. When Jibreel came back he said "O My Lord! By Your Honour, no one who hears about it will ever enter it." Then Allah surrounded the Hell by all kinds of lusts and desires and asked Jibreel to take another look. This time after looking at it Jibreel said "O My Lord! By Your Honour, I am afraid that no one will be able to avoid it." 

Jibreel loves mankind the most. It was often him that came down to Earth and meet Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and prophets before him to offer help at times of trouble. He is often described to come to the prophets in the form of a handsome, perfectly symmetrical man. His true form, however, is not human and of course better-looking. He is so huge that he is described to have 600 wings which length covers from west to east. Compared to other angels, there's a lot more to read about Jibreel (AS) from the Quran, books, or you can also simply google him. 

Mikail / Michael
Malaikat yang menyampaikan rezeki. According to a hadith, when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked Jibreel "what is Mikail in charge of?", Jibreel replied "the plants and the rain." (At-Tabrani) He is in charge of moving the clouds and winds according to Allah's will. Mikail is a very big deal because in the Quran Allah said, "If someone is an enemy to Allah, His Angels, and His messengers, and to Jibreel (Gabriel) and Mikail (Michael), then Allah is enemy to the disbelievers." (Al-Baqara 2:98). His name is also mentioned in Judaism and Christianity, alongside Jibreel.

Anas bin Malik (RA) recorded that, when prophet Muhammad (SAW) asked Jibreel, "Why do I never see Mikail laugh?" He replied, "Mikail has not laughed since the Hellfire was created."

Israafil / Raphael
Malaikat Peniup sangkakala. He is one of the four main angels (Jibreel, Mikhail, Israafil, Izrail). He has a trumpet/blowhorn which he is tasked to blow at the end of Time. It is described that the sound from his Horn will be the loudest thing anyone will ever hear. The Quran says that at the end of Time, Israafil will make two blows - on the first blowing of the Horn, all those alive will die, and the souls who died before will faint, except the ones that Allah wills otherwise (some angels will die later); and on the second blowing of the Horn, all that has died will reawaken for the day of Judgement; also known as the day of Resurrection. (Az-Zumar 39:68)

I've also read that Israafil is the ruler of music. He always sing songs of worship to Allah in thousands of different languages. Wallahualam.

Not assuming anything, but people in the internet seem to associate the Big Bang theory with Israafil's Horn. Hm. What do you think?

Izrail / Izrael
Malaikat Maut. The angel of Death. He is tasked to take away the souls of all that is alive at time of their death. I would have goosebumps whenever I am reminded of this angel but truthfully, he is one of the most gentle of all angels. It was told that when Izrail was taking the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) he was being as gentle as he could but Prophet Muhammad (SAW) told Jibreel who was present at that time how unbearable the pain of death is and that he worries that his people will feel the same pain. Jibreel had to look away because he couldn't bear looking at God's most beloved being in so much pain. Before his last breath, Rasulullah (SAW) whispered, "..ummatii..ummatii..ummatii (..my people..my people..my people)".

Izrail is the last creature to be alive. He is commanded to take away all lives on Earth and in the Heavens upon Allah's will, including his own. Allah said, "..don't you know, all that is alive will experience death?" At the end of Time, when the only ones left are Allah and him, he would take away his own soul and his scream would be so loud that if anyone was alive, they would be shattered away. And he would say, "If only I knew how painful death is, I would have been more gentle to the believers during their time." Wallahualam.

I'll stop here for now, this post is getting longer than I expected! I'll continue in another post that will be titled "Angels in Islam 2". Stay tuned for stories and facts about 6 more chief angels!

Thanks for reading my humble blog. xoxo