Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Angels In Islam 2


So this is the long awaited, long overdue, continuation of my previous post in January entitled Angels in Islam, where I briefly described and shared facts and short stories about the angel of revelation, the angel who delivers fortune/rizki, the angel that will signal the coming of Doomsday by the blowing of his blowhorn, and the angel of death. If you haven't read that yet, you can read it here. Now let's continue with six other angels.

Munkar and Nakir
The angels that will interogate a person in the grave about his good and bad deeds. As a child, I was taught that when a person dies, he/she shall be buried in the ground and after the last companion or person leaves the grave, Munkar and Nakir shall approach the newly dead and perform their duty. These angels are stern for severe. And the dead shall only know of fear.

3 questions shall be asked: 
  1. Who is your Lord? // Siapa Tuhan-mu? -- the righteous shall answer, "my God is Allah."
  2. What is your religion? // Apa agama-mu? -- the righteous shall answer, "Islam is my religion."
  3. Who was the man that was sent amongst you? // Siapa utusan yang dikirimkan kepada-mu? -- the righteous shall answer, "that was Muhammad."
Munkar and Nakir will then say, "you are true" and the grave shall be spacious and comfortable. Those that aren't as lucky shall be in terror and fail to answer the questions. They will only say in fright, "I do not know.. I do not know.." and so the walls of their grave shall tighten until their bones are crushed.

I was also made to understand that we do not need to memorize the right answers during our lifetime, we only need to live righteously by doing good and leave the bad and our deeds will determine what kind of answer we shall give to these angels.

Raqeeb and Ateed
The angels that sit on our shoulders and write and write and write. Raqeeb sits on man's right shoulder and records his good deeds while Ateed sits on man's left shoulder and records his bad deeds.

In Surah Qaf : 17-18, Allah says: "Behold, there are two receiving (angels) appointed to him one seated on the right and the other on the left. He utters not a word but there is with him an observer ready (to note it down)."

The word raqeeb means "observer" and the word ateed means "ready". However, it is certainly not the case that the one on the right is an "observer" and the one on the left is "ready". All of the guardian angels are observant and ready.

Raqeeb and Ateed are not like the tiny angel and devil who look exactly like us and and are always fighting each other from each side of our shoulders as portayed in cartoons. They're both angels and they're duty is to record our good and bad deeds in our lifetime.

The angel Raqeeb is very quick and eager at writing all the good deeds one has done, even if the deeds were as small as an atom. However, when it comes to sins, Ateed would carefully track from a man's intentions to his actions. For example, when a person wants to steal something from the market, but he eventually did not steal it, it wouldn't go into Ateed's book as a sin. This is a glimpse of Allah's mercy upon us.

Every year on the night of Nisfu Shaa'ban (meaning "half of the month Shaa'ban"), the angels will send our book of deeds into the heavens and it will be replaced by a new empty book and the recordings will resume. All of our deeds will be calculated on the Day of Judgement. 

Ridwan and Malik
Ridwan is in charge of guarding the gates of Heaven, and Malik is in charge of guarding the door to hell.

It was described that Ridwan has the look that is very calming to the occupants of Heaven and always very welcoming. While, Malik has the look that is so terrifying that when he faces the contents of Hell, the fires eat each other out of fear. But both of these angels are highly loyal and obedient to Allah the Almighty. When the occupants of Hell begged Malik to ask Allah to just take away their lives, Malik says, "no, you will still live (in the Hellfire)" (Az-Zukhruf : 77) in obedience of Allah's order to him.

So there you go, names of 10 angels and their duties in Islam. As written in my previous entry, only Allah knows how many angels there actually are. There might be more than the total number of all human beings ever lived. We never know.

I hope you've enjoyed reading both of my posts on these magnificent creatures, the angels. Keep reading about them! Go on Google, you'll find even more interesting stories about Malik, Malaikatul Maut, how Munkar and Nakir will treat the dead in the grave until Judgement Day or read about the wonderful Jibreel! May we continue being eager to gain knowledge, may we never lose the thirst for learning new things. Thank you once again for reading my humble blog.