Muslims believe that angels were created by God from pure
light. Belief in their existence encompasses the Islamic
faith itself. Belief in angels is one of the six Articles
of Faith, without which there is no faith. The Qur’an
states that these Articles are: "The Messenger believes
in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers:
Each one believes in (1) God, (2) His angels, (3) His Books,
(4) His Messengers, (5) the Last Day, and (6) that predestination,
both good and evil, comes from God. " (Qur’an
II:285). It is interesting to note that the Qur’an
states that angels do not possess Free -Will, and therefore
can only follow the instructions given by God. This is in
contrast to Jinn who are not angelic, being made of smokeless
fire. They do possess free-will so they can disobey or God.
Unlike in Christianity, there is no concept of a fallen
angel in Islam as none can disobey God and therefore cannot
fall from grace.
They were created for the sole purpose of serving God and
being made from light, they can assume almost any form,
which will appears real to the human eye. They belong to
a level of existence beyond the perceptible world of phenomena,
called `alam al-ghayb.
The root meaning of angel in Arabic is “messenger”
which can be related to the Archangel Gabriel who revealed
the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammad.
The Qur’an refers to angels in a number of passages:
“Gardens of Eden which they shall enter ... and the
angels shall enter unto them from every gate.” (13:23).
“The angel of death, who has been charged with you,
will gather you; then to your Lord you will be returned.”
"If you could only see when the evildoers are in the
agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their
hands: 'Give up your souls!' " (VI, 93). "Believers,
guard yourselves and your families against a Fire whose
fuel is men and stones, and over which are harsh, terrible
angels" (66, 6).
“There are over you watchers, noble writers, who know
whatever you do.” (82:10-12)
“Over every soul there is a watcher.” (86:4).
Unlike the Christian tradition, Islam has no firm hierarchical
structure for angels, those mentioned in the Qur’an
only seem to have specific rolls as an example Ridwan is
the name of the angel who governs paradise. However there
is a discenable structure as far as seniority is concerned.
Those angels that appear to hold this seniority are:
Jibra'il (Jabriel, Jabril, Jibra'il, Jabriyel,
Abru-El, Abruel), Gabriel, is the spirit of truth, who dictated
the Quran to Mohammed . The angel who communicates with
the Prophets. In appearance he has twelve wings and on observing
his actual appearance the Prophet Mohamed fainted at his
Mikail (or Mikaaiyl or Michael). Archangel of sustenance
and the rewarder of good deed performed in this life. He
stands above the seventh heaven.
Israfil (or Israafiyl or Raphael).The Angel
responsible for announcing Judgment Day, by blowing on his
horn ( In the Christian Tradition this is the duty of the
Archangel gabriel). It is said that he has four wings two
of his wings fill each of the compass quarters, East and
West, the next covers his descent from heaven and the last
wing he used to make himself invisible.
Izra'il (or Azrael). Izra'il is the Angel
of Death who is responsible for releasing the soul from
the physical body of man. It is also indicated that this
angel will appear as a terrifying demon to those souls who
have lead evil lives on earth, whereas the souls of the
good shall see a beautiful angelic form.
Mikail (or Mikaaiyl or Michael). The angel
of sustenance. He can also be liked to the angel of karma
as he is responsible for rewarding those who have lead good
The other angels mentioned in the Qur’an are:
• Malik is the angel who governs Hell and Hell Fire.
• Ridwan is the angel who governs Paradise.
• Kiraamun kaatibeen the two angels that sit on mankind’s
shoulder and records good and bad deeds performed by that
• Munkar and Nakir the angels who interrogate a person
in the grave about his good and bad deeds.
• Harut and Marut are the angels who were given the
attributes of Man (Free-Will_ and when sent to Earth by
God committed the sins of Man.
The angels therefore record the deeds of each individual
from birth to death. They are your constant companion and
assist those who seek the path to spiritual enlightenment.