THE WORLD OF THE NOBLE ANGELS -Book Sample
DEFINITION OF THE ANGELS AND BELIEF IN THEM
The Angels form a world different to the world of mankind and the world of the jinn. It is a noble world, completely pure. They are noble and pious, worshipping Allah as He should be worshipped, fulfilling whatever He commands them to do and never disobeying Him.
From the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah, we will see their attributes as described therein.
The word malak (angel) is derived from the root alaka; ma’lakah and ma’lak mean message. From this root is derived the word malaa ‘ik (angels), because they are the messengers of Allah. It is also said that the word malak is derived from the root laaka, and that malaakah means message. The phrase wa’alikni ila fulaan means ‘convey to him from me.‘ Al-Mal’ak means al-malak (angel) because the angels convey (messages) from Allah.
Some of the scholars said al-malak (angel) is derived from al-mulk (sovereignty). He said: if one of the angels is in control of some affairs, he is described as malak, and if a human being is in control of some affairs, he is described as malik (king).’ Belief in the angels is one of the principles of faith. A person’s faith cannot be correct unless he believes in them. Allah says:
(The Messenger [Muhammad] believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and [so do] the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. [They say,] “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers.’! ((Qur’an 2:285))
How should we believe in the angels?
Suyooţi narrated that Al-Bayhaqi said in Shu`ab al-Eemaan: “Belief in the Angels” means the following:
1. Belief that they exist.
2. Giving each one of them his rightful status, and believing that they are the slaves of Allah, created by Him, like mankind and the jinn. They are commanded to do things and they are accountable. They are not able to do anything except that which Allah has enabled them to do. Death is possible for them, but Allah gives them a long life, and they do not die until their appointed time comes. They should not be described in any way that would imply association with Allah, and they should not be regarded as gods as they were regarded by the ancients, some traditional cultures of early people.
3. Acknowledging that among them are messengers whom Allah sends to whomsoever He wills among mankind. He may also send some of them to others. This implies acknowledging that among them are the bearers of the Throne, those who stand in ranks, the keepers of Paradise, the keepers of Hell, those who record man’s deeds and those who drive the clouds.
The Qur’an has mentioned all or most of them.”2 This book will describe in detail what is said in the texts (of the Qur’an and Sunnah) about belief in the angels.
THEIR PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, ATTRIBUTES AND ABILITIES
In this chapter we look at what we have learned from the saḥeeh texts about the physical characteristics as well as the attributes of the angels, then we will discuss the abilities which Allah has granted to them.
- What they were created from and when
The substance from which Allah created them is light. In Şaheeh Muslim it is narrated from “Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her and her father) that the Messenger of Allah (said: “The angels were created from light, the jinn were created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.”l
The Messenger (sun) did not explain what light this is that they were created from. Hence we cannot indulge in trying to say more about this matter, because it is the matter of the unseen concerning which no further clarification has been narrated, apart from this hadith.
It is narrated that ‘Ikrimah said: “The angels were created from the light of glory and Iblees was created from the fire of glory.” And it is narrated that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr said, “Allah created the angels from the light of the arms and chest.” It is not permissible to accept these views, even if they are narrated through sound chains from these scholars, because they are not infallible, and they may have taken these ideas from the Israa’eeliyyaat (reports from Jewish sources).? Wali-Ullah ad-Dehlawi said: “The hosts on high (the angels) are of three groups: a group upon whom Allah made the system of goodness was dependent, so He created them from physical light similar to the fire of Moosa and breathed into them noble souls;
A group which was created from a mixture of very light vapour and other elements, which resulted in the emergence of great souls with a strong aversion to animalistic behaviour;
And a group of human souls who are very close to the hosts on high, who keep striving to do deeds which could save them and help them to catch up with (the angels), until they shed their physical cloaks and follow in their footsteps, and are counted as being among them.” There is no ṣaḥeeh evidence to support this definition and this division of the angels into these categories.
We do not know when the angels were created, for Allah has not informed us about that. But we do know that they were created before Adam, the father of mankind. Allah has told us that He informed the angels that He was going to create a khaleefah on earth:
Behold, your Lord said to the angels, “I will create a vicegerent [khaleefah] on earth.’) (Qur’an 2:30 – A. Yoosuf ‘Ali)
What is meant by the word khaleefah here is Adam (M), and He commanded them to prostrate to him when He created him:
(So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him [Adam] the soul which I created for him, then fall [you] down prostrating yourselves unto him.’) ((Qur’an 15:29))
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