Angels are a creation of Allah (Azzawajal) that are made of light. Unlike the Children of Adam (mankind) and jinn, the Angels are a legion of Allah the most High who are free of sin and steadfast in obedience to their Creator. This makes the Angels of Allah free from transgressing against their own souls — by not committing acts that anger the Lord of the Universe.
The Angels are many and are greater in number than mankind and this will be so until the Day of Reckoning. Each noble angel has a respected position, and a command to fulfill from the Creator of the universe. The Angels of Allah are not only created from light but they also have wings, and their size and magnitude of their height is so great that they reach the heavens. All of the Angels of Allah are consistent in the worship of their Creator. In fact RasulAllah (s) said to his companions once, “…there is not a space between two fingers above the heavens where there is not an angel worshiping Allah.” The Angels of Allah love surrounding the houses of believers where there is constant mention of the name of Allah, gatherings where the name of Allah is repeated, and masjids where worship of the Creator of the heavens and the earth are constant. Likewise, just as much as the angels of Allah love being with those who worship Allah they also hate being surrounded in places and gathering where there is void in the worship of Allah. And places where the name of Allah is not revered or respected. In a conversation with his companions, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that Angels do not enter houses where there are impurities (i.e dirty areas, bathrooms etc.), pictures, and dogs.
There are Angels of Allah that are appointed to lead the greatest courses of nature, such as Angel Mika’el who is responsible for the rain, thunder, and lightening — which in return through the Might and Power of Allah brings across vegetation and tilled land for all of creation. There are also Angels of Allah appointed to great duties and affairs of the hereafter; such as Angel Israfel’ who is responsible for blowing the trumpet, and Malik (gatekeeper of hell), Ridwaan (gatekeeper of Jannah), and Izrael or Malak Al-mawt (responsible for taking the souls to the next life). Some Angels are appointed duties that are pertaining to this dunya, such as the Angels that are responsible for protecting mankind during the days and night until their time is over. Each Angel of Allah in this universe, the earth, heavens, and above takes on the order initiated from Allah and before our eyes can blink they are ready to meet the command.
The Angels of Allah are a sign for both believers and non-believers of the great Sovereignty and Might of Allah. While Allah is free of need and want — the Angels of Allah serve as a sign for those who reason and use their intellect. Allah is above all need from His Creation, including the Angels. But it is a part of His complete Mercy to Create such beautiful Creatures that were granted ease, comfort, safety, and protection against all transgression, sin, and violation against their own souls. It is indeed Mercy from Allah that such beings were created who are free from blame of sin — and who have the beautiful chance to serve their Lord and Master. I find that to be very beautiful.
While the Angels of Allah are busy and steadfast with the worship of their Creator, it is said that they will stand before Allah on the Day of Judgement and feel that their worship and obedience was not enough. And they will worry that because of this they will meet the anger of their Creator. It is their knowledge of their Creator, and their insight that they feel that they did not meet the commands of Allah to the best of their ability. This feeling is due to the Greatness and Eternal Perfection and Sovereignty of our Creator. That no amount of worship, even if it were for a billion years will ever equal to or substitute the Glory of Our Creator.That God is so so so Great and Ever Existently Magnificent, the worship of the Angels, let alone ours can never be a prime ticket to heaven — except by His absolute Mercy.
In an excerpt from – Understanding Islam the following is mentioned —
“Angels are a form of spiritual beings created by Allah to perform various assigned duties. There are numerous angels. They are bound to obey the commands of Allah. Unlike human beings, they have not been given the choice to do either right or wrong.
In the Holy Qur’an, Angels are frequently referred to as malak and rasool which, in Arabic language, means power and messenger, respectively. These literal meanings indicate the nature of various duties of the Angels.
Angels do not possess any fixed material form. They cannot be seen with our physical eyes due to our limited faculties. But when they appear to human beings (e.g. in a spiritual vision), they appear in such forms which are imaginable by us. For instance, the Archangel Jibra’eel (Gabriel) is known to have appeared to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, in the form of an ordinary human being. The same Archangel, however, seemed to have appeared to Jesus Christ, may peace be with him, in the form of a dove.”
It is important to note that belief in Angels is one of the six pillars of faith.
And I will end this with the following from islamqa is a summary of the Angels of Allah
Angels are a part of the world of the “Unseen” which we cannot comprehend. Allah has told us about them in many places in the Quran and via His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). There follows a number of proven reports concerning the angels, which hopefully will make you realize the greatness of the Creator and the greatness of this religion which has told us so much about them:
Of what are they created?
They are created from light, as ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The angels are created from light, just as the jinn are created from smokeless fire and mankind is created from what you have been told about.’” [Muslim].
When were they created?
We have no knowledge of precisely when they were created, because there is no text to tell us this. But they were created before mankind for certain, because the Quran says (interpretation of the meaning): “Behold, your Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’” [2:30] The fact that Allah told them of His intention to create man indicates that they already existed.
Their great size
Allah says concerning the angels of Hell:
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” [66:6]
The greatest of all the angels is Jibreel, upon whom be peace, who was described in the following report:
“From ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw Jibreel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allah knows about them.” It was reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, and Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidayah that its isnad (chain of narrators) is jayyid (good).
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, describing Jibreel:
“I saw Jibreel descending from heaven, and his great size filled the space between heaven and earth.” [Muslim].
Among the greatest angels are those who carry the Throne (of Allah), who were described in the following report:
“From Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: ‘I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of Allah who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.’” [Abu Dawood].
They have wings
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Praise be to Allah, Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs) adds to Creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things.” [35:1]
Allah said, describing Jibreel, upon whom be peace (interpretation of the meaning):
“He [the Prophet] has been taught by one Mighty in Power, Dhoo Mirrah (free from any defect in body and mind), then he rose and became stable.” [53:5-6]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “‘Dhoo Mirrah means that he has a beautiful appearance.” Qutadah said: “He is tall and beautiful.”
The idea that angels are beautiful is firmly established in all people’s minds, so much so that they liken a beautiful human to an angel, as the women said about Yoosuf:
“. . . When they [the women] saw him, they did extol him and (in their amazement) cut their hands: they said: ‘Allah preserve us! No mortal is this! This is none other than a noble angel!’” [12:31]
Their differences in size and status
The angels are not all of one size or status; there are differences between them just as there are differences in virtue. The best of them are those that were present at the battle of Badr, as is stated in the hadeeth narrated by Mu‘adh ibn Rifa‘ah al-Zuraqi from his father, who had been one of the people present at Badr. He said: “Jibreel came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) and asked, ‘How do you rate the people among you who were present at Badr?’ He said: ‘They are the best of the Muslims,’ or something similar. [Jibreel] said: ‘So it is with the angels who were present at Badr.’” [al-Bukhaari].
They do not eat or drink
This is indicated by the conversation between Ibrahim, the “friend” of Allah, and the angels who visited him. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then he turned quickly to his household, brought out a fatted calf, and placed it before them. He said, ‘Will you not eat?’ (When they did not eat), he conceived a fear of them. They said: ‘Fear not,’ and they gave him glad tidings of a son endowed with knowledge.” [51:26-28]
Elsewhere, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But when he [Ibrahim] saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: ‘Fear not: we have been sent against the people of Lut.’” [11:70]
They do not get bored or tired of remembering and worshipping Allah
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“They celebrate His praises night and day, nor do they ever slacken.” [21:20]
“. . . For in the presence of your Lord are those who celebrate His praises by night and by day. And they never become tired (nor feel themselves above it).” [41:38]
The angels are many, and their number is known only to Allah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, describing the Much-Frequented House (al-Bayt al-M’amoor) in the seventh heaven:
“Then I was taken up to the Much-Frequented House: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another [group] coming after them.” [al-Bukhaari].
‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Hell will be brought forth that day by means of seventy thousand ropes, each of which will be pulled by seventy thousand angels.” [Muslim].
The angels have names, but we know only the names of a few of them. We have to believe in the names reported in the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic teachings) texts, as a part of general belief in the angels. Among the names of angels that are known to us are:
The angels have great powers given to them by Allah, including the following:
The ability to take on different forms. Allah has given the angels the ability to take on forms other than their own. Allah sent Jibreel to Maryam in the form of a man, as Allah says:
“. . . Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” [19:17]
Angels also came to Ibrahim in human form, and he did not know that they were angels until they told him so. Similarly, angels came to Lut in the form of young men with beautiful faces. Jibreel used to come to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) in different forms: sometimes he would appear in the form of Dihyah al-Kalbi, a sahaabee (companion) who was very handsome, and sometimes in the form of a Bedouin. The sahaabah (companions) saw him in his human form, as is reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) in the two Saheehs Al-Bukhari and Muslim). (‘Umar) said:
“One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of travel were to be seen on him, and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Resting his knees against his and placing his hands on his thighs, he said: ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’…” [ Muslim].
Many other ahadeeth (report) refer to the angels taking human forms, such as the hadeeth (report) about the one who killed a hundred, in which it says “. . . there came to them an angel in human form . . .” and the hadeeth about the blind man, the bald man and the leper.
The greatest speed known to man today is the speed of light; the angels are able to travel much faster than this. Hardly had an enquirer completed a question to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but Jibreel would bring the answer from Allah.
Among the angels is one whose task it was to convey the revelation from Allah to His Messengers; this is al-Rooh al-Ameen, Jibreel, upon whom be peace. Allah says:
“Say: whoever is an enemy to Jibreel – for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by Allah’s will. . . ” [2:97]
“Which the trustworthy spirit has brought down,
Upon your heart, that you may be (one) of the warners.” [26:193-194]
Another is responsible for rain, directing it wherever Allah wishes.
This is Mikail, upon whom be peace. He has helpers, who do what he tells them, by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as Allah wills.
Another is responsible for blowing the Trumpet, which will be blown by Israfil at the onset of the Hour (the Day of Judgement).
Others are responsible for taking people’s souls: these are the Angel of Death and his helpers. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say: ‘the Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall you be brought back to your Lord.’” [32:11] There is no proof in any saheeh hadeeth (authentic report) that his name is ‘Azrail.
Others are responsible for protecting the slave throughout his life, when he stays home and when he travels, when he is asleep and when he is awake. These are the “angels in succession” concerning whom Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day.
For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people so long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sin and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.” [13:10-11]
Others are responsible for recording the deeds of man, good and bad. These are the “honourable scribes” (kiraman katibeen) and are referred to in the ayat/verses (interpretation of the meanings):
“. . . and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you . . .” [6:61]
“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? (Yes, We do) and Our messengers (appointed angels in charge of mankind) are by them, to record.”
“(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being after he or she has attained the age of puberty), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions).
Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” [50:17-18]
“But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you,
Kiraman (honourable) katibeen – writing down (your deeds).” [82:10-11]
Others are responsible for testing people in the grave. These are Munkar and Nakeer. From Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘When the deceased is buried (or he said: when one of you is buried), there come to him two blue-black angels, one of whom is called Munkar and the other Nakeer. They ask him, ‘What did you used to say about this man?’ . . .” [The hadeeth is quoted in full above]
Some of them are the keepers of Paradise. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘alaikum (peace be upon you!). You have done well, so enter here, to abide therein.” [39:73]
Some of them are the keepers of Hell, the “guards of Hell”, whose number is nineteen and whose leader is Malik, upon whom be peace. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, ‘Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, – reciting to you the verses of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?’ They will say: ‘Yes, but the word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!’” [39:71]
“Then, let him call upon his council (of helpers),
We will call the guards of Hell (to deal with him)!” [97:17-18]
“And what will make you know exactly what Hell-fire is?
It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburnt)!
Burning the skins!
Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell).
And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers – in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in faith . . .” [74:27-31]
“And they will cry: ‘O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.’ He will say: ‘Verily you shall abide forever.’” [43:77]
One of the angels is responsible for the sperm in the womb, as is mentioned in the hadeeth (report) of Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), whose truthfulness is confirmed, said: ‘The way that each of you is created is that he is gathered in his mother’s womb for forty days as a sperm drop, and then for a similar length of time as a blood-clot, and then for a similar length of time as a lump of flesh. Then an angel is sent and he breathes the spirit into (the foetus), and is charged with four commands: to write down his provision, his life-span, his actions, and whether he will be wretched or happy. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, one of you may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until he is just a cubit away from entering it, then his fate will overtake him and he will begin to do the deeds of the people of Hell, so he will enter Hell; and one of you may do the deeds of the people of Hell until he is just a cubit away from entering it, then his fate will overtake him and he will begin to do the deeds of the people of Paradise, so he will enter Paradise.” [al-Bukhaari, Muslim].
Some angels carry the Throne of Allah, as He describes in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) (saying): ‘Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!’” [40:7]
Some of the angels travel throughout the world, seeking out gatherings of dhikr (remembrance of Allah).
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: ‘Allah, be He blessed and exalted, has angels who travel the highways seeking out the people of dhikr. When they find people remembering Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, they call out to one another, “Come to what you hunger for!” and they enfold them with their wings, stretching up to the lowest heaven. Their Lord asks them, and He knows better than them, “What are My slaves saying?” They say: “They are glorifying, magnifying, praising and extolling You.” He asks, “Have they seen Me?” They say, “No, by Allah, they have not seen You.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw Me?” They say, “They would be even more fervent and devoted in their praise and worship.” He asks, “What are they asking me for?” They say, “They ask You for Paradise.” He asks, “And have they seen it?” They say, “No, by Allah, O Lord, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more eager for it and they would beseech You even more earnestly.” He asks, “And what do they seek My protection from?” They say, “From the Fire of Hell.” He asks, “Have they seen it?” They say, “No, by Allah, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more afraid and anxious to escape it.” Allah says: “You are My witnesses that I have forgiven them.” One of the angels says: “So-and-so is not really one of them; he came (to the gathering) for some other reason.” Allah says, “They were all in the gathering, and one of them will not be excluded (from forgiveness).”” [al-Bukhaari].
Some of them are responsible for the mountains.
‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Have you ever faced any day more difficult than the day of Uhud?” He said: “I suffered at the hands of your people and the worst that I suffered was what I suffered at their hands on the day of ‘Aqabah. That was when I went to call Ibn ‘Abd Yalayl ibn ‘Abd al-Kalal to Islam, and he did not respond. I left, feeling depressed and hardly knowing where I was going. I did not recover until I found myself in Qarn al-Tha‘alib. I raised my head and saw that I was being shaded by a cloud. I looked, and saw Jibreel in the cloud. He called me and said: ‘Allah has heard what your people said and how they responded to you. He has sent the Angel of the Mountains so that you can tell him to do to them whatever you want.’ The Angel of the Mountains called me and greeted me, then said: ‘O Muhammad, tell me what you want me to do. If you want, I can crush them between two mountains.’” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “All I hope for is that Allah will bring forth from their loins people who will worship Allah alone and not associate any partner with Him.” [al-Buhaari].
Some of them visit the Much Frequented House (al-bayt al-m’amoor). In the lengthy hadeeth describing the Isra and M’iraj (the Night Journey and the Ascent to Heaven), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Then I was taken up to the Much-Frequented House: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another [group] coming after them.”
There are also angels standing in rows, who never get tired or sit down, and others who bow or prostrate, and never raise their heads, as was reported by Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:
“The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘I see what you do not see and hear what you do not hear. The heaven makes a noise like groaning, and it has the right to (or it is no surprise), for there is no space in it the width of four fingers, but there is an angel there, placing his forehead in sujood (prostration) to Allah. By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, you would not enjoy your relationships with women and you would go out in the street praying to Allah.’” [ al-Tirmidhi]
This is a summary of Islamic teachings concerning the noble angels of Allah. We ask Allah to make us believe in them and love them. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
And Allah knows best.