Last week we covered the first pillar from the pillars of Eemaan- the belief in Allaah Azza Wa Jal. Today we begin with the second pillar;
BELIEF IN THE ANGELS
Shaykh Saaleh Fawzaan mentions in his explanation of Usool ath Thalaathah (The Three Fundamental Principles) that the Angels are mentioned as the second pillar of Eemaan because they are the ones that bring the Revelation to the Messengers.
The Angels are a creation from the creation of Allaah Azza Wa Jal and a force from the forces of Allaah Azza Wa Jal, as Allaah Azza Wa Jal mentions in the Qur’an:
“They do that which they are commanded.” (66:6)
As Muslims we must have Eemaan in the angels. This Eemaan is of 2 types:
- “Ijmaaly” – That which has been mentioned generally within the texts, such as believing in their existence, that they are created to serve Allaah, etc.
- “Tafseely” – That which has been detailed in the texts regarding them. Whether this is concerning their numbers, names, descriptions or their roles and responsibilities.
- Only some of the names of the Angels have been named in the texts (Quran & Sunnah) specifically, such as; Jibraa’eel, Mika’eel, Israafeel and others. We believe in these in a detailed manner.
- With the Angels which haven’t been named specifically, we believe in them in a general manner. Other general names the Angels have been given in the texts include – “Al Kiraam Al Barara” (Honorable & Obedient) and “As Safara” (The Scribes).
Description of the Angels
It is not permissible to describe and depict the angels with names and attributes other than that which has come in the Quran & the Sunnah. This is because they are from the unseen and we do not know except that which has come in the Relevation. That which we haven’t been given details of, we do not enter into discussion of.
“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge . Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).”
The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said:
“I have been granted permission to mention/describe to you something from the Angels of Allaah Azza Wa Jal, those that carry the Throne. That which is between his earlobe and his shoulder is the distance of 700 years.”
In this hadeeth a shoulder, an ear and an earlobe have been affirmed for the angels as well as the tremendous nature of their creation.
The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned that the Angels were created from light, and the Jinn from (smokeless) fire and Man from that which has been described to you. I.e. (from clay).
“He Who made the angels messengers with wings; two, three or four” (35:1)
The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam saw Jibraa’eel in his actual form. He has 600 wings, falling from him wings were jewels & rubies. (Recorded by Ahmed).
All of these narrations show that these Angels are a tremendous creation. Concerning the numbers of the angels, we believe that this cannot be enumerated except by the One who created them.
“And none can know the hosts of your Lord but He.” (74:31)
That which highlights the vast number of the angels, is related to the night journey (Laylatul Isra). The Prophet Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned regarding the Baytul Ma’moor that he said to Jibraeel, “What is this?”. He said this is the much frequented house, everyday 70,000 angels enter it, and those that exit the house do not come back.
The heavens made a groaning noise, and the heavens have a right to moan. There is not a space of that which is equivalent to the measure of four fingers, except that there is an angel prostrating with his forehead in the heavens.
Also the hadeeth mentioning that the hellfire will be brought forward with 70,000 ropes and upon every rope there will be 70,000 angels dragging each rope.
Roles & Responsibilities of the Angels.
Concerning the responsibilities/roles of the Angels. They are a force from the forces of Allaah and obedient servants. They execute their commands in the best manner and do not disobey Allaah Azza Wa Jal.
“They do that which they are commanded.” 66:6
This shows the false claim of those that claim that Iblis is an Angel. As Allaah Azza Wa Jal clearly mentioned that the angels do not disobey Allaah. To add to this Allaah Azza Wa Jal himself mentioned that he (Shaytaan) was from the jinn.
From the Angels are those who;
- Bring the Revelation – Jibraa’eel
- Take the souls, i.e. Angel of Death – It is mentioned his name is Israa’eel but the scholars say we cannot confirm this.
- Protect the front and back of a person
- Write the deeds
- Control the rain – Mikaa’eel
- Are keepers of the Hellfire – Maalik
- Sit a person up and question them in the grave – Munkar and Nakeer (Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen mentioned that these names haven’t been confirmed, and there is a difference regarding the authenticity of the texts related to their names.)
- Were sent as a test for the people of Babylon who were teaching sihr – Haaroot and Maaroot (Mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah).
- Control the Mountains
The Angels have the ability to take other forms. Allaah Azza Wa Jal mentions in Surah Maryam – About the sending of Jibraeel Alayhisalaam. as a men in all respects. Also the two guests that came to Ibraheem Alayhisalaam, and Lut Alayhisalaam. Jibraeel would come in various forms, one of these forms was in the form of Dihyatul Kalbee. A handsome companion from Madinah. He also took the form of the Bedouin, as mentioned in the Hadeeth of Jibraeeel.
It is obligatory upon a Muslim to have belief in that which is in general and specific regarding the Angels. As mentioned in the hadeeth about the angels surrounding those that study the book of Allaah Azza Wa Jal in the houses of Allaah Azza Wa Jal. The Angels also lower their wings ( in humbleness and pleasure) to the seeker of knowledge. This belief in the angels should have an affect on the Muslims and the Muslim community, after reflecting upon that which Eemaan in the Angels necessitates. For example, acknowledging that a person has Angels with him at every moment and should feel shy, they see him even though he doesn’t see them.
BELIEF IN THE BOOKS
It is the third pillar of Eemaan.
“say: “I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book” (42:15)
“O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and the Book (the Quran) which He has sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He sent down to those before (him), and whosoever disbelieves in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, then indeed he has strayed far away.” (4:136)
Whoever disbelieves in anything from the Books, has disbelieved in Allaah Azza Wa Jal. Again like the belief in the Angels, Eemaan in the books splits into two types:
- “Ijmaaly” – That which has been mentioned generally within the texts, such as believing in them, those that have been named, and those which have not been named.
- “Tafseely” – That which has been detailed in the texts regarding them. Such as:
- The Torah- revealed to Musa Alayhisalaam
- The Injeel – revealed to Eeesa Alayhisalaam
- The Zaboor – revealed to Dawud Alayhisalaam
- Suhuf – revealed to Ibraheem alayhisalaam
We believe that the call of the messengers was one and that the books revealed to them came to establish Tawheed and all included the six pillars of Eemaan.
“And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc.i. e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).”” (16:36)
We believe that the Quran is the final book and the seal of those books which came before it. The Quran has come in confirmation of that which has come before it and we believe that it is the final revelation, and that Prophet after Muhammed Salaahu alayhiwasalaam is the last and final messenge