What do we know about angels of Islam?
• They are a part of the world of the Unseen, belief in them is an integral part of faith and denying their existence or cursing them is disbelief (Kufr).
(Al-Qur’an, 2: 285, 4: 136)
• They are created from light, as the Messenger of Allah (peace 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.”
• They were created before mankind, because the Qur’an says: “Behold, your Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a khalifah on earth...’”
• The greatest of all the angels is Jibreel (Gabriel, peace be upon him), the Trustworthy Spirit, who brought the Revelation from Allah to the final Messenger, (Prophet Muhammad
) and to the Messengers before him.
• The angels have wings. “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).”
• They have an unparalleled beauty and have different sizes, duties and status.
• They do not eat or drink. This is indicated by the conversation between Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and the angels who visited him in human form, who refused to eat the fatted calf he placed before them.
• They do not get bored or tired of remembering and worshipping Allah: “They celebrate His praises night and day, nor do they ever slacken.”
• Their number is known only to Allah, and they are extremely large in numbers according to various authentic narrations.
• Jibreel (Gabriel) and Mikael (Michael) are mentioned by name in the (Al-Qur’an (2:98)
, as is Malik, the Keeper of Hell (Al-Qur’an, 43:77)
; Israfeel is mentioned in an authentic narration reported by (Muslim)
; Munkar and Nakeer are mentioned by name as the questioning angels in (Sahih Al-Jami)
• Angels can travel at unimaginable speeds and have the power to take on human forms, as in the story of the angels who visited Ibrahim and Lut (peace be upon them) (Al-Qur’an, 11:69-83)
; the visit of Jibreel to Mary (peace be upon her) “he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects...” (Al-Qur’an, 19:17-21)
; and the visits of Jibreel to the Messenger of Allah
where he was once seen by the Companions as “a man with very white clothing and very black hair… No mark of travel was visible on him, and none of us recognized him.”