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Published on May 7, 2009

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Believing in angels is one of the six Articles of Faith in Islam, without which there is no faith. The six articles are belief in: God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and that predestination, both good and evil, comes from God.

Angels are intangible, sentient entities, who do not possess free will. They were created for the sole purpose of serving God. Being made of light, they can assume almost any form, completely real to the human eye, and traverse a distance as fast as light or faster.

Iblis (Satan/Diabolis/Devil) is a jinn who worshipped God so much that God had raised him to heaven and he used to worship God in the company of the angels. In sharp contrast to Judaism and Christianity in which he is a (fallen) angel, Islam does not recognise the concept of fallen angels. Angels in Islam do not have free will, therefore they cannot disobey God.

When God created Adam from clay (earth) and breathed life into Adam and commanded all present to recognize Adam, Iblis arrogantly defied on accepting Adam as khalifa on earth and disobeyed God stating that he was made from fire and therefore much superior to Adam who is made from clay. Then God had him dismissed from his position in heaven. Shayateen are jinns and men that also arrogantly defy Adam's position as khalifa on earth and disobey God. Both of them possess free will so they can obey or openly defy God.


Gabriel (Jibraaiyl or Jibril in Arabic). Gabriel is the archangel responsible for revealing the Qur'an to Muhammad, verse by verse. Gabriel is known as the angel who communicates with (all of) the prophets.
Michael (Mikaaiyl in Arabic). Michael is often depicted as the Archangel of mercy who is responsible for bringing rain and thunder to Earth. He is also responsible for the rewards doled out to good persons in this life.
Raphael (Israfil or Israafiyl in Arabic). According to the Hadith, Raphael is the Angel responsible for signaling the coming of Judgment Day by blowing a horn and sending out a Blast of Truth. The blowing of the trumpet is described in many places in Quran. It is said that the first blow will destroy everything [Qur'an 69:13], while the second blow will bring all human beings back to life again [Qur'an 36:51].
Angel of Death (transliteration "Malak al-Maut") (colloquially referred to as Azrael) who along with his helpers is responsible for parting the soul of the human from the body. The actual process of separating the soul from the body depends on the person's history or record of good or bad deeds. If the human was a bad person in life, the soul is ripped out very painfully. But if the human was a righteous person, then the soul is separated like a 'drop of water dripping from glass'. It is also noted that The Angel of Death will look like a terrifying beast or demon for the souls of bad people and will look like 'the most pleasant sight' when he comes for the souls of good people. A common mistake is to think that The Angel of Death is named Azrael. But the Quran never names The Angel of Death but refers instead to "Malak al-Maut" (translates to Angel of Death), and there is no connection in the Qur'an between the name Azrael and The Angel of Death.


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