Wednesday, 2 March 2011

I am better than he

"The Angels are created from light, the Jinn from the burning fire, and Adam (A.S.) from what has been expounded to you (i.e. fashioned out of clay)." [Muslim]

Although man is created from clay and Angels from light, the Qur'an categorically states that Man is the jewel of creation. Evidence of these is seen in the following Quranic verse:

"Verily, We created man of the best stature (mould)" (Surah at-Teen 95:4)

The Angels were commanded to prostrate to Adam (AS) to show their respect because his level of degree in the sight of Allah was greater. They all fell down prostrate, except for Iblis, Satan, and Lucifer. (7:11) Allah asked:

"What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" He said: "I am better than he: You created me from fire and him from clay." (Surah al-Araf 7:12)

The reason for Iblis (Satan) capacity to disobey Allah SWT can be learnt from the following verse:

"And (remember) when We said to the Angels; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the jinn’s; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord.” (Surah al-Kahf 18:50)

Here we see that although Iblis was a dweller of Paradise, he was not from the angel community. He, jinn, is created from fire whereas the Angels are of light. Unlike the Angels, who are bound to serve and obey Allah SWT, the jinn are not free from sins (ma'soom). In this respect, they are more like humans: they may be obedient or disobedient to their Creator.

Muslims are required to know the names and functions of the 10 leading angels
Jibril A.S:   To deliver the Divine Revelations from Allah SWT to His chosen Messengers from among the prophets (as).

Mikhail A.S:  To manage man's mundane necessities, bring forth rain and oversee the cultivation of crops.

Israfil A.S:  To blow the Trumpet: once, for the destruction of the universe; and again, for the Resurrection of all accountable beings to face Judgment Day.

Israeel A.S:  Angel of Death, the most fearsome of them all, who does not delay nor expedite the hour of claiming the soul.

Malik A.S:  Guardian of Hell, an unwelcome sight, for the unfortunate and wretched dwellers of the eternal fire.

Radhwan A.S:  Guardian of Heaven, who welcomes the Prophets (.A.S) and the righteous who have been blessed by Allah SWT.

Munkar A.S: To question the dead on issues relating to his/her God, prophet, religion, belief, deeds, etc.

Nakir A.S.: To question the dead on issues relating to his/her God, prophet, religion, belief, deeds, etc.

Raqeeb A.S:  Sits on man's right shoulder to record his/her good deeds.

Ateed A.S:  Sits on men left shoulder to record his/her evil deeds.

Apart from the 10, there are numerous other angels whose duties are:

Angels Mentioned in the Qur'an and Hadith? Religious history has recorded several instances where Angels appeared in the form of pleasant-looking men to certain individuals, including Muhammad (Sallallaahu `alayhi Wasallam), Bibi Maryam, Ibrahim (A.S.) and Lot (A.S.); and also to communities, such as the inhabitants of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Neither male nor female, these intelligent beings do not eat, drink, sleep nor have desires. They are created in such a way that they always obey and never go against Divine commands and never tire of serving Allah SWT. For Muslims, the second Article of Faith stipulates that they must believe in the Angels, whose population is infinite. This command is contained in the Quranic verse:
"Uprightness is not to turn your faces towards east or west, but uprightness is to believe in Allah (SWT) and the Last Day, the angels, the Book and the Prophets," (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:177)

May Allah make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path...........

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