Fruits for the Week

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1. What they were created from and when

The substance from which Allah created them is light. In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Aishah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:” The Angels were created from light, the Jinn were created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.” (Muslim)

The Messenger (saw) did not explain what light this is that they were created from. Hence we cannot indulge in trying to say more about this matter, because it is the matter of the unseen concerning which no further clarification has been narrated, apart from this hadith.

We do not know when the angels were created, for Allah has not informed us about that. But we do know that they were created before Adam, the father of mankind. Allah has told us that He informed the angels that He was going to create a khaleefah on earth:” Behold, your Lord said to the angels,’ I will create a vicegerent (khaleefah) on earth.” (Qur’an 2: 30).

What is meant by khaleefah here is Adam (as), and He commanded them to prostrate to him when He created him:” So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.”’ (Qur’an 15: 29)

Because the angels have bodies of light which are low density, mankind cannot see them, especially since Allah has not given our eyes the ability to see them.

No one among this ummah has seen the angels in their true form apart from the Messenger (saw). He saw Jibreel twice in the form in which Allah created him.

2. Their great physical size

Allah says concerning the angels of Hell:” O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against Fire (hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who disobey not from executing the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” (Qur’an 66: 6).

The great size of Jibreel (as)

The Messenger of Allah (saw) saw Jibreel twice in the angelic form in which Allah created him. These two occasions are mentioned in the following verses:” And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) in the clear horizon.” (Qur’an 81: 23) and:” And indeed he (Muhammad) saw him (Jibreel) at a second descent (another time). Near Sidratul Muntaha (a lote tree of utmost boundary over the seventh heaven beyond which none can pass). Near it is the Paradise of Abode.” (Qur’an 53: 13-15). That was when he was taken up to the highest heaven during the Mi’raj.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated that Aishah (ra) said:” I asked the Messenger of Allah (saw) about these two verses. He said,’ That is Jibreel; I never saw him in the form in which Allah created him except on these two occasions. I saw him descending from the heaven and the earth’” (Muslim)

Aishah (ra) was asked about the verse: “Then he (Jibreel) approached and came closer.” (Qur’an: 53: 8), she said:” That is Jibreel (as). He used to come to him in human form, but on this occasion he came in his real form, and he filled the horizons of the sky.” (Muslim). It is narrated in Saheeh that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said:” Muhammad (saw) saw Jibreel with six hundred wings.” (Bukhari).

In Musnad al-Imam Ahmad it is narrated that Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said:” The Messenger of Allah (saw) saw Jibreel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which filled the horizon, and there were multi-coloured pearls and rubies falling from his wings” (Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah)

The great size of the bearers of the Throne

Tabrani narrated in Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat from Anas that he said:” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:’ I have been granted permission to speak of an angel, one of the bearers of the Throne. His feet are in the lowest earth and the Throne is resting on his horn. The distance from his earlobe to his shoulder is like that of a bird flying for seven hundred years. That angel says,’ Glory be to You, wherever You are.’” (Saheeh Al-Jami’ as-Sagheer)

(to be continued)

by Dr. Umar S. Al-Ashqar