Dear brothers and sisters, in our youth we are taught the five pillars of Islam and we are taught the six articles of faith. One of the articles of faith we are taught is the belief in Angels.
In fact, you cannot be of this faith if you do not believe in Angels, such is the importance of this point.
The imam reminds us that Allah SWT has mentioned this point in the Glorious Quran. In Sura Al-Nisa, ayat 136 it is translated to say:
O believers! Believe in Allah, His Rasool, the Book which He has revealed to His Rasool, and every Book which He previously revealed. He who denies Allah, His angels, His Books, His Rasools and the Last Day has gone far astray.
Dear brothers and sisters, this ayat is explicitly telling us of the existence of angels and of our need to believe in them.
In fact, through our knowledge, we even have specific angels that we know of. For example, the angel Jibreel, upon him be peace, has the role of revealing divine instruction or scripture to the messengers. We know this since he is mentioned both in Islam and by name in other faiths too.
We also know of Mikail, upon him be peace, who has been given the responsibility for delivering the rain upon the commands of Allah SWT.
We know of the angel of death whose role it is to take our lives when the appointed time is up. Likewise we know of the Angel Malik, upon him be peace, as the keeper of hellfire and the Angel Rithwan, upon him be peace, as the keeper of Paradise.
And most of us will recall, in previous reminders on the journey after death, we will be approached by two angels in the grave. They are Munkir and Nakeer, upon both of them be peace.
Dear brothers and sisters, angels are firmly a part of the world that is unseen. It is something we cannot fully comprehend as Allah SWT hasn’t given us the ability to observe whilst we are in this life.
Although we can deduce from the Quran that they were created before man, the knowledge of when is also not known to us.
However, Allah SWT has permitted us to know of what they have been created. This is through one of the hadiths which is translated to say:
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah 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.’
We also know the vast number of angels that exist. The imam reminded us of the following hadith to help get it into perspective. The hadith is when the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him was in the Heavens and saw Ibraheem (May Allah be peace and blessings on him), said that 70,000 angels would enter the ‘worshiped/full’ house and do not return (He replied: He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and there I found Ibrahim (Abraham peace be upon him) reclining against the Bait-ul-Ma’mur and there enter into it seventy thousand angels every day, never to visit (this place) again.)
Dear brothers and sisters, angels are around us everywhere we go. In fact, we know through the teachings of our Prophet SAWS, there are angels here today for this congregation. The imam referenced the following hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
“On every Friday the angels take their stand at every gate of the mosque to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer) and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.”
And as for their difference to mankind, we know that the key difference is that angels were created with the inability to disobey Allah SWT. We, on the other hand, have free will and obey Allah SWT through choice. In fact, we have been taught in previous reminders that it is this difference that makes us the best of creation.
Dear brothers and sisters, it is precisely because of the fact that we are the best of creation that we ought to take the lesson from today’s reminder. Although we have been taught that angels exist, the fact that we are unable to see them, makes us the best of creation.
This is because through the acceptance of their creation, we are exercising through free will our obedience to Allah SWT, His Angels and His instruction for us to believe in the Unseen.