To Believe In His Angels

The second of the six fundamentals of iman [1] is "to believe in His angels. " Angels are material but ethereal (latif), more ethereal than the gaseous phase of matter. They are nurani (luminous, spiritual). They are alive. They have reason ('aql). Evils peculiar to human beings do not exist in angels. They can take any shape. As gases turn into liquid and solid and take any shape when becoming solid, so angels can form beautiful shapes. Angels are not souls that have parted from the bodies of great men. Christians presume that angels are such spirits. Unlike energy and power, they are not immaterial. Some ancient philosophers supposed so. All of them are called mala'ika. 'Malak' (angel) means 'envoy, messenger' or 'power. ' Angels were created before all other living creatures. Therefore, we were commanded to believe in them before believing in the holy books, which come before the belief in prophets; and in the Qur'an al-karim the names of these beliefs are given in this succession.

Belief in angels has to be as follows: angels are the creatures of Allahu ta'ala. They are not His partners, nor are they His daughters as disbelievers and polytheists suppose. Allahu ta'ala loves all angels. They obey His commands and never commit sins or disobey the commands. They are neither male nor female. They do not get married. They do not have children. They have life; that is, they are alive.

Of all creatures, angels are the most plentiful. No one but Allahu ta'ala knows their number.

[1] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.