As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 6


The Arab Pagans claimed that Angels were daughters of Allah

One should always remember that the knowledge of the Ghayb (unseen), which includes information concerning the angels, is only known to Allah as mentioned in the Qur'aan, 'He (Allah alone) is the Knower of the Unseen, and He does not reveal His secrets to anyone - except to him whom He chooses namely, a Messenger of His.' [Soorah al-Jinn (72):26-27] Thus, Allah does not reveal any information of the Ghayb to anyone except to His Messengers from amongst humans and angels. Allah has restricted this information because reporting about the Ghayb is among the signs of Prophet-hood. Allah also revealed many matters of the Ghayb to our Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) who informed us of them, like the angels, jinn, hereafter, and others. It is important to mention here that even the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) did not have the absolute knowledge of the Ghayb. He only knew that which was revealed to him through revelation from Allah. Allah says in the Qur'aan, 'Say (O Muhammad sallallahu alahi wa-sallam), 'I don't tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the unseen … but, I follow what is revealed to me by inspiration.' [Soorah al-An'am (6): 50] Consequently, he (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) is our one and only source of information about the Ghayb. However, with the completion of revelation from Allah, our source to the knowledge about the Ghayb has ceased. We therefore, have to suffice with what has reached us from the Messenger about the Ghayb, and any statement made concerning the Ghayb has to backed with proofs from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.

One of the reasons why the children of Adam go astray while speaking about the unseen is when they make false and baseless claims about the unseen. Such was the case of the Arab Pagans at the time of Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam), who made many claims about the matters of the Ghayb without any genuine source of information. Allah rebuked them saying, 'Or have they a stairway (to Heaven), by means of which they listen? Then let their listeners produce some manifest proof.' [Soorah at-Tur (52): 38]

One of their astray claims was that angels are females, and they mixed this idea with that which is far removed from the truth - that these females are daughters of Allah (Na'oudhubillah). The Qur'aan refuted them and pointed out that they had no sound evidence for their claims. It is strange indeed that they attributed daughters to Allah, when they themselves hated daughters. Allah says in Soorah as-Saffat (37): 149-156, 'Now ask them (O Muhammad), 'Are there daughters for your Lord and sons for them? Or did We create the angels females while they were witnesses? Verily, it is of their falsehood that they (Quraysh pagans) say, 'Allah has begotten offspring or children (i.e. angels are the daughters of Allah)?' And, verily, they are liars! Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons? What is the matter with you? How do you decide? Will you not then remember? Or is there for you a plain authority?'

Allah says in Soorah az-Zumar (39): 4, 'Had Allah willed to take a son (or offspring or children), He could have chosen whom He pleases out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! (He is above such things). He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.' Imam Ibn Katheer writes, '…Then Allah states that He does not have any offspring, as the ignorant idolaters claim the angels to be… 'Had Allah willed to take a son, He could have chosen whom He willed out of those who He created.' Meaning, the matter would not have been as they claim. This is a conditional sentence, which does not imply that this happened or that it is permitted, indeed, it is impossible… 'But glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.' means, exalted and sanctified be He above the idea that He could have any offspring, for He is the One, the Only, the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master to Whom everything is enslaved and is in need of. He is the One Who is independent of all else, Who has subjugated all things and they submit humbly to Him. Blessed and exalted be He far above what the wrongdoers and deniers say.' [See, Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

Thus, the best manner in which the Angels are described is 'slaves of Allah' and they cannot be described as males or females. Allah has described the true status of the angels in a number of places in the Qur'aan, 'And they say, 'The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or children).' Glory to Him! They [those whom they call children of Allah i.e. the angels, 'Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary), 'Uzair (Ezra), etc.], are but honored slaves.' [Soorah al-Ambiya (21): 26]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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