As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 6

 

Attributes of the Angels

Physical composure: Angels have great physical composure, for instance, consider the description of Jibraeel (alaihi as-salaam) in the following reports. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) said, 'I saw Jibraeel descending from heaven, and his great size filled the space between the heaven and the earth.' [Saheeh Muslim (no. 177)] and Abdullah ibn Mas'ood (radhi allahu anhu) said, 'The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) saw Jibraeel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allah knows about them.' [Musnad Ahmad. Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidayah 1/47 that its isnad is jayyid.]

Among the greatest angels are those, who carry the Throne of Allah, whom the Prophet (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) described in the following words, 'I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of Allah who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.' [Sunan Abee Dawood (Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi'l-Jahamiyyah)]


Wings: From the important physical characteristics of the angels is their wings, some have two wings, some have three or four, and some have more than that. Allah says in the Qur'aan, 'Praise belongs to Allah, the Bringer into being of the heavens and the earth, the Maker of the angels into Messengers, possessing wings - two, three and four. He adds to creation in any way He wills. Allah is over all things powerful.' [Soorah Fatir (35): 1] It is narrated in Saheeh al-Bukharee that Abdullah ibn Mas'ood said, 'Muhammad (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) saw Jibraeel with six hundred wings.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee (8/610, hadeeth no. 4856, 4857)]


Food and Drink: Angels are created in such a way that they do not eat or drink. Allah has informed us that the angels came to Ibraheem in human form and he offered them food, but they did not stretch out their hands towards it. 'And verily, there came Our Messengers to Ibraheem with glad tidings… and he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf. But when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said, 'Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Loot.' [Soorah al-Hud (11): 69]


Great Power: 'What indicates their (i.e., the angels) great strength is that if Allah commands just one of them, then indeed, he is able to let out an awful cry in the world, thus destroying the creation, as occurred with the people of Thamood, who were seized by a loud scream. Jibraeel unleashed one powerful scream upon them, 'Verily, We sent against them a single sayhah (awful cry), and they became like the dry straw of fences.' [Soorah al-Qamar (54): 31] So, their hearts ceased to function within their bodies and as a result they died and became like dry straw. It was from the custom of the Arabs that when they would settle in a place, they would gather sticks of wood and make fences to surround their sheep and cattle. These fences would eventually dry up and become pieces of straw. So…they became like dried-up straws as a result of one loud cry from one of the angels.

Allah also commanded Jibraeel (alaihi as-salaam) to raise up the towns of the people of Loot and they were seven cities in which could be found humans, buildings, goods and animals. He carried them on one side of his wing and raised these cities until the (other) angels heard the barking of dogs and the crowing of roosters. Then he overturned them and Allah caused the earth to swallow them up. This is an example of the mighty power of the angels.' [See, Shaikh Salih ibn Fawzan's al-Eeman bil-Malaaikah wa-Athruhu fi-Hayatil-Ummah]

Great Speed: Angels have great speed. The greatest speed known to humans is the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second but the speed of the angels is greater than that. It cannot be measured by human standards. A questioner would come to the Messenger (sallallahu alahi wa-sallam) and would hardly have finished asking his question before Jibraeel would come with the answer from Allah.


Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter - http://www.qsep.com

 

eXTReMe Tracker