[2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in God, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves; and they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat); and they keep their word whenever they make a promise; and they steadfastly persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and war. These are the truthful; these are the righteous.
Angels are devoted submitters to God alone who are extensively mentioned in Quran. God clarifies what convictions they have and what tasks they are in charge of. Students of Quran easily conclude that they are God's dedicated worshipers and servants (43:19) who uphold God's absolute authority without wavering, glorify Him, praise Him (2:30) and race to carry out His orders (79:4-5, 15:7-8). Mediating God's missions is what makes them referenced by Him as messengers which is one of the literal meanings of angels (22:75, 43:80, 77:5). They are constant messengers; on duty, non-stop, until the Day of Judgment. They surround us, every night and day all year around to perform certain duties as decreed by God (79:3-5):
- God along with the Spirit and the angels placed Quran in prophet Muhammad's heart on the Night of Destiny (16:2, 97:4, 44:4, 53:1-10, 2:97).
- The angels were also witnesses for that process of revelation (4:166).
- They will be witnesses on the Day Of Judgment (78:38).
- They guard us which means they are our keepers according to God's plans and based on our choices (13:11).
- They support the prophets and all the believers according to God's will (33:43, 33:56, 3:124-125, 8:9,12).
-They are messengers to deliver good news or warnings and to inspire the believers (41:30-31, 3:39,42,45, 11:81).
- They take our souls when it is time to depart earth, and they lead the believers straight to Paradise (16:28,32).
- They will descend and will be seen in multitudes on the Day of Judgment (25:22-25).
- They receive the believers on the Day of Judgment to comfort them and protect them from any horror of that day (21:103).
- They record everything we do or utter on earth (50:17, 43:80).
- They climb to God with their reports (32:5, 70:4).
- They stir clouds and drive the wind (77:2-3).
- They guard Hell & Paradise, and float around the believers in Paradise (74:31, 39:73, 13:23).
- They surround the throne of the Most Gracious (69:17, 39:75, 89:22).
There are many controversies and man-made innovations that surround the angels starting from questioning their existence, attributing certain looks or feminine gender to them (43:19, 37:150, 53:27) and all the way to idolizing them as entities that have powers and could serve without God's full authority (3:79-80). All of this is explicitly refuted in Quran.
One of the commonly used expressions by humans is:".....is like an angel". We usually resort to that when a person is portraying qualities that we generally attribute to angels such as physical beauty, sincerity, purity of thoughts, kindness, or when this person serves us and/or saves us just in time when it is urgently needed.
The truth of the matter is that our standards and perceptions of how an angel should be are irrelevant and at times false. The absolute truth about angels is already detailed in Quran, and all that we need to know about them is presented for us in black and white. According to our shortsighted understanding of kindness, angels would not always be considered kind (79:1-2, 6:93, 8:50, 47:27, 66:6). The portrayed image of them in art work as beautiful creatures is only a man-made assumption based on the human standards of beauty but their actual physical appearance is only briefly mentioned in Quran (35:1). They are not always at our rescue ; they might support us and guard us or not according to God's decree and based on the choices we make (13:11). They might deliver certain blessings while withholding them for others according to God's decree (77:2-4).
This reminder emphasizes the one quality of angels that should matter the most to believers. It is their unconditional submission to God alone, and their dedication to serve Him, obey Him, and please Him. Their full awareness of God and their unwavering faith in Him makes them set such a perfect and powerful example of how true believers in God should be. For the students of Quran, "like an angel" should only imply the awesome blessing of certainty and the quality of the absolute devotion to the only Lord and Master.
Angels are full of reverence and compassion for God. They value Him as He should be valued. They obey Him without the least hesitance or arrogance. They act based on His will, and utter what conforms with His set laws and systems. Examples of that are that they are the believers' allies (41:30-31), they pray for their forgiveness (40:7), and they condemn the disbelievers (3:87, 2:161). They will testify according to the divine righteousness on the Day of Judgment (78:38). Allying with believers, praying for the forgiveness of the believers, dissociating from disbelievers, condemning disbelief, and uttering only what goes with God's laws and teachings are all set divine commands.
Be like an angel:
[3:18] God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess knowledge. Truthfully and equitably, He is the absolute god; there is no god but He, the Almighty, Most Wise.
[16:49] To God prostrates everything in the heavens and everything on earth - every creature - and so do the angels; without the least arrogance.
[16:50] They reverence their Lord, high above them, and they do what they are commanded to do.
[66:6] O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from the Hellfire whose fuel is people and rocks. Guarding it are stern and powerful angels who never disobey God; they do whatever they are commanded to do.
[40:7] Those who serve the throne and all those around it glorify and praise their Lord, and believe in Him. And they ask forgiveness for those who believe: "Our Lord, Your mercy and Your knowledge encompass all things. Forgive those who repent and follow Your path, and spare them the retribution of Hell.
[40:8] "Our Lord, and admit them into the gardens of Eden that You promised for them and for the righteous among their parents, spouses, and children. You are the Almighty, Most Wise.
[40:9] "And protect them from falling in sin. Whomever You protect from falling in sin, on that day, has attained mercy from You. This is the greatest triumph."
[13:13] The thunder praises His glory, and so do the angels, out of reverence for Him. He sends the lightning bolts, which strike in accordance with His will. Yet, they argue about God, though His power is awesome.
[2:31] He taught Adam all the names then presented them to the angels, saying, "Give me the names of these, if you are right."
[2:32] They said, "Be You glorified, we have no knowledge, except that which You have taught us. You are the Omniscient, Most Wise."
[78:38] The day will come when the Spirit and the angels will stand in a row. None will speak except those permitted by the Most Gracious, and they will utter only what is right.
[2:30] Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative (a temporary god) on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know."
[4:172] The Messiah would never disdain from being a servant of God, nor would the closest angels. Those who disdain from worshiping Him, and are too arrogant to submit, He will summon them all before Him.
If we live up to our Shahadah in 3:18 and uphold God's absolute authority, if we reverence Him as He should be reverenced, if we unconditionally follow His commandments, if we value His perfect black and white Arabic words in Quran, if we proclaim and promote them as the ultimate reference and the only valid source of religious guidance, if we act upon His decreed laws and systems, if we love what He loves, if we abhor what He abhors, and if we only utter what conforms with His truth as taught by Him, we will be following the example of God's angels as devoted worshipers and servants of God.
Be like an angel.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.