What is the essence of belief in angels?
Belief in angels comprises the following three aspects:
1. Accepting the fact that existence includes creations and beings that are beyond our five perception faculties’ capacity;
2. Accepting the fact that there exists a dimension beyond human comprehension; and
3. Accepting the fact that objects have unseen dimensions beyond dimensions we can perceive.
How does Islam describe angels?
The word “angel” instantly invokes the name of “Gabriel”—the angel of revelation, who is often mentioned in the Qur’an. The archangel Gabriel’s task is delivering divine perfect revelations to Allah’s prophets on Earth. The angel of revelation is a messenger between the divine source of revelation—the well-guarded divine writ (al-lawh al-makhfooth) and bearers of the prophetic mission. Gabriel delivered the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad over the period of 23 years; and Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his true shape and nature twice (Najm 53:5-18).
Angels are such creatures, who unconditionally and absolutely submit themselves to Allah. The Qur’anic concept of “angels” includes “the metaphysical codes of physical entities,” which Allah utilizes whenever He wishes to do so. Allah is involved in the lives of His physical creatures by the means of metaphysical codes, which the Qur’an calls “angels” as well.
Prophet Abraham was saved precisely in this way from the fire Nimrod threw him into. Prophet Moses and those who believed in his prophetic mission were able to cross the Red Sea thanks to that divine intervention. Whatever the true nature of this divine intervention’s metaphysic mechanism is, the Qur’an employs the term “angels.”
Who is Satan according to Islam?
Islam teaches that Satan (Devil) is not an enemy or a competitor of Allah; rather Satan is a deviant and sinful slave of Allah. The conclusion one arrives at after reading the stories of Adam and Satan in the Qur’an is that both Adam and Satan disobeyed Allah’s commands and thus committed sin (Taha 20:121).
However, Adam realized his shortcoming and repented to Allah and Allah forgave him (Baqarah 2:37), whereas Satan adamantly insisted on advocating for his sin of revolting against Allah and was therefore deprived of Allah’s divine mercy (A`raf 7:12). Islam teaches that Satan knows Allah in His true state and acknowledges Allah’s supremacy over anyone and anything; furthermore, Satan swears by Allah’s majesty and supremacy (‘Anfal 8:48).
According to the Qur’an, Satan is an enemy and a competitor of humans, and certainly not of Allah. Satan has vowed to apply every effort possible to lead Allah’s creations astray from the divinely ordained path and to take as many humans to the Hellfire as possible along with himself (A`raf 7:16).
Allah has allowed Satan to continue his existence only to prevent humans from alienating other fellow humans. The reason behind Satan’s existence is preventing humans from alienating their own fellow humans. Humans are not immune to weaknesses, which are actually side effects of humans’ virtues. One of the weaknesses humans suffer from is a constant search for an enemy. Satan is certainly an enemy to humans. By creating Satan, Allah is sending humans the following message: O humans! If there is one entity you must alienate from yourself and alienate yourself from it, it is Satan! For Satan is your apparent enemy! (Baqarah 2:168).
According to the last revelation, Satan has no power whatsoever over those humans, who have active mind, freewill and clear conscience to be aware of responsibility and accountability (‘Isra’ 17:65).
Therefore, if one does end up under Satan’s influence, he has no right to blame Satan for that. Allah has given that human mind, will and conscience, which he failed to activate and employ for his own benefit (Zukhruf 43:36).
Failing to resist Satan’s temptations and empty promises does not constitute an excuse (‘Ibrahim 14:22).