A long time ago, Allah Almighty created the angels. He created them long before He created Adam. They worshipped Allah and glorified Him. They did their duties well and were perfectly submissive to Allah. When Allah created Adam, He wanted all the angels to bow and submit to him. There were thousands and thousands of angels. Adam was created from the elements of earth, from mere clay. It was a sign of Allah (Ayah) that man with eyes and ears, with arms and legs, and a beating heart was created only from clay. This man was not like the animals for he could speak, think, and decide. He could judge and choose between right and wrong, good and bad. Almighty Allah wanted all the Angels to bow in respect to this man, the man with the mind whom He called Adam. DID THEY BOW? Angels were created from the energy of light. Allah created them in such a way that they always obeyed Him. They have no desire to disobey Allah whatsoever. Allah, of course, knew this and how they were different from Adam. He wanted the angels to bow to Adam (to give in to him) in respect and admiration. When the Almighty said, “Bow to Adam,” the thousands upon thousands of angels bowed in respect, obeying the Almighty and His order. In other words, they submitted to Adam though they were superior to him because of the way they were created. They bowed, respectfully, admiringly and with submission out of obedience to Allah’s will. But, alone there stood Iblees (Sheitan). He was a Jinn among the angels, he defiantly stood. Deliberately he refused to obey Allah’s orders. He was mean and arrogant; he thought very highly of himself. Iblees (Sheitan) had joined the Angels many times before, but now he decided to defy Allah on purpose, he was full of himself. He was an extremely important Jinn, and he never used to disobey Allah. Now, however, he decided to oppose Allah, therefore refusing to obey, feeling so important.
“Why did you not bow to Adam?” asked Allah
“Do you want me to bow (give in) to Adam as my superior, whereas You created him from mere clay, while You have created me from the energy of fire?” answered Sheitan with defiance and arrogance. Too proud, Sheitan (Satan) felt superior to Adam, and felt that Adam did not deserve much, let alone being bowed to. After all Adam was a mere human. Allah had made Iblees (Sheitan) from the energy of fire, a far superior way to what Adam was made from.
WHAT DID ALLAH DO TO IBLEES ?
The angels, as you know, were made in such a way as to have no desire to disobey Allah. Though not an angel, Iblees was among them. Iblees, the terrible, not only defied Allah, but he was full of himself, proud and arrogant. When Iblees (Sheitan) defied Allah, refusing to bow, Allah (swt) wanted to give Sheitan the punishment he deserved. Sheitan, however, asked a favor from Allah. He asked Allah to let him have the freedom to act and to live till the Day of Judgment. Allah Almighty, ever being generous, agreed to the request, and He granted Sheitan his wish. This is how it came to pass that Sheitan is on this earth tempting us to do evil. Sheitan began his work right away. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Bliss contentedly enjoying the bounty of God. He wanted to tempt Adam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) to disobey Allah. He talked to them sneakily, frequently so, in very persuasive ways. Now on the earth at this time, there was a certain tree of knowledge.Almighty Allah had ordered Adam and Hawwa not to approach this tree. Sheitan, however, was deceptive and sneaky. He made them feel as if it was good to approach this tree. He kept talking to Adam and Hawwa over and over again, giving them the feeling that once they approached the tree they would discover something very precious and marvelous, and, oh, how exciting it would be. Innocently, Adam and Hawwa listened to Sheitan and his ideas, and their desire began to grow. That desire became very strong. Their aim now was to approach the tree the tree that seemed to have all the marvelous secrets of life. The more they thought, the more they wanted it. Finally they succumbed and approached the tree. Having done this, they were immediately overcome with a feeling of guilt, they felt very bad. Suddenly they realized they had disobeyed the Almighty. They felt extremely guilty. You see, when they approached the tree, they suddenly were able to sense things they had never been aware of before. Things seemed so different now. How bad it had been to listen to Sheitan, and to follow their desires! How sinful it was! They felt let down, deceived and cheated, by Sheitan.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM AFTERWARDS ?
Adam, along with his wife Hawwa (Eve,) felt very guilty, very sorry. They begged Allah and they kept begging Him to forgive them. Allah, being forgiving and compass ionate, did forgive them their sin. But He forgave them with a condition. This condition changed everything for Adam and his wife, and for mankind, from then on. What a drastic change it was! Now that Sheitan had succeeded in making them disobey Allah, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Bliss. They had been content and had led pure lives in the Garden. Now Allah was displeased with them. From that time on, both Adam and his wife were not to be living in the Garden of Bliss, neither would their children. Adam and his family, with all their descendants, would live an ordinary life, just like ours now, and only for a certain length of time. We will all die sometime. Afterwards we will be raised on the Day of Judgment. On that day, we will be judged and given our just reward, and if we are good we will be rewarded Heaven. So, during life on earth, Sheitan had promised to bring mischief, do numerous evil things, enticing everyone possible. Sheitan was a powerful Jinn, but after disobeying Allah, Sheitan became an absolute terror. He is the one who makes us want to be sneaky and dishonest, to lie and cheat and to do many bad deceitful things. Sheitan fools us in devious ways to disobey our Creator, Allah. He tries to make us do bad things. In other words, Sheitan leads us to follow our wild desires, to disobey Allah, or the teachings of Allah. If we follow what Sheitan tempts us to, we will certainly lose. However, if we resist the temptations of Sheitan, and obey Allah, we will be the ones who have gained. We know this even though we cannot see Sheitan since he is invisible.
CAN WE SEE THE ANGELS ?
We cannot see the angels at all. Allah Almighty made them in such a way that we simply cannot see them. This is like this. We cannot see electricity but we know it is there. We cannot see magnetism either. In the same way, we cannot see the angels either. The Prophets, however, did see them. Numerous times, Angel Jubra’eel (Gabriel) appeared in the form of a very handsome man with wings. This happened many times when he revealed a Message from Almighty Allah to a Prophet. Muhammad (pbuh) was gripped with fear when he saw Jubra’eel for the first time. He saw Jubra’eel in the expanse of space between the skies and the earth. Whenever Muhammad (pbuh) moved his face, he could see Jubra’eel.Muhammad (pbuh) was overwhelmed and awe struck. He shook with fear. After several appearances of the Angel Jubra’eel, the Prophet felt ecstasy and tremendous comfort in seeing him. Other Prophets saw Angel Jubra’eel too, since he was the one who brought the Message of Allah to the Prophets. But Jubra’eel was not the only angel who was seen by a man. At times other angels appeared too. There were the three angels who were dressed like men and came to give the good news to Ibrahim. They told him that his old wife Sarah was going to have a baby by the wish of Allah. The old woman, Sarah, became surprised, yet she did become pregnant and she had her baby nine months later. As you know, old women don’t become pregnant. Sarah, however, did miraculously become pregnant by the wish of Allah.
YOU MEAN SOME ANGELS HAVE “WINGS” ?
Some angels have “wings”, meaning degrees of importance. Some have a pair of wings, others have two pairs, and some even have more than that. The Holy Quran mentions them as follows in Surah 35: Ayah 1:“PRAISE BE TO ALLAH, CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, WHO MADE THE ANGELS: MESSENGERS WITH WINGS, TWO, THREE, OR FOUR (PAIRS).
TELL ME MORE ABOUT ANGELS
The Angels, as we said, are invisible to us. Allah Almighty made them that way. We cannot see them, but they may see us. They don’t have a body like ours. They don’t eat or drink. They don’t get hungry and they don’t get thirsty. They don’t breathe. As you can see, they truly are quite different from us. Above all, the angels were created by Allah in such a way that they have no desires. This means they don’t desire to be rich or to be famous, or any desires like ours. They each have special duties and each angel does his work as he is supposed to without any complaints. They don’t object and they don’t complain, no matter what they are supposed to do. They spend their time serving Allah and glorifying Him. People, however, do have many desires. We want to do things that please us. Allah (swt) gave us a good mind to think with. If we are thinking right, on the right track, and if we control our desires carefully, then we will gain Allah’s reward (Paradise). If we follow the call of Sheitan through our desires then we end up as losers. Our biggest enemy on earth is the treacherous Sheitan (Satan). who cheats us out of our rewards.
FOUR ANGELS STAND OUT
There are four Archangels who stand out as most important. They areas follows: The first is Jubra’eel. Jubra’eel, as you know, is the Angel who delivered Allah’s Message to all of the Prophets, from Adam, the first Prophet to Muhammad, the last. He glowed bright with light, very handsome and very friendly, often with wings. The second angel is Mee’Ka’eel (Michael). The third angel is Israfeel. The fourth angel is Izra’eel. Izra’eel is the Angel of Death. He is the one whose duty is to take the soul when a person dies.
WILL THE ANGELS LIVE FOREVER ?
The angels will not live forever. By the time the Day of Judgment comes, everyone will be dead. In addition to that, all of the angels will be dead, too. They will be the last to die, the Angel Jubra’eel being the very last. Only the Almighty, will be there. Just as Allah was there before any creation, He will be there after all is gone. When the universe as we know it is gone, and all Allah’s creations are no longer, then, Allah (swt) will create all of us all over again. All of us will be created as we are now, and so will the angels, animals and other things. All of us will stand to be judged by Him, Allah Himself. Each one will be judged individually, alone, and justly. We will learn about the Day of Judgment soon, but before that you will learn about the Holy Books of Allah because part of our basic belief as Muslims is the belief in all of the Holy Books of Allah.