Do Angels have a real influence on their duties?
No cause or agent, including angels, has a real influence. Power and strength belong only to Allah. And it is the endless strength of Allah that does all works. Angels and other causes are only servants in charge of declaring and spreading the real power which is coming from that strength. So, angels and causes are like the clerks of a government that convey the orders coming from the higher authority.
The reason why angels and other causes are a means of the Works of Allah is the fact that the dignity and power of Allah requires veiling. A great commander does not examine the wards, a governor does not fine in a market like a policeman, or a chief constable does not stop cars like a traffic police. These works are not suitable for their position and dignity so they perform these works through means. Similarly, the dignity and greatness of Allah requires performing tasks through means. The only difference is that the agents of Allah are not administrators and they have no influence or strength. The duty of those angels is the declaration of that strength. So, angels and other causes are a kind of means which were invented for showing the strength and the glory of His divinity. Another wisdom of the creation of angels and causes is because those who are ignorant and careless cannot see the wisdom and beauties in events, they complain of Allah. In order to divert these complaints, angels and causes are set between them. We can understand this mystery with the following example: Hz. Azrael said to Allah Almighty:
-Your servants will be vexed at me and complain about me when I carry out my duty of seizing the spirits of the dying.
Allah Almighty answered Him with wisdom:
-“I shall make illnesses and calamities a veil to your duties, so my servants’ complaints will be directed at them and not at you.”
Yes, illnesses and calamities are a kind of curtain to Hz. Azrael and a resort to the complaints for awfulness that are thought to be coming from death. Similarly, Hz. Azrael is also a veil to the strength of Allah Almighty and so appointed with that duty in order to divert those complaints towards him and be a resort to some events that are seemingly unmerciful and not appropriate to Allah’s mercy in the event of seizing the spirits. Yes, dignity and grandeur require that causes are curtain-holders to the Hand of Power in the mind’s view, while Divine Unity and Glory demand that causes draw back their hands from the true effect.