Does Hazrat Azrael take away the spirits of every person by himself, or does he have anyone who helps him?
There are three different views on this issue.
The First View: Hz. Azrael (A.S) takes away the spirits of people by himself. One task does not interfere with another because he is luminous. A luminous thing can be present and appear in various mirrors and places. The reflection of a luminous thing has all qualities of that luminous person. It is considered the same. For example, though the sun is single, it is seen on endless bubbles of seas, drops of rain, stars of skies and on every transparent matter. Being visible in some place is not an obstacle for its reflection in another place. It shows its warmth, color and other qualities everywhere. That is, every transparent particle contains a real sun in it.
Besides, the reflection of the sun is based on the reflection of the mirror. If the mirror is red, then it is seen red, if it is yellow, it is seen yellow or if it is green, it is seen green. As the sun is semi-luminous and a lifeless thing and can be present on any matter at the same time with all of its qualities, one must accept that a real luminous angel like Hazrat Azrael that was created from light but not a material thing can be present in thousands of places with all of his qualities. Let alone an angel, saints who become successful in detaching themselves from the matter of the world and connected in spirituality are seen in many places at the same time. The sound news about the saint who is called Somuncu Baba comes out from the seven doors of the mosque that he goes at the same time and visits seven different persons at the same time has reached us. And again, it is known that great saints can be present both in Hajj (pilgrimage) and the mosque and in many other places at the same time and these events are so many that they cannot be denied. So, every individual becomes a kind of mirror of the manifestation of Hazrat Azrael (A.S). Just as the sun is seen in different mirrors in different ways, Hz. Azrael appears different for every individual. Its dreaded appearance to the sinners and good persons is not the same. Every person becomes a kind of mirror of Azrael’s different appearances according to his/her way of life.
Gabriel (A.S) was once seen in the presence of the prophet in the form of a companion called Dihya, at the same time He prostrated in front of the Arsh al-Azam (the Greatest Throne) from west to the east with His great wings and became manifest in thousands of places based on the capacity of those places. Just like this, while Hz. Azrael is a single being but reflects on many places and is luminous, he can be present in thousands of places at the same time and his taking a spirit is not an obstacle for taking another spirit. He appears different for every person. A mirror is seen dark if it is dark and it is seen white if it is white.
The Second View: Angels such as Hz. Gabriel, Michael and Azrael are a kind of commanders and they have helpers. And those helpers are different based on the types of their creation. The angel who takes away the spirits of good people and the learners of science is different. And the angel who takes away the spirits of sinners is different. And so on…
The third view: As we have mentioned before, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated the following: “There are some angels that have forty thousand heads, and in each head are forty thousand tongues and with each tongue they utter forty thousand glorifications.”
According to those who hold this third view, Hz. Azrael is a grand angel. He has a different kind of face for every person and a peculiar looking for them. So according to those who hold this view there are faces of Azrael for every person.