Do angels have minds?

Details of the Question

Nowadays, there is a discussion whether angels have minds or not; to what extent is it true?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi gives the following information about angels:

"Reality undoubtedly requires and wisdom certainly demands that like the earth the heavens have inhabitants, and that its inhabitants are intelligent, and suitable for the heavens. In the tongue of the Shari‘a, those inhabitants, of which there are numerous kinds, are called “angels and spirit beings”.

"Reality requires it to be thus. For despite the earth’s smallness and insignificance in relation to the heavens, its being filled with intelligent beings and from time to time being emptied and then refilled with new ones suggests —indeed, states clearly— that the heavens too, with their majestic constellations like adorned palaces, are filled with animate creatures, the light of the light of existence, and conscious and intelligent creatures, the light of animate creatures."

"Like man and the jinn, those creatures are spectators of the palace of the world, and ponderers over the book of the universe, and heralds of this realm of dominicality. With their universal and comprehensive worship, they represent the glorification of the large and universal beings in the universe."

"The nature of the universe surely points to their existence. For since it is embellished and decked out with uncountable numbers of finely adorned works of art and meaningful decorations and wise embroideries, it self-evidently requires the gazes of thoughtful admirers and wondering, appreciative lovers; it demands their existence."

"Yes, just as beauty requires a lover, so is food is given to the hungry. Thus, the sustenance of spirits and nourishment of hearts in this boundless beauty of art looks to the angels and spirit beings; it points to them."

"For while this infinite adornment requires an infinite duty of contemplation and worship, man and the jinn can perform only a millionth of that infinite duty, that wise supervision, that extensive worship. This means that boundless varieties of angels and spirit beings are necessary to perform those duties, and to fill and inhabit the mighty mosque of the world with their ranks." (Sözler, Yirmi Dokuzuncu Söz (Words, Twenty-ninth Word))

The determinations above show us that angels have consciousness and mind. If we suppose that angels are beings that lack mind and consciousness, the following conclusion will be reached: We will be in a position to regard the beings before the creation of humans and jinn, the endless works of art in the beings and divine arts in the endless space, which cannot be seen by the eyes of humans and jinn, as meaningless things.

We think that it is a strained interpretation to regard an angel like Jibril (Gabriel), who received revelation and conveyed it to the Prophet (pbuh) and who was the teacher of the Prophet (pbuh), and the species of angels he belongs to as beings without mind and consciousness.

For more information, please click on the link given below;

Belief in Angels

Questions on Islam

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