How should angels’ being support for man be understood?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Angels are beings created from light among the creatures created by Allah; their duty is only worshipping and fulfilling the duties Allah has given them.

Our knowledge about angels, which we cannot see with our eyes due to their nature of creation, is limited to the information given to us by the Quran and the Prophet (pbuh). The following verses provide us with important data regarding the support of angels to humans:

“For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah...” (ar-Rad, 13/11)

“…And the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth: Behold! Verily Allah is He, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (ash-Shura, 42/5)

“Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah. and those around it Sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore Forgiveness for those who believe:

“Our Lord! Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance, and follow Thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire! And grant, our Lord! that they enter the Gardens of Eternity, which Thou hast promised to them, and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their posterity! For Thou art (He), the Exalted in Might, Full of Wisdom. And preserve them from (all) ills; and any whom Thou dost preserve from ills that Day,- on them wilt Thou have bestowed Mercy indeed: and that will be truly (for them) the highest Achievement”.” (al-Mumin 40/7-9)

In a hadith reported Abdullah b. Mas’ud, the Prophet (pbuh) mentions the support of angels to humans as follows:

“Indeed, Satan has an effect on the heart of man and the angel also has an effect. Satan puts the feelings of evil and rejecting the truth in man’s heart. As for the angel, he puts the feelings of goodness and believing in the truth in man’s heart. If a person perceives such a good feeling, he should know that it is from Allah, and let him praise Allah for it. If a person perceives a bad feeling, he should seek refuge with Allah from the outcast Satan!” Then, he recited the following verse:

“The Evil one threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promiseth you His forgiveness and bounties. And Allah careth for all and He knoweth all things.” (al-Baqara 2/268; for the hadith, see Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 3; Nasai, Tafsir, 46)

In addition, the angels’ help and moral support to Muslims in wars, and giving fear and despair to the enemies are also reported. Moreover, when we view the issue in terms of the perfect fulfillment of the duties by the angels given to them by Allah (see at-Tahrim 66/6), it can be said that the angels other than the guardian angels, who are specially responsible for humans, can also help and support people any time, with Allah’s permission.

Therefore, it is clear that there is a connection between angels and humans even if they are not seen by humans and their nature is not known exactly.

It is also possible to list the support of angels to man under the following headings:

1. Praying to Allah and asking for forgiveness for people,

2. Wanting people to behave well in the world and make the right choices by inspiring goodness into people’s hearts,

3. Protecting people from many harms and dangers that they are unaware of, with Allah’s permission,

4. Helping people absolutely in line with Allah’s permission, will and order.

The most important point to know about the help and support of angels is the fact that help is essentially from Allah and neither angels nor other beings can provide any help without Allah’s permission. The following verses regarding the issue reveal that point:

“Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: Is it not enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels (Specially) sent down? Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught. Allah made it but a message of hope for you, and an assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah. The Exalted, the Wise.” (Aal-i Imran 3/124-126)

“How many-so-ever be the angels in the heavens, their intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He pleases and that he is acceptable to Him.” (an-Najm 53/26)

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