ANGEL. Arabic mal’ak or malak ملكة, Persian Firishtah فرهشتة
“It is believed,” says Ibn Majah, “that the angels are of a simple substance (created of light), endowed with life, and speech, and reason; and that the difference between them, the Jinn, and Shaittans is a difference of species. Know,” he adds, “that the angels are sanctified from carnal desire and the disturbance of anger: they disobey not God in what He hath commanded them, but do what they are commanded. Their food is the celebrating of His glory; their drink, the proclaiming of His holiness; their conversation, the commemoration of God, Whose name be exalted; their pleasure, His worship, and they are created in different forms and with different powers.” (Arabian Nights, Lane’s edition, Notes to the Introduction, p.27.)
Four of them are archangels, or, as they are called in Arabic Karubiyun (Cherubim), namely, Jabra’il or Jibril, (Gabriel), the angel of revelations; Mika’il or Mikal, (Michael), the patron of the Israelites; Israfil, the angel who will sound the trumpet at the last day; and ‘Izra il, or ‘Azrai il the angel of death. Angels are said to be inferior in dignity to human prophets, because all the angels were commanded to prostrate themselves before Adam (Surah ii. 32). Every believer is attended by two recording angels, called the Kiramu ‘l-katibin, one of whom records his good actions, and the other his evil actions. There are also two angels, called Munkar and Nakir, who examine all the dead in their graves. The chief angel who has charge of hell is called Malik, and his subordinates are named Zabaniyah, or guards. A more extended account of these angels will be found under their particular titles.
The angels intercede for man: “The angels celebrate the praise of their Lord, and, ask forgiveness for the dwellers on earth.” (Surah xlii. 3.) They also act as guardian angels: “Each hath a succession of angels before him and behind him, who watch over him by God’s behest.” (Surah xiii. 12.) “Is it not enough for you that your Lord aideth you with three thousand angels sent down from on high)?” (Surah iii. 120.) “He is the Supreme over His servants, and sendeth forth guardians who watch over you, until, when death overtaketh any one of you, our messengers receive him and fail not.” (Surah ii. 61.)
There are eight angels who support the throne of God, “And the angels shall be on its sides, and over them on that day eight shall bear up the throne of thy Lord.” (Surah lxix. 17). Nineteen have charge of hell. “Over it are nineteen. None but angels have I made guardians of the fire.” (Surah lxiv 30, 31.)
The names of the guardian angels given in the book on Exorcism (da’wah), entitled the Jawahiru ‘l-Khamsah, are Israfil, Jibra’il, Kalkail, Darda il, Durba ‘il, Raftma’il, Sharka’il, Tankafil, Isma’il, Sarakika’il, Kharura’il, Tata’il, Ruva’il, Hula’il, Hamwakil, ‘Itra’il, Amwakil, ‘Amra’ll, ‘Azra’il, Mika’il, Mahka’il, Harta’il, ‘Ata’il, Nura’il, Nukha’il. [EXORCISM.]
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam