The Role of the Angels in Islam
Allah created angels as His aides and servants. The range of tasks reserved for them encompasses a variety of service functions. According to the Holy Quran, angels are “those who arrange each matter” (79:5) Angels look after the matters prescribed for the earth in Heavens. Actually, they are God’s tools, the conduits of His Will. The inventory of the matters includes all the things imaginable from rain and land fertility to people’s life and death.
In Heaven, angels are tasked with serving Allah, carrying His Throne and exalting in the praising of Him and in pleading with Him on behalf of ordinary people: “Those angels who carry the Throne and those around it exalt Allah with praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask forgiveness for those who have believed.” (40:7)
On earth, angels are appointed as executors of Allah’s Decrees and as guardians of each and every person on behalf of Allah. As well as they say, “And He is the subjugator over His servants, and He sends over you guardian-angels until, when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and they do not fail in their duties.” (6:61) Angels accompany men from the very instance of their birth and even in their mother’s womb.
This is how the Messenger of Allah describes their duties at that time: “Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, has appointed an angel as the caretaker of the womb, and he would say: My Lord, it is now a drop of semen; my Lord, It is now a clot of blood; my Lord, it has now become a lump of flesh, and when Allah decides to give it a final shape, the angel says: My Lord, would it be male or female or would he be an evil or a good person? What about his livelihood and his age? And it is all written as he is in the womb of his mother.” (Sahih Muslim, 2646)
After birth, angels accompany men as observers of their deeds on behalf of the Lord. Moreover, intercessors for them with the Lord.
“Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared to record.” (50:18) “Noble and recording; they know whatever you do.” (82:11-12)
As guardians of people, angels stand up on their behalf in fighting.
“Remember when you asked help of your Lord, and He answered you, “Indeed, I will reinforce you with a thousand from the angels, following one another.” (8:9).
Allah sends His angels whenever He wants to protect something or someone. Whatever it may be, if God’s protection is spread over it, you may rest assured there is an angel present. Also, all natural phenomena and Acts of God are transmitted to earth through angels. For example, God entrusted rain to the care of Angel Michael and spiritual revelation to Angel Gabriel.
Finally, when the time appointed for you by Allah for your sojourn in this world should expire, it is the angel of death whom Allah shall send to take you to Him. “The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned.” (32:11)
Such are some of the duties of angels and such is one of the insights which God the Almighty gives us of the way He has designed this world.