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Friday, April 29, 2011

The angels appear in human form; who sees them in their true form?

The angels appear in human form; who sees them in their true form?
Is it true that children can see the angels?.


Praise be to Allaah.

Allaah created man from dust, He created the jinn from fire
and He created the angels from light. It is proven by the definitive texts
that it is not possible for humans to see the jinn unless they appear in a
different form, such as in the form of humans and animals. The angels cannot
be seen in their original form by most people unless they appear in human

In the answer to question no.
70364 we have explained in
detail that it is impossible for most people to see the angels in their
original form, and that this was not granted to anyone of this ummah except
the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

As for the angels appearing in human form, this is proven
in the Qur’aan and saheeh Sunnah. If an angel
appears in human form, it is possible for everyone to see him and there is
no difference between males and females, or old and young. But no one can
be certain that a person he is seeing is an angel, because proof that
they are angels is dependent on Wahy (Revelation) from Allaah, and how can
that happen after the death of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him)? 

The angels appeared in human form and came to Ibraaheem and
Loot (peace be upon them), but they did not know who they really were until
the angels told them, so it is more likely that other people cannot have any
knowledge of that. 

Among the evidence that the angels can appear in human form
and that they can be seen in that form is the following 


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And mention in the Book (the Qur’aan, O Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم , the story of)
Maryam (Mary), when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place
facing east.

17. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them;
then We sent to her Our Ruh [angel Jibreel (Gabriel)], and he appeared
before her in the form of a man in all respects.

18. She said: ‘Verily, I seek refuge with the Most
Gracious (Allaah) from you, if you do fear Allaah.’

19. (The angel) said: ‘I am only a messenger from your
Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son’”

[Maryam 19:16-19] 


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Has the story reached you, of the honoured guests [three
angels; Jibreel (Gabriel) along with another two] of Ibraaheem (Abraham)?

25. When they came in to him and said: ‘Salaam, (peace be
upon you)!’ He answered: ‘Salaam, (peace be upon you ),’ and said: ‘You are
a people unknown to me.’

26. Then he turned to his household, and brought out a
roasted calf [as the property of Ibraaheem (Abraham) was mainly cows].

27. And placed it before them (saying): ‘Will you not

28. Then he conceived fear of them (when they ate not).
They said: ‘Fear not.’ And they gave him glad tidings of a son having
knowledge (about Allaah and His religion of True Monotheism)”

[al-Dhaariyaat 51:24-28] 


Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when Our messengers came to Loot (Lot), he was
grieved on account of them and felt himself straitened for them (lest the
town people should approach them to commit sodomy with them). He said: ‘This
is a distressful day’”

[Hood 11:77] 


It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: Whilst we
were with the Messenger of Allaah (S) one day, a man came to us whose
garment was exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black, and
there were no signs of travel on him, and none of us knew who he was. He
came and sat before the Prophet (S), resting his knees against his and
placing his hands on his thighs. He said: O Muhammad, tell me about Islam. …
He [‘Umar] said: Then he went away. I stayed there for a while, then he (the
Prophet (S)) said to me: “O ‘Umar, do you know who that questioner was?” I
said: Allaah and His Messenger know best. He said: “That was Jibreel, who
came to you to teach you your religion.”

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (8). 


The story of the trial of the leper, bald man and blind man
among the Children of Israel, in which it says that Allaah sent an angel in
human form to test them. 

Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3277) and Muslim (2964). 


It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with
him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that
“A man visited a brother of his in another town, and Allaah sent an angel to
wait for him on the road. When he came to him, he said: Where are you
headed? He said: I am headed to a brother of mine in this town. He said:
Have you done him any favour for which you hope to be recompensed? He said:
No, but I love him for the sake of Allaah. He said: I am a messenger from
Allaah to you, to tell you that Allaah loves you as you love him for His

Narrated by Muslim (2567) 

And there is other saheeh evidence from which is clear that
the angels can be seen, but only in the form in which Allaah commands them
to appear; and then everyone that Allaah decrees should see them will see

The one who claims that he sees the angels in their
original form is a liar or is delusional. The
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saw Jibreel in his
true form, filling the horizon with six hundred wings. Who can claim that he
saw him at that time? Thus it is clear that there is no one among this ummah
who can see the angels in their true form except the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him). As for children, they are like other
people – they cannot see them unless they appear in human form. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him)

Hence humans are unable to see an angel in his true form
unless Allaah helps them, as He helped our Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allaah be upon him). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And they say: ‘Why has not an angel been sent down to
him?’ Had We sent down an angel, the matter would have been judged at once,
and no respite would be granted to them.

9. And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have
made him a man, and We would have certainly confused them in which they are
already confused (i.e. the Message of Prophet Muhammad
صلى الله عليه وسلم)”

[al-An’aam 6:8-9] 

More than one of the salaf said: They are not able to see an
angel in his true form. If We sent an angel down to them, We would make him
appear in human form, and in that case they would be confused as to whether
he was an angel or a man. So what benefit would it be if We sent an angel to
them? So We sent to them a man of their own kind, whom they could see and
learn from, and this was perfect kindness and mercy to mankind. 

Minhaaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah


And Allaah knows best.

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