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Friday, April 29, 2011

Will the angels die, and are they male?

Will the angels die, and are they male?
About the angels – will they die? Are there male and female angels? Can they reproduce?.


Praise be to Allaah.

What most people believe is
that the angels will die and that the Angel of Death will die, but there is
no clear text concerning that. Rather there are texts which may indicate
that, and there is the well known hadeeth about the Trumpet, which is a
munkar hadeeth. See: Da’eef al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, no. 2224. 

Among the texts that have
been narrated concerning that is the verse in which Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“Everything will perish
save His Face”

[al-Qasas 28:88]. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said: Allaah tells us that all the inhabitants of the
earth will depart and die, as will the inhabitants of the heavens, except
those whom Allaah wills, and nothing will be left but His noble Countenance,
for the Lord, may He be exalted and sanctified, will not die, rather He is
the Ever-Living Who will never die. Tafseer al-Qur’aan il-‘Azeem,

And Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“And the Trumpet will be
blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will
swoon away, except him whom Allaah wills. Then it will be blown a second
time, and behold they will be standing, looking on (waiting)”

[al-Zumar 39:68]. 

Al-Bukhaari (7383) and
Muslim (2717) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say: “O Allaah, I seek refuge in
Your glory – there is no god but You – from Your sending me astray, for You
are the Ever-Living Who does not die, but jinn and men die.” 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn
Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Will all of creation,
even the angels, die? 

He replied: What most of
the people believe is that all of creation will die, even the angels, and
even ‘Azra’eel the Angel of Death. There is a hadeeth concerning that which
is marfoo’ i.e., attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him). 

The Muslims, Jews and
Christians are all agreed that this is possible and that Allaah is Able to
cause it to happen. It is only some groups of philosophers, the followers of
Aristotle and the like, who differed concerning that, and those so-called
Muslims, Jews and Christians who joined them in that, such as the authors of
the Ikhwaan al-Suffa letters and their ilk who claimed that the angels are
minds and souls and that they cannot die under any circumstances, rather in
their view they are gods and the lords of this world. 

The Qur’aan and all other
scriptures state that the angels are slaves of Allaah who are subject to His
command as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“The Messiah will never
be proud to reject to be a slave of Allaah, nor the angels who are the near
(to Allaah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will
gather them all together unto Himself”

[al-Nisa’ 4:172] 

“And they say: “The Most
Gracious (Allaah) has begotten a son (or children).” Glory to Him! They
[whom they call children of Allaah i.e. the angels, ‘Eesa (Jesus) __ son of
Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzayr (Ezra)], are but honoured slaves”

[al-Anbiya’ 21:26] 

“And there are many
angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after
Allaah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with”

[al-Najm 53:26] 

Allaah is Able to cause
them to die then bring them back to life, just as He is Able to cause
mankind and the jinn to die then bring them back to life. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): 

“And He it is Who
originates the creation, then He will repeat it (after it has been
perished); and this is easier for Him”

[al-Room 30:27]. 

It is proven in a saheeh
hadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),
via more than one isnaad and via more than one of the Sahaabah, that he
said: “When Allaah speaks the Revelation, the angels swoon, and according to
another report, “When the angels hear His words, they swoon.” According to
another report: “The angels hear something like a chain dragging on a rock
and they swoon, then when the fear leaves their hearts, they say: ‘What did
your Lord say?’ They say: ‘The truth.’ Then they call out: ‘The truth, the

In these saheeh ahaadeeth
we are told that they can swoon, so if it is possible for them to swoon, it
is possible for them to die. 

As for the exception (in
the verse “except him whom Allaah wills”), this applies to those who
have been admitted to Paradise of the hoor al-‘iyn, for there is no death in
Paradise; and it applies to others, but we cannot be certain about who is
exempted. It is proven in al-Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people will swoon on the Day of
Resurrection and I will be the first one to wake up, and I will see Moosa
holding onto the leg of the Throne and I will not know whether he awoke
before me or whether he was one of those whom Allaah exempted.” If the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not told of
everyone who will be exempted by Allaah, then we cannot be certain of that.
This is like knowing when the Hour will begin or the names of all the
Prophets, and other things that we have not been told, and this knowledge
cannot be attained except by being told. And Allaah knows best. 

End quote from Majmoo’
al-Fataawa (4/259). 

Al-Suyooti (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said: I was asked: Will the angels die when the Trumpet is
blown and will they come to life when the Trumpet-blast for resurrection is
sounded?  The answer is: Yes. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“And the Trumpet will be
blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will
swoon away, except him whom Allaah wills”

[al-Zumar 39:68] 

We have stated above at the
beginning of this book that those who are exempted will be the bearers of
the Throne, Jibreel, Israafeel, Mikaa’eel and the Angel of Death, but they
will die after that. 

It was narrated from Wahb
that these four angels were the first creatures to be created by Allaah, and
they will be the last of them to die, and the first to be brought back to

Then he supported his words
with the texts that speak of the death of the people of heaven and the
people of earth, even Jibreel, Mikaa’eel, Israafeel and the bearers of the
Throne, then the Angel of Death will be the last one to die. 

See: al-Habaa’ik fi
Akhbaar al-Malaa’ik, p. 91. 

But the text referred to,
which was quoted by al-Suyooti, is the same hadeeth of the Trumpet that we
have already seen is classed as da’eef (weak) and munkar (odd). 

The Standing Committee was
asked: Please tell us about the two angels, Raqeeb and ‘Ateed who are
appointed to record man’s deeds during his life. Do these two angels die, or
where do they go after the man dies? 

They replied: The affairs
of the angels are unseen matters which cannot be known except through texts.
There is no text which speaks of the death of those who record good and bad
deeds when the person whose good and bad deeds they record dies. There is no
text which says whether they remain alive, or what happens to them. That is
known only to Allaah, and what you have asked about is not something that we
are required to believe and no deeds are connected to that. Asking about
that comes under the heading of things that we should not be concerned with.
Hence we advise the questioner not to bother with things that do not concern
him, and to devote his efforts to asking about things that will benefit him
and the Muslims in their religious and worldly affairs. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah
al-Daa’imah (2/185). 


The angels are not regarded
as either male or female. As for being female, Allaah has stated that they
are not female, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And they make the
angels who themselves are slaves of the Most Gracious (Allaah) females. Did
they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will
be questioned”

[al-Zukhruf 43:19] 

“Or did We create the
angels female while they were witnesses?”

[al-Saaffaat 37:150]. 

As for describing them as
male, no such thing has been narrated. 

Al-Haleemi said in
al-Minhaaj, then al-Qawnawi said in the abridged version thereof: It was
said that the people of al-A’raaf are angels who love the people of Paradise
and reproach the people of Hell. But this is farfetched for two reasons: the
first is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and on Al‑A‘raaf (a wall with elevated places) will be
men” [al-A’raaf 7:46]. Men are males of sound mind, but the angels are
not divided into male and female. The second is the fact that Allaah tells
us that they will want to enter Paradise, but the angels are not prevented
from entering it, because preventing one who longs for something from
attaining his desire is a punishment for him, but on that Day no angel will
be punished. End quote. 

Narrated by al-Suyooti in
al-Habaa’ik, p. 88 

Dr Muhammad ibn ‘Abd
al-Rahmaan al-Khamees said: We say that the one who says that they are
female is committing an act of kufr because he has gone against the Book of
Allaah. And it cannot be said that they are male, because there is no saheeh
text to that effect. End quote from I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah. 


The angels do not get
married or reproduce, and it is narrated that there is consensus on this

Al-Raazi (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said in his Tafseer: They are unanimously agreed that
the angels do not eat, drink or get married. They glorify Allaah night and
day without ceasing. End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

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