Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muslim Beliefs
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In the Name of Allah, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator, and the Sustainer of the universe, I greet you with the greetings of all of the profits from Adam the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him assalamu Aleikum, which means peace be unto you. In today's program, we begin the fourth series on our Islam and focus program. This This series will deal with Muslim beliefs. Today's program is the first program in this series, and it deals with belief in the angels of God. I'm your host hammer Rashid. My guest on today's program is Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University. Welcome to the Islamic focus program brother Jamal said I'd like
to begin today's program I wonder if perhaps you might
comment on the relationship between this series on Muslim beliefs and the last three series that we've produced on the Islam focus program. In fact, all four series perhaps can be set to be related in some way or the other to Muslim beliefs. In the first series, on monotheism, the focus was on Muslim belief in God, Allah.
We tried to explore in what sense
Islam insist on pure monotheistic faiths are oneness of Allah, we discuss the various negations of the various aspect that the Quran has negated and sending erroneous beliefs about God. We discussed also some of the basic attributes of divinity that took us it programs. In the second program, instead was related to the belief also because once you believe in God, you have also to believe in the prophets of God, who told us and taught us about, about God, that took about 10 programs in which we explored the nature of prophethood what are the characteristics of the Prophet? How did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him fit as the last in a series of all prophets to unify all
believers in God and one last prophet one last revelation, we are located three series to discuss the story of one great prophet as narrated in the Quran, Jesus in the Quran that took us three, it was, I think, six, seven and eight. And then in the last two series, we discussed something of an implication of belief in Prophethood. And that is the relationship between Muslims and non Muslims as provided in the Quran.
In the third series, in a way, you could say it's related to Prophethood. Also because it focused on the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. The title was Mohammed in the Bible, we try to see through the canonized accepted Bible, the Old and New Testament, that we have seen a great deal of evidence that shows a clear connection between all Israelite prophets in the past Jesus, and finally, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him as all links in the same chain of prophethood, bringing the message of God to humanity.
This discussion in the last three series, which took about 23 or 26 programs, in fact, did not even touch on some additional beliefs also, that are regarded as basic articles of faith for the Muslim like belief in angels of God, the books or scriptures of God, belief in the life hereafter, what happens to us
at the time of death between death and resurrection? How do we know the approaching of the the last hour?
What is there in heavens and paradise? Basically, there are still additional beliefs besides believing God and His Prophet that was mainly covered in the last three series. Okay, well, I'm getting into the subject matter of today's program, which is the Muslim belief in angels, what is the basis for the Muslim belief in angels?
Well, to begin with, we have to realize that God's creation is not limited or restricted by the physical world that we can perceive. We realize our existence as humans, but there are lots of other things
beings that has been created by God. So, there is also you might say there is the word of unseen. Also,
our knowledge and our perceptual ability, the way we can look at things is quite limited, does not enable us to explore fully, as much as we as much as we would wish. That world of the unseen.
This curiosity on the part of the humans to understand the mysteries of the universe in the unseen world,
cannot be totally satisfied by non scientific methods or mystical experiences. And if you recall, we allocated almost the whole program in the beginning of the series on Prophethood to discuss the pros and cons of using scientific approach or using mystical experience. And we said that both of them fall short of providing full information about some aspect that transcends scientific methods and transcends individual mystical experience. It follows then that we have to depend on another highest source of information and that could not be anything but direct revelation of God as has been revealed to his prophets through authoritative scripture. So for the Muslim, it really boils down as
a basis for belief in engines, or other similar beliefs, to the authority of the Quran which the Muslim accept as the last word of God which has been protected and preserved in its original form. In addition, of course, to the sayings and elaborations provided by the last prophet, Muhammad peace be upon anything beyond these two authoritative sources may not be but sheer speculation. So basically, it's the Quran and the explanation of Prophet Muhammad that you have to use for the discussion of this topic. Okay, let's take a look at the sources the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him. What is it that they have to say about the nature
of angels? What did they have to tell us about the nature and what what are angels created?
There is this is summarized in one Hadith are saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, in which he said that
angels were created from light
and jinn, which is another spirit beings spirits, we'll be talking about that that could be a separate topic in itself. Other spirits which are not seen also jinn were created from fire.
And the human is created with what has been described to humans what has been described in the Quran that humans are created from earth or from clay.
In fact, this saying of Prophet Muhammad is quite consistent with what also appears in the Quran. For example, in the Quran, we read that the human was created from clay.
And for example, in chapter 32, verse seven, but from clay here has two meanings, it could be interpreted as literally from clay, it could also mean from the same elements or basic elements that are in earth that we as humans, it has been proven that we have the same elements in our creation like on Earth, a carbon, potassium, sodium and other elements it has it can carry both meanings at least as far as the Quranic expression goes.
In the same chapter also it talks about engine about jinn, being created from fire without flame.
Now, for example, this is mentioned in also in chapter 55, verse 15, about the nature of jinn.
What am I exactly what is the nature of that light, or fire?
All we can infer from this is that angels, if they're created from light, it means that they are not physical beings. They do not have the same carnal desires that we human beings have, like desire for food or other things.
They're not subject to being male or female, because you don't have male or female light, they may appear in human forms like I might get into that. But it doesn't mean that angels are classified as male or female. They're neither.
It also when you talk about lights, you're talking about purity, that they are pure and absolutely sinless creatures of God. When you talk about life also, it gives the impression that they have certain capabilities which are not imaginable by us just like you cannot imagine travel, the light traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. We could also infer from that that angels could have certain capacities that are not restricted by our physical understanding.
Indeed, to through this point of absolute sinlessness of the answers we find that the Quran for example, in chapter 66 verse six, it says about engines, they flinch not from executing the commands they receive from God but do precisely what they are
commanded. Also in chapter 49, verse 53, verse 50, sorry in yes and verses 49 and 50.
And chapter 16. It says that this ends is the old reveal, reveal their Lord high above them, and do what they are commanded or commanded to do. We find that similar statements in the Quran, for example, in chapter 21, verses 26 through 29. Let me read you that because it's quite interesting. The Arabs used to uphold a belief that the engines were the daughters of God.
This is why we find a categorical rejection of that in chapter 21.
Verses 26 through 29, it says, and they say God, Most Gracious has begun offspring.
Glory to Him, they are servants raised to honor. They speak not before him, he speaks and they act in all things by his command. He knows what is before them, and what is behind them. And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable, and they stand in awe and reverence of His glory. From this, it's quite obvious that the Quran does not only reject attributing offsprings to God in a sense of other human beings, but even the superstitious claimed by the Arabs, that the angels are daughters of God is, is rejected that all other human beings, prophets, or angels are simply creatures of God. Actually, in another
chapter in the Quran in chapter seven, verse two or six, it shows again, that they never hesitate in worshiping God and
carrying out his commands in humility and full submission, that's as much as we can tell about the nature of the creation of angels and the implication of the fact that they are created from light beyond that we don't know exactly what's the nature?
Well, the Quran talks about the creation of man, we have some knowledge and some understanding about this. What about the creation of, of the angels? What is the what indications do we have in the Quran as to when the angels were created by God? Well, there is an indication at least that they have been created before humankind was created, for example, in the Quran in chapter two, verse 30, it says, Behold, your Lord said to the angels, or you will create a vise gent or a trustee on Earth, that is mankind, they said, will you place there in one who will make mischief there and, and shed blood, while we celebrate by praise and glorify thy holy name? He said, I know what you know not. So
from that, it's quite clear that the the announcement of God's plan to create human beings on earth was taught to the angels that means that were created before human beings were created. Right? Now, when we think about angels, usually the term angels suggest to most people the concept of perfection,
does that mean that the angels are superior, create your creation superior to mankind? Well, not necessarily. Some people might be surprised at that. It depends on human behavior. First of all, when engines are good, is good despite of themselves. They are created good. They don't have the carnal desire. They don't face the temptations that we as humans face. So they are good despite of themselves. So it's not a big thing for them to be good, they are created good as to the human being was created by God, with the inclination towards good and evil with whispering that he gets to do good things or to do evil things, will find that the human being is a unique position to apply, or
to make his spirituality or the goodness in himself,
subdue the evil in himself. And that requires a great deal of struggle to which angels are not really required to do in that sense, then he
was able to capitalize in the goodness that God created in him, could actually be superior to two engines. You I know you've looked surprised that that this is, this is not just a personal interpretation of mine, but in fact, I refer you to the very same chapters that I was reading in chapter two. I read already, verse 30. Let me read you also, verses 3132 and 33 or 34. That will give you a full implication of the security of the human being if he is righteous. It says that after God announced this, he said,
And he thought Adam, after he created the first man, the names or the nature of all things, these are two interpretation, the names of all things or the nature of all things. Then
he placed them before the angels. And he said, Tell me the nature of these if you are right, they that's the angel said, Glory to You have knowledge, we have none save what You have taught us. In truth, it is you who are perfect in knowledge and wisdom. He said, Oh, Adam, tell them their natures. When he had told them, God said, Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and earth, and I know what you reveal and what you can see. And then it continues, and that's a very crucial verse. And behold, we said that God, we said to the angels, bow down to Adam, and they bow down. Not so a police or Satan, he refused. And he was hottie he was of those who reject faith. From
this verses, I know that translation sometimes does not reflect the beauty and clarity of the original Arabic. But the there are two implications from there. Number one, that the human being has been given certain types of knowledge,
which exceed the knowledge given to the engines, the nature of things, God has endowed him with this. That's one. But the most conclusive evidence is the last verse society in which God commanded the angels to bow down to Adam. And that shows definitely, that the human being as a species, especially those who are righteous, righteous, were so high and die. And the in the sight of God, we're so honored in the sight of God that He even ordered angels who are pure creatures, to bow down to the first man to be created. That is, Adam.
This is an interesting, this raises another interesting question in the verse that you've just cited. It says that when God commanded the angels to bow down to Adam, Satan disobeyed God and refused to do so. Now, was Satan, one of the angels? And if so, how could you disobey God if by definition, angels are totally obedient to God, as we mentioned earlier, right, I realized that some people tend to have a belief that Satan was an angel, or that he was even the chief of angels.
That's not so in the case of, of the Muslim belief at all. Indeed, according to Islam, believe Satan, belongs to jinn, that's other types of spirits, but not angels. And when we mentioned that verse, some people confused that also, because it says God ordered or commanded the angels to bow down and they bow down, except Satan. So they inferred from that, that Satan also was one of the angels. But in fact, the implication of the verse that he was not of the angels, but he was with the angels, like if you're talking to 100 persons, 100 students, and one person, for example, who was not student, you say, all right, I address this students, because they are the overwhelming majority
that you're addressing. So it does not necessarily mean that Satan was out the edges. But let me give you another conclusive evidence that Satan, according to the Quran, was not really an engine, let alone a chief of engines. It cannot be. Or it's like you said, just by definition are pure. That appears in the Quran in chapter 18, verse 80. And the translation goes that when we commanded
the angel is buried down into ad and they bow down except a blaze or Satan. He was of the jinn. And he disobeyed his Lord. So this is the most conclusive evidence that Satan was not really an injured or as it would be a contradiction of terms. It was a different type of species of creatures that you can discuss at a later time. Okay, let's move on then to another aspect. And I guess perhaps a question that a lot of people might have in their mind is, why were angels created in the first place, what what function do they have? Do they do they have any valuable function to perform? Well, in addition to the obvious thing that most of us know about angels, that they constantly worship God
they glorify and praise His holy name. In addition to this, we find that they also have other functions which are more close to our love,
more particularly their historical role in bringing revelation to the different prophets throughout history. The function which ended actually with the
with the coming of the very last prophet, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him to give you documentation from the Quran, for example, in chapter 26 verses 193 through 194. It talks about the Quran has having been
sent by the honest spirit, a Russian I mean met, maybe I can read you that verse I think it gives you some. It says really, this is a revelation that's the Quran from the Lord of the worlds with its came down in the spirit of faith and trust that is understood by Muslim to refer to Angel Gabrielle who was the the chief of angels. Also we find that in the Quran in chapter 16
verse one or two, it also describes the Quran as has been revealed through the Holy Spirit. Maybe I should read that because it needs a little commentary to explain it properly. That's in 16, one or two, it says say that is say Mohammed to people. The Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from the Lord in truth, in order to strengthen those who believe and as a guide and glad tidings to those who surrender to God or Muslims. I should just indicate here that holy spirit here has nothing to do whatsoever with the notion of holy spirit being part of divinity. But Holy Spirit to the Muslim is simply the Archangel Gabrielle or the engine of Revelation, who brought the revelation to different
properties not part of divinity is simply an engine created by God.
This is one thing, the
I think might be in a lot of people's minds is the question about the form of angels.
I think man always wants to put something put things into force that he can physically understand and comprehend. Is it possible for angels to appear in human form?
Again, I have to restrict my remarks to what one can find an authoritative reference, for example, in Quran are saying of Prophet Muhammad. But yes, we do find evidence of angels at times appearing for a special purpose in the form of human it's very rare. For example, in the Quran in chapter 11, verses 69 through 73, it talks about the dangers of Gods coming to Prophet Abraham. That is, before they went to destroy the people of loot, yes. And not only they told him about their plans, but they also brought him the glad tidings of a birth of a son from his first wife, Sarah, who was very, that's the birth of Prophet Isaac.
There is an incident also in the Quran, I think we mentioned that also in the Jesus in the Quran in chapter 19, particularly verses 16 through 17. When it talks also about the Holy Spirit, again, as Muslim understanding, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, refers to the engine Gabrielle coming to Marian, Mary, the mother of Jesus peace be upon him to give her the glad tidings of the birth of Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. And also, there's lots of evidence that engine Gabrielle has come also, again, in the human form, to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him several times, the first of which, of course, was the first time that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him received revelation in
the cave of Hara. So in that sense, in a very limited rare cases, yes, the inches did appear in human form, I have no knowledge of that appearance, after the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, it's not evidence of that. Well, besides these contacts that the angels have had in the past with the profits, for example, how do angels relate to other humans, so say to you, and I, for example, what is relationship between ourselves and angels, they do have relationship we cannot just think of engines as they relate to just prophets or holy people. In fact, I could give you at least five
to the Quran or the saying of Prophet Mohammed has indicated engines
involved in in one single Prophet Muhammad, he said that you have people or angels, who are always constantly with you, they do not leave you except in the most private functions that you might be doing. In other words, they with us at all time, and he said, You should really
be generous to them generous here in a sense of doing good things, because those engines definitely would feel very happy when you are doing that, I think.
In another Hadees are saying of Prophet Muhammad, he indicated that one of the functions of those engines is to prompt us or implore us to do good, not necessarily that you hear any sound but sometimes you feel something in inside you something as if something somebody's whispering to you do this, this is a good thing to do. That's humane that's charitable, just as Satan also or devils prompt you to do something that's that strong, so it balances off the effect of, of evil prompting, it depends on us of course.
Secondly, in the Quran, there is indication
Also that those engines take care of recording our deeds, they keep a very accurate record of what you're doing. We don't know exactly how they recorded computers today for Allah knows, you know, God knows about this. At some time we never imagined that you could
store information on just a magnetic tape, right? So they have their ways of keeping track of our deeds good and evil. We find reference to that in the Quran, just for shortens time just mentioned the verses for any reference in chapter 82, verses 10 through 12. And chapter 43, verses 79 and 80, Chapter 50, verse 16, Chapter 17, verses 13, and 14. In all of these, it shows that our deeds our words are counted in us and they keep track of that. But in addition to that, we find that there is reference also of angels having a special relationship with the pious people. For example, Prophet Mohammed indicated that whenever a group of people need to recite the Word of God that is to recite
the Quran, as an act of worship, or make supplication and praise of God that the angels would surround them and feel very happy of of what they're doing. The Quran for example, in chapter 17, verse 87, talks about the special value of reciting Quran the scripture in the late hours of the night, near dawn time, and that angels usually come in great numbers to listen to the recitation of the Quran.
Firstly, we find the Quran also referring to angels as providing support and aid to the believers at the time of stress and adversity. We find reference to that, for example, in chapter 58, verse 22, in chapter eight, verses 10 through 12. But also, we find that angels do ask or pray to God for forgiveness of those who are believers. We find that specially in chapter 14, verse 97, let me just read you one of them, it says, and those angels sing Glory and praise to the Lord, believe in Him, and implore forgiveness for those who believe, saying, Our Lord, your reach is over all things in mercy and knowledge. Forgive them, those who turn to you in repentance, and follow your path,
preserve them from the penalty of the blazing crier, in a very impressive
citation also in the Quranic Chapter 33,
verse 43, it also talks about the angels again, praying for forgiveness and for the welfare of the way human beings in general and those who are pious. Okay, in the last minute or so that we have left in today's program. Two quick questions.
Does the Muslim belief in angels have any practical implications for us? And does the relationship between angels and ourselves as humans in with our deaths? Okay, your question really is composed of two parts the first part Yeah. And the first issue.
The belief in injured is not just a matter of dogma or something to accept as a as an article of faith. It does have the practical application just like we discussed in previous series, the application or implication of belief in oneness of God or belief in profits, it has applications. And that is if we realize that angels are with us, and they're watching us, of course, we should always keep in mind that God also is with us and watching us we should always keep the piety or God consciousness always in our mind, but also the presence of the proximity of those engines, would provide us with some in inducement to do what is good to please those honored guests, and also to
avoid doing something evil because we feel ashamed not only ashamed before God but ashamed before the engine surrounding us doing something that is immoral or inappropriate. That is why we find the Quran regards belief in the angels as part of righteousness. For example, in chapter two, verse 177, and chapter two also, verse 285. So this is a kind of method to help awaken our moral consciousness. As far as your second part, this is a whole issue by itself. Unfortunately, we don't have time. This is a nice program to go into that perhaps next time, brother. Sure. Well, that's our program in Islam, follow us today. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum