ملائكة) or angels are created of Light. They do not have any free-will and they obey Allah's commands to the letter without question, performing their specific roles. Their numbers are astronomical. Believing in their existence is one of the Pillars of Faith.While there is an innumerable number of angels, we are required to know 10.
These 10 have or will have very close relationship with us in view of their roles. They are:1. Jibril (
جبريل) or Gabriel, brings down revelations to the Prophets.2. Israfil (
إسرافيل) or Raphael, is the trumpet blower. He will blow the trumpet the first time to signify Qiamat (end of the world) and the second time to resurrect all for judgement at MAhsyar for Judgemen in front of Allah.
This is revealed in the Quranic verse: "And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those that are in the heavens and all those that are in the earth shall swoon, except Allah; then it shall be blown again, then they shall stand up awaiting." — Qur'an (39.68)
(ميخائيل) or Michael, is the angel who delivers rezki (رزق
) or sustenance, and all that is good for us - be it nourishment, rain, etc4. 'Izra'il (
Azrael, is the angel of death. He retrieves the soul from the body at exact moment that a person has been destined to die, as dictated by Allah, not a second more or second less. He does not have any power nor intention of his own - he does all at the Orders of Allah.5 & 6. Kiraaman-Kaatibin (
كراماً كاتبين) or the Honourable Recorders. One writes your good deeds while the other writes your bad deeds. Allah is Merciful to His creation. The moment a Muslim has just the intention to do good, the deed will already be recorded in the books, and this will be further added when he actually does do the good deed. However, when a person has a bad intention, none will be recorded until he actually does the bad deed. If he subsequently decideds not to proceed with the bad deed, this in itself constitutes a good deed, and will be written as such. I've to verify this with a hadith but the crux of the matter is this: God is so Merciful that He gives his creation all the opportunity, all the benefit of the doubt and does all for the favour of mankind so that they may enter his Paradise. But despite all the opportunities, look at what mankind has done.Our book of deeds are updated twice a day, during Fajr and 'Asr. And once a year, during Nisfu Sya'aban (mid Sya'aban)7 & 8. Munkar and Nakir (
منكر و نكير). These angels question the dead in the grave. When they do so, it is not the person who answers, but his 'amalan (deeds) and his faith than answers for him. The questions are:
- Who is your Lord?
- Who is your Prophet?
- What is your Religion?
As these are not answered by the person but by his spiritual self, the answers can't be learnt. The righteous Muslim shall be able to answer the questions fluently, and the time spent awaiting the Qiamat and Resurrection shall be pleasant. On the other hand, failure to answer any shall result in immediate
misery till the day of Judgment (and more after that...). These immediate punishment after death is well-known and especially explicit during the time of Rasulullah. There are hadiths reporting bodies wrapped by a large snake even before being buried. 9. Ridhwan (
رضوان) or the (chief) angel of heaven (Jannah,
جنّة).10. Maalik (
مالك) or the (chief) angel of hell (Jahannam,
. He is assisted by 19 Zabaniyah or hguardians of hell.There are many more as written in the Quran and as narrated in Hadiths. However, the above 10 are the ones that we need to know as they are closely related to our existence and daily living (compared with angels in charge of ensuring order in the universe, etc)