When Imam Waliyuddeen Iraaqi was questioned regarding the death of Angels, he replied, “In my opinion, no concrete proof is on hand regarding this matter. However, mere conjecture in respect of this subject is unwise as it leaves no room for mere personal opinions and conjectures.”
Contrary to this belief, the majority of the Ulema of the Ahle Sunnah are of the opinion that Angels are created from light delicate bodies. It is categorically proven from authenticsources that Angels will experience death without any doubt. Such a belief is in accordance with the Quranic verse which proclaims, “Every soul shall taste death.”
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) states that when the verse, “Everything upon it (the earth) shall perish”, was revealed, the Angels proclaimed, “All dwellers upon the earth will die”, meaning that they are not safe from death. Yet, when the verse, “Every soul shall taste death was revealed”, they proclaimed, “Now, we too will die.” (Mafaati’ul Ghaib)
Hazrat ibn Jareer (radi Allahu anhu) reports from Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu), who states, “The Angel of Death is appointed to capture the souls of Muslims and Angels alike.”
Hazrat Anas (radi Allahu anhu) has narrated the following lengthy Hadith from Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), which proves comprehensively that Angels too will also experience death.
Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “When everything will begin to perish, only Jibraeel, Mikaeel, and the Angel of Death will remain. Then Almighty Allah will state, ‘O Angel of Death, who else is still spared?’ The reply will be, ‘None, but Thy Graceful Self, Who is Eternal, as well as Thy servants Jibraeel, Mikaeel and the Angel of Death.’ At this a Divine Command will be issued, ‘Capture the soul of Mikaeel’, at which Mikaeel will fall like a great and mighty mountain. Once again, Allah, the All Knowing, will ask, ‘Who else is spared?’ The reply will be, ‘None but Thy Graceful Self, Jibraeel and the Angel of Death.’ Again the command will be given, ‘Capture the soul of Jibraeel’, at which Jibraeel will flutter his wings, fall in prostration and pass away. Finally, when the Angel of Death himself will pass away, the All Wise and Great Creator will proclaim, ‘In the beginning, I brought the creations into existence and I will once more bring it to life. Where are those rulers that laid claim to kingship?’ There will be no answer. The Almighty Allah himself will reply, ‘Today, Kingship belongs to Allah Alone, the Sole Controller’.” (Baihaqi; Faryaabi)
From this Hadith we learn that even Allah’s closest Angels will not live beyond the Day of Judgement. The crux of the matter is that, daily, numerous Angels are created who engage themselves in the constant Tasbeeh of Almighty Allah and who will live only until the Day of Judgement. These include Angels that are created from the recitation of the Durood Shareef. In fact, it is not substantiated from any Hadith that Angels will not be subjected to death. In fact, Hazrat ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) makes it quite clear that before the revelation of the verse, “Every soul shall taste death”, Angels were not aware of themselves experiencing death.
With regard to the two Angels, Kiraaman Khaatibeen, who accompany every Muslim, Imam Baihaqi (radi Allahu anhu) narrates the following Hadith, in which Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “After the death of the Muslim, they soar to the Heaven and seek permission to live there, but Almighty Allah turns down their request saying, ‘My Heavens are full of Angels who are constantly engaged in glorifying Me.’ Then they will implore to live on the earth. To which Almighty Allah will reply, ‘My creation has filled the earth, constantly glorifying Me.’ Thereafter, Almighty Allah commands them to stand at the graveside of the Muslim and the servant of Allah, to recite the Tasbeeh of Allah, and the Sawaab of which is then bestowed upon the deceased person.”
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) narrates that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Angels will die at the time when the first trumpet will be sounded on the Day of Judgement. Their souls will be captured by the Angel of Death. Thereafter, the Angel of Death himself will succumb to death.”
After the completion of this work, I (A’la Hazrat) came across one Fatwa found in Allama ibn Hajr Makki’s “Fatawah Hadithiyyah” regarding the Angels and in which the learned Imam confirms that Angels will experience death when the first trumpet will be sounded, but the bearers of the Divine Throne and the Four Exalted Angels will be the last to pass away.
Regarding the birth of Angels too, he has stated that Angels are not created at one time. Rather, this is an ongoing process. Thereafter, Imam ibn Hajr (radi Allahu anhu) has narrated seven Ahadith, five of which I have already mentioned, while the other two are now added to the original eighteen.
- There is a fountain of Allah found in space which is so huge that the seven layers of earth can fit in it seven times. In it, one Angel from the Heaven descends, whose size completely fills the fountain. He bathes in this fountain and when he emerges from it, drops of light drip from his wings. From each droplet, Almighty Allah creates one Angel who like all Angels constantly engages in the Tasbeeh of Almighty Allah.
- He further narrates another Hadith from Hazrat ibn Ula (radi Allahu anhu) who mentions that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Jibraeel daily dives into the Fountain of Kauther and shakes his wings. From each droplet, Almighty Allah creates one Angel.”
By the Grace of the Almighty Allah and His beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), I recall another Hadith on this subject which can be also included here.
In the book, “Kitaabus Thawaab”, Hazrat ibn Abid Dunya and Hazrat Abush Shaikh (radi Allahu anhuma), have recorded a Hadith of Hazrat Jaafer (radi Allahu anhu) in which Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has stated, “Whosoever makes a Muslim happy, Almighty Allah will create one Angel out of this happiness who immediately engages himself in the worship of Almighty Allah and in exalting His Oneness. When this person passes away and enters the grave, this Angel will appear in front of him and ask, ‘Do you remember me? I am the same happiness with which you gladdened the heart of a certain Muslim. Today, I will comfort you in your hour of fear, teach you the answers to the questions that will prove you a believer and will show you your place in Heaven’.”
We humbly supplicate in the Court of the Almighty Allah that this explanation would have taught you about the life and existence of the Angels. Aameen.
In conclusion, Most Exalted is Allah the King of the Mighty Throne, Lord of the Angels, who has distinguished Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) from the entire creation. May the Almighty Allah in His infinite Mercy bestow the strength upon those who are on the straight path to remain on this path. Aameen Allahuma Aameen.