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Angels and Our Connection with the Divine (Ahadith 2852 – 2860)

Bismillah.

Narrations about angels continue..

Angel of the Mountains

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 454 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
That she asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), ‘Have you encountered a day harder than the day of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) replied, “Your tribes have troubled me a lot, and the worse trouble was the trouble on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn ‘Abd-Yaalil bin ‘Abd-Kulal and he did not respond to my demand. So I departed, overwhelmed with excessive sorrow, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarnath-Tha`alib where I lifted my head towards the sky to see a cloud shading me unexpectedly. I looked up and saw Gabriel in it. He called me saying, ‘Allah has heard your people’s saying to you, and what they have replied back to you, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, “O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akhshabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “No but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him.”

This incident is that of Taif, as we all know. Despite the brutal treatment, the Prophet (sallalaahu `alayhi wasallam) made dua for them and did not seek revenge. I wonder what I would have done in his place. Forgiveness a this level is easier said than done!

This is present-day Taif valley. There probably would have been no traces of life here had the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) made the dua against them.

Gabriel’s (Jibreel) Wings

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 455 :
Narrated by Abu Ishaq-Ash-Shaibani
I asked Zir bin Hubaish regarding the Statement of Allah: “And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer; so did (Allah) convey the Inspiration to His slave (Gabriel) [and then he (Gabriel) conveyed (that to Muhammad)]”. (53.9-10) On that, Zir said, “Ibn Mas’ud (radiallaahu `anhu) informed us that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had seen Gabriel having 600 wings.”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 456 :
Narrated by Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
Regarding the Verse: “Indeed he (Muhammad) did see. Of the Signs of his Lord, The Greatest!” (53.18) That the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) had seen a green carpet* spread all over the horizon of the sky.

*possibly the color of Jibreel’s wings.

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 457 :
Narrated by Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
Whoever claimed that (the Prophet) Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw his Lord, is committing a great fault, for he only saw Gabriel in his genuine shape in which he was created covering the whole horizon.

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 458 :
Narrated by Masruq
I asked Aisha  (radiallaahu `anhaa), “What about His Statement:– “Then he (Gabriel) approached And came closer, And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer?”” (53.8-9) She replied, “It was Gabriel who used to come to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in the figure of a man, but on that occasion, he came in his actual and real figure and (he was so huge) that he covered the whole horizon.”

Michael (Mikaeel)

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 459 :
Narrated by Samura (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Last night I saw (in a dream) two men coming to me. One of them said, “The person who kindles the fire is Malik, the gate-keeper of the (Hell) Fire, and I am Gabriel, and this is Michael.”

Angel Michael, as we all know, is responsible for rain. He has helpers, who do what he tells them, by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as Allah wills. He also accompanied Gabriel on his visits to the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sometimes. And once the Prophet asked Gabriel why Michael never smiled, to which Gabriel replied that since he’s seen the creation of hell-fire, he stopped smiling. Hell-fire has such an effect on someone who’s not even capable of disobeying Allah, and by extension has zero chance of entering hell-fire; yet it does not affect us in the same manner. We laugh more than we weep. Why?

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Curse of the Angels

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 460 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If a husband calls his wife to his bed (i.e. to have sexual relation) and she refuses and causes him to sleep in anger, the angels will curse her till morning.”

There are some exceptions to this rule. A woman may refuse if she’s fasting (obligatory fasts only), if she’s menstruating, or going through nifaas (postpartum period), or if he’s trying anal sex, or if she’s sick and can’t handle it. That’s it!

Read more on this issue here.

The Early Days of Revelation

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 461 :
Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
That he heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “The Divine Inspiration was delayed for a short period but suddenly, as I was walking. I heard a voice in the sky, and when I looked up towards the sky, to my surprise, I saw the angel who had come to me in the Hira Cave, and he was sitting on a chair in between the sky and the earth. I was so frightened by him that I fell on the ground and came to my family and said (to them), ‘Cover me! (with a blanket), cover me!’ Then Allah sent the Revelation: “O, You wrapped up (In a blanket)! (Arise and warn! And your Lord magnify. And keep pure your garments, and desert the idols.” (74.1-5)

Here the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) is reminiscing the old days when revelation had just started coming to him. His first few experiences with Jibreel (`alayhissalaam) left him overwhelmed and frightened. But slowly and gradually, he was eased into the process. Revelation was never easy on him but he enjoyed it a lot because it was his special connection with the Divine. For us, it’s prayer. Five opportunities in a day to connect with Allah and nourish our soul. How much do we enjoy this process, despite the fact that it’s not always easy on us?

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Angels, a Symbol of Mercy (Ahadith 2841 – 2851)

Bismillah.

The chapter of angels continues. Today’s ahadith mention some specific actions of Jibreel (`alayhissalaam) and other actions of angels in general. Most of them are self-explanatory but I will add some details and links for further information where necessary. Fix yourself a cup of tea and enjoy reading! :)

Gabriel, the teacher

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 443 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to be more generous in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel used to meet him. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan to study the Holy Quran carefully together. Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to become more generous than the fast wind when he met Gabriel.

Gabriel, the imam

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 444 :
Narrated by Ibn Shihab
Once Umar bin Abdul Aziz delayed the ‘Asr prayer a little. ‘Urwa said to him, “Gabriel descended and led the prayer in front of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)”. On that ‘Umar said, “O Urwa! Be sure of what you say.” “Urwa, “I heard Bashir bin Abi Masud narrating from Ibn Masud (radiallaahu `anhu) who heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, ‘Gabriel descended and led me in prayer; and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, and then prayed with him again, counting with his fingers five prayers.”

Gabriel, the harbinger of good news

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 445 :
Narrated by Abu Dhar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Gabriel said to me, ‘Whoever amongst your followers die without having worshipped others besides Allah, will enter Paradise (or will not enter the (Hell) Fire).” The Prophet asked. “Even if he has committed illegal sexual intercourse or theft?” He replied, “Even then.”

This hadith, when studied with other similar ones brings us to this conclusion: a Muslim who never committed shirk won’t stay in hell-fire forever. Best case scenario: Allah forgives him for all his sins and mistakes and enters him into Paradise directly. Worst case scenario: Allah decides to punish him for his sins and then, after some time, removes him from hell-fire and enters him into Paradise, where he spends the remaining of his eternal life.

Angels, our keepers

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 446 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Angels keep on descending from and ascending to the Heaven in turn, some at night and some by daytime, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and ‘Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you over-night, ascent unto Allah Who asks them, and He knows the answer better than they, “How have you left My slaves?” They reply, “We have left them praying as we found them praying.” If anyone of you says “Amin” (during the Prayer at the end of the recitation of Surat-al-Faitiha), and the angels in Heaven say the same, and the two sayings coincide, all his past sins will be forgiven.”

Angels, a symbol of Mercy

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 447 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
I stuffed for the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) a pillow decorated with pictures (of animals) which looked like a Namruqa (i.e. a small cushion). He came and stood among the people with excitement apparent on his face. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is wrong?” He said, “What is this pillow?” I said, “I have prepared this pillow for you, so that you may recline on it.” He said, “Don’t you know that angels do not enter a house wherein there are pictures; and whoever makes a picture will be punished on the Day of Resurrection and will be asked to give life to (what he has created)?”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 448 :
Narrated by Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying; “Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture of a living creature (a human being or an animal).”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 449 :
Narrated by Busr bin Said
That Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani narrated to him something in the presence of Said bin ‘Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani who was brought up in the house of Maimuna (radiallaahu `anhaa), the wife of the Prophet. Zaid narrated to them that Abu Talha (radiallaahu `anhu) said that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The Angels (of Mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a picture.” Busr said, “Later on Zaid bin Khalid fell ill and we called on him. To our surprise we saw a curtain decorated with pictures in his house. I said to Ubaidullah Al-Khaulani, “Didn’t he (i.e. Zaid) tell us about the (prohibition of) pictures?” He said, “But he excepted the embroidery on garments. Didn’t you hear him?” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes, he did.”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 450 :
Narrated by Salim’s father (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once Gabriel promised the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) (that he would visit him, but Gabriel did not come) and later on he said, “We, angels, do not enter a house which contains a picture or a dog.”

No angels = no mercy.

Read the ruling on images and pictures/toys around the house here.

Angels, our well-wishers

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 451 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “When the Imam, during the prayer, says, “Allah hears him who praises Him’, say: ‘O Allah! Our Lord! All the praises are for You’, for if the saying of anyone of you coincides with the saying of the angels, his past sins will be forgiven.”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 452 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “As long as any-one of you is waiting for the prayer, he is considered to be praying actually, and the angels say, ‘O Allah! Be merciful to him and forgive him’, (and go on saying so) unless he leaves his place of praying or passes wind (i.e. breaks his ablution).”

Maalik, the guardian of hell-fire

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 453 :
Narrated by Yali (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) reciting the following Verse on the pulpit: “They will call: O Mali……’ and Sufyan said that ‘Abdullah recited it: ‘They will call: O Mali..’. (43.77)

The ayah reads:

And they will call, “O Malik, let your Lord put an end to us!” He will say, “Indeed, you will remain.”

The angel Maalik is said to have no mercy in his heart (figure of speech, not sure if angels have hearts.. just saying). The people in hell-fire will call out to him and he won’t even respond for forty years, let alone do their bidding. Plus, he’s said to have never smiled. That says a lot about him.

Why should we care about Maalik and his personality, you ask? The relationship between him and the dwellers of hell-fire is almost the same as that of a boss and his employees. Having a good boss despite the troubles and difficulties of work makes for an overall good experience. But if the boss is heartless, the torture is multiplied! So having a merciless guard over hell adds to the punishment of those dwelling in it. It gives them hopelessness, and that’s the greatest torture of them all. May Allah protect us all!

Angels, Our Well-wishers (Ahadith 2828 – 2840)

Bismillah.

As discussed in last week’s post, angels have different duties assigned to them by Allah, from bringing down revelation to recording the deeds of humans to keeping gates of Paradise and Hell, and a lot more. The chapter of angels continues in this post, and we’ll learn about some new (and some old) duties and/or actions of angels as the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) informed us about them, like:

Writing a baby’s destiny at 140 days

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 430 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Mus’ud (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), the true and truly inspired said, “(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behavior and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the (Hell) Fire, and then what has been written for him decides his behavior, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise.”

Loving whom Allah loves

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 431 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying, ‘Allah loves so and-so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel would love him and make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the Heaven. ‘Allah loves so-and-so, therefore you should love him also,’ and so all the inhabitants of the Heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.”

Discussion in the heavens

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 432 :
Narrated by ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
I heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “The angels descend, the clouds and mention this or that matter decreed in the Heaven. The devils listen stealthily to such a matter, come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it one-hundred lies of their own.”

Taking attendance at the mosque on Fridays

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 433 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “On every Friday the angels take heir stand at every gate of the mosques to write the names of the people chronologically (i.e. according to the time of their arrival for the Friday prayer and when the Imam sits (on the pulpit) they fold up their scrolls and get ready to listen to the sermon.”

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Helping believers against disbelievers

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 434 :
Narrated by Sa’id bin Al-Musaiyab (radiallaahu `anhu)
‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) came to the Mosque while Hassaan was reciting a poem. (‘Umar disapproved of that). On that Hassaan said, “I used to recite poetry in this very Mosque in the presence of one (i.e. the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) who was better than you.” Then he turned towards Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) and said (to him), “I ask you by Allah, did you hear Allah’s Apostle saying (to me), “Retort on my behalf. O Allah! Support him (i.e. Hassaan) with the Holy Spirit”? Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Yes.”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 435 :
Narrated by Al Bara (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to Hassaan (radiallaahu `anhu), “Lampoon them (i.e. the pagans) and Gabriel is with you.”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 436 :
Narrated by Jarir
As below (Hadith 437).

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 437 :
Narrated by Humaid bin Hilal
Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “As if I see a cloud of dust swirling up in the lane of Bani Ghanam*.” Musa added, “That was caused by the procession of Gabriel.”

*Banu Ghanam is a branch of the tribe of Khazraj.

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Bringing Revelation

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 438 :
Narrated by Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
Al Harith bin Hisham (radiallaahu `anhu) asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), “How does the divine inspiration come to you?” He replied, “In all these ways: The Angel sometimes comes to me with a voice which resembles the sound of a ringing bell, and when this state abandons me, I remember what the Angel has said, and this type of Divine Inspiration is the hardest on me; and sometimes the Angel comes to me in the shape of a man and talks to me, and I understand and remember what he says.”

Gatekeepers of Paradise

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 439 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
I heard the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “Whoever spends a couple (of objects) in Allah’s cause, will be called by the Gatekeepers of Paradise who will say, “O so-and-so, come on!” Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Such a person will never perish or be miserable’. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I hope you will be among such person.”

Bringing Salam

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 440 :
Narrated by Abu Salama
‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to her “O ‘Aisha’ This is Gabriel and he sends his (greetings) salutations to you.” ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “Salutations (Greetings) to him, and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings be on him,” and addressing the Prophet she said, “You see what I don’t see.”

Obeying Allah

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 441 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) asked Gabriel, “Why don’t you visit us more often than you do?” Then the following Holy Verse was revealed (in this respect):- “And we (angels) descend not but by the order of your Lord. To Him belong what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two and your Lord was never forgetful.” (19.64)

Imparting Knowledge

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 442 :
Narrated by Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Gabriel read the Qur’an to me in one way (i.e. dialect) and I continued asking him to read it in different ways till he read it in seven different ways.”

Winds & Angels (Ahadith 2825 – 2827)

Bismillah.

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 427 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I have been made victorious with the Saba (i.e. easterly wind) and the people of ‘Ad were destroyed with the Dabur (i.e. westerly wind) .”

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 428 :
Narrated by Ata
‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) said, “If the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw a cloud in the sky, he would walk to and fro in agitation, go out and come in, and the color of his face would change, and if it rained, he would feel relaxed.” So ‘Aisha knew that state of his. So the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I don’t know (am afraid), it may be similar to what happened to some people referred to in the Holy Quran in the following Verse: — “Then when they saw it as a dense cloud coming towards their valleys, they said, ‘This is a cloud bringing us rain!’ Nay, but, it is that (torment) which you were asking to be hastened a wind wherein is severe torment.” (46.24)

Winds

From the types of wind are:

1. Riyaah: heralds of glad tidings. “Easterly wind” (Saba) that helped the Prophet (sallalaahu `alayhi wasallam) as described in the hadith above is an example of these.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ

“And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain).” [25:48]

Some say these were the winds that brought the scent of Yusuf to his father, Yaqub, when he said:

إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ ۖ لَوْلَا أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ

“Indeed, I find the smell of Joseph [and would say that he was alive] if you did not think me weakened in mind.” [12:94]

2. Dabur (westerly wind): destructive. Storms and disasters are examples of these.

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When strong winds blow, it’s Sunnah to make dua.

اللّهُـمَّ إِنَّـي أَسْـأَلُـكَ خَيْـرَها، وَأَعـوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَـرِّها

“O Allah, I ask You for the good of it and seek refuge in You against its evil.” [Abu Dawud 4/326, Ibn Majah 2/1228. See also Al-Albani, Sahih Ibn Majah 2/305]

And:

اللّهُـمَّ إِنَّـي أَسْـأَلُـكَ خَيْـرَها، وَخَيْـرَ ما فيهـا، وَخَيْـرَ ما اُرْسِلَـتْ بِه، وَأَعـوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَـرِّها، وَشَـرِّ ما فيهـا، وَشَـرِّ ما اُرْسِلَـتْ بِه

“O Allah, I ask You for the good of it, for the good of what it contains, and for the good of what is sent with it. I seek refuge in You from the evil of it, from the evil of what it contains, and from the evil that is sent with it.” [Muslim 2/616, Al-Bukhari 4/76]

Volume 4, Book 54, Number 429 :

Narrated by Malik bin Sa`saa (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “While I was at the House in a state midway between sleep and wakefulness, (an angel recognized me) as the man lying between two men. A golden tray full of wisdom and belief was brought to me and my body was cut open from the throat to the lower part of the abdomen and then my abdomen was washed with Zam-zam water and (my heart was) filled with wisdom and belief. Al-Buraq, a white animal, smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me and I set out with Gabriel. When I reached the nearest heaven. Gabriel said to the heaven gate-keeper, ‘Open the gate.’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ He said, ‘Gabriel.’ The gate-keeper,’ Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel said, ‘Muhammad.’ The gate-keeper said, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!’ Then I met Adam and greeted him and he said, ‘You are welcomed O son and a Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the second heaven. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel said, ‘Gabriel.’ It was said, ‘Who is with you?’ He said, ‘Muhammad’ It was asked, ‘Has he been sent for?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ It was said, ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!” Then I met Jesus and Yahya (John) who said, ‘You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the third heaven. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel said, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is with you? Gabriel said, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been sent for?’ ‘Yes,’ said Gabriel. ‘He is welcomed. What a wonderful visit his is!’ (The Prophet added:). There I met Joseph and greeted him, and he replied, ‘You are welcomed, O brother and a Prophet!’ Then we ascended to the 4th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met Idris and greeted him. He said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and Prophet.’ Then we ascended to the 5th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in previous heavens. there I met and greeted Aaron who said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and a Prophet”. Then we ascended to the 6th heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Moses who said, ‘You are welcomed O brother and a Prophet.’ When I proceeded on, he started weeping and on being asked why he was weeping, he said, ‘O Lord! Followers of this youth who was sent after me will enter Paradise in greater number than my followers.’ Then we ascended to the seventh heaven and again the same questions and answers were exchanged as in the previous heavens. There I met and greeted Abraham who said, ‘You are welcomed o son and a Prophet.’ Then I was shown Al-Bait-al-Ma’mur (i.e. Allah’s House). I asked Gabriel about it and he said, This is Al Bait-ul-Ma’mur where 70,000 angels perform prayers daily and when they leave they never return to it (but always a fresh batch comes into it daily).’ Then I was shown Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. a tree in the seventh heaven) and I saw its Nabiq fruits which resembled the clay jugs of Hajar (i.e. a town in Arabia), and its leaves were like the ears of elephants, and four rivers originated at its root, two of them were apparent and two were hidden. I asked Gabriel about those rivers and he said, ‘The two hidden rivers are in Paradise, and the apparent ones are the Nile and the Euphrates.’ Then fifty prayers were enjoined on me. I descended till I met Moses who asked me, ‘What have you done?’ I said, ‘Fifty prayers have been enjoined on me.’ He said, ‘I know the people better than you, because I had the hardest experience to bring Bani Israel to obedience. Your followers cannot put up with such obligation. So, return to your Lord and request Him (to reduce the number of prayers.’ I returned and requested Allah (for reduction) and He made it forty. I returned and (met Moses) and had a similar discussion, and then returned again to Allah for reduction and He made it thirty, then twenty, then ten, and then I came to Moses who repeated the same advice. Ultimately Allah reduced it to five. When I came to Moses again, he said, ‘What have you done?’ I said, ‘Allah has made it five only.’ He repeated the same advice but I said that I surrendered (to Allah’s Final Order)'” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was addressed by Allah, “I have decreed My Obligation and have reduced the burden on My slaves, and I shall reward a single good deed as if it were ten good deeds.”

Angels

Belief in angels is one of the six pillars of belief or faith without which there is no faith. Whoever does not believe in any of these pillars is not a believer (mumin). These pillars are belief in: Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and that predestination, both good and bad, comes from Allah.

Angels are a part of the world of the “Unseen” which we cannot comprehend. Allah has told us about them in many places in the Quran and via His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). There follows a number of proven reports concerning the angels, which hopefully will make you realize the greatness of the Creator and the greatness of this religion which has told us so much about them:

Of what are they created?

They are created from light, as ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The angels are created from light, just as the jinn are created from smokeless fire and mankind is created from what you have been told about.’” [Muslim].

When were they created?

We have no knowledge of precisely when they were created, because there is no text to tell us this. But they were created before mankind for certain, because the Quran says (interpretation of the meaning): “Behold, your Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’” [2:30] The fact that Allah told them of His intention to create man indicates that they already existed.

Their great size

Allah says concerning the angels of Hell:
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and severe, who flinch not (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.” [66:6]

The greatest of all the angels is Jibreel, upon whom be peace, who was described in the following report:
“From ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw Jibreel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allah knows about them.” It was reported by Ahmad in al-Musnad, and Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidayah that its isnad (chain of narrators) is jayyid (good).

 

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Among the greatest angels are those who carry the Throne (of Allah), who were described in the following report:
“From Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: ‘I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of Allah who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.’” [Abu Dawood].

They have wings

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Praise be to Allah, Who created (out of nothing) the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs) adds to Creation as He pleases: for Allah has power over all things.” [35:1]

Their beauty

Allah said, describing Jibreel, upon whom be peace (interpretation of the meaning):
“He [the Prophet] has been taught by one Mighty in Power, Dhoo Mirrah (free from any defect in body and mind), then he rose and became stable.” [53:5-6]

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “‘Dhoo Mirrah means that he has a beautiful appearance.” Qutadah said: “He is tall and beautiful.”

The idea that angels are beautiful is firmly established in all people’s minds, so much so that they liken a beautiful human to an angel, as the women said about Yoosuf:
“. . . When they [the women] saw him, they did extol him and (in their amazement) cut their hands: they said: ‘Allah preserve us! No mortal is this! This is none other than a noble angel!’” [12:31]

Their differences in size and status

The angels are not all of one size or status; there are differences between them just as there are differences in virtue. The best of them are those that were present at the battle of Badr, as is stated in the hadeeth narrated by Mu‘adh ibn Rifa‘ah al-Zuraqi from his father, who had been one of the people present at Badr. He said: “Jibreel came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) and asked, ‘How do you rate the people among you who were present at Badr?’ He said: ‘They are the best of the Muslims,’ or something similar. [Jibreel] said: ‘So it is with the angels who were present at Badr.’” [al-Bukhaari].

They do not eat or drink

This is indicated by the conversation between Ibrahim, the “friend” of Allah, and the angels who visited him. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Then he turned quickly to his household, brought out a fatted calf, and placed it before them. He said, ‘Will you not eat?’ (When they did not eat), he conceived a fear of them. They said: ‘Fear not,’ and they gave him glad tidings of a son endowed with knowledge.” [51:26-28]

Elsewhere, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But when he [Ibrahim] saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: ‘Fear not: we have been sent against the people of Lut.’” [11:70]

They do not get bored or tired of remembering and worshipping Allah

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“They celebrate His praises night and day, nor do they ever slacken.” [21:20]

“. . . For in the presence of your Lord are those who celebrate His praises by night and by day. And they never become tired (nor feel themselves above it).” [41:38]

Their number

The angels are many, and their number is known only to Allah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, describing the Much-Frequented House (al-Bayt al-M’amoor) in the seventh heaven:
“Then I was taken up to the Much-Frequented House: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another [group] coming after them.” [al-Bukhaari].

‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Hell will be brought forth that day by means of seventy thousand ropes, each of which will be pulled by seventy thousand angels.” [Muslim].

Their names

The angels have names, but we know only the names of a few of them. We have to believe in the names reported in the Quran and Sunnah (prophetic teachings) texts, as a part of general belief in the angels. Among the names of angels that are known to us are:

(1) Jibreel and (2) Mikail

“Say: Whoever is an enemy to Jibreel – for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by Allah’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings to those who believe –
Whoever is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and prophets, to Jibreel and Mikail – Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject faith.” [2:97-98]

(3) Israfil

From Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, who said: “I asked ‘Aishah, the Mother of the Believers, about what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to start his prayer with when he got up to pray at night (qiyam al-layl). She said: ‘When he got up to pray at night, he would start his prayer (with the words): ‘O Allah, Lord of Jibreel, Mikail and Israfil, Creator of heaven and earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You are the Judge of the matters in which Your slaves differ; guide me with regard to disputed matters of truth by Your permission, for You guide whomever You will to the straight path.’” [Muslim].

(4) Malik

He is the Keeper of Hell, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They [the people in Hell] will cry: ‘O Malik! Would that your Lord put an end to us!’” [43:77]

(5) Munkar and (6) Nakeer

From Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘When the deceased is buried (or he said: when one of you is buried), there come to him two blue-black angels, one of whom is called Munkar and the other Nakeer. They ask him, ‘What did you used to say about this man?’ and he says what he used to say: ‘He is the slave and Messenger of Allah: I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the slave and Messenger of Allah. They say, ‘We knew beforehand that you used to say this.’ Then his grave will be widened for him to a size of seventy cubits by seventy cubits and it will be illuminated for him. Then they tell him, ‘Sleep.’ He says, ‘Go back to my family and tell them.’ They tell him, ‘Sleep like a bridegroom whom no-one will wake up except his most beloved,’ until Allah raises him up. If (the deceased) was a hypocrite, he says, ‘I heard the people saying something so I said something similar; I do not know.’ They say: ‘We knew beforehand that you used to say this.’ The earth will be told to squeeze him, so he will be crushed until his ribs are interlocked, and he will remain like that until Allah raises him up.’” [al-Tirmidhi].

(7) Haroot and (8) Maroot

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“. . . and such things as came down at Babylon to the angels Haroot and Maroot . . .” [2:102]
“. . . and none can know the forces of your Lord, except He. And this is nothing other than a warning to mankind.” [74:31]

Their powers

The angels have great powers given to them by Allah, including the following:

The ability to take on different forms. Allah has given the angels the ability to take on forms other than their own. Allah sent Jibreel to Maryam in the form of a man, as Allah says:
“. . . Then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.” [19:17]

Angels also came to Ibrahim in human form, and he did not know that they were angels until they told him so. Similarly, angels came to Lut in the form of young men with beautiful faces. Jibreel used to come to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) in different forms: sometimes he would appear in the form of Dihyah al-Kalbi, a sahaabee (companion) who was very handsome, and sometimes in the form of a Bedouin. The sahaabah (companions) saw him in his human form, as is reported from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) in the two Saheehs Al-Bukhari and Muslim). (‘Umar) said:
“One day while we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), there appeared before us a man whose clothes were exceedingly white and whose hair was exceedingly black; no signs of travel were to be seen on him, and none of us knew him. He walked up and sat down by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Resting his knees against his and placing his hands on his thighs, he said: ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’…” [ Muslim].

Many other ahadeeth (report) refer to the angels taking human forms, such as the hadeeth (report) about the one who killed a hundred, in which it says “. . . there came to them an angel in human form . . .” and the hadeeth about the blind man, the bald man and the leper.

Their speed

The greatest speed known to man today is the speed of light; the angels are able to travel much faster than this. Hardly had an enquirer completed a question to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but Jibreel would bring the answer from Allah.

Their duties

Among the angels is one whose task it was to convey the revelation from Allah to His Messengers; this is al-Rooh al-Ameen, Jibreel, upon whom be peace. Allah says:

“Say: whoever is an enemy to Jibreel – for he brings down the (revelation) to your heart by Allah’s will. . . ” [2:97]

“Which the trustworthy spirit has brought down,
Upon your heart, that you may be (one) of the warners.” [26:193-194]

Another is responsible for rain, directing it wherever Allah wishes. This is Mikail, upon whom be peace. He has helpers, who do what he tells them, by the command of his Lord; they direct the winds and clouds, as Allah wills.

Another is responsible for blowing the Trumpet, which will be blown by Israfil at the onset of the Hour (the Day of Judgement).

Others are responsible for taking people’s souls: these are the Angel of Death and his helpers. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say: ‘the Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls, then shall you be brought back to your Lord.’” [32:11] There is no proof in any saheeh hadeeth (authentic report) that his name is ‘Azrail.

Others are responsible for protecting the slave throughout his life, when he stays home and when he travels, when he is asleep and when he is awake. These are the “angels in succession” concerning whom Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly, whether he be hid by night or goes forth freely by day.
For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people so long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sin and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.” [13:10-11]

Others are responsible for recording the deeds of man, good and bad. These are the “honourable scribes” (kiraman katibeen) and are referred to in the ayat/verses (interpretation of the meanings):
“. . . and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one’s good and bad deeds) over you . . .” [6:61]

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? (Yes, We do) and Our messengers (appointed angels in charge of mankind) are by them, to record.”
[43:80]

“(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being after he or she has attained the age of puberty), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions).
Not a word does he (or she) utter, but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” [50:17-18]

“But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you,
Kiraman (honourable) katibeen – writing down (your deeds).” [82:10-11]

Others are responsible for testing people in the grave. These are Munkar and Nakeer. From Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘When the deceased is buried (or he said: when one of you is buried), there come to him two blue-black angels, one of whom is called Munkar and the other Nakeer. They ask him, ‘What did you used to say about this man?’ . . .” [The hadeeth is quoted in full above]

Some of them are the keepers of Paradise. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘alaikum (peace be upon you!). You have done well, so enter here, to abide therein.” [39:73]

Some of them are the keepers of Hell, the “guards of Hell”, whose number is nineteen and whose leader is Malik, upon whom be peace. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, ‘Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, – reciting to you the verses of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?’ They will say: ‘Yes, but the word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!’” [39:71]

“Then, let him call upon his council (of helpers),
We will call the guards of Hell (to deal with him)!” [97:17-18]

“And what will make you know exactly what Hell-fire is?
It spares not (any sinner), nor does it leave (anything unburnt)!
Burning the skins!
Over it are nineteen (angels as guardians and keepers of Hell).
And We have set none but angels as guardians of the Fire, and We have fixed their number only as a trial for the disbelievers – in order that the People of the Scripture may arrive at a certainty and the believers may increase in faith . . .” [74:27-31]

“And they will cry: ‘O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.’ He will say: ‘Verily you shall abide forever.’” [43:77]

One of the angels is responsible for the sperm in the womb, as is mentioned in the hadeeth (report) of Ibn Mas‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), whose truthfulness is confirmed, said: ‘The way that each of you is created is that he is gathered in his mother’s womb for forty days as a sperm drop, and then for a similar length of time as a blood-clot, and then for a similar length of time as a lump of flesh. Then an angel is sent and he breathes the spirit into (the foetus), and is charged with four commands: to write down his provision, his life-span, his actions, and whether he will be wretched or happy. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, one of you may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until he is just a cubit away from entering it, then his fate will overtake him and he will begin to do the deeds of the people of Hell, so he will enter Hell; and one of you may do the deeds of the people of Hell until he is just a cubit away from entering it, then his fate will overtake him and he will begin to do the deeds of the people of Paradise, so he will enter Paradise.” [al-Bukhaari, Muslim].

Some angels carry the Throne of Allah, as He describes in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) (saying): ‘Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!’” [40:7]

Some of the angels travel throughout the world, seeking out gatherings of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) said: ‘Allah, be He blessed and exalted, has angels who travel the highways seeking out the people of dhikr. When they find people remembering Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, they call out to one another, “Come to what you hunger for!” and they enfold them with their wings, stretching up to the lowest heaven. Their Lord asks them, and He knows better than them, “What are My slaves saying?” They say: “They are glorifying, magnifying, praising and extolling You.” He asks, “Have they seen Me?” They say, “No, by Allah, they have not seen You.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw Me?” They say, “They would be even more fervent and devoted in their praise and worship.” He asks, “What are they asking me for?” They say, “They ask You for Paradise.” He asks, “And have they seen it?” They say, “No, by Allah, O Lord, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more eager for it and they would beseech You even more earnestly.” He asks, “And what do they seek My protection from?” They say, “From the Fire of Hell.” He asks, “Have they seen it?” They say, “No, by Allah, they have not seen it.” He asks, “And how would it be if they saw it?” They say: “They would be even more afraid and anxious to escape it.” Allah says: “You are My witnesses that I have forgiven them.” One of the angels says: “So-and-so is not really one of them; he came (to the gathering) for some other reason.” Allah says, “They were all in the gathering, and one of them will not be excluded (from forgiveness).”” [al-Bukhaari].

Some of them are responsible for the mountains. ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Have you ever faced any day more difficult than the day of Uhud?” He said: “I suffered at the hands of your people and the worst that I suffered was what I suffered at their hands on the day of ‘Aqabah. That was when I went to call Ibn ‘Abd Yalayl ibn ‘Abd al-Kalal to Islam, and he did not respond. I left, feeling depressed and hardly knowing where I was going. I did not recover until I found myself in Qarn al-Tha‘alib. I raised my head and saw that I was being shaded by a cloud. I looked, and saw Jibreel in the cloud. He called me and said: ‘Allah has heard what your people said and how they responded to you. He has sent the Angel of the Mountains so that you can tell him to do to them whatever you want.’ The Angel of the Mountains called me and greeted me, then said: ‘O Muhammad, tell me what you want me to do. If you want, I can crush them between two mountains.’” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “All I hope for is that Allah will bring forth from their loins people who will worship Allah alone and not associate any partner with Him.” [al-Buhaari].

Some of them visit the Much Frequented House (al-bayt al-m’amoor). In the lengthy hadeeth describing the Isra and M’iraj (the Night Journey and the Ascent to Heaven), the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Then I was taken up to the Much-Frequented House: every day seventy thousand angels visit it and leave, never returning to it again, another [group] coming after them.”

There are also angels standing in rows, who never get tired or sit down, and others who bow or prostrate, and never raise their heads, as was reported by Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘I see what you do not see and hear what you do not hear. The heaven makes a noise like groaning, and it has the right to (or it is no surprise), for there is no space in it the width of four fingers, but there is an angel there, placing his forehead in sujood (prostration) to Allah. By Allah, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much, you would not enjoy your relationships with women and you would go out in the street praying to Allah.’” [ al-Tirmidhi]

This is a summary of Islamic teachings concerning the noble angels of Allah. We ask Allah to make us believe in them and love them. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Of Bells and Chimes (Hadith No. 2645)

Bismillah.

Long time, eh? May Allah forgive me for my shortcomings. :(

Volume 4, Book 52, Number 249 :
Narrated by Abu Bashir Al-Ansari (radiallaahu `anhu)
That he was in the company of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) on some of his journeys. (The sub-narrator ‘Abdullah adds, “I think that Abu Bashir (radiallaahu `anhu) also said, ‘And the people were at their sleeping places.”) Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) sent a messenger ordering: “There shall not remain any necklace of string or any other kind of necklace round the necks of camels except it is cut off.”

One of the opinions on theses ‘necklaces’ is that they refer to the bells that are hung round the necks of animals. Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2113) from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The angels do not accompany any group with whom there is a dog or a bell.” 

And he narrated (2114) also from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Bells are the musical instruments of the Shaytaan.” 

A common animal bell.

A common animal bell.

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: As for bells, it was said that the reason why the angels dislike them is that they are similar to church bells, or because they are one of the hanging things that are forbidden. And it was said that the reason why they are disliked is their sound, which is supported by the report which mentions “the musical instruments of the shaytaan.”

Al-Nawawi commented on this hadith in Riyad-us-Saaliheen (chapter 307):

Dog” here stands for that dog which is prohibited to keep. Dogs kept for the purpose of hunting and security do not fall in this category. Angels signify angels of mercy; otherwise we are attended all the time by the angels who record our deeds for us. Bell in this context refers to the bell which is placed in the neck of animals and rings when they move. End quote.

The reason why their sound is disliked is that it is akin to musical instruments, which are forbidden.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: To sum up, the sound has two qualities, one which is the strength of the sound and the other is its tune, and because of its musical tune it was prohibited, and the reason was given as being because they are “the musical instruments of the shaytaan.”

Cute? Sure. Allowed? No.

Cute? Sure. Allowed? No. Ditch the bell plis.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: (The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) told us that the angels do not accompany people with whom there is a bell, because when the animals walk, it will make a sound like music, and it is known that musical instruments are haraam. End quote. Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen (4/340).

[IslamQA]

For further reading (in Arabic), click here.

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