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!
Volume 3, Book 44, Number 673:
Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”
This is the result of not fulfilling Allah’s command:
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:104]
If the people on upper level don’t do anything to stop those on the lower level from digging a hole, they’ll all drown, equally guilty.
Enjoining what is good (al-ma’roof) and forbidding what is evil (al-munkar) is one of the most important Islamic duties, indeed it is the noblest and most sublime. This is the task of the Prophets and Messengers (peace be upon them all), as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allaah after the (coming of) Messengers” [al-Nisaa’ 4:165]
Allaah has made the Muslim ummah the best nation ever raised up for mankind, in order to do this important task, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allaah” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110]
If the ummah fails to do its duty of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, wrongdoing and corruption will spread throughout the ummah, and it will deserve the curse of Allaah. For Allaah cursed those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved because they failed in this important duty. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.
They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do [al-Maa’idah 5:78]