17 tasks of angels, as explained by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud

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Last Updated on 16th April 2021

Frasat Ahmad, Missionary, USA

What do angels do exactly? 

What practical relevance do they have in our world? Do they even play a role in our lives or influence humanity in any way?

The Promised Messiahas succinctly answers this question, writing:

“God has taught us in the Holy Quran that this natural system [relevant to humanity] does not run by itself and that all the particles of these things [related to man] hear the voice of God and are His angels, who are appointed by Him to carry out certain functions and they do so according to His will.” (Nasim-e-Da‘wat, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 19, p. 462)

As the Promised Messiahas has theoretically explained that angels carry out tremendous duties for humanity, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has pinpointed exactly what tasks angels perform, according to the Holy Quran. 

In his own words, here are Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud’sra 17 Quranic points on the tasks that angels render for Allah and His Creation (taken from his speech entitled, Malaikatullah, delivered in December 1920 at Jalsa Salana Qadian).

1. They convey the Divine Word

“One task that the angels are appointed with, and it is quite a major task, is to convey the divine word. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

اَللّٰهُ يَصۡطَفِيۡ مِنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ رُسُلًا وَّ مِنَ النَّاسِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ سَمِيۡعٌۢ بَصِيۡرٌ

[‘Allah chooses [His] Messengers from among angels, and from among men. Surely, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.’] (Surah al-Hajj, Ch.22: V.76)

“[In other words] Allah chooses His Messengers from among angels, and from among men. Thus, we ascertain that one task that angels perform is to convey God’s Message.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 498)

2. They take away life

“Allah the Almighty states:

قُلۡ يَتَوَفّٰكُمۡ مَّلَكُ الۡمَوۡتِ الَّذِيۡ وُكِّلَ بِكُمۡ ثُمَّ اِلٰي رَبِّكُمۡ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ

“Meaning that ‘Say, ‘The angel of death that has been put in charge of you will cause you to die; then to your Lord will you be brought back.’ [Surah al-Sajdah, Ch.32: V.12]” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 498-499)

3. They bring punishment on enemies of prophets

“When they confront the wicked, these angels produce such [a strong] magnetic power that it wipes away evil. Just as petrol bursts into flame when ignited with fire, as do the wicked [burn away] like petrol by the fire that are angels […] Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

هَلۡ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَاۡتِيَهُمُ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ اَوۡ يَاۡتِيَ رَبُّكَ اَوۡ يَاۡتِيَ بَعۡضُ اٰيٰتِ رَبِّكَ ؕ يَوۡمَ يَاۡتِيۡ بَعۡضُ اٰيٰتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنۡفَعُ نَفۡسًا اِيۡمَانُهَا لَمۡ تَكُنۡ اٰمَنَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ اَوۡ كَسَبَتۡ فِيۡۤ اِيۡمَانِهَا خَيۡرًا ؕ قُلِ انۡتَظِرُوۡۤا اِنَّا مُنۡتَظِرُوۡنَ

[‘Do they expect aught but that angels should come to them or that thy Lord should come or that some of the Signs of thy Lord should come? The day when some of the Signs of thy Lord shall come, to believe in them shall not profit a soul which believed not before, nor earned any good by its faith. Say, ‘Wait ye, we [too] are waiting.’ (Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.159)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 499)

4. They assist the believers

“The believers obtain the help [of angels] and the angels render them aid. Allah the Almighty states:

اِنَّ‭ ‬الَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬قَالُوۡا‭ ‬رَبُّنَا‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬ثُمَّ‭ ‬اسۡتَقَامُوۡا‭ ‬تَتَنَزَّلُ‭ ‬عَلَيۡهِمُ‭ ‬الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ‭ ‬اَلَّا‭ ‬تَخَافُوۡا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَا‭ ‬تَحۡزَنُوۡا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اَبۡشِرُوۡا‭ ‬بِالۡجَنَّةِ‭ ‬الَّتِيۡ‭ ‬كُنۡتُمۡ‭ ‬تُوۡعَدُوۡنَ۔ نَحۡنُ‭ ‬اَوۡلِيٰٓؤُكُمۡ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡحَيٰوةِ‭ ‬الدُّنۡيَا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الۡاٰخِرَةِ‭ ‬ۚ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَكُمۡ‭ ‬فِيۡهَا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬تَشۡتَهِيۡۤ‭ ‬اَنۡفُسُكُمۡ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَكُمۡ‭ ‬فِيۡهَا‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬تَدَّعُوۡنَ

“Meaning that ‘[As for] those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then remain steadfast, the angels descend on them, [saying]: ‘Fear ye not, nor grieve; and receive glad tidings of the Garden which you were promised. We are your friends in this life and in the Hereafter. Therein you will have all that your souls will desire, and therein you will have all that you will ask for.’ [Surah Ha Mim as-Sajdah, Ch.41: V.31-32]” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 499)

5. They strike awe into the hearts of people

“When they are seen, the angels annihilate the disbelievers and idolaters. In addition, every angel instils awe of the Prophet and his Jamaat [Community] into the heart of the human he is tasked to accompany. Allah the Almighty states:

اِذۡ تَقُوۡلُ لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ اَلَنۡ يَّكۡفِيَكُمۡ اَنۡ يُّمِدَّكُمۡ رَبُّكُمۡ بِثَلٰثَةِ اٰلٰفٍ مِّنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ مُنۡزَلِيۡنَ

[‘When thou didst say to the believers, ‘Will it not suffice you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels sent down [from on high?]’ [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.125]

“Why did Allah mention 3,000 angels? Because the enemy forces at the time numbered 3,000. This demonstrates that these angels were not of a high calibre; rather, they consisted of those [ordinary] angels who accompany and remain attached to every human being. Because Allah stated, ‘Will this not be sufficient for you that We help you with three thousand angels?’ This means that when you confront the enemy in battle, then the angels will strike awe into every heart [of the enemy forces]. Accordingly, Allah proceeds to states:

سَنُلۡقِيۡ فِيۡ قُلُوۡبِ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوا الرُّعۡبَ

“‘We shall strike terror into the hearts of those that have disbelieved’. [Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.152]

“Thus, angels strike terror into the heart of the human beings they are attached to for the sake of a Prophet and his Jamaat. Examples of this terror can be found in this era as well. The Promised Messiahas would invite his opponents to participate in a mubahala [prayer duel], but they would never come forward in confrontation. Anytime they would think of coming forward [against him], the angels would strike terror into their hearts, [telling them], ‘You will be destroyed [if you do so]’. For this reason, they would retreat. 

“During the days when I travelled to Shimla, an Arya gentleman came to visit me. A conversation about the Vedas ensued. I said, ‘If you are certain that the Vedas are truthful, then swear upon it.’ He began to say, ‘I am ready to take an oath.’ I stated, ‘Take this oath: ‘If the Vedas are not truthful, then let punishment fall upon my wife and children.’ He responded, ‘I cannot do this. My heart is fearful [of this].’ I said, ‘I am ready to take this same oath about the Quran.’ He said, ‘This takes a lot of courage’. I said, ‘When I am certain that the Quran is truthful and is the Word of Allah, then why should I not have courage?’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 500)

6. They establish Allah’s Unity

Every angel is tasked with this duty, and it is an exclusively distinct duty that every angel [must] perform. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

شَهِدَ اللّٰهُ اَنَّهٗ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ ۙ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ وَ اُولُوا الۡعِلۡمِ قَآئِمًۢا بِالۡقِسۡطِ ؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ ؕ

[‘Allah bears witness that there is no God but He – and (also do) the angels and those possessed of knowledge – Maintainer of justice; there is no God but He, the Mighty, the Wise.’ (Surah al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.19)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 501)

7. Establishing the truth of Allah’s Prophets

“People deny the [truthfulness of] the Prophets, but angels convince the hearts of people that this Prophet is not false. Hence, Allah the Almighty states:

لٰكِنِ اللّٰهُ يَشۡهَدُ بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اِلَيۡكَ اَنۡزَلَهٗ بِعِلۡمِهٖ ۚ وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ يَشۡهَدُوۡنَ ؕ وَ كَفٰي بِاللّٰهِ شَهِيۡدًا

[‘But Allah bears witness by means of (the revelation) which He has sent down to thee that He has sent it down (pregnant) with His knowledge; and the angels (also) bear witness; and sufficient is Allah as a Witness.’ (Surah al-Nisa, Ch.4: V.167)]

“Angels bear witness in many different ways. For example, they can demonstrate the truthfulness of a Prophet in a dream. A person may be an enemy of a Prophet and consider him false, but the angels place such discourse into his heart by way of dreams that he accepts the Prophet. The truth of the matter is that an angel seeks out opportunities and moments whereby piety enters into the heart of a specific person. There comes upon every single human being such a time when piety enters his heart, regardless of whether he is Abu Jahl or Pharoah, and when this time of piety does arrive, then the angel takes advantage of this opportunity and places the truthfulness of the Prophet into that person’s heart. As to whether this human takes advantage or squanders this opportunity is entirely up to his doing.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 501-502)

8. They glorify and praise Allah

“Allah the Almighty states:

وَ تَرَي الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةَ حَآفِّيۡنَ مِنۡ حَوۡلِ الۡعَرۡشِ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ ۚ وَ قُضِيَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّ وَ قِيۡلَ الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ

[‘And thou wilt see the angels going round the Throne, glorifying their Lord with (His) praise. Judgement will be given between them with justice. And it will be said: ‘All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’ (Surah al-Zumar, Ch.39: V.76)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 502)

9. They ask forgiveness on behalf of those who believe

“These are special angels who are tasked by Allah to continue to pray and ask forgiveness for the believers, praying that Allah conceals any weakness that a believer commits. Hence, Allah the Almighty states: 

اَلَّذِيۡنَ يَحۡمِلُوۡنَ الۡعَرۡشَ وَ مَنۡ حَوۡلَهٗ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَ يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِهٖ وَ يَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِلَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ۚ رَبَّنَا وَسِعۡتَ كُلَّ شَيۡءٍ رَّحۡمَةً وَّ عِلۡمًا فَاغۡفِرۡ لِلَّذِيۡنَ تَابُوۡا وَ اتَّبَعُوۡا سَبِيۡلَكَ وَ قِهِمۡ عَذَابَ الۡجَحِيۡمِ

[‘Those who bear the Throne, and those who are around it, glorify their Lord with (His) praise, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe, (saying): ‘Our Lord, Thou dost comprehend all things in (Thy) mercy and knowledge. So forgive those who repent and follow Thy way; and protect them from the punishment of Hell.’ (Surah al-Mumin, Ch.40: V.8)]

“From this [verse], it is gleaned that there are certain elite angels who continue to pray for elite believers so that Allah may forgive their weaknesses. As for the ordinary angels, they are tasked with praying for all people. These ordinary angels pray not only for ordinary believers, they even pray for disbelievers, and in this way, the elite believers attain a two-fold benefit. Firstly, elite angels pray for them and, secondly, ordinary angels, who pray for all people, pray for them as well. Allah the Almighty states of those angels who pray for everyone:

وَ الۡمَلٰٓئِكَةُ يُسَبِّحُوۡنَ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَ يَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ لِمَنۡ فِي الۡاَرۡضِ

“[In other words] ‘And the angels glorify their Lord with His praise and ask forgiveness for those on the earth.’ [Surah al-Shura, Ch.42: V.6]

“I believe that Allah the Almighty has kept this path [open] as a means to empty Hell. Allah the Almighty will, due to the prayers of these angels, inevitably state, ‘Go. I absolve every single one [of you].’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 502)

10. The final cause of the laws of nature

“Whatsoever happens in the world happens through the influence of angels. For example, rain falls, the wind blows, the rays of sunlight reach [the earth], poison takes effect, a remedy heals, etc. All of these actions occur because of the influence of the angels. All things require the influence of angels in order to take effect. This does not mean that poison is not an entity in itself, or that a remedy is not an independent substance in itself; rather, this means that until the angel that is appointed over [the implementation of] poison does not permit it, that poison cannot take effect. And until the angel that is appointed over [the implementation of] a remedy does not command so, that remedy cannot take effect. This follows with all things. 

“As such, the Holy Quran at various points mentions that angels are appointed over rainfall, the gusts of winds, and other such actions […] If someone asks how one can suppose that all things occur because of angels, then they can find the answer in [this verse]: 

اَلَّذِيۡنَ‭ ‬يَحۡمِلُوۡنَ‭ ‬الۡعَرۡشَ

“‘Those who bear the Throne,’ [Surah al-Mumin, Ch. 40: V. 8)], that angels are indeed the manifestations of all of the attributes of Allah.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 503)

11. They pray for blessings to descend on believers

“Angels not only ask for forgiveness so that people’s sins will be pardoned, but they also pray that Allah the Almighty shower His servants with blessings […] Hence, it is stated [in the Holy Quran]:

اِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَ مَلٰٓئِكَتَهٗ يُصَلُّوۡنَ عَلَي النَّبِيِّ ؕ يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا صَلُّوۡا عَلَيۡهِ وَ سَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِيۡمًا

[‘Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe, you (too) should invoke blessings on him and salute (him) with the salutation of peace.’ (Surah al-Ahzab, Ch. 33: V. 57)]

“These angels [mentioned in the aforementioned verse] work under Allah’s Mercy. When one acts in Allah’s way, then [these] angels pray that Allah’s blessings descend upon him or her. The angels themselves cannot give blessings, so for this reason, they pray to Allah, asking Him, ‘Bless this person.’ Their salutations [on us] is akin to the salutations we send on the Holy Prophetsa, asking Allah to shower blessings upon the Holy Prophetsa. In this same manner, the angels ask Allah, ‘Shower Your mercy on this person.’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 503)

12. They are completely engrossed in the worship of Allah

“The task of some of the angels is that they are immersed solely in the worship of Allah and will continue to do so until the world ceases to exist. The ahadith record that there is not even an empty space equal to a footstep, baalisht [a measure, equal to the palm of a hand] or a wrist, in the Seven Heavens. Everywhere, the angels are worshipping God or prostrating or bowing down to Him. On the Day of Judgment, all of the angels will say, ‘Holy are You! We could not worship You as You deserved. We can only say this much, that we did not associate any partners with You.’ 

“The believers should pay heed to these words of the angels. Even after completely engrossing themselves in the worship of Allah, the angels will say, ‘We did nothing.’ Yet, some people say, ‘We have worshipped so much,’ after doing a minuscule amount of worship.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 504)

13. They record people’s deeds

“Allah the Almighty states:  

وَ اِنَّ عَلَيۡكُمۡ لَحٰفِظِيۡنَ۔ كِرَامًا كَاتِبِيۡنَ۔ يَعۡلَمُوۡنَ مَا تَفۡعَلُوۡنَ

[‘But there are guardians over you, Noble recorders, who know [all] that you do.’ (Surah al-Infitar, Ch.82: V.11-13)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 504)

14. They inspire people to love those who Allah loves

“Angels spread love for those who are loved by Allah and inspire hearts, [telling them], ‘You should love these people.’ Hence, the ahadith record that the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘When Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel, saying, ‘Allah loves so and so; O Gabriel! Love him.’ Gabriel begins to love him and makes 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 begin to love him. Then he is accepted and granted the pleasure of the people on the earth.’

“You can see this scene in this era. This is an era whose people tell governments, ‘Why should we accept you?’ Yet, the people of this same era are entering into servitude to the Promised Messiahas. And those who are late in entering [his fold] regret the fact that they did not accept him earlier. This love [for the Promised Messiahas] is in fact disseminated by the angels. 

“This is a delightful proof in favour of the truthfulness of Allah’s beloved ones. False claimants appear and make great noise but no one even cares to even bat an eye towards them […] But look how love for the Promised Messiahas has spread throughout this world, and continues to spread.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, pp. 504-505)

15. They serve those who Allah loves

“Sometimes, angels are placed into service for those whom Allah the Almighty considers beloved to Him. They are placed into servitude and service for God’s commissioned ones. Hence, Allah the Almighty says:

وَ اِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلٰٓئِكَةِ اِنِّيۡ خَالِقٌۢ بَشَرًا مِّنۡ صَلۡصَالٍ مِّنۡ حَمَاٍ مَّسۡنُوۡنٍ۔ فَاِذَا سَوَّيۡتُهٗ وَ نَفَخۡتُ فِيۡهِ مِنۡ رُّوۡحِيۡ فَقَعُوۡا لَهٗ سٰجِدِيۡنَ

[‘And (remember) when thy Lord said to the angels, ‘I am about to create man from dry ringing clay, from black mud wrought into shape; So when I have fashioned him (in perfection) and have breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in submission to him.’ (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.29-30)] (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 505)

16. They teach and educate

“Angels are tasked to place the light of knowledge into the hearts of those who incline towards knowledge. The ahadith record that the angel Gabrielas appeared as a tamtheel [human embodiment], before the Holy Prophetsa and asked him, ‘What is faith? What is religion?’ The Holy Prophetsa answered [his questions]. When Gabrielas departed, the Holy Prophetsa said to his companions, ‘Do you know who that was?’ They responded, ‘We don’t know. Tell us [who it was].’ He said, ‘That was Gabriel who came to teach you religion.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab- al-Iman)

“The manner in which angels teach knowledge is also strange and wondrous. Angels do not place what they teach into [what is known as] the “objective mind”; but rather, they place it into [what is known as] the “subconscious mind,” or into the posterior portion of the mind so that one can discover or extract it themselves. In this [“subconscious mind”] there is more powerful retention capacity than the zahiri [physical] brain, and it acts as a means of preservation. Angels place whatever knowledge they teach into this portion of the mind.” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, pp. 505-506)

17. They place pious thoughts and inclination into the hearts of people

“This duty is carried out by that particular angel who is appointed his particular human being [as each human being has separate angels allocated to him or her]. In reality, this task of angels placing pious inclinations into the hearts of human beings is done under Gabriel’s supervision. Hence, the Holy Prophetsa states, ‘There lie two influences that affect the heart of man. One influence is from angels who urge the heart toward virtue and testify to the truth. Whoso experiences this influence in his heart should know that it is from Allah the Almighty and thus he should be grateful to Allah. The other influence upon the heart is from the enemy [Satan] who urges towards evil, denies the truth, and prohibits one from doing good. Whoso experiences this influence in his heart should seek Allah’s Protection from Satan.’” (Malaikatullah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 508)

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1 COMMENT

  1. Very uplifting article! It is touching to feel all the work done behind the veil by the angels of Allah—especially during Ramadan!

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