What are Angels

Introduction: What Are Angels?

    Angels are the hope of humanity. They are the source of light
    and the energy of creation. They are the beacons for every seeker,
    the oasis in every desert,
    the waves in every ocean,
    the spring of every river,
    the crystal in every diamond. They are
    the dew from heaven on every leaf. They are
    the life in every drop of blood in animate beings,
    the motion behind every living cell. They are
    the driving force of constellations
    and galaxies.
    They are the stars
    and suns
    and moons in every firmament.
    The universes swim in their orbits. They are the superpowers known
    by all traditions, beliefs,
    and philosophies.

It is universally known, based on these sources, that God created the angels to carry out His orders and transmit the messages that pertain to human beings. Angels are honored, subtle beings created from light who serve their Lord. They exemplify the qualities of perfection, obedience, and dedication. They can take any form they like at any time and place. They carry unlimited miraculous powers through which they can reach anyone in the blink of an eye to help and to heal, to serve and to console, to love and to be loved.

Angels take any form they wish in the physical world. As crystal water takes the form of the cup in which it is poured, angels can take the form of any creation which they visit. They do not retain their full original form of light when they are sent to human beings: "Say: If there were in the earth angels walking secure, We had sent down for them from heaven an angel [without change] as messenger" (17:95). Angels can come as birds, as human beings, or as a form of light like a rainbow adorning the sky. They have a mind and a heart, but no will and no desire other than to serve and obey God. They are never too proud to obey Him.

Angels worship day and night without fatigue. They do not need to sleep, as their eyes never tire. They know no heedlessness. Their attention never wavers. Their food is glorification of God, their drink is to sanctify and to magnify Him. Their intimacy is in calling their Lord through hymning and singing His praise. Their enjoyment is to serve Him. They are devoid of any and all physiological restraints. They suffer no mood-changes.

Angels inhabit Paradise and the seven heavens. They worship more than human beings because they came before them and they have greater and more powerful faculties than they. They are more pious than human beings because they are innocent and unable to fall into mistakes or wrongdoings. They never ask forgiveness for themselves but always for human beings. This shows us how much they care for us and to what extent God created them to look after us. God made them our guardians because a guardian is more perfect than the one he guards.

Angels are more knowledgeable than human beings. The teacher, again, is better than the student. Their knowledge is of two kinds: intellectual and traditional. "Intellectual" means here: "of the essence of reality" or "of the heart." "Traditional" means: "revealed and translated down from above."
Intellectual knowledge is a must, such as knowledge about God and His attributes. It is impossible for angels, the prophets, and pious people to fail to possess it. They have no excuse in failing to know it. The knowledge that is not obligatory is the way in which God has created the wonders of creation, such as knowledge of the Throne, of the Pen, of Paradise, Hell and Heavens. In addition there is the knowledge of the different kinds of angels, human beings, the inhabitants of the earth on the ground, under the ground, in the air, and under the sea. In the latter kind of knowledge angels are undoubtedly more versed than human beings. This is because they were created long before them: angels accompanied the entire process of creation of the universes as well as that of human beings. They are also more familiar with that knowledge because of their God-given vision and hearing. But such knowledge is only attainable to those who have purified their heart and vision among human beings.
As for traditional knowledge, it is the prophetic knowledge that cannot be known by human beings without benefit of revelation. Only angels are able to bring that kind of knowledge to them. They were indeed the intermediary between God and human beings in that respect. Furthermore, it is possible that they are the continuous intermediaries of the events of the Last Day, after having been those of past and present events up to the Last Prophet, Muhammad, Peace be upon him. They are knowledgeable in the traditions that particularly regard them and with which God has entrusted them. That is the reason why angels are far more knowledgeable than human beings and carry six kinds of perfect attributes:

  • They are messengers from the divine presence;
  • are noble in God's sight;
  • They have been empowered by God with a power rendering them capable of pure obedience;
  • are well-regarded and firmly established in the Divine Presence;
  • They are obeyed in the earthly world;

  • are trustworthy in receiving, keeping, and delivering the revelation. The perfect state of human beings can no doubt never be achieved until the angelic power is linked with it. By God's permission, angels monopolize that angelic power which enlightens any human individual that connects with it. The perfection of human beings, therefore, depends on the capacity to annihilate the human soul in the crucible of the angels. The conclusion of this process is described in the Koranic verse: "Thou soul in complete rest and satisfaction! Return unto thy Lord, accepted and accepting! Enter thou among my servants (angels), and enter thou my Garden!" (89:27-30)
    According to that verse, God causes the spirit of human beings to enter the throng of the angels first, then Paradise. A condition of entering Paradise is to receive angelic greetings and revelation, at which time one enters it as a spirit endowed with angelic attributes. God then makes of such spirits messengers for His continuous creations; they are granted the happiness of living in Paradise and enjoying the sight of their Lord. God made the greetings of angels necessary for human beings when their spirits enter into the angelic power. This is to elevate them to a higher state and produce for them a great happiness. Therefore, without the heavenly input of angels, the spirit of human beings cannot reach everlasting happiness.
    The contribution of the angels to human happiness is derived from their perfection. Angels are free from any kind of anger, illusion, imagination, or delusion. This characteristic gives them the power to be in the divine presence and under God's divine light. It is because of these shortcomings that human beings are prevented from being in the divine presence. Because perfection resides only in the state of reaching the divine presence, only angels can properly be said to have the attribute of perfection among created beings.
    The spiritual dimensions of angels have different aspects. The angel is a sublime luminescence. His knowledge is perfect and complete because he knows the secret of the unseen and is acquainted with the hidden secrets of creation. His knowledge is real, active, and continuous. The action of the angel is genuine because angels are committed to serve and their commitment is perfectly carried through.
    Angels inhabit the seven moving planets, the polestar, and all the fixed stars of every o ther galaxy. Orbits are like their bodies whose hearts are the planets. The movements of these planets in their orbits is the principle of the changes on this planet earth. The movements of angels in this universe has an influence on the states of human beings on this earth. From the movements of these angels, by God's order, the connection is made between the movements of galaxies. The transmission of signals even millions of light-years away from us affect the states of human nature. The heavenly world thus always holds sway over the earthly world.
    Everything is created in hierarchies and everything is connected to what is above it. Human beings always look up, not down. The desire for betterment is built into them at both the material and the spiritual levels. Everything in creation always looks up to that model. The principle of the heavenly influences is founded upon this: the effect of the upward on the downward and the aspiration of the downward to the upward.
    God created the sun from the angelic light. It allows this world to see everything of the material objects that were previously wrapped in darkness. Without that light of the sun nothing can be seen. The result of the creation of light is the formation of day and night. Yet the sun is always shining day and night and its light never extinguished. Because the earth turns on its axis the changes are felt between the two states. The earth makes the sunlight appear to be extinguished. Similarly, angelic power always shines upon the earth. But the revolution of human beings around their desires create a day and a night in their heart: one side shines and the other is in darkness.
    Since the moon has no light of its own, it takes its light from the sun. The latter always shines and reflects on the moon like a mirror so that it appears like a shining body. In the same way human beings, though they are inscribed by an angelic power, darken themselves through the oppression of their ego. Never theless, they are in a position to be always shining, and shining far more radiantly than the moon.
    The moon possesses nothing of the light of the sun by itself; it only reflects at best. The main power belongs to the sun. Similarly, God has placed and organized in every orbit of the heavens, skies, galaxies, planets, and Paradises a creation differing from one orbit to ano ther. They act like mirrors that reflect the light of the angels from the divine presence. These celestial phenomena extend that angelic light, mirror-like, for the benefit of human beings and other creations. That light is "made subject" (musakhkhara) to whatever is needed by creation. That light is the source of the angelic power, the very angelic power itself. Indeed, it is the substance of goodness and benefits every place of creation.
    As the angels move in the divine presence, their lights move in and upon the orbits which God created to be governed by them. Angelic powers affect the movements and contents of these orbits. Since these orbits reflect angelic lights upon earth, we see how human beings can in turn be affected by the movements of orbits in their lives. Angelic lights also affect feelings, moods, manners, and actions.
    The elements and qualities of human beings and other created objects on earth vary according to their respective distances from the sources of angelic power. Hence we find differences between human beings, even though their bodies are similar. This is because they differ in respect to their connections with angels. The differences are not really in bodies but in the human beings' spiritual attributes and characteristics.
    Human beings carry from childhood ei ther the characteristics of goodness and holiness, or those of evil and wrongdoing. That is a very real picture of the spiritual "dress" of human beings and their hierarchies: one receives an angelic power while the other does not. This is what makes one better than the other, just as diamonds excel emeralds, which are better than sapphire, which is better than rubies. All these are rare jewels but they vary in exellence. For all these jewels are more precious than gold. Gold is more precious than silver and silver is more precious than iron. The latter ends up as scrap while the others are always kept as valuable elements.
    Light is better than darkness. The transparent is better than the opaque. The subtle is better than the dense. The enlightened person is better than the one in darkness. The beautiful is better than the ugly. The one calling to goodness is better than the one calling to evil. The shy, courageous, generous, patient one is better than the one who carries hatred, enmity, darkness, evil, greed, and stinginess. All the above-mentioned characteristics depend on the nearness or farness of their respective bearers to the sources of angelic power.
    Therefore, in this world the human spirit is a sign pointing dimly to the perfection of the higher world. It is like the light of the candle in relation to the light of the sun, or a small drop in relation to the ocean. Angelic light is the means of visibility of light on earth, both material and spiritual. We know about the sun from its rays. Similarly, we know about God from the creations of the heavens and the earth, the perception of which is brought about by the shining of angelic light upon them and their expression through revelation by that light. There is no darkness for us deeper than the non-existence of angelic light. There is no light of God more expressive for us than the angelic light. The appearance of each single thing is the result of this light, just as the existence of each thing proceeds from its existence. In this way God preserves creation through the light of the angels.
    Another way to describe the way the human spirit signifies the heavenly world is through the analogy of the solar eclipse. If a portion of the sun is eclipsed you can see the sun in a cupful of water. The veil of the eclipse is the angelic light. It makes possible the appearance of the source of light. Human beings are themselves like a veil or eclipse of the angelic light. That is, they eclipse the angelic light which eclipses the light of God. Thus you can see the attributes of the Creator through His wonderful creations. This is the meaning of the Prophet's saying: "Think of the creations of God. Do not think of His essence."
    The spirits of human beings can be described as atoms inside the heavenly world and their bodies as the houses of their spirits. Now, the house has a state and the inhabitant of the house has a state distinct from the first state. It is clear to us that the inhabitant is more honorable than the house, for the greatness of the house depends on its inhabitant.
    These human spirits are an actual part of the angelic spirits. That is why the condition of entry into Paradise for the soul of a dying person is that it be accepted into the angelic realm first, as we have said. That is also why the human spirit is qualified to receive transmission from the angelic powers, as the satellite dish is made to receive transmission from the main station.
    To the extent that these individuals are connected to the angelic powers, they become undoubtedly more and more important to other human beings on earth. However, human bodies remain a compound of many different elements mixed together. The bodies of angels, on the other hand, are only made of light from the divine presence. It is important to know that this difference never goes away in the material world. That is why the angels prefer to support the spirits of the bodies of prophets. For the prophetic spirits have elevated their bodily receptacles to the point where they acquire all manners of gnosis and spiritual states. These in turn enable them to become beacons of light spreading heavenly gifts and carrying God's message to His creation. All these relations between angels and prophets, saints and pious people, obtain by God's will and His permission.
    Angels are honored because of their knowledge and status as inhabitants of Paradise and recipients of God's satisfaction. They always look at their Lord and seeing nothing but their Lord. As we said previously, the inhabitant is more important than the body it inhabits. This is evident in the fact that the Prophets are more precious than their mothers, although they inhabited their mothers' wombs. The status goes to the prophets, not to their mothers, because of the prophets' greater connection to the angelic powers. As an illustration we may say that the spirit of Jesus is better than his mother's body, and similarly that the spirit of the Messenger of God (Muhammad) is better than his mother's body.
    When God created creation, He said: "Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, the Beneficent; with Whom none can converse. On the day when the angels and the Spirit stand arrayed, they speak not, saving him whom the Beneficent alloweth and who speaketh right." (78:37-38) God shows in these words that the angels are from among His greatest creations. They stand second to him and they are His messengers of revelation sent to His prophets. He has honored them by letting them reveal the astounding knowledge in two ways: spiritually and phenomenally. He reveals it spiritually by letting prophets bring such knowledge in heavenly books and thereby guide others to the faith and honorable manners characteristic of the servants of God. He reveals it phenomenally by inspiring the hearts of humankind to investigate and discover the visible world and accumulate empirical data. Hence, they achieve the most sophisticated technology that can possibly be reached by them in every given century.
    This opens another window into understanding the role of angels among human beings. Scientists are actually using the energies that radiate from the angels on this earth to build up technological knowledge. By use of angelic energy they achieve a perfect mode of living: educating, helping, and healing those in need.
    Spiritual people use the angelic power as a path of discovery for different purposes. They use this power in the knowledge that it is special grant from God. He gives them a sacred and noble trust that has the potential to govern countless bodies other than their own. This ability is defined as " the angelic power in them." These spiritual people are known in Islamic spirituality as abdal: "changed ones." They can move from one place to another in the blink of an eye. They can live at one and the same time in the first and the second place. They can live in many other places as well and yet maintainn the same appearance as their original self. This is called ubiquity. Famous abdal in sufi history are al-Junayd, Abd al-Qadir Jilani, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Muhyiddin ibn Arabi, Mansur al-Hallaj.
    Sufi scholar-saints such as these, also known as knower-saints or gnostics (`arif, pl. `arifun), have confirmed that there is another world between that of human bodies on earth and that of angels, and have called that world the imaginal world. This imaginal world is more subtle than the earthly world and yet denser than the angelic world. This characteristic of the imaginal world allows the abdal to travel within that dimension in the way that we have mentioned.
    The method used by these spiritual people can be described as a self-riddance of the trappings of gravity. Everything yearns for its origin and the body yearns for earth which is pulled by gravity. The spirit, however, yearns to the heavenly realm which pulls upwards. These abdal were capable of balancing the opposite elements earth/heaven, or upward/downward, within themselves in such a way that the element earth which once dominated over the other is now dominated by the other and follows it.
    The intellect dominates the conscience to the extent that some have said that the conscience is in the prison of the mind. If the intellect is of the destructive type, that person will use knowledge and self-discovery to hurt instead of to heal. Laser beams can be used for destruction as well as healing, but they are the same rays in either case. If that intellect does not balance properly between right and wrong, then it will be using the knowledge it acquires in an inappropriate way. If, however, the conscience dominates and plays a greater role, it will at one point dominate over the mind and ensure that it is controlled by the yearning to do good. That is best for himself and for humanity at large, for that person will be constantly motivated to use his knowledge to help and to serve others.
    This is the case in the body that imprisons the spirit: the person who can balance the two poles within will be qualified as a wise one. Further down the road, if that person can progress more in the heavenly direction, he can use his spirit to dominate the body and acquire those powers that cut through the fetters of gravity. This enables him to use the spirit to move the mass of the body, not only his own but those of others as well. For such a spirit, when it connects with its angelic power, will become a form of energy and light. These entities can move mass at higher speeds than the mind can conceive.
    This is how these pious people known as saints or abdal were known to appear at any critical time and any place that they liked. Thus, they help people and teach them. The ubiquitous appearances of one's person in many places are like reflected images of the same one body through the mirror of an angelic power. This mirror produces thous ands upon thousands of pictures at the same time, except that those pictures are every bit as real as the original which is being reflected.
    God will create an angel called al-Natiq, " the Uttering Angel,"out of His own dhikr (remembrance) of Himself for every one of these types of realized people. That angel is instructed to inhabit the heart of the pious servant of God. His duty is to continuously inform that servant of his duties and obligations in each twenty-four hour cycle, besides the known duties of worship. This link of information establishes a further possibility for the saint of reaching other human beings through the power of his heart.
    Furthermore, God will enable him to hear the minutest cell in his body. The angel speaks to him and explains why God created it, what physical purpose it serves in the body, what can poison it, and what can heal it. Moreover, it will inform him how to heal himself from any disorder of his body, and enable him to heal others through his acquired angelic energy.
    The saint's angelic power thus enables him to converse freely with every cell in his body as if he were speaking to another person sitting in the same room. This ability will open for him the understanding that the human body to which is joined an angelic power is greater and even less fathomable than this entire universe. Indeed, each cell is a world unto itself. It is inhabited by all kinds of infinitesimally small spiritual laborers. Their function is to run the life support system of that cell. A factory needs all kinds of instruments and machines, labor and managers to keep it alive and protect it from any kind of error and destruction. In the same way, scientifically speaking, the cell has its own defense system against any invader from outside: that protection is produced by the tiny angelic staff whom God created for that purpose.
    As the saint becomes more and more perceptive in his inner hearing and speaking, he will concentrate his entire power. He then places it in his heart exclusively of any other focal point. This process can be compared to the concentration of light which does not burn if scattered over the paper, but burns if reassembled into one ray under a magnifying glass. At that time the saint will be able to send that gathered angelic light out of his heart in order to reach any human being on this earth and any heavenly being above.
    The continuous build-up of this angelic power in the saint's heart allows him to witness heavenly sights and acquire heavenly knowledge. This continues until the day comes when an indescribable light appears in the horizon of his heart. This light expands the heart to an infinitesimal degree. It removes from it all the remaining veils that up to this point prevented it from reaching the realities of the heavenly world. Meanwhile, God orders the angels, each one in his state, duty, and position, to inform that pious individual of three things: the reason of his creation, his position in the divine scheme, and his duty within creation. Every single one of these angels will thereupon adorn that pious person. They will endow him with a kind of gift. At a certain point, he will himself become "dilated" which, in the language of mystics, means that he will be clad in a subtle body of light, the same light that characterizes angelic beings. That body is not visibly transparent to other human beings. Nevertheless, they can feel the light that emanates from the saint's body and be attracted to him as a magnet attracts other elements.
    When people are attracted to this Knower-saint, however, he must not show that he is different from others and pretend to be higher than them. He must be an instrument of this angelic power. Being proud puts him in the same category as Satan. Although the latter possesed an angelic power he fell from heaven because of pride and that power was taken away from him. The saint must only use angelic power in a constructive way, for the happiness and benefit of human beings. He must do so without asking for anything in return from those he helps. Angels never ask anything for themselves, rather, they always ask for the sake of human beings.
    Children have not been involved in the low desires that strip the heart of its angelic power. In fact, they are at the rank of saints although they themselves are unaware of it, much less their parents and relatives. The child that declares that he has visions and sights is telling the truth; whereas the parent who hears the child's accounts sifts them through the grid of the mind and does not consider them factual. "I heard music," "an angel came to me," "people came and disappeared," "they brought me gifts," are frequent utterances of children who blurt out these statements as the event occurs. The child cannot control himself, however, the saint keeps all these events hidden from others.
    An intermediary state of knowledge exists between that of children and knower-saints which may be called a "premature sainthood." In that state many people experience visitations and sights and sounds which may be few and far in-between, or on the contrary frequent. These happenings seem discontinous and even perhaps incoherent, like someone being addressed in a foreign language and struggling to underst and. The reason is that those experiencing them have not achieved the state of purity that permits them to converse fluently with their angelic power. Like children, they cannot help revealing these experiences as soon as they occur or shortly thereafter in ways that may or may not make sense to them or to others.
    The happiness that these retellers of angelic visitations feel in telling others of their experiences is like the happiness of a child who receive candy. A child will become happy with its candy and forget about a diamond. Nevertheless the goal remains the diamond. It is important for persons to always re-direct themselves towards that goal: the continous connection of their heart with angelic power at every moment of their life.
    Each human spirit evolves from the point when it was present and testified before God on the Day of promises, to the reality of earthly life then to the life of the grave then to eternal life. This evolution consists in changes from one image to another. The garment the spirit takes in the fourth month of its life in the womb is kept until death. Another dress is put on in the grave, which also deteriorates. Finally, the spirit puts on the body of the hereafter. This body changes to an angelic body at the time it enters among the angels, as we have already mentioned in relation to the Koranic verse "Enter thou My servants."
    That angelic body will keep on changing, continuously and forever, from one excellent dress to one even more excellent, according to God's infinite creation of the levels of Paradise. Each dress of paradise, when worn, opens a new level. When one sees this new level, he desires to attain it. He puts on this new garment by divine permission. And a resurrection from one level of Paradise to the next continues ad infinitum. This astonishing phenomenon shows the great extent of God's power of creation.
    In every period of evolution from one dress to another prior to Paradise the individual can understand his surroundings and in what state he is. He will be living in that very state and experiencing it but he cannot understand the other states. A person is virtually imprisoned in the state he is in and cannot see any other state. On the other hand, the individual who reaches the full state of sainthood can understand everything from beginning to end. That is what differentiates the ordinary individual from the saint. A saint has already acquired the subtle body of light which enables him to see the past, present and future in one brief moment. Indeed, he can attain the knowledge of the souls from the moment they stood in the divine presence to the day they came to this world, entered the grave, were resurrected and stood before God again, and entered Paradise. This reality is expressed in the following prophetic tradition in which one of the Companions of the Prophet was asked by the latter to give those present a glimpse of his angelic vision:
    Harith ibn La`man said: "Once I went to the Prophet and he asked me in what state I spent the day. I replied : "As a true believer." Then the Prophet asked me the state of my faith. I replied: "I see the throne of God and the people of Paradise helping each other, and the people of hell lamenting in hell. I see in front of me eight heavens and seven hells as clear as idol-worshipers see their idols. I can recognize each individual just like a miller can recognize wheat from barley. That is, who is to go to paradise, and who is to be found in hell. In front of me people are like fish and ants. Shall I stay silent or continue?" The Prophet told me to stop and say no more." [Abu Hanifah, "al-Fiqh al-Akbar"].
    One of these accomplished saints in more recent times said:
      "I met an angel standing on the shore of a vast ocean. I saluted him, and the angel replied: 'Wa alaykum al-salam wa rahmat Allah.' Then the angel asked me by my name, 'O So-and-So, how is your shaykh, the master of abdal?' and he named him. I answered him by giving him good news about my shaykh, then I asked him how he knew him. He expressed surprise and answered: 'Do you think we do not know him? Everyone in our realm knows and respects him. When God elevated him to his rank He informed everyone in His creation, all the angels and every single creation on earth, that that person had reached the station of I love him, and I want everyone to love him also. Therefore, every stone, tree, animal, angel and jinn love him.' I said: 'There are some people on earth who want to kill him because they are jealous of his angelic knowledge and power.' The angel said: 'It is impossible that anyone can kill the one whom God loves and has raised to an angelic power.'"
      "The angel continued:
      'Your master can hear and see the image of every created object in this universe. In this universe, there is nothing but these created reflections. They represent angels, human beings, and every element, living and non-living; and all of them are praising their Lord. All creation, except human beings who did not reach the state of angelic vision, are given a knowledge that enable them to hear each other's praising and hymning in whatever orbit of space or existence they move. Everyone praises his Lord with his own attributes and in the words of his own language. God gives everyone the understanding of the other's language but not the permission to use it. He has to use his own language.'"
      "I interrupted the angel:
      - 'Even the inanimate elements can underst and the praising of others?'
      - 'Yes, even they can underst and. A stone is inanimate to human eyes but it is a living and praising creation. Haven't you heard of those who heard the stones praising God in the presence of the Prophet and his Companion-saints?'"
      "He continued:
      'We angels have been created out of divine light, and we have been greatly honored! Yet we both admire and pity you, human beings, because you have been created in God's image. Haven't you heard the saying of the Prophet: 'God created Adam after his likeness'? We understand this to mean that human beings have been elevated to a rank where He honored them by allowing them to reflect His image. This honor has raised human beings to a very high level. That is why God said in the Holy Koran: 'Verily We have honored human beings, and We have carried them over the earth and over the sea' (17:70). These two bodies, earth and the ocean, here represent the external knowledge and the internal."
      "Such honoring of human beings is chiefly represented by their face, and the head is the true center of gravity of human beings. For you cannot say that the perfect place denoted by the word 'likeness,' in God's creation of human beings, consists in this or that limb of the body, as they are all the same from one person to another. But every one has a different face and there lies God's likeness. That is why the Prophet scolded the man who struck another on the face and forbade the striking of the face of human beings, even in battle."
      "When God wants to manifest Himself, He looks at His creation. His first attention goes to human beings because they resemble him. Those who resemble Him the most among them, are the saints; hence the Prophet said of them: 'They remind you of God.' We angels may speak to prophets alone, except for saints."
      "We also pity you because human beings are unwilling to open themselves to attract the angelic power by which they reach the state of heavenly knowledge that is their inheritance. That makes us appear in your human form in varying shapes and degrees of light, in different places and to different ages of human life, to remind you that you have been honored with an angelic power and a divine likeness. Keep the likeness! Use the angelic power! It shall elevate you to that luminous station without which God said: 'Verily, those for whom God did not appoint light, they will never inherit light!' (24:40) and He said: 'Light upon light!' (24:35) declaring that the light of the heart's vision must be connected with the light of angelic power, ensuring success and guidance to all human beings. That light shall then appear over the entire human realm like a rising sun and a rising moon over all of creation, without ever setting. The light of this power, at that time, will make every individual like a moon, that is, a heavenly body that will reflect the original light for the rest of creation. By this light, this world will be preserved, the love of nature will rule the earth, and everyone will live in peace and love, swimming in the ocean of angelic beauty and harmony."
      The angel spoke this, then he gave me the angelic greeting of peace and left.

    Belief in the Angels

    34:40: "And on the day when He will gather them all together, He will say unto the angels: Did these worship you?"
    43:53: "Why, then, have armlets of gold not been set upon him, or angels sent along with him?"

    It is said that the word "angel" comes from the Latin "angelus," which is borrowed from the Greek "angelos." In Arabic the word is "malak" or "malaak," plural "malaa'ikat." The Arabic root verb "alaka," which means "to give a message," confirms the angel's etymological connection to the function of Messenger of God in the semitic languages.
    The existence of angels is one of the pillars of belief in most religious traditions and that is the case in Islam also. God mentions the angels in the Holy Koran in more than ninety different places. They also occupy prominent places in the narrations of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, and the many accounts of saints and the pious men and women of the recent past and present. The following pages are an all-too-brief selection of some of the accounts and explanations that have reached us from those three sources.
    The Koran says (2:285): "The Messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each one believeth in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. Grant us Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying." God thus orders every person to believe in His angels as an obligation parallel to that of believing in Himself, His Books, and His Messengers.

    The Angels of Koran

    4:166: "But God Himself testifieth concerning that which He hath revealed unto thee; in His knowledge hath He revealed it; and the Angels also testify. And God is sufficient witness."
    God has created a tree in the seventh heaven, on each leaf of which is found one letter of the Holy Koran. Every leaf is a throne carved from a precious stone, and every letter is represented by an angel sitting on that throne. Every angel is the key to a different endless ocean of knowledge, which has no beginning and no end. In every ocean there is a complete universe with its own unique creation. The diver into these oceans is the Archangel Gabriel. It was he who brought to the Prophet the pearls of those oceans when he appeared to him and said three times: "Read!" To this command the Prophet, Peace be upon him, each time answered: "What am I to read?" and Gabriel said:
      Read: In the name of thy Lord who createth,
      Createth man from a clot.
      Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous,
      Who teacheth by the pen,
      Teacheth man that which he knew not.

    At that time the Archangel brought to the Prophet two green pieces of cloth from heaven, one of which was decorated with all kinds of precious stones from the earth, and the other with precious elements from heaven. He opened the first cloth and told the Prophet to sit on it, and he handed him the second one and told him to open it. When he opened it, he received the Holy Koran with words of light, and the secret of that tree in the seventh Heaven was revealed to him. Whoever reads the Holy Koran with sincerity and piety is enabled to enter these oceans of knowledge and light. The Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, saw a tablet made of rare pearls under the Throne of God and another tablet of emerald. Upon the first was the first chapter, Surat al-Fatihat, which consists of seven verses, and upon the second the entire Koran. He asked the Archangel Gabriel, "What is the reward of one who reads the Fatiha?" Gabriel said, "The seven doors of hell will be closed for him, and the seven doors of paradise will be opened for him." The Prophet said: "What is the reward of the one who recites the whole Koran?" Gabriel replied: "For every letter that he reads God will create an angel that will plant a tree for him in paradise." Then the Prophet saw a triple light radiating in three directions, and he asked what it was. Gabriel said: "One of them is the light of the Verse of the Throne (2:255), the second is the Chapter Ya Seen" (Chapter 36), and the third is the Chapter of Oneness (Chapter 112). The Prophet asked: "What is the reward of one who reads the Verse of the Throne?" Gabriel replied: "God said: It is My attribute, and whoever recites it shall look at Me on Judgment Day without veil." The Prophet then asked: "What is the reward for one who reads the Chapter Ya Seen The answer came from God: "It consists of eighty verses, and whoever reads it will receive eighty mercies: twenty angels will bring him twenty mercies in his life, twenty more angels will bring him twenty mercies at his death, twenty more, twenty mercies in his grave, and twenty others, twenty mercies on Judgment Day." The Prophet said: "What is the reward for reading the Chapter of Oneness?" The answer came: "The angels will give him to drink from the four heavenly rivers that are mentioned in the Holy Koran: the river of pure crystal water, the river of milk, the river of wine, and the river of honey."

    The Angel That Carries the Whale That Carries Creation

    3: 190-191: "Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and in the difference of night and day are signs of His sovereignty for those possessed of understanding, such as remember God, standing, sitting, and reclining, and consider the creation of the heavens and the earth, and say: Our Lord! Thou createdst not this in vain."
    In the beginning God Almighty in His majesty created a huge jewel of green peridot. No one but He knows its size. Then the Lord trained His gaze onto that jewel and looked on it with a glance of awe. Under the influence of God's gaze, this jewel became liquid and began to undulate. It turned into a sea and nbegan to boil and churn and was moved from its depths. As it boiled, it began to evaporate, and steam rose up from it. This vapor continued to rise, and below it remained a thickening, coagulated, precious mass. From the layers of vapor the Lord of the worlds created the seven heavens, and from the remaining primordial mass he created seven layers which He then made into the seven earths. The thickness of each of the layers of heaven and earth was five hundred thousand light-years, and as for the space separating each of them from the next only God knows it as He said:
      "Have not the unbelievers then beheld
      that the heavens and the earth
      were a mass all sown up,
      and then we unstitched them
      and of water fashioned every living thing?
      Will they not believe?"
    After creating the heavens and the earth, God created a great angel. Between his eyebrows there is a distance of five hundred light-years. He has two wings decorated with great constellations. They spread their lights like flickering fires over his majestic shoulders. One wing represents the East, the other the West. The angel was ordered to bend down his neck. With both his arms he lifted up the whole of creation spanning the East and the West. He carried this burden until he came to rest right beneath the divine Throne. There he will remain until Judgment Day.
    When he lifted his burden, the angel saw that his feet remained suspended in mid-air. God then ordered the angels to bring from the highest Paradise a stone of red ruby. This heavenly rock was placed beneath the angel's feet so that he found a place for his feet. Now this red ruby remained suspended in mid-air. So the Lord brought an enormous ox which had seventy-thousand legs from Paradise. This ox was so huge that its horns reached from the highest heaven to the foot of the divine Throne. It was immeasurably greater in size than the angel carrying the heavens and the earth. The angels placed the red ruby stone between the horns of the ox where it was firmly grounded; except there was nothing to support the feet of the ox. God, therefore, fashioned a dome-shaped vessel; its breadth was a distance of seven hundred thousand light-years. The angels placed this vessel beneath the feet of the ox. The ox now stood firm. But the vessel was left hanging in the air. From the perfection of His divine power, God created a whale by the name of Lutia. He then ordered the angels to place the vessel on its back, and the angels obeyed. By the will of God, the vessel stood fast. Now only the whale remained in the air. So God created an angel more beautiful than the new crescent moon. Half of it is fire and half snow. Its constant prayer is: "By the Lord who has made this fire cohabit in peace with this snow, may God bless and forgive His human beings." Thus God made the angel that carries the universes stand on top of the red ruby, placed on top of the ox that rested on the dome-shaped vessel that sat on the whale Lutia who swam in the palm of the angel of opposites like a ring lost in the midst of a great desert.

    Angels and the Creation of Adam

    2:31-33: "And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful. They said: Be glorified! We have no knowledge save what Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names..."
    2:34: "And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever."
    7:11: "And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration."
    15:28-31: "And remember when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter's clay of black mud altered. So, when I have made him and breathed into him of My spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together save Iblis. He refused to be among the prostrate."
    17:61: "And when We said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay?"
    18:50: "And remember when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the Jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command."
    20:116: "And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate all save Iblis; he refused."
    38:71-73: "When thy Lord said unto the angels: lo! I am about to create a mortal out of mire, and when I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down before him prostrate, the angels fell down prostrate, every one."

    God taught Adam the names of everything in creation: the inner nature and the outer, qualities and quantities, and the secret of all existence. It is by virtue of this knowledge that He elevated him to a state of purity and perfected him to reach the divine knowledge from which angels derive the nectar of their own knowledge. God thus enabled Adam to teach and inform the angels, although he was created after them.
    These verses point to the essence of the human condition, whereby human beings can reach a station where they command angelic power. They teach us that angels can take the form of human beings, and that human beings can purify themselves to the point of carrying angelic attributes.
    God has placed the angels at the service of His beloved creation, and caused them to appear to mankind and help them. This is symbolized by their prostration to Adam. It was Adam whom God chose as His viceroy on earth and not the angels. "And had We willed We could have set among you angels to be viceroys in the earth" (43:60). Many stories illustrate this angelic service to humankind in the following pages.
    It is related that when Adam approached death he assembled his children and he told them that he desired to taste of the fruit of Paradise again. All his children went in search of such fruit. The angels knew that Adam was going to die. They received his children with heavenly shrouds in their hands and water from the rivers of Paradise for Adam's final ablution. Adam's children were surprized. "How did you know that our father was ill?" The angels replied: "What are you looking for?" The children answered that their father was sick and that he desired a fruit of Paradise. "Perhaps that will heal him," they said. The angels told them: "O children of Adam! Paradise was created for you. We are but the caretakers of that place for you. How can the owners ask permission from the caretakers? But if you wish to enter it again, you have to come back to the divine presence and reclaim your angelic reality as before." "How can we do that?" asked the children of Adam. The angels replied: "You have to long earnestly to meet your Lord, and he will teach you the way back to Him." "And then?" asked the children of Adam. The angels said, "Then, you have to enter through the door of death."
    Adam died, the angels came down and buried him themselves, showing his children the manner of this ritual and teaching it to them for the first time. After that, the sun and the moon were eclipsed for seven days and seven nights.

    Noah's Angelic Light

    23:24: "But the chieftains of his (Noah's) folk, who disbelieved, said: This is only a mortal like you who would make himself superior to you. Had God willed, He surely could have sent down angels. We heard not of this in the case of our fathers of old."
    Noah was born with the light of prophets on his forehead. God created that light before Adam and He caused it to pass from one generation of prophets to the next until the Seal of Prophets, Muhammad.
    After he received the prophecy Noah preached for nine hundred years. The angelic light in him shone forth and even the animals and stones were praising God when they saw him. Yet Noah's people were so stubborn that he succeeded in calling only eighty persons to the true faith, among them three of his sons. In the end Noah was fed up and he asked God to be relieved from the task of constantly calling in vain. God accepted Noah's request and decided to send the Great Flood as a trial for human beings. When the command came for Noah to build the ark, he asked for instructions and God sent him Gabriel to teach him how to build it.
    Gabriel ordered the angels of safety to collect the best timber for a ship to resist the Waters of Wrath. The angels brought Noah a pile of wood and timber from the cedar-trees of Lebanon which were later used to build the Temple of Solomon. They placed the wood in front him. The pile was so great that from whatever point of Noah's country one looked at it, that pile always seemed to cover the sky above one's head. Noah took one splinter of that pile and from it began to build a huge ark.
    Never before had a ship been built in that country. Noah's country did not meet the sea or any other great body of water. His people scoffed at him, saying: "A ship in the middle of a plain!" and: "How should there be a flood in this country which hasn't even seen rain in so many years?"
    Gabriel instructed Noah how to piece together the hull of the ship with one hundred and twenty-four thousand planks. On each of these planks was inscribed the name of one of the one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets who were to appear from the beginning of creation to the end of times, starting with Adam. God created an angel to safeguard and insure the soundness of each plank even after it had been incorporated into the ship. This was done to show that God protects his creation with his beloved ones among the angels and the prophets. God places within creation itself the causes and effects of salvation and the road to Paradise. God saves His beloved servants time and again with the arks of salvation brought by the angels. In times of disasters, plights, wars, famines, and great depressions, angels never fail until today to bring help and relief for those who ask. The following story illustrates this.

    Saving Angels

    The year is 1982, in Beirut, Lebanon, the jewel city of the Middle East which Westerners used to describe as "the Switzerland of the Middle East." It is the middle of the Lebanese crisis. Local tyrants are fighting each other and shelling the city with over three hundred rockets a minute raining on both sides, indifferent to the victims. On a very dark day of severe bombing, everyone in our ten-story building is huddled in their apartments praying. Each person hopes to escape with his or her own life. There is no electricity to use the elevator, to watch TV, or even to use the phone or heat the water. People are live minute by minute, running down the stairs to the basement for shelter, and feel lucky if they have stored some bread bought at the bakery during a lull in the bombing.
    In the middle of this confusion, a lady is screaming in the basement: "I forgot, I forgot!" What did you forget? people around her ask her. But she keeps screaming, "I forgot, I forgot!" all the while tearing her hair by the roots and slapping her cheeks. Meanwhile, the building seems to be swaying left and right from the vibrations of exploding shells all around our neighborhood. Every one is feeling his heart breaking into pieces and his very veins buzzing unbearably, because the kind of rocket that is raining uses a chain of explosions close-packed together, of the type called `anqudiyya or cluster-bomb in Arabic.
    The overall feeling is that the moment of death has come. Everyone reaches for their children and covers them with their arms, so that they may be taken with them and not leave them alone in death. At that moment, love of mothers for their children shone. So did love of fathers, husbands and wives, and all family members who counted together the moments that remained before they would leave this life. Everyone recited the prayers that he or she knew, busy with his or her own person, engaged in private supplication to God for salvation. The whispering and the chanting of prayer was the only sound other than the sound of exploding shells above us. Nothing broke the gloom of this small basement except a few candles lit here and there, giving us hope like islands of light in a sea of darkness.
    The intensity of the bombing reaches its peak. The shells have reached us, and we are all going to be shattered to pieces. The building is crumbling like cardboard, and the stones and bricks are heard falling around the streets of the neighborhood, like hail on the head of people on a winter day. In the middle of this rain of stones over human heads, the lady's voice also reached its peak, and she was now heard screaming: "Please! Let someone help my child! Someone help him! He is dying! He has been killed!" But no-one can see who she is referring to, and no-one is able to help her.
    My sister took some cool water and tried to bring the lady to her senses by throwing water on her face, at the same time she kept asking "where her child was so that she could be rescued." My sister called me: "Come and help me with her." I came and helped, and she said: "Please! I forgot my daughter. " Where? "In the tenth floor, in our apartment." My face turned pale. I looked into my sister's eyes, interrogating her without speaking, but she understood that I was telling her: "There might no longer be a tenth floor, or a fifth floor, or even a ground floor over us! Can we even get out of this basement alive?" People huddled around us, and we began to hear knocks on the metal door of the basement. The door was open from outside, three men and two ladies rushed in, shouting to us: "Close it behind us, close it quickly!" They had come at high speed with their car, not knowing where to go until they glimpsed the basement entrance to our shelter. They had jumped out of their car and rushed in for cover. We gave them some water and tried to calm them down from the shock of what they had seen outside. Their faces and clothes were covered with blood as they had been helping transport the wounded and the dead in their car.
    One of the newcomers said: "The streets are littered with the dead. We don't know who to pick up anymore. Complete buildings have been razed to the ground. It is horror, disaster! I looked in turn at the first screaming lady, and then at the lady who was speaking. I said:
    - "What about our building?"
    - "Which building do you mean?"
    - "This building, our building!"
    All five newcomers cried out in a confused clamor:
    - "There is nothing left outside, there is no more building! We saw a ruin of four or five floors' height, that's all that's left!"

    When the first lady heard this, we thought she was going to go mad or even fall dead. All turned to her with baited breaths, ready to catch her if she fell. But the contrary happened. She seemed to calm down all of a sudden, catching her breath and becoming firm, staring at a corner of the basement. Her face changed colors, from pale to pink, her eyes became full of light, even smiling, and her mouth fell gaping as she said in a whisper:
    - "O my God -- O my God -- O my God!"
    Everyone forgot about the shelling. We became oblivious to the apocalyptic thunder outside; instead, there was silence all around us. Every heart suddenly felt this great peace covering us all around, like a big mantle of quiet and rest, taking us to a different place in a short moment. Everyone stared in the direction of the lady's stare, but no-one could see what she was seeing. She stammered:
    - "O my God! I can see your angels! I can see your helpers with their wings, helping my daughter, they came to help us!"
    As soon as she pronounced the word "angel," everybody felt a cool breeze, fragrant with an inexpressible perfume of flowers and fresh scents, covering the sulfuric smoke that had been drifting in from outside.
    The candles went out. An immense light appeared, filling the whole basement and seemingly expanding it infinitely. Everyone froze in their place, unable to detach their gaze from this great cloud of light, staring at the light without the slightest strain, although it seemed many times as intense as the sun itself! Tongues were muted. No-one breathed. An immense peace descended, and all the suffering and shelling of the last few hours was forgotten.
    The lady was now in a state of happiness, and all anxiety had disappeared from her. "Angels are saving my daughter." She kept repeating this, despite the apparent incongruity of her phrase, because everyone had thought that the building above us had been reduced to rubble and all the lives of those still in it, lost. Yet everyone now firmly believed that anything could happen because of the state we had entered, although anyone hearing this from the outside would consider it nonsense that the lady's daughter could still be alive.
    My sister looked at me silently begging for some kind of answer. I stared back, eyes wide open, as if telling her: "God is great, He can do anything, even send His guardian angels to heal the wounds of helpless people who supplicate Him." She understood, and the reflection of this message seemed to enter her heart in waves of spiritual energy, now overflowing her heart and reaching the hearts of others all around us. Everyone seemed aware of a special event happening to them, which they had never experienced before in their lives.
    My sister had been suffering from cancer for several years. A gynecologist by profession, she understood more than anyone else the facts about cancer and the gravity of her situation. She had undergone surgery and many treatments of chemotherapy. Doctors had finally told her that she had but a few months left to live. She was now in pain at the thought of death knocking at her door and about to enter, in addition to the pains of the disease itself and its harrowing treatment.
    She was looking at me as if trying to ask: "If this visitation is real -- if it is happening that that woman's child is being helped by an angel, and we are seeing something to prove it -- why doesn't the same angel also touch me with his miraculous healing, and save me as other people are being saved?" I understood all this in a moment, and we had not exchanged a single syllable.
    I felt then and there that my sister was desperately asking, with all her heart, for help. She was trying to reach for the robe of an angel, clutching it in a last-minute attempt to be saved, as if this precious moment might not be repeated again in her lifetime. Something amazing and unexpected immediately followed this silent dialogue: my sister was now gazing at the corner of the basement with the same stare that we had seen on the face of the woman who was missing her daughter. My sister's tongue began to move and stammer involuntarily: "My brother, my brother, an angel is coming towards me! O my God, O my God!" Everyone stared but no-one could see, as the angel was visible only to her, as it had previously been visible only to the woman. Yet the light in the room seemed to multiply again and again.
    My sister screamed: "He is healing me! The angel is healing me!!" Then she fainted. Everyone was in a dilemma, wondering who to help: the first lady or my sister? But no-one moved, as we were all frozen in our respective places and unable to take it all in other than to say: "God is great." In the middle of this state of confusion and spiritual wonderment, everyone heard a distinct knock on the small metal door of the basement. Yet no-one could move from his place, afraid to lose this state of ecstasy and return to the world of bombs, the noises of war, the smells of fire and gunpowder, and the sight of the dead and wounded.
    Each one of us felt responsible for opening the door, and yet legs seemed pinned in their places and no-one was moving. Among all these people, two children broke loose from their parents' arms, a boy and a girl, and ran toward the basement door. The parents screamed: "Come back, come back!" but the children were answering: "Angels, angels!" All eyes were on the children, and the parents were unable to move even one inch from their places to catch their children.
    Everyone's heart stopped at the thought that the children might go out and be hurt by the shelling. Amazement grew tenfold at a new sight: the children were no longer walking on the ground, their feet were now raised one inch above the ground, and they were walking on thin air! Their parents lost their voices and were now questioning their senses. The children took over, as if pitying their parents' loss for words, and said: "Mom, dad, angels are coming to our help. Don't be afraid. They will deliver us."
    The children must have taken but a moment to reach the door; for everyone else, however, it seemed like a year. What was happening with the children? Were they even the same children anymore, or were they angels in the disguise of children? Who was knocking at the door? As the children were approaching the door, we did not seem to hear knocks anymore, but musical sounds charming our ears and flowing into the air. Wonder, confusion, expectation, suspense: the first lady and her daughter, my sister's sight and her loss of consciousness, the silence, the light, the fragrance surrounding us, the knocking at the door, the children floating on the air and calmly announcing the presence of angels, all this seemed too much for us to understand.
    For all its strangeness, everything we had seen so far belonged to the three dimensions; we apprehended it with the senses of our physical bodies, or at least tried. Everyone felt that what lay behind the door, however, was going to be completely different and unprecedented and unimaginable. It must surely be from a fourth dimension, a door to Paradise, an interaction with the heavenly world itself, not only with one or two of its inhabitants or with the elements of fragrance and sound.
    In less than one second of the children's time they reached the door. Without their touching it, it opened by itself in front of them. We could see nothing through the door: no stairs leading to the street, no stone structure, not even ruins, nothing but an immense light. That light poured into the basement, sending in waves and waves of a visible energy carrying with it effects that reached the hearts; for we all felt a great effulgence of love and utter happiness in our hearts, a love we had never felt before in our lives. It did not equal even the most intense raptures of our adolescence.
    We were in a trance. The two children vanished in the light, no longer to be seen. All eyes were transfixed, casting impossible gazes at the disappearing children, but unable to follow them into the light. The union of the children with the light caused the light to change colors, like a radiant rainbow, and affected our states as well, as if we were now seeing the children move into paradise with the eyes of our hearts rather than those of our heads.
    A brief moment passed. The light was still there. Two children had gone into it, but now three were returning. They were holding hands. They seemed to saunter out of the fourth dimension of Paradise back into our third dimension..
    The children looked airy and subtle, seemingly translucid, as if they were now angelic beings. Their own light kept changing like the light that was coming through the door. An innocent gesture, typical of children, assured us that it was them: they were holding hands and moving in a circle, chanting a rhyme:
    "We are the angels, we are the guardians,
    We are those who love you and care for you."
    Everyone heaved a sigh of relief and joy. We turned to each other gleefully, relishing both the sound and the meaning of that music carried by the children's voices. It was as if a new life had been opened to us in that basement, especially for the parents of the children. They had been trying to move from their places and to run and hug their children, but their efforts were in vain: they could not move. They were stuck in their places like stone statues.
    As the light began to diminish little by little, the people began to feel that their powers of movement were coming back to them. The state of ecstasy was lessening and abating in our bodies and our hearts. The children were slowing down in their caroling. They turned towards their parents and began to make their way back to them. All of us were looked at the third child, a little girl who jumped into the basement and ran to the lady who had been crying at first. We understood that this was the daughter she had been worried about for leaving her on the tenth floor of the building.
    Everyone had forgotten about my still-unconscious sister, including myself, instead looking at the children and expecting to hear from them some description of what they had seen. The joy of the parents cannot be described. The lady of the tenth floor who had thought that her child was lost with the rest of the building now was seeing her running towards her and holding her in her arms, and she had not even forgotten to bring her Barbie doll with her! The mother was hugging her child, kissing her, and mumbling unintelligible words of thanks and prayers, unable for emotion to speak coherently.
    During that joyful event, some other people and I were trying to reanimate my sister after we ourselves had just regained our normal state of consciousness. Others, however, were asking the little girl to tell how she had managed to come unscathed from the rubble and destruction outside. I was losing nothing of the many questions that were beginning to burst out from every mouth, pricking up my ears to hear any answer when it came. At the same time I was throwing some cologne water on my sister's face and tapping it lightly, comforting her back to health.
    The little girl was speaking in a mixed state of happiness and fear: she was happy because of what she had seen in the world of angels, and she was afraid from the intensity and emotion of the people's questioning that had suddenly erupted around her. She was surprised at their agitation and at the reaction of her mother, not realizing what all the fuss was about; she had just been visiting with her friends, the angels, and now here she was. What about the tenth floor? What about your room? But the little girl only said: "Mom, why are you crying? Why are you kissing me as if you had not seen me for a week?" The mother kept hugging her dear child, continuing her muted, grateful prayers.
    The little girl began to hug her Barbie doll, exactly as her own mother was hugging her. Each feared the loss of the little baby whom she held dear: the mother feared for her little daughter, the daughter feared for her little Barbie doll.
    The little girl said: "I was in my bed when I felt someone touching me and calling me. I thought it was mom, but I never felt myself carried up and held that way before! I opened my eyes and I smelled a very nice breeze filling my room. I saw a lady coming to me, accompanied by an angel. Where my room had been there was now a great space without end and without beginning. The lady took me by the hand, and the angel carried both of us. I was about to cry, and the lady said to me: 'Why are you crying, sweetheart?' I said: 'I forgot Barbie.' The lady said: 'No, she is here with you, look under your arm.' I looked, and I found that my Barbie was with me. Then I looked around and began to shout: 'Where is my mother? What is happening? Where are you taking me?' And they said: 'We are taking you to your mother. We are your guardian angels.' Then I met the two children who were waiting for me in the hallway, where everything was light. The angels taught us a song and we began to play with them and go around. It was so nice! Then they told us that we had to go back to our parents and we came here."
    The children did not seem to realize the extraordinary nature of the little girl's account, and of their entire experience of the last hour. We looked at them, then looked at each other in amazement and disbelief. Surely other people had to be told all this. Would they believe us? We did not wish the moment to end. We wanted to hear more. All these thoughts came to us at the same time, and above the din of these reflections one clear thought emerged and imposed itself: angels had come to our rescue and had brought us this precious moment of relief and mercy.
    We had not forgotten the one among us who was lying on the ground: my sister. She was slowly coming to, and looked around her to see if the vision was still present. Someone handed me a cup of water with some drops of rose water in it. I gave the glass to my sister to moisten her tongue and quiet her nerves. She was at first unable to relate anything of what had happened to her. She drank some more water and slowly took in the surroundings, feeling more secure and happy as she came to understand the reunion scene that was taking place before her.
    My sister then looked at me, and I understood from her eyes that she was ready to tell me what had happened to her and what she had observed under the touch of the angelic vision she had experienced. Everyone became quiet again, wanting to hear her story as well. It seemed like the soldier's rest after the excitement of battle. If someone had dropped a needle on the floor you could have heard it, although the fighting was still going on outside. Inside, the atmosphere of peace and happiness had disconnected us completely from the bedlam of war.
    As she prepared to speak, everyone began to anticipate great news of j oy and deliverance from her as well, although they had not heard anything yet. She said: "Praise God! He heals and he forgives. As soon as you saw me fainting, I woke up somewhere else and was looking at everyone. I felt like a patient undergoing anesthesia, but the 'going under' was spiritual . The angels were operating on me. I saw three of them: one on my right side, one on my left, and one above me. The latter one said to me: 'We are the healing angels, and we came to help you by God's permission. Nothing prevents us from curing anyone who seeks our help, and here we are!'"
    "They were holding my hands on my two sides, and I felt a state of peace in my whole body. It made me feel light and relaxed. The familiar pain of many years of cancer treatment had left me. Then the angel above me showed me a staff of light which he was holding in his hand. He told me: 'There are points in the human body which, if anyone touches them, will cause healing in the entire body. I am going to touch them with this needle of light.' He proceeded to direct his staff at several points over my body, touching one cell-point each time and healing the cells that corresponded to it. 'These dead cells are given life another time through this touch,' he said."
    "The operation extended over my entire body. I was able to count 365 different points to which he turned his staff. The angel said to me: 'Each point represents a day of the year. If you keep your body balanced through that year, all your years will be balanced, and your life's age will be balanced as well.'"
    We had all been overwhelmed by the events that had happened, and now the secret knowledge which had been revealed to us added to our amazement. My sister continued: "The angel advised me that I must follow a certain diet which I must not leave for the rest of my life. In order to balance these life-points in the body, I must drink every day, in the early morning, before eating or drinking anything, a small cup of onion juice which will revive the dead cells that the cancer thrives upon to extend over the body. The angel said that this recipe should be followed by all who suffer from cancer."
    We continued to listen to my sister's account of her angelic encounter, drinking in the many details which confirmed and reinforced the veracity of her experience in the light of the little girl's parallel journey. Each person in the basement was transformed that day. What irony that the day which had begun as one of the darkest in our lives, now seemed destined to be remembered as a day of special joy and blessing, to be recounted for a long time to come as one of the best in our lives! The people continued to recount their feelings and hear each other's impressions, seemingly for hours. When the excitement abated, three hours had passed, and a lull had replaced the chaos of indiscriminate shelling outside. Everybody prepared to leave the shelter and go back, as much as possible, to the normalcy of daily life.
    When we came out we saw the extent of the damage. We realized that we had also been part of the angel's miraculous deed, as we had been spared and our basement protected from the bombing which had reached every spot around it. We left the city and made our way to my brother's house in the North of the country. There we healed our wounds and rested for a while. My sister faithfully followed the angel's recipe. After three months, she went back to her doctors at the American University of Beirut. To everyone's surprise, there was no trace of cancer left in her entire body. No-one could explain what had taken place and the doctors were mind-boggled. They did not even know how to trace the process of healing and found themselves unable either to describe it or to duplicate it. Of course, they took the causes of healing forwarded by my sister, the angel's operation and the recipe with a big grain of salt, although she was like them a medical doctor. "Our colleague has had great luck," they said, "and is under the emotional stress of an unexpected, miraculous recovery." Miraculous it was, but more literally so than they could possibly imagine.

    Abraham's Honored Guests

    51:24: "Hath the story of Abraham's honored guests reached thee (O Muhammad)?"
    Abraham's nickname was: "Father of guests" because he was so hospitable. Because of his great hospitality, God always sent him an angel to keep company with him, so that Abraham would not have to sit and eat alone. One time God sent Abraham three angels to bring him news of a son, although he and his wife were quite old. It is said that the three angels who visited Abraham are called "honored" because Abraham, the Intimate Friend of God, served them himself. It is also said that they are called this because the guest of an honorable person is himself honorable.
    God blessed the lands of the entire Middle East with great angelic presence and light. He caused all the prophets and saints who are mentioned in His revealed Scriptures and traditions to be born there. God made them visit and bless the various locations that He caused to ba the in perpetual angelic light, such as Mecca, Madina, Jerusalem, Damascus, Sinai, Yemen, and the mountains of the Lebanon. God brought Abraham to Syria and called it: "The land which we have blessed for the benefit of the worlds" (21:72).
    One day Gabriel asked God: "O God! show me one of Your beloved servants." God sent him down to see Abraham. Gabriel searched the earth and found him sitting with his son on a hill overlooking a valley entirely filled with flocks of sheep and cattle. In the blink of an eye Gabriel appeared before him as a man and addressed him: "O stranger! what is your name?"
    - "My name is Abraham."
    - "And who is this with you?"
    - "My son."
    - "What are you doing on this hill?"
    - "Tending those flocks you see below."
    - "Whose flocks are these?"
    - "They are mine."
    Abraham was wondering why this man was asking all these questions but he kept quiet. Gabriel went on questioning him and checking his faith. He said:
    - "O Abraham! these flocks are too many for you."
    - "They are not too many but if you would like to have a share I can give you some."
    - "Yes, but I cannot pay the cost."
    - "The price will not be too much for you but it will be dear to me."
    - "I do not understand."
    - "Ask me."
    - "What is the price, O Abraham?"
    - "The price of half this flock is under your tongue and between your lips."
    - "What is that?"
    - "It will take only a few seconds to move your tongue and your lips with some words then half the flock will be yours."
    - "What are these words?"
    - "Are you accepting my terms?"
    - "Yes, I accept."
    - "Then say: 'subbuhun quddusun rabbul mala'ikati war ruh,' 'Most Glorious and Holiest, Lord of the angels and the Spirit!'"
    Gabriel said:
    - "Subbuhun quddusun rabbul mala'ikati war ruh."
    - "O my son! go down rightaway and put half of these flocks on the side for our guest."
    Gabriel continued Abraham's examination:
    - "O Abraham! what remains is still too many for you and your son alone, while we, my tribe and I, are greater in number than you."
    - "O my brother! do not worry. I shall give you another half of the remaining half if you say a second time: 'Most Glorious and Holiest, Lord of the angels and the Spirit!'"
    God ordered all the angels in heaven to pay attention at the dialogue between Gabriel and Abraham and to marvel at the latter's faith and loyalty. Gabriel again said:
    - "Subbuhun quddusun rabbul mala'ikati war ruh."
    Abraham immediately ordered:
    - "O my son! take half of the remainder and add it to the first half."
    Then he looked at the man and said:
    - "I feel that you want to ask for more. I will not wait for you to ask again. I shall ask you myself if you want more."
    At that time all the angels in heaven wept and praised the generosity of the perfect man, Abraham. God said to his angels: "I am creating from every drop of your tears an angel that will inhabit the earth until the end of this world. They will be my messengers in charge of protecting and guiding human beings until Judgment Day." And God said: "Be," and the angels were created, and descended in throngs upon the earth for guiding and protecting human beings.
    That was for one person, Abraham. What about all the other pious ones, prophets and saints who, like Abraham, are causing God's mercy to descend on the earth for our benefit?
    Then Abraham said to Gabriel:
    - "Say: 'Most Glorious, Holiest, our Lord and the Lord of angels and the Spirit!'"
    Gabriel said: - "Subbuhun quddusun rabbuna wa rabbul mala'ikati war- ruh."
    Abraham then said to his son:
    - "O my son! leave eveything for our visitor and let us go. I have received the price I asked. These three utterances of blessing on my Lord are more precious to me than all these flocks."
    - "Abraham, wait! said the visitor. I am Gabriel the angel, I only came to check your love and your sincerity. I don't need all these flocks!"
    - "O Gabriel! Abraham said, did you think I did not know it was you? Were you not aware that I recognized you from the first moment you came here? You came veiling yourself from me but I pointed you out when I asked you to praise your Lord with the words: 'Lord of the angels and the Spirit.' It is I who covered myself from you. I differentiated myself from you when I made you say the third time: 'Our Lord (Lord of human beings) and the Lord of angels and the Spirit.'"
    Gabriel was baffled by Abraham's answer. He did not know what to do with the cattle and sheep! God called him and said: "O Gabriel! leave Abraham, for he will never take them back. This is because when the generous one gives he never takes back and never reminds someone of a favor he did him. I have adorned Abraham with that attribute of Mine, al-Karim: 'the Generous One,' for his love and sincerity. Direct these flocks of sheep, cows, goats, horses, donkeys, buffaloes, and camels to the jungles of this earth. Appoint over them guardian angels to look after them. My will is that these species of animals will never be extinguished from the earth because of Abraham's generosity." Gabriel assigned angels to those flocks. Wherever you go on this earth you will find generations of these animals in every part of the globe because of the blessing of Abraham's generosity.
    When Nimrod desired to hurt Abraham he had a great fire built, such as had never been seen on the surface of the earth. The fire was so great that they could not approach it in order to throw in Abraham. A man told Nimrod that he had invented a special machine which he could use if he wished. That was the manjaniq or catapult. Abraham was seized, placed in it, and thrown into the fire. All that time he was saying: "My reliance is on God!" When he landed in the fire, he said: "O God, You are One in heaven and I am one on earth worshipping You." Gabriel immediately asked God for permission to go and help Abraham. God said: "If you wish you may go and ask him if he desires help." Gabriel went down and appeared before Abraham. God told all the angels to watch what would happen and listen to Abraham's answer.
    Gabriel said:
    - "O Abraham! I came to help. Do you want me to take you out of the fire?"
    Abraham answered:
    - "Does God not see His servant, O Gabriel?"
    - "Yes, of course, He sees everything!"
    - "Then let Him do as He wishes with me, O Gabriel!"
    The angel of rain asked God: "Our Lord, will you let me order the rain to put out that fire?" All the animals of creation gathered and tried to put out the fire, each using the means at its disposal. Only the gecko lizard was found fanning it. But God's order to the fire itself was faster, for God had already made the fire cool and safe for Abraham. The angels praised Abraham for his absolute trust in God. The only discomfort that he suffered at that time was that he sweated a little and Gabriel wiped his sweat for him.
    Then God ordered the angel of the shade to descend and make Abraham's stay a comfortable one. The angel of the shade came down and caused a huge garden to sprout instantly in the midst of the fire. A green meadow appeared in the midst of which there was a pleasant pond filled with fish and swans from Paradise. Their scales and feathers shone like silk and reflected all the colors of creation. Servants were attending Abraham, who was found under the cool shade of a willow-tree surrounded with delicious fruits and dainty dishes, and the angels engaged him in a divine conversation, during which they revealed to him the secrets of their stations and the powers God had endowed them with, giving him everything. At that time those who were outside looking in, began to wish that they, too, would be thrown into that fire with Abraham. Even his father, who previously disbelieved in him, said: "O Abraham, what a wonderful Lord your Lord is!" And his mother actually went into the fire escorted by the angels, hugged Abraham and came back out without being harmed. No-one else could approach it without feeling an intense scorching heat.
    The fire burnt uncontrollably for forty days. But Abraham's garden only increased in verdure and kept expanding with the constant visitations and blessings of the angels. At that time, Abraham's fire was the most blessed spot on the entire surface of the earth, as God looked upon it with the highest favor. He ordered all the angels of creation to pay at least one visit to His Friend Abraham.

    Jonah's Angelic Whale

    37:139-144: "And lo! Jonah verily was of those sent to warn when he fled unto the laden ship, and then drew lots and was of those rejected; and the whale swallowed him while he was blameworthy; and had he not been one of those who glorify God he would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised."
    God sent Jonah to the people of Nineveh in Iraq. He called them to God's message but they refused to listen to him. He was calling them night and day to no avail. Instead they harmed him and cursed him at every turn. This lasted for a long time. Jonah was unable to bear this situation any longer. He began to threaten them: "I am going to ask my Lord to send you a severe punishment which has never been seen before; to destroy your cities and burn your gardens; to make you barren and end your line." He then left them.
    Slowly, his people began to feel the approach of punishment in their daily life. They began to realize that they had made a big mistake.
    God is the Most Merciful; for at every moment in this world he will show His greatness and cause people to observe Him through many signs. He will do this by sending angels in order to direct the sincere, and, indeed, anyone who asks for guidance, to the light of happiness in life. God sent the people of Jonah the angels of Mercy and the angels of Safety in order to inspire their hearts to do good, and guide them to safety through the destruction that was descending on their heads.
    Abraham was protected from Nimrod's fire by the intervention of the angel of snow and the angel of peace. In the immense heat of this great fire where he had been thrown, surroun ded by great destruction from above, from below, and from every side, Abraham was saved and protected. This was a message from God to tell His people: "I can save whomever I wish from any harm, whenever I like, no matter how bad their situation is."
    Jonah was angrily moving away from his people. They regretted what they had done to their prophet. Men, women, children, old people, and even the animals, both tame and wild, were h eard and seen crying out, each in his own particular language. It was a tremendous event, and everyone asked for mercy and for the angels' intercession.
    God Most Merciful, Most Powerful, and Most Beneficent took away the destruction and saved them through his angels from this great havoc. Meantime, Jonah boarded a ship and took to sea. A big storm broke, and the ship was being torn apart and about to sink. The crew decided to draw lots and throw out one passenger as an expiation for the sin which was bringing death upon their heads. When they drew Jonah's lot, they loathed to throw him because he was the prophet, so they drew lots again. Every time, however, his lot keppt coming out. In the end Jonah threw himself over board, and a great green whale came from the bottom of the ocean and swallowed him.
    An angel appeared before the whale and instructed her not to crush Jonah but to keep him safe in her stomach. At that moment Jonah spoke to the angel and asked for his advice, saying: "Give me the glad tidings from your Lord. How did God teach you the knowledge of the Unseen?" "Because I don't commit sin," said the angel. Jonah said: "Advise me." The angel replied: "Be patient and not full of anger, for you are full of anger against your nation right now. Be a person who gives benefit, not harm -- for you were praying your Lord to destroy your people for harming you. Don't be happy with your pride and arrogance. Don't humiliate your nation with their sins, because you also have mistakes."
    Inside the stomach of the green whale, Jonah went into prostration and said: "O God, I prostrated for you in a place where no-one before has prostrated. O God, you have drowned me in the oceans of hope, and caused me to forget the day of my death. O Lord, you are the possessor of my heart and of my secret. I am the drowned one, so catch me by the hand and save me. Relieve me with Your perfection and inspire me with Your love! Let the angels of mercy reach down to me and pull me, O You who accept the prayers of the needy in the darkness of punishment. O the unveiler and remover of difficulties and harm, here I am coming to You and adoring You. Do not keep me from Your presence. Forgive me."
    God ordered the angel to move the whale through the farthest oceans of the world and take her to the saltiest, or most concentrated and deepest depths of the seas. There Jonah began to hear the praising of all whales, all fish, all corals and all creatures of the depths. Nothing remained except they praised God and lauded Him, and Jonah was praising Him also.
    [God created a saint whom he endowed with such great powers of praising and remembering that he did not need to eat or sleep. Instead, he spent all his time praying to God, chanting his praise, and making intercession for other human beings. God placed him in a room at the bottom of the ocean. There he perpetuated God's praise unhindered for hundred of years. When that saint died the angels brought him before God Who asked him: "O my beloved servant, shall I reward you according to your deeds or according to My forgiveness?" He replied: "O my Lord, according to my deeds, since you have granted that they consist solely in Your praise." The angels placed the saint's deeds on one side of the scale and on the other side they placed God's generosity to that saint. God's generosity weighed heavier, and the saint fell prostrate and speechless, begging for God's forgiveness.]
    The angel inspired Jonah to say: "O God, Most Exalted, no-one can thank You nor worship You as You deserve to be thanked and worshipped. You know the secrets and the deepest knowledge, You unveil everything hidden from Your servants, You know every slight matter in this world and the next, and accept the prayer from every creation, forgive me and accept me in Your presence as Your humble servant."
    God revealed to Jonah the following:
    "And mention the Lord of the Whale Dhul-Nun, when he went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him, but he cried out in the darkness, saying: There is no God save Thee. Be Thou glorified! Lo! I have been a wrongdoer. Then We heard his prayer and saved him from the anguish. Thus We save believers" (21:87-88).

    Then God ordered the whale to throw Jonah out onto the sea-shore, and ordered the angel to tell Jonah: "This is God's mercy. He can send it on anyone He likes, even in the midst of the greatest destruction and the surest death, far from any help." Thus did God save Jonah, and the following story illustrates how God saves His people from the grip of destruction even against the greatest odds.

    A Recent Salvation

    The year is 1980. I had just come back from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was Saturday, July 7. When the plane landed in Beirut Airport, it was an emergency landing because of the war going on at that time. I tried to contact my brother to tell him to pick me up. It was impossible because all telephone lines had been put out of commission. People were rushing through the customs and immigration controls. It was difficult to find an officer available to search you and stamp your passport. Everyone was running for his own dear life. You felt that you might die at any moment. I looked around for a taxi, but found no-one willing to go up North, where I lived. Beirut was divided into two sides, and you could not go up North except by crossing from one side to the other, which no-one felt bold enough to do on that particular day.
    A few hours passed. The airport and the streets around it were deserted, except for one couple and their small child who had travelled on the same plane as me. They were sitting in the cafeteria where they could not even find a cup of water for their baby. They had run into the same problem: no-one was found to take them to Tripoli which was about two hours from the airport by car.
    I sat not far from the stranded family. We could hear the cacophony of crashing shells, less than a mile away on the coast-line. All of us were wondering how to reach home that day. I went into a state of prayer and meditation. I remembered my master, and I asked for help from God through the intercession of my master. Another hour went by. Night was falling. We could see the red sun about to disappear below the horizon.
    Suddenly, I saw a car speeding towards the airport and approaching the parking lot outside the cafeteria window. It seemed to be racing as if trying to escape some terrible pursuers. It screeched to a halt outside the main door, and a high-ranking officer of the Lebanese Army dashed out of it. He was the officer responsible for the airport. From a distance I wondered whether I knew that person, as he seemed familiar to me. As he approached I realized this was one of the followers of my master, who therefore belonged to the same group as I.
    When the officer saw me, he expressed less surprise than I did, and I felt that he was hiding something in his heart. We hugged each other. He asked:

      - "What are you doing here?"
      - "I arrived today. I am waiting for a car to take me home. What about you, what are you doing here?"
      - "I don't have time to answer you quickly right now; get your luggage and put it in the car."

    I brought my luggage as he instructed and we got into the car. He started the car again and put in reverse. I looked at the stranded couple and their little child.
    When they saw us leaving, they seemed to lose hope, as if resigned for impending disaster. That had terrified me, and my friend was also afraid of the idea of being stranded in that forlorn place. In the car, I felt as if the child was sending us a message: "All of us are innocent people. God created us to live in peace and happiness in this lovely world, extending our hands to each other as human beings. I want to enjoy this life as much as you, and play under the trees that rise us towards heaven, and hear the birds, and watch the waves breaking on the sea-shore. I don't want to die!" When I seemed to hear the child's appeal in my heart, tears came to my eyes and I thought: "Am I leaving behind this family at night, with no-one taking care of them?"
    The car began to back up, but something was holding the both of us. I said:

      - "I cannot go without them."
      - "Let us save our souls! Everyone is finding death on his way nowadays. They are shelling each other like mad."
      - "I cannot go without them. We have to take them with us."
      - "All right. Let us get them."

    I waved with my hand for them to come. They thought I was giving them a farewell gesture! In their depressed state, they could not even imagine that I was inviting them to get away. The child began to cry. All the while we were hearing the sound of the shelling approaching our area.
    I got down from the car with my friend. We ran to them and screamed: "Come on!" They got on their feet, electrified by the sudden hope for salvation. They were practically dancing with joy as we helped them carry their luggage into the car. We scrambled into the car again and screeched away, heading for the North.
    I asked my friend a second time how he knew that I was at the airport. Again, he said: "Later. We have to decide which way to take right now. Shall we take the two-hour trip by the sea-shore, or go the other way around, through the mountains, twenty-one thousand feet above sea-level through the Cedars and then down to Tripoli? It would take us twelve hours. There is no shelling on that road, but at this hour, any armed group might rob us, kill us, take the car and go!"
    We were in the middle of this dilemma when the little girl said out of nowhere: "I want to see the sea-shore. I don't want to go through the mountains. Please, uncle, take us to the sea-shore." Her father said: "And why do you want to go the sea-shore?" The child answered: "Because the angel told me so." The father was in no mood to hear about angels. However, the child's words rang like thunder in my ears. It was as if the angel had spoken to the child in order to direct the mature ones. I said to my friend on the spot:

      - "Let us go the sea-shore."
      - "Why did you reach such a quick decision?"
      - "Because I have experience with the angels. The lives of my master, of all our masters, of the prophet, and of all prophets, are full of illustrations of this."

    These words were like the key that opened my friend's heart and his lips. He said:

      - "I was afraid you would think I am crazy when you were asking me what brought me to the airport. Do you know what brought me to the airport?"
      - "I don't know, but I can guess that something has led you here despite your will and against your intentions. It couldn't have been me, because I didn't call you. The phones are out. I didn't write you either: there is no post. However, you are here!"
      - "I was busy in my office with paperwork related to airport security. I was writing work schedules for the officers in downtown Beirut. I was sitting alone. I heard a voice out of the blue. It seemed to come from every corner of the room, but it was garbled. I looked around me. There was no-one. I opened the door. No-one in the hallway either. I closed the door and went back in. Imagine me, a general in the army, trained for warfare, prepared for death at the hands of a terrorist attack, and I was now wondering about voices. After I sat, I heard the voice again. Again I got up and looked everywhere, even out in the street but it was deserted."
      "I left the paperwork and listened. I tried to muster all my ' attention and place it in my ears, to check if I was really hearing something and from where it came. This time instead of hearing something, I saw the walls of the room recede until they seemed to disappear! I rubbed my eyes: am I hallucinating now? I reached for the pot of coffee behind the desk and poured myself two cups. But even after I had drunk the coffee the vision was still there. I took the bottle of water next to the coffee-pot and I poured it on top of my head. I did not change a thing. I felt an intense heat. I realized that something extraordinary was happening to me."
      "The moment that this thought of acceptance dawned upon me in my heart, it was as if I had used the secret code permitting me to enter a further state of understanding or vision. I began to understand that what I was experiencing was real, and not an imagined occurrence or a hallucination."

    The feeling inside the car had changed from that of a dangerous trip to that of a mysterious story. Shells were falling all around us. In front of us cars were stopping and people were looking for shelter. Buildings were on fire. From the other end of the street another car was rushing towards us, and when they reached our level they shouted: "Move quickly, this is a war zone!" Great was our surprise to see that the driver of that car was smiling, although he was warning us about great impending danger. We wondered why he seemed so happy. Even more strangely, his face shone brightly and seemed to light everything around us.
    My friend dispelled our wonder and exclaimed: "This is the same light and the same face that I saw in my office! He is the one who visited me!" This gave my friend the much-needed sign that he was on the right track. He continued on his way through the coastal highway towards the Green Line that cut the center of the city, and he continued his story.

      "When I realized that I was not imagining things, I began to see a light that was taking over the whole room, and replacing everything in it with a great white cloud. In the middle of this cloud I saw an angel that resembled that shining man who smiled in the car that just passed us, but the angel was standing. In his hand he was carrying a white bird and he addressed me in those words: 'You have to go to the airport.' I was unable to answer him anything because I was too overwhelmed to speak. I was unable to ask for further confirmation that this was a message for me. It was clear enough: something had come to me and instructed me to go to the airport. At the same time, it was impossible for me to say: 'I cannot go because there is too much shelling.' Immediately as I was thinking of these objections, the vision would repeat: 'Go to the airport.' He repeated this order three times. Finally I gave in and decided to go. I left everything and here I am."

    Everybody in the car was happy after hearing this story and yet we were afraid of what lied ahead. We were happy to know that an angel had reunited us and yet we were afraid at the prospect of crossing the war-zone. Our faith was high nevertheless because we had seen three signs: first, my friend had come on orders from an angel; second, the child had mentioned the message of an angel to him; and third, the same angel who had spoken to my friend had come by us in a car and told us to move quickly.
    We were about to reach the Green Line, where the shelling and shooting were at their most intense. Warriors from every side were scrambling everywhere. These were unprincipled people who killed without the slightest provocation. They delighted even in shooting at a bird if they could only sight one. My friend stepped on the gas pedal. The married couple were shouting: "Please! they are looking at us! They are going to kill us!" But the little girl exclaimed: "No, no! Mom, dad, don't you see the angels protecting us? They are everywhere, chaining all the armed people! The warriors cannot move! They are like mummies wrapped in their chains, without movement!"
    My friend and I felt a renewed burst of confidence when we heard the little girl's words. It was as if we were inside a plane flying between the clouds; no-one could see the plane except a radar detector. The car was moving, crossing the streets as if veiled from everyone's eyes. We were hearing and seeing both sides fighting with each other, but no-one cared about us nor even noticed our presence. Only the angels were seeing us and guiding us, as the radar guides the airplane flying blindly in the middle of a storm.
    We soon found ourselves on the other side. We had crossed safely and nothing had happened to us. We found ourselves in a state of happiness and relief that made the hair on our bodies stand on end. Had we really made it safely through, the only car to pass the Green Line at that time? The child kept repeating: "The angels saved us, the angels saved us!"
    We continued on our way, heading for Tripoli. It was not over yet. The way was full of other dangers. The militias and the different parties had their soldiers posted all along the road, and we had to face them also, as we had faced the snipers and the shells. But the confidence the angels had placed in our hearts had grown to the extent that we felt sure of ourselves. We drew comfort from the sweet voice of our youngest passenger, who never stopped saying that angels were with us.
    After half an hourof driving safely in the dead of night, we saw a checkpoint one mile ahead of us. Many cars had been stopped and pulled to the side. People were being taken away. My friend slowed down. He began to feel afraid, although he was an army general. It was impossible to change our way and go back, as this was the only way available to us. We had no alternative but to continue. As we were approaching, we could see the soldiers put handcuffs on people, not differentiating between men and women, and even slapping them on their faces and pushing them. Even children were not safe from their violence. We could hear many children screaming for their parents. Without fear of reprisal and without shame, the soldiers were kicking them and shoving them with their boots, showing no pity.
    The parents of the little girl tried to hide their child under the seat, ordering her to huddle between their legs. But the little girl said:
    - "Why are you afraid, don't you see that the angels are coming with us? Look at all of them, some by the windshield, some holding the handle of the car doors, and others sitting at the back on top of the trunk!"
    We all felt an immense relief . There was hope yet that we would pass that checkpoint unharmed. When we arrived, my friend slowed down and prepared to stop. But no-one was paying any attention to us. It was as if we did not exist on this earth. My friend waited for a few moments lest they should shoot at us if we moved. No-one was paying any attention. The little girl jumped out of the back seat and spoke to the driver, saying: "Uncle, move, don't wait! They will never see us, because the angels are covering us."
    My friend felt encouraged to move, and he stepped on the gas pedal. He crossed the checkpoint and soon it was a distant blur behind us, its people continuing to stop the cars that came behind. We had apparently changed into ghosts! An hour later, we reached Tripoli safe and sound. It was just after midnight. And that is how we were saved from fear and destruction, as Jonah had been brought out safe and sound from the belly of the whale.

    The Angels of the Torah

    2:248: "And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! the token of his kingdom is that there shall come unto you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Moses and the house of Aaron left behind, the angels bearing it. Lo! herein shall be a token for you if in truth ye are believers."
    This verse shows the miraculous power of angels and their superlative ability to act upon the physical realm. They carried the Ark of the Covenant in front of Saul's army and the relics which the family of Moses and Aaron left behind. Angels were carrying the Ark of the Covenant because it was very important for humanity. It contained one of the heavenly Books, the Torah, in its original form. When God ordered Moses to write the Torah, He said: "O Moses! you have to write it on tablets of gold." When Moses asked where he would find such a metal, God sent him the Archangel Gabriel and ninety-nine other angels. Each one represented an attribute of God and they taught Moses one hundred and twenty-four thousand words. With every word Moses was elevated to a higher level. At every level Moses saw light coming to him from the Divine Presence and dressing him, until he reached a state of purity similar to the transparency of crystal water. This caused every on-looker at Moses to see nothing but light. At that moment, Gabriel ordered the ninety-nine angels to adorn him with the attributes and powers that each was carrying. Moses wore a veil to cover the intense light which emanated from him and caused others to faint if they looked at him. Then Gabriel poured into Moses' heart the heavenly knowledge meant to be consigned in the tablets. He taught him the chemistry of gold. Moses in turn taught his sister one-third of this chemistry, Joshua another third, and Saul the last third. Then he wrote the Torah on the gold he manufactured. All the while the angels stood by him and taught him how to write and adorn that heavenly book. Then God created a four-winged angel and ordered him to keep company with Moses and be the guardian of the Ark.

    Mary's Virgin Angels

    3:42: "And when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! God hath chosen thee and made thee pure, and hath preferred thee above all the women of creation."
    The "Virgin Angels" were created from the Word of God, carrying His Light and appearing to the Virgin of virgins, Mary. They informed her that she had been chosen to carry a great message for humanity. They were her guardian angels. They were wearing crowns of pearls and rubies on their head. The Virgin Mary's eyes were drawn to these pearls and emeralds without her will. This enabled her to see that this world, with all its magnitude, disappeared into one of these jewels as a ring disappears in an ocean. This vision elevated her to a state where she reached a knowledge which dwarfed all the knowledges of this world, enabling her to carry in her womb the secret of Jesus, which is a Word from God. God has prepared and guarded Mary through these two messengers for her to carry the light which the Archangel Gabriel would bestow upon her at a later time. She was chosen among all the women of the world for her sincerity and piety and to carry a baby without the agency of a man. She was asking God from her first day in existence to be a virgin in body and a virgin in soul.

    The Four Archangels in Charge of Earth

    42:5: "Almost might the heavens above be rent asunder while the angels hymn the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on the earth. Lo! God is the Forgiver, the Merciful."
    53:26: "And how many angels are in the heavens whose intercession availeth not save after God giveth leave to whom He chooseth and accepteth!"
    83:20-21: "A written record, attested by those who are brought near unto their Lord."
    There are four angels and their innumerable retinues in charge of this world. The first is Gabriel and his armies. He is in charge of soldier-angels and revelation. Gabriel insures victory and is responsible for the extinction of nations: human, animal, vegetal, or others, when God wills it. The second is Michael and his armies, in charge of rain and vegetation. He conveys sustenance to nurture mankind. The third is `Azra'il the angel of death and his assistants. They are in charge of seizing the souls of those who die. The fourth is Israfil and his assistants, in charge of the Hour of the Day of Judgment. When the earth has passed away God will order these angels to bring forth their scrolls and they will bring them. Then God will order them to open the Book of Life. They will then find that their scrolls are the same as it.

    Gabriel, the Servant

    66:4: "And if ye aid one another against him (Muhammad), then lo! God, even He, is his protecting Friend, and Gabriel and the righteous among the believers; and furthermore the angels are his helpers."
    2:98: "Who is an enemy to God, and His angels, and His Messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael! Then, lo! God Himself is an enemy to the disbelievers."

    The Soldier-Angels

    3:124-125: "And when thou (Muhammad) didst say unto the believers: Is it not sufficient for you that your Lord should support you with three thousand angels sent down to your help? Nay, but if ye persevere, and keep from evil, and the enemy attack you suddenly, your Lord will help you with five thousand angels sweeping on."
    9:40: "Then God caused His piece of reassurance to descend upon him (the Prophet) and supported him with hosts ye cannot see."
    37:173: "And that Our host, they verily would be the victors."
    48: 4,7: "To God belong the soldiers of heaven and earth, and God is Knower, Wise."
    67:20: "Who is he that will be an army unto you to help you instead of the Beneficent?"
    74:31: "And none but your Lord knows the number of His soldiers."
    These verses have two explanations, external and internal. In support of the righteous people who followed the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, God has ordered three thousand of the angels created from the light of the attribute "al-Jalil," "The Majestic," to descend and protect the believers against terror and devils. These angels were "sent down," in other words, came down from the Seventh Heaven which is the highest heaven. The second verse shows that God has sent the angels carrying signs of special significance which were visible to the believers. These signs were crowns of gold on their head, which represent the richest and most precious state, as these angels came from the most precious state of perfection in the first heaven. Through the light of their crowns these angels were able to strike dead whomever came in front of them. At the occurrence of that event in the battle of Badr, believers were given the power to see those angels and to believe in their support by direct sight.
    The internal meaning of these verses, which very few believers experience, is based on the fact that in the Holy Koran God has ninety-nine names and attributes, whereas in the Bible He has nine hundred and one, and in the Torah, two thousand. In the first of these two verses God mentions that these angels have been sent down from the highest heaven which is in the highest state of perfection near the divine presence. Each angel was carrying one attribute of the three thousand attributes that exist in the three Holy Books. This means that holy support came from all three heavenly books and was given to the believers and their Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him. The symbol here is that of the unity of religion and the oneness of faith. It enabled those believers to understand that Islam accepted Jesus and Moses and the Books that they brought. The second verse defines a firm reality that egoistic devils cannot reach you as long as you are aware of God's presence in your heart. This presence elevates you to a state of perfection comprising five different levels. Each level consists of one thousand different layers or states, and each layer is represented by one of the five thousand angels mentioned. When you ascend from one level to another, you will be dressed with the power of the angel of that level. Each level increases your heart's power twofold so as to embrace all the power and knowledge of that level. This increased light provides the key to the next level, and so forth from the first to the last of the five thousand levels. At that time, you will be a light from God's Light and a deputy among His angels on earth, shining like a sun on a bright day.

    The Angels of the Throne

    39:75: "And thou (O Muhammad) seest the angels thronging round the Throne, hymning the praises of their Lord. And they are judged aright. And it is said: Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds!"
    69:17: "And the angels will be on the sides thereof, and eight will uphold the throne of their Lord that day, above them."

    God has created the divine Throne with light from His light. The greatness of the Throne is such that, besides it, all the seven heavens and the seven earths are like a tiny mustard-seed in the midst of a great desert. When God wanted to show the greatness of the Throne, He created an angel by the name of Harquaeel. This angel has eighteen thousand wings. Delighting in his many wings, this angel was taken by the desire to appraise the size of the divine Throne. God said to that angel: "O Harquaeel, I know that you have an ambition to see the greatness of My divine Throne, so I am granting you another eighteen thousand wings, and allowing you to fly with all your might roundabout My divine Throne.
    Harquaeel deployed his wings and flew for three thousand light-years until he grew tired, even though angels do not get tired, and had to rest. Again, the divine command came, saying to him: "Harquaeel, fly on!" A second time, the angel deployed his wings and flew on for another three thousand light-years. Again, he grew tired and had to stop. A third time the command came to him to fly more. And a third time he deployed his wings. He flew on another three thousand light-years until he stopped again, dazed by the great distance which not even his wings allowed him to encompass.
    Harquaeel spoke to His Lord:
      - "O my Lord and Creator, tell me how many times now I have circled Your Throne?" The Lord of heavens and earth and all creation answered: "O Harquaeel! you have been flying for nine thousand light-years, but you have not reached even one pillar of the base of the Throne!" Harquaeel felt shame and repented of his desire to measure the greatness of his Lord's creation and to know the extent of His secrets. God then spoke to him and said: "O Harquaeel! if I had ordered you to fly incessantly up until the Day of resurrection, you would still not be able to reach the knowledge of the first pillar of the divine Throne. No-one can know the unknowable except by My favor and My grant."
    God has created eight angels to carry the divine Throne. These angels are immensely powerful and awesome. Each has a sevenfold aspect: one face in front, one face in back, one face on the right, one face on the left, one face facing up, one face facing down, and one face at the centerpoint or heart connecting all six faces. This face is the most radiant and powerful. It is the receptacle and source of angelic energy. These seven faces correspond to the seven heavens and the seven earths.
    In the court of the Almighty, these angels have been granted immense honor. They are from among the very first angels to be created. The first of the eight angels has a human form and is constantly praying on behalf of the human race, saying: "O Lord! give ample provision to mankind, and look upon them with kindness and favor." The second angel is shaped like a lion, and his prayer is: "O Lord! give their provision to each animal from among the beasts of prey." The third angel is shaped like an ox and he intercedes on behalf of domestic animals and the pasturing beasts. He prays that their provision never be lacking and that they might be at ease. The fourth angel has the form of an eagle and he prays for the benefit of the birds and all winged creatures. The fifth angel is shaped like the sun and his light shines upon the planet earth. He prays for the benefit of the human race, animals, and nature, so that they may enjoy the energy that he is sending. The sixth angel is shaped like a tree whose leaves represent everything which God has created. He prays for all these leaves that they flourish by receiving the nectar of God's praise. The seventh angel has the shape of a constellation. He is the source and the center of all the others. He turns to God and receives His light.
    God placed the greatness of the divine Throne on the shoulders of these angels. Their heads are underneath the Throne and their feet reach below the seven earths. Although angels never tire, the burden of the Throne of the Almighty became too heavy for them. They were too weak to bear it. God then inspired them to praise Him in a certain way: "Glory to You, our Lord, and utmost praise! May Your Name be blessed, and Your Might, and Your Power! There is no god other than You." Then the Throne grew light on their shoulders.
    God has commanded the entire host of angels in the heavens to come forward daily and give their praise to the Throne-bearers. They perform their task of praise in two shifts: one group salutes them in the morning, the other in the evening. God has ordered them to ask forgiveness on behalf of mankind. Their tears are like rivers. From every drop God creates still more angels to praise Him and to ask forgiveness for human beings until the Day of Judgment.
    The angels of the Throne always bow their heads. They cannot raise up their eyes lest the light that comes from the Throne annihilate them. When the angel Harqaeel saw the greatness of the Throne and of its carriers, he recited:
      Can any sustain the Almighty?
      A servant may carry body and soul.
      But to carry God's Throne --
      Who can grasp its Reality,
      Its vastness? What eye sees the whole?
      On no other way does eye see and word comprehend
      Except when God says:
      "Above His Throne exists Mercy without end."
      Eight are its pillars,
      Known by non but their Lord.
      Muhammad stands first in order by right,
      Then Ridwan, Malik, Adam columned and bright
      Stand arrayed in rank by his side.
      Over Gabriel, Michael, and Israfil
      Does Abraham preside:
      Eight veiled in darkness
      Envision the sight:
      How the pillars stand hid
      In the might of their height.

    Angels and Material Energy

    25:7: "Why bringest thou not angels unto us, if thou art of the truthful?"
    15:7-8: "Why bringest thou not angels unto us, if thou art of the truthful? We send not down the angels save with the Fact, and in that case the disbelievers would not be tolerated."
    17:92: "(We will not put faith in thee till) Thou cause the heaven to fall upon us piecemeal, as thou hast pretended, or bring God and the angels as a warrant."
    25:21-22: "And those who look not for a meeting with Us say: Why are angels not sent down unto us and why do we not see our Lord? Assuredly they think too highly of themselves and are scornful with great pride. On the day when they behold the angels, on that day there will be no good tidings for the guilty; and they will cry: A forbidding ban!"
    The unbelievers refuse to believe in God, His angels, and His revelations. They only believe in material things. To them, belief in what one sees and the material is more practical. Such practical-minded people are blind to the reality for which God has given children, prophets, saints, and believers eyes and power to see. To those the power is given to feel and to see the angelic beings that reside among us and to visualize these spiritual things. When we see such matters with believing eyes, we become receivers clearly catching the images sent by the spiritual emissaries. We visualize them as real, not false, pictures in our daily lives.
    Energy is a form of angelic power. Human beings have been granted the permission to use it. As we can develop the intruments to use these energies with greater sophistication, we can achieve more and more visible powers in the material world. The energy that is used to light a lamp, convey sound to a loudspeaker, see images on a television, run a car, launch a satellite, keep us warm in winter and cool in summer, is all the same. Only the instruments change. Similarly, angelic energy changes from one person to another. The source is one and the same. When human beings elevate themselves to higher states of purity, they can use this energy to be more powerful and visible to others as servants of God, and they themselves become messengers of this angelic power.
    Angels and their power are not sent down to satisfy the whim or curiosity of unbelievers. They are sent to bring inspiration to God's servants, to execute His decrees, to help people in their daily lives and resolve their problems. They raise and protect children through their childhood in order to bring all human beings to the highest level they can reach in the divine presence. Angels and their angelic powers do not help tyrants and oppressors dominate this world. Instead, they look for soft-hearted people to direct them and instruct them on how to keep this world orderly and pure from spiritual and material pollutions. They disconnect their energies from anyone who tries to harm nature, animals, or human beings, or exploit them for selfish purposes.
    The angelic source of power rests on three hundred and sixty pillars. Each pillar can contain the entire visible universe. The distance between one pillar and the next is five hundred thousand of God's years, and "One day in the sight of God is like one thousand of your years" (32:5). God has created for this angelic power one million six hundred thousand heads. Each head has one million six hundred thousand faces. Each face is bigger than this universe by one million six hundred thousand times, and each face has one million six hundred thousand mouths. Each mouth contains one million six hundred thousand tongues. Each tongue praises God with one million six hundred thousand different languages. For each praise, God creates one million six hundred thousand angels. All these angels shall say on the Judgment Day: "O God! give the reward of our praises to Your believing servants among human beings."

    The Angels of Dhikr (Remembrance)

    16:49: "And unto God maketh prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of living creatures, and the angels also, and they are not proud."
    41:30: "Lo! Those who say: our Lord is God, and afterwards are upright, the angels descend upon them, saying: fear not nor grieve, but hear good tidings of the paradise which ye are promised."
    The Prophet Muhammad showed his companions the unlimited worship of creation by allowing them to hear the praise to God of stones, animals, and trees. All of creation constantly praises God and makes prostration to Him. Human beings are raised to a most honorable level by being listed the angels. That is why the angels shower special blessings on human beings who remember their Creator, and God boasts to his angels about them with the words: "Look at My servants who leave their pleasures despite themselves in order to worship Me."

    The Prophet said that God created special angels who roam the earth to find people engaged in His dhikr (Remembrance). When the angels find such a group reciting His praises and chanting His names, they call each other and encompass that group in layer upon layer of angels until they reach the nearest heaven, the distance of which is in God's knowledge. Then God asks His angels: "What are my servants doing?" He asks not because He does not know, but because He wants the answer to be spoken outloud for us to know it. The angels answer: "They are praising You and magnifying Your name, and glorifying You, and reciting Your beautiful Attributes!" God then asks: "Have My servants seen Me?" When the angels answer: "No," God asks: "What kind of praise would they make if they actually see Me?" The angels answer: "O our Lord! If they see you, they are not going to be able to stop worshipping You, praising You, and declaring their love for You." God then asks: "What are My servants asking?" The angels reply: "They are asking for Your Paradise." God asks: "Did they see it?" The angels reply: "O our Lord! No, they did not see it." "What if they see it?" God asks. The angels reply: "If they were to see it they would be even more attracted to it, to the point of forgetting everything else in their lives!" God then asks: "What are they running from?" The angels answer: "They are running away from hellfire, which they fear greatly." "Have they seen it?" God asks. "O our Lord! No, they have not seen it," the angels reply. "What if they see it, what then?" God asks. The angels answer: "If they see your fire, they are going to be more intent on fleeing from it, to the point of forgetting everything else in their lives!" At that time God says: "O My angels in heaven and on earth! I am taking you as witnesses of My word that I have forgiven them." One of the angels says: "O my Lord! there was someone among them who does not belong to their group, but came to them for some other need." God says: "If one were only to sit in the company of such a group, his sins also will be forgiven, and he has nothing to fear."
    God's speech to the angels and their replies form a heart-melting dialogue that encourages and uplifts the hearts of believers. God is telling us to come together and love and help each other, and forgive each other, all for the sake of the fact that He created us and He loves us. The greatest kind of gathering, however, is the gathering where nothing other than God is mentioned or remembered among those gathered. Even to sit near such a gathering though not participating in it, insures one's forgiveness in God's divine presence. God mentions us in an exalted assembly and a gathering far better than ours when we mention him.

    The following is what happened to one of the saints during his last sickness. He said: "O God! I felt afraid of you before, but today I am beseeching You: You know that I did not love this world more than You. I did not try to cheat and deceive, to hoard palaces and farms and properties full of fruitful trees, and cattle, and wells. But you know that all the time I tried to help the poor, visit the sick, help those who asked, welcome strangers, and care for your creation. You know that I was running to the angelic gatherings of good people, chanting and singing and calling on You. You know that I was seeking the help of Your angels. O God! You know that my heart longs for You. O my Lord! that pain of love in me takes away my mind and causes me to faint, and I cannot carry it anymore." At that point he fainted. When he woke up he continued: "O God! You know that I have a son who died as a martyr, and he just told me in his angelic form that he had been in a gathering of angels, prophets, truthful saints, martyrs, and righteous people. O God! let me be in a similar gathering also." At that time the angels surrounded him and became visible to him, greeting him and smiling upon him and encouraging him with kind words. He was seen rising in the air and calling out the names of the angels. He began to say: "That is Artiya'il, and that is Hara'il, and this is the angel of shadows, and that is the angel of the wind, and this is the angel of the unborn, and that is the angel of tears, and this is the angel of the sea, and that is the angel of thunder, this is the angel Gabriel, that is the angel Michael, this is Ridwan the angel of Paradise, and that is Malik the angel of hell. Here are the angels of sleep and dream, and the angels of provision, and the angels of vegetations, and the spirit-angels, and the cherubim, and the seraphim, and those brought near, and the angels of the mountains, and Raphael, and these are the angels of tree-leaves, and the angels of the planet earth, and those of the stars, and the moon, and the sun, and the galaxies..." Then the saint began to speak in a language that no-one could understand, until he finally asked the angel of death to take his soul in order to reach his Creator and be placed there as an angelic power. He died with open eyes suffused with light.

    The Angels of Dreams and Premonitions

    "The good dream is one forthysixth part of prophecy" (Tradition of the Prophet).
    God has created specific angels that display visions and sounds to the sleeper. These pictures take a physical shape that can be sensed within the dream of individuals. Every dream fits the dreamer. This is proven by the fact that a sleeper in a place where there are many non-sleepers, sees what no-one else sees at the same time. That is because each person has his or her own individual angel in charge of sending the information contained in their dreams.
    Thus dreams may be real, confirming what might happen in the future of that individual, except that he is seeing it happen beforehand. On the other hand, the dream may refer to a specific item of knowledge, phenomenal or spiritual, concerning the dreamer in his daily life. In either case it may be good tidings or a warning.
    Abu Bakr Bin Furq was writing on the subject of dreams that warn us about a future event and their relation to the angelic realm. He fell asleep one Tuesday night in the year 1165. He saw an angel approach him clad in a beautiful, subtle body of light. The angel said to him: "God has created us and He has created you. It is He Who causes you to live and to die; He Who resurrects you and brings you to Paradise; He Who connects you with your soul after death. Everything that we receive in heaven is from him, and everything that you receive on earth is from Him." The angel disappeared and the sleeper woke up. He wrote: "I knew at once that the angel had provided me with all the knowledge I needed to complete my work. When I finished writing, my book on angels and dreams numbered six hundred pages."


    The Angels of Tree-Leaves

    6:59: "Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but it is noted in a clear record."
    God created from among the angels a group other than the recording angels. They are in charge of every seed in the earth and every leaf that falls to the ground, and everything in nature, both wet and dry, green and dead. They also oversee the events of human and other beings that enter into the realm of uninhabited nature. If a human being is somewhere without help, he should say: "O invisible servants of God, support me with your help! And may God's mercy be with you." Ahmad ibn Hanbal said: "I went on pilgrimage five times, and on three of these five times I was on foot. Once I lost my way in the desert, so I kept repeating: 'O servants of God, guide me to the right way!' and I found my way not long after that." If one utters this prayer sincerely, the angels will guide him and protect him from the harms of travel and the hostility of rebel spirits.

    The angels of nature fall under the authority of the Archangel Michael, and they have under them angelic legions and hosts constantly asking for forgiveness on behalf of human beings. Their intercession is according to the infinite numbers of the species and genera of nature they oversee. They ask intercession from the Lord and Creator of everything great and small. Even tree-leaves cause forgiveness of human beings, and the Lord of creation blesses human beings through them.
    A famous saint had purified himself to the extent that he could hear the intercession of the angels of tree-leaves and of all nature, and he began to recite with them:

      Praise be to the God of creation,
      The Lord of everything,
      Who created before the sky was hoisted
      and the earth flattened,
      Before the mountains were erected
      and the springs made to burst forth,
      Before the oceans were contained and the rivers tamed,
      Before the sun was set alight and the moon and the stars,
      Who wrote in the Book of His knowledge the name
      Of every single rain-drop, of every leaf and seed,
      Who owns whatever descends from the sky
      And ascends from the earth,
      And whatever grows under it,
      And has entrusted it to His servants,
      The loyal, unwavering, tireless angels.

    The Angel of Consolation

    10:62, 64: "Lo! verily the friends of God are those on whom fear cometh not, nor do they grieve... Theirs are good tidings in the life of the world and in the Hereafter."
    The angel of consolation follows the angel of tears. When the angel of tears touches someone's heart with his wing, that person begins to weep.
    One of the great saints, named `Urwa, grew very old and began to pray that God take Him back to Him and place Him among His beloved ones. One day, as he was making such a prayer by the graveside of St. John the Baptist in Damascus, he saw a very handsome young man coming to him, dressed in green and covered with blazing light. The young man smiled at `Urwa and said: "O my father, may God bless you! What prayer are you making?" Urwa told him: "O my son, may God have mercy on you! I am asking for a good end and a quick return to God for a goodly meeting with the loved ones. Who are you, my dear son?" He said: "I am the mercy of your Lord sent to console human beings. My name is Artiya'il and I am an angel. I was created to wipe away the sadness and pain from the breast of those beloved to God." Then the angel disappeared, and `Urwa's sadness was gone with him.
    One day, the disciples of another great saint went among a certain tribe in Central Asia and weeks passed without them coming back. Their master was meditating one day with a heavy heart, worried that something might have happened to them. A green bird of Paradise came to his window and began to chant with a voice which wiped clean his heart from all sadness: "I am Artiya'il, I am the destroyer of sadness! I am the bringer of good news to the hearts of children and men and women young and old. I bring you news of your beloved ones." Later, the master said: "I knew Artiya'il would come, but I had to despair first!"
    Artiya'il is the angel who allows people to return to their normal lives and free themselves from the pangs of depression and anxiety. These diseases of the soul are great tests which God sends to human beings to remind them that they should not run after material things and forget their angelic inheritance. Angels always remember God. If they stopped they would instantly cease to exist. Similarly, human beings need to remember the Creator of all that surrounds them in order to live happily in those surroundings.
    God ordered the angels to serve those who remember Him and fight those who forget Him. This is not to punish them but to help them and correct them. Babies and children cry when they are given bitter medicine. Grown-ups know their need for the angelic energies of goodness and beauty, and if they choose to ignore such a need, they are reminded of it through the medicine of depression. The latter is the effect of the "shock to the system" of those who forget God, the Creator of goodness and beauty.
    The characteristic of an angelic nature is to be able to feed and sleep on the remembrance of God, whereas brute beasts are unable to feed on other than fodder or sleep without giving up their conscience. When human beings do this over a long period of time rust builds up on the heart. Depression settles in and melancholy finds a permanent home. That is why the Prophet said: "Everything has a polish, and the polish of hearts is the remembrance of God."
    Depression is a sickness of heart and soul made possible only through heedlessness. A vigilant heart keeps belief and hope and trust posted at its gate as so many guardian angels. It never allows the darkness of depression and doubt to enter. Human hearts are a precious treasure. Many thieves lurk in the surrounding shadows looking to rob and plunder it. However, when the owner of the treasure is a friend of God, the treasure is well guarded. Its guardians are fed and paid with the currency of faith and remembrance. If there is no faith, there are no guardians; if no remembrance, no salary. Without guardians the palace doors lay open to what is unwanted. Thieves will never go to an empty house. That is why the Holy Koran insists that: "We verily did honor all the children of Adam" [17:70]. The explanation of that honor is the treasure which God deposited into the hearts of human beings.
    Angels teach those among human beings who are able to connect with them never to be cheated and robbed of the angelic light of their hearts.

    Israfil, Archangel of the Trumpet-blast

    21:103: "The Supreme Horror will not grieve them, and the angels will welcome them, saying: This is your Day which ye were promised."
    25:25: "A day when the heavens with the clouds will be rent asunder and the angels will be sent down, a great descent."
    47:27: "Then how will it be with them when the angels gather them, smiting their faces and their backs!"
    After God created the Throne He created the Trumpet (sur) and hung it on the Throne. Then He said: "Be!" and the angel Israfil was. He ordered him to take up the Trumpet which is like a white pearl and transparent like glass. He made holes in the Trumpet according to the number of every spirit and angel created in creation without duplication. In the middle of the Trumpet there is an opening bigger than the sky and the earth put together. Israfil is able to stop that opening from top to bottom by placing his mouth over it. The length of this Trumpet is seventy thousand light-years and its body is divided into seven trunks.
    God said to Israfil: "I order you to blow this Trumpet when I shall tell you." Israfil stands at the base of the Throne and awaits God's order. He is so near to God that between him and his Lord there are only seven veils of light. One of his wings is in the East, another in the West, one encompasses the seven earths, and the fourth wing is on his head to protect his eyes from the light of God.
    One day the Prophet was sitting with Gabriel, and the sky opened. Gabriel humbled himself and appeared to fall to the ground as if prostrating, and an immense angel dressed in white appeared before the Prophet and said: "O Muhammad! God sends you greetings and salutations and gives you the choice between being an angel-prophet or a servant-prophet." The Prophet answered: "The happiest time of my life is when my Lord calls me: 'O My servant!' O servant of God! I choose to be a servant-prophet." And Gabriel revealed: "God chooseth from the angels messengers, and also from mankind. Lo! God is Hearer, Seer" (22:75).
    Then the angel disappeared. The Prophet asked Gabriel: "Who was that angel?" Gabriel said: "That was Israfil. Since the day God created him, he has not raised his eyes from the ground for fear of his Lord. Between him and God there are seven veils of light and if he were to pass only one of them he would be annihilated. The Preserved Tablet whereupon the destinies of mankind are written lies before him. Whenever God allows for something to exist in heaven or on earth that Tablet is raised up and he reads it. If a task falls within the sphere of the angel of death, He orders him to perform it. If in my sphere He orders me to do it, and if in Michael's sphere He orders him in the same manner. I did not think that Israfil would come down to earth before the Day of Judgment and that is why I was afraid!"
    On the Day of Judgment God will order Israfil to blow that Trumpet. Upon the first sounding of the Trumpet all bad things are lifted and taken away from the earth. Wrongdoings and all that is related to it will disappear. The heavenly books will shine in every place. Angels will appear and reveal the places where they have been kept in their pristine state. The memory of heavenly teachings will become fresh again in people's minds. All manner of good character, dignity, honor, mercy, and blessings will be brought over all the earth and become the norm. Angels will feel welcome to walk upon the earth for the first time. No-one will have power to do any harm in the world. Belief in God and knowledge of spiritual things will become the daily conversation of everyone young and old. Angelic ligh t will increase upon the earth to such a degree that everything sad will become happy, everything bad will become good, everything poor will become rich, and everything ugly will become beautiful.
    Upon the second sounding of the trumpet, all beings in the heavens and on earth will enter a state of perplexity and become afraid. They will fall down on their faces and faint believing the Day of Judgment has dawned upon them. This is described in the Koran, 39:68: "And the trumpet is blown , and all who are in the heavens and on the earth swoon away, save him whom God willeth. Then it is blown a second time, and behold them standing waiting!" The sound of that trumpet will be so awesome and terrifying that all beings will lose consciousness. The earth will begin to roll and heave, the stars will fall from the heavens, the light will disappear, the sun and the moon will lose their light, and all will be plunged into abysmal darkness. The mountains will jump from their places and turn to dust, and rise as clouds over the earth. The water of the oceans will dry up. Just as wind carries away chaff, so creation will be blown away by those cataclysmal storms.
    The good people will be covered with garments of light and mercy which the angels will bring down in waves. The angels will smite all wrongdoings and shameful actions and they will disappear like dust that must be removed from furnishings in a huge palace. They will bring light and smile on those who believed in them like parents smile on their children, as reassurance on that day. For on Judgment Day there is no-one who will not need the support of reassurance.
    Upon the third sounding of the Trumpet God will dress and adorn all human beings with angelic power and send them into the throng of His servants. There they will inhabit that divine indescribable light that enables them to reach the everlasting life of Paradise.

    The Angels Who Bring Peace in the Last Days

    2:210: "Will they wait until God comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels in His train and the question is thus settled?"
    In the last days, evil will be eradicated from the surface of the earth. Peace will be shining everywhere. It is related that at the end of times Jesus will reappear and descend upon the White Minaret at Damascus, both his hands resting upon the shoulders of two angels. He will be wearing two garments lightly dyes with saffron. He will be welcomes by a descendant of the prophet Muhammad who will be waiting for him with forty thousand angels, together with the believers who wil be waiting for a divine rescue. They will pray together and ask God to open for them a support to destroy tyranny and oppression, and to spread peace and love and happiness. God sent the angel Gabriel who related the message to Jesus, son of Mary, and to Mehdi, the grandson of the Prophet (s). The message will be: "God gave you the permission to use divine light for uplifting all humanity towards heaven and overcoming evil and oppression. They will then meet the Anti-Christ and his armies at the Lat gate near Jerusalem. A series of great battles will ensue at the end of which Jesus will kill the Anti-Christ, who is the enemy of good. God will then make Jesus the son of Mary, and Mehdi the descendant of the Prophet, the rulers of the world in the peace that follows the Great War at the end of times. Jesus will marry at that time, raise children, die, and be buried in Madina near the Prophet Muhammad, in the space left vacant for him there. Peace be upon them and upon the angels!
      "Do not think that I have forgotten you, O angels!
      Verily, even though the gulf is great between us,
      I still love you, and my letters to you will never stop.
      My love for you will never change.
      My emotions are like a spring falling into your oceans.
      I have left the distractions of my self to turn to you.
      Your world has taken over mine, and shines over it.
      I shall praise our Lord with your words, not mine,
      With your sincerity, not mine,
      With your fragrance and light, not mine.
      O God, keep the radiance of Your angels
      Ever shining on me!" 

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