MALÂIKAH – ملائكة
The angels. They are the unseen, intelligent creatures who are created from nûr, have pure fitrah, and innocent creatures who have constant ranks. They have no gender. They do not eat, drink nor marry. They are not inbred nor give birth. They absolutely obey the orders of Allah (‘Azza wa jalla).
“Haqiqah and hikmah require that the samâwât have inhabitants appropriate to them as the earth has. According to the Sharî'ah, those various beings are called malâikah and rûh beings. Haqiqah requires it to be thus, for, despite its small size and insignificance, the earth is being filled with living and conscious beings, then emptied from time to time and once again repopulated suggests, indeed makes it clear, that the samâwât too, in which are magnificent constellations and are like adorned palaces, should be filled with conscious and percipient creatures. Like men and jinn, those creatures are observers of the palace of al-‘âlam, the deliberators of the book of the universe, and the heralds of the sovereignty of Rubûbiyyah. For the universe is arrayed and embellished with innumerable ornaments, adornments and embroideries and self-evidently requires gazes of those who do tafakkur, approve and those astonished who are appreciative. Certainly, beauty requires a lover and sustenance is given to the hungry. However, man and jinn are able to perform only a millionth of this endless duty, this grand viewing, this extensive ‘ubûdiyyah. That is to say, endless sorts of malâikah and rûh beings are necessary to perform these endless and diverse duties and ‘ibâdah.
As is indicated by some of the riwâyât and the hikmah in the order of al-‘âlam, some kinds of travelling bodies, from planets to drops of water, are the mounts of one kind of malâikah. It may be said that they mount them with Allah's permission and tour and gaze upon al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah. It also may be said that one type of animal bodies, from the birds of Jannah, called طير خضر 1 in a Hadith, to flies, are the aircraft for a sort of rûh. They enter them at the command of Haqq, travel around the physical ‘âlam, observing the physical miracles of fitrah through the windows of the senses of those bodies.
Al-Khâliq, Who continuously creates subtle life and luminous percipient beings from dense earth and turbid water, surely also creates conscious beings suitable for rûh and life, from those seas of nûr and even from the oceans of darkness. And He creates them in great abundance.” The Words (191-192 )
“In Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm are numerous minor events behind which are concealed universal principles, and which are shown as the tips of general laws. For example, 2 عَلَّمَ آدَمَ اْلاَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا This is the 'teaching of the Names,' which was a miracle of Âdam before the malâikah because of his ability to be khalîfah on earth, and was a minor event. But it forms the tip of a universal principle which is as follows: it was the teaching, due to man's comprehensive disposition, of countless ‘ilm, and numerous all-embracing branches of sciences about the universe, and extensive learning about Al-Khâliq's shuûnah and attributes, which afforded man superiority over not only the malâikah but also the samâwât and earth and mountains in the question of the bearing of the Supreme Trust (amanah). And like the Qur'an states that through his totality, man is ma’nawî khalîfah on earth, so the minor event of ghayb of the malâikah making sajda before Âdam and shaytan not making sajda is the tip of a broad and universal observed principle; these hint at an extensive haqiqah which is as follows:
Through mentioning the malâikah’s obedience and submission before the person of Âdam, and shaytan's pride and refusal, the Qur'an makes understood that most of the physical beings in the universe and their ma’nawî representatives and charged beings with overseeing (muwakkal) are subjugated to man, and that man's senses are predisposed and amenable to benefiting from all of them. And pointing out what a fearsome enemy and serious obstacle in the path of man's progress are evil matter and its representatives and evil inhabitants, which corrupt man's disposition and drive him down wrong paths, the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition, while speaking of a minor matter with Âdam (as), converses in elevated fashion with the whole universe and all mankind.” The Words (253-254 )
“The malâikah who are in the position of shepherd and farmer do not bear any resemblance to human beings, for their supervision is purely for the sake of Janâb-i Haqq, and in His name and through His power and command. Their supervision of animals consists only of beholding the manifestations of rubûbiyyah in the species where they are employed; studying the manifestations of qoudrah and rahmah in it; making known to that species the Ilahî commands by way of a sort of ilham, and in some way ordering the voluntary actions of the species.
Their supervision of the plants in the field of the earth in particular consists of representing the plants' ma’nawî tasbîhs in the malâikah language; proclaiming in the malâikah language the ma’nawî tahîyyah of the plants offer to Al-Fâtir Zuljalâl through their lives; and employing the faculties given to plants correctly and directing them towards certain aims and ordering them to some extent. These duties of the malâikah are a sort of ‘kasb’ by their juz’ al-ikhtiyârî. Indeed, they are a kind of ‘ubûdiyyah and ‘ibâdah. But the malâikah have no real power of disposal, for on everything is a stamp peculiar to Al-Khâliq of all things. Another's hand cannot interfere in creation. That is to say, this sort of work of the malâikah forms their ‘ibâdah. It is not a custom-like with human beings.” The Words ( 363 )
“ لِلْمَلٰئِكَةِ 3 : through their conversation in the form of consultation this indicates that the dwellers of the samâwât, that is, the malâikah, have very many relations and connections with the dwellers of the earth, that is, humankind. For some of them are charged with overseeing [human beings] (muwakkal), some are guardians, some are recording, so they have to concern themselves with their affairs.” Signs of Miraculousness ( 266 )