In the name of Allah, all Praise is due to Allah, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His beloved Messenger. Upon him, his family and companions, and those that follow them in righteousness till the final day.
The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam was sitting in his home, his lower legs uncovered. Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Anhu came in and then Umar Radi Allahu Anhu and the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam remained in his position. Then when Uthman Radi Allahu Anhu arrived the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam sat up, covered his lower leg and greeted him with the warmest greeting. Aisha Radi Allahu Anha witnessed this and she later questioned the Messenger of Allah Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam about his action. He Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, "Should I not be shy from he whom the angels are shy from?"
In the hadith of Jibreel - alayhis salam - when he came to the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam and asked him about Islam, Eeman, and Ihsan, the Messenger of Allah Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said when asked, "What is Eeman?" He Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, "Eeman is to believe in Allah, in His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the divine decree the good and the bad thereof." Today we shall talk about Eeman in the Angels.
All throughout the stages of our creation the angels have been there with some duty. When we were nothing in our mothers stomach, an angel was there breathing a soul into us. They are there every day reporting to Allah our Salah. They are there every second recording what we whisper and speak. When the time of our death comes they are ready to take our soul. And when the day of Judgement commences, an angel will blow the trumpet to announce it.
Having belief or Eeman in the Angels is a pillar of a Muslims Eeman. Angels are a creation of Allah. They were created from light, they do not eat or drink, they are characterized by neither feminine or masculine, and they do not tire. Some spend their entire existence in Ruku , others in Sujood. And then when the Judgement is called they will raise their heads and say: Glory be to you, our Lord, we did not worship you in a way befitting your Majesty. The are the creation of Allah, a creation that took place before the creation of our father Adam Alayhis Salam.
The Messenger of Allah Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam told us about their characteristics and duties. Amongst these characteristics are the following:
Firstly: That their creation is huge. The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, "I saw Jibraeel in the fashion that he was originally created in. He had 600 wings. Each wing filling the (entire) horizon." (The east to the west as far as the eye could see). This event was mentioned in the Quran [And indeed he (Muhammad Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) saw him (Jibraee-Alayhis Salam) in the clear horizon (to the east)] Takweer 81-23.
Secondly: That they have the ability to change shape, as we know in the story of Maryam, and in this hadith of Jibraeel when all the companions saw him with an intense white garment, with intense black hair.
Thirdly: They live in the heavens and from there they descend to carry out the duties appointed to them. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala says
[Nearly the heavens might rent asunder from above them (by His majesty) and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord] Shura 42/5 Takadus Samawaatu yatta fattarna min fawqihinna
This is just a glimpse at some of their characteristics. As for their relationship with Mu'mineen (those who have Eeman), the relationship is a very close one.
The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam told us that they witness the gatherings of Muslims in which Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta 'Aala is remembered. He Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said:
"Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. And when they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call each other, saying, "Come to the object of your pursuit.' " He added, "Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world."
He added, "(After those people celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels go back), their Lord, asks them (those angels)--though He knows better than them--'What do My slaves say?' The angels reply, 'They say: Subhan Allah, Allahu Akbar, and Alham-du-lillah.' Allah then says 'Did they see Me?' The angels reply, 'No! By Allah, they didn't see You.' Allah says, How it would have been if they saw Me?' The angels reply, 'If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly and celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare Your freedom from any resemblance to anything more often.'
Allah says (to the angels), 'What do they ask Me for?' The angels reply, 'They ask You for Paradise.' Allah says (to the angels), 'Did they see it?' The angels say, 'No! By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.' Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?' The angels say, 'If they saw it, they would have greater covetousness for it and would seek It with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.'
Allah says, 'From what do they seek refuge?' The angels reply, 'They seek refuge from the (Hell) Fire.' Allah says, 'Did they see it?' The angels say, 'No By Allah, O Lord! They did not see it.' Allah says, How it would have been if they saw it?' The angels say, 'If they saw it they would flee from it with the extreme fleeing and would have extreme fear from it.'
Then Allah says, 'I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them.' "
Allah's Apostle added, "One of the angels would say, 'There was so-and-so amongst them, and he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need.' Allah would say, 'These are those people whose companions will not fall into misery.' "
They love the believers. The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, "When Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala loves someone he calls to Jibreel saying, "O Jibreel, I love such and such a person so love him." Then Jibreel will call to the (angels) of the heavens, "Allah loves such and such a person so love him." And the angels will love. And then Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala will place acceptance on earth for that Mu'min." Bukhari and Muslim.
They pray for the believers. As the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam explained, "Any servant that prays for me an angel will pray for them." [Sahih Al-Jami'].
And the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam explained that there is an angel appointed to the prayers one does for a brother in his absence. The angels duty is to say Ameen and to you the same.
And no doubt the angels assist the Mu'mineen in Jihad. In the battle of Badr the Messenger of Allah Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam left Madinah with only 317 companions in pursuit of a caravan, unprepared for war. When the Muslim army found themselves confronted with over 1000 fighters from Quraish, all with weapons, horses, and preperation, the battle looked grim, especially since it was their first battle in Islam. The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam entered his tent, prayed and raised his hands invoking victory from Allah. He raised his hands so high that his shawl would fall off and Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Anhu was there placing it back on his shoulders. He Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam cried and prayed until Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Anhu felt sympathy for the state he saw. He called out to the Messenger of Allah Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam "Ruwaidan Ya Rasullah, In Allaha Naasiruk wa Mujizu wa'dak." Then Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta 'Aala revealed the verse: [(Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes.] Anfal 8/12.
Jibreel asked the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam about those that attended the victory of Badr, "What is the position of those who attended Badr amongst you?" The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, "They are our best of us." Then Jibraeel said, "Likewise, the Angels that attended Badr are the best amongst the angels."
And the Angels are there when the Mu'min dies. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala tells us of that day when the come to extract the soul of the Mu'min:
[Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (alone) and then they (lived) upright on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying), "Fear not, nor grieve! Rather receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!] Fussilat 41/30
The Angels and the Kuffar
Just as the angels are a part of the Mu'mins life, death, and resurrection, they are also a part of the Kafirs, but in a different way. The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam told us that when Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala hates a person he calls to Jibreel saying, "O Jibreel, I hate such and such a person so hate him." Then Jibreel will call to the (angels) of the heavens, "Allah hates such and such a person so hate him." And the angels will hate him. And then Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala will place displeasure on earth for him.
At the time of the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam the Kuffar mocked him by requesting to see the angels in this life, claiming that only then would they believe. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala recorded their statement in the Quran, for them and many others are people who believe with their eyes and not their hearts:
[And those who expect not to meet with Us (those who deny the Day of Ressurection and the life of the Hereafter) say, "Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?" Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride! On the Day they will see the angels no glad tidings will there be for the Mujrimoon (the criminals) and they will say, "Forbidden to you is any sort of glad tidings."] Furqan 21/23
And when they enter Hell, Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala tells us about their conversation with the angel custodians of Hell: Ghafir 40/49
[And those in the fire will say to the keepers (angels) of Hell, "Call your Lord to lighten for us a day of the punishment. They will reply: "Did there not come to you your Messengers with clear proofs? They will say, "Yes." They will say, "then pray and the prayer of the disbelievers is to no avail.]
Dear brothers and sisters, what now is our duty towards these angels. It is to believe in them and respect them the way they deserve. Thus when we hear that Angels do not enter houses that have dogs and images, we immediately go and rid ourselves of that which will rob our houses of their blessed presence. The Prophet Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa Sallam told us in an authentic hadith that the angels will not enter a house in which there is an image or a dog. It is unfortunate that many Muslim homes have found a place on their shelves to put up idols of animals, or dolls, and pictures on the walls. If prayer time comes they may cover it or they may not, but it is no matter. That is a house that is robbed of the angels blessed presence, protection and dua. And when Angels are not there, most likely devils and jinns will find refuge. May Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta Aala protect us all.
In conclusion, the closest angels to us are those on every human's shoulders writing the good deeds and the bad deeds. Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta'Aala mentioned them in the Quran:
[Not a word does he (or she) utter except that there is watcher near him, ready (to record it).] Qaaf 50/18.
If we had a tape recorder on both shoulders and there was a competition that whoever glorifies Allah will get 1 dollar for each time, and whoever speaks ill will be lashed once what would happen to the state of the community. It would ignite in Tasbeeh! Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar. Even if you said salam, all the person would reply with would be Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar. How are you? Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar. And at the end of the day he would get 30000, the other 50000 dollars, who would not partake in such profit?
Dear brothers and sisters we are being recorded and the stakes are much higher.