Malak (pl. malaika) are angels; the celestial beings Allah created with noor (light).
Qualities of Malak: What are the different types of angels:
- Malaks have no gender but generally the masculine pronoun (he) is used for them.
- They naturally do not deviate from their assigned roles or disobey Allah in any way.
- They perform the role they are specifically created for.
- Their food or sustenance is the dhikr (remembrance) of Allah.
- They do not marry or reproduce in any way.
- They are invisible to the human eye but are seen at the time of death and in the graves or however the human body is disposed of.
- They are not endowed with senses as the humans are and they do not have any ability to disobey Allah or have freedom to choose as per a will.
Four main and leading angels (Malak):
The four main and leading angels are:
1) Archangel Jibrail [A.S], whose duty is to bring divine revelations to Allah’s prophets;
2) Angel Mikail [A.S], who is responsible for bringing rain and thunder to Earth;
3) Angel Azrail [A.S], who is responsible for bringing death to humans, His title is “Malakul‐Maut” (the angel of Death); and
4) Angel Israfil [A.S], who will blow into the sur (trumpet) twice to signal the coming of Qiyamah (Judgment Day).
Among others are, Kiraman‐Katibin [A.S], who are responsible for recording the good and evil deeds of humans. They are stationed at the shoulders of every person. The angel on the right records the good acts and the one on the left records the evildoings. Every day at the time of Asar (presunset) these angels are replaced with other angels (Malak) and never does an angel return to the same or another human; there is always a new angel to record all of our deeds.
Munkir‐Nakir [A.S] are the two angels (Malak) responsible for questioning the deceased in their graves. After waking the deceased, Munkir‐Nakir [A.S] ask three questions and whoever answers correctly becomes successful, otherwise is at a loss.
Some others have been designated to carry the Arshe‐Ilahi (the Mighty Throne of Allah) on Judgment Day. Others are in charge of Heaven and Hell.
How many angels are there?
Exactly how many angels are there is unclear. To give you an idea of how extensive Allah’s Kingdom is, it has been related that the honorable Jibrail [A.S], in his true angelic form, has 600 wings. With just one of his wings he can lift the entire earth. The Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] has seen Jibrail in his angelic form.
Muslims are obliged to utter their names with respectful salutations. For example, Angel Jibrail [A.S] is referred to as “Ruhul‐Amin” (the Trusted Spirit) and “Ruhul‐Quds” (the Blessed Spirit).