Who Are Angels?
This article covers the answer to the question: “Who Are Angels?” in detail.
The angels do not gain promotion by endeavoring; each of them has a fixed, determined rank, but receives a particular pleasure from the work itself and radiance from worship. That is, the reward of these servants is found in their service. Just as man is nourished by air, water, light, and food, and derives pleasure from them, so are the angels nourished by the lights of remembrance, glorification, worship, knowledge, and love of God, and receive pleasure from them. For, since they are created out of light, light is sufficient for their sustenance. Fragrant scents even, which are close to the light, are a sort of nourishment for them, which they enjoy. Indeed, pure spirits take pleasure in sweet scents.
In the jobs which the angels perform at the command of the One Whom they worship, in the actions they do for His sake, in the service they render in His Name, in the supervision they exercise through His view, in the honor they gain through connection with Him, in the “refreshment” they find in studying both the material and immaterial dimensions of His Kingdom, and in the satisfaction they have in observing the manifestations of His Grace and Majesty, there is such elevated bliss that the human mind cannot comprehend it. One who is not an angel does not perceive it.
One class of angels are worshippers, and the worship of another class consists in working. The working divisions of the angels of the earth have a kind of human occupation. If one may say so, one type are like shepherds and another type are like farmers. That is, the face of the earth is like a general farm and an appointed angel superintends all the species of animals on it by the command of the All-Majestic Creator, and by His leave, power and strength, and for His sake. For each species of animal there is a lesser angel who is appointed to act as a kind of shepherd.
The face of the earth is also an arable field where all plants are sown. There is an angel appointed for the supervision of all of them in the Name of Almighty God and by His power. There are also angels of the lower rank who worship and glorify Almighty God by supervising particular species of plants. The Archangel Michael who is one of the bearers of God’s Throne of Sustenance-an official of the highest rank whom God employs to veil His acts in the administration of His providing for all His creatures-is the overseer of these of the highest rank.
The angels who are in the position of shepherds and farmers bear no resemblance to human beings, for their supervision is purely for God’s sake, and in His Name and by His Power and command. Their supervision only consists in observing the manifestations of God’s Lordship in the species the supervision of which each is charged with, studying the manifestations of Divine Power and Mercy in it. Their duty includes communicating to that species the divine commands through some sort of inspiration, and in some way arranging the voluntary actions of the species. Their supervision of the plants in the field of the earth in particular consists in representing in angelic tongue the glorification the plants do in the tongue of their being. Their task includes proclaiming in the angelic tongue the praises and exaltations the plants offer to the Majestic Creator through their lives, and regulating and employing the faculties given to the plants correctly and directing them towards certain ends. Such services of the angels are actions they do through their partial will power and a kind of worship and adoration. The angels are not the originators or creators of their actions for on everything is a stamp particular to the Creator of all things. No one else has the smallest part in creation. In short, whatever the angels do forms their worship; it is not of the same sort as the ordinary acts of human beings.
While accepting the existence of natural laws why not accepting the existence of angels?
We unquestionably accept the existence of natural laws and forces and even go so far as to attribute all the phenomena in the universe to them. We ascribe the growing of a tiny seed into a huge, elaborate tree to the law of germination and growth in that seed, or the incredible balance in the universe to the laws of gravitation and repulsion, but we ignore the absolute will, knowledge, power, and wisdom, which are necessary for the existence, operation and balance of the universe. The One Who has absolute Will, Knowledge, and Power, and absolute Wisdom, uses powerful beings, invisible like winds or gales and much more powerful than natural forces or laws, behind those forces and laws. It is through those beings that God makes natural laws and forces operative. Those beings are angels.
A single member of the species of angels proves that species exist
The existence of the angels and other spirit beings can be established by proving the existence of an individual angel, because their denial amounts to the denial of the species. Thus, the acceptance of the individual requires the acceptance of the whole species. Does it not suffice to prove the existence of the angels and other spirit beings that all the people of religion from the beginning have unanimously believed in their existence, and that a consensus has been formed that some human beings have seen and conversed with them, and related from them. Had the angels not existed, and if a single angel had not been seen or the existence of one or numerous individual angels not been established through observation, would it have been possible for such a general belief to continue, and had this belief not been based on strong evidences, could it have come down to the present time in spite of the changing of ideas and beliefs along with the passage of time? Besides, is it possible that such a religious belief and the consensus of the religious scholars is not based on a certain intuition and an experienced certainty which originated in countless signs and numerous experiences? Therefore, we can conclude that the religious belief in the existence of the angels and other spirit beings is based on the experiences, which the Prophets and some other godly persons have had with them, and this has been narrated by reliable sources.
Angels stand for the good aspect of man, while Satan represents his bad aspects
Angels are purely spirit beings. They stand for the purely good aspect in existence, while Satan and his descendants represent the purely evil aspect. God is One and Infinite, He does not have an opposite. Other than God, all beings and existents each have an opposite. Since man has two opposite aspects in his nature, on inclined to good, the other to evils, angels represent this good aspect, while Satan or Satans, his evil one. Angels invite him to his purely spiritual or ‘angelic’ aspect, while Satan tries to seduce him by calling him to do evil. This struggle between good and evil in man, and in the universe as a whole, has been continuing since the beginning of existence. Everyone feels a stimulus calling him to good and evil at the same time. The stimulus calling him to good comes from angels or his unpolluted spirit; the stimulus inviting him to evil comes from Satan, collaborating with his carnal self, which represents his animal aspect.
By M. Fethullah Gulen