The Angels, Messengers and the Books

This is part of my An-Nawawi series, which I’ve been doing from Jamal Az-Zarabozo’s awesome commentary of An-Nawawi’s 40 hadith. We’re currently looking at Hadith #2 (the hadith of Jibreel/Gabriel) and the next few articles of faith we’re going to discuss are the angels, messengers and the books Allah sent.

I was very surprised at how this section compared in length to the previous one (on Belief in Allah), but it all made sense when the author explained that this was due to limited space. And since belief in Allah (God) is the most essential part of our faith, that is why the section on it is hundreds of pages 🙂

Angels

Angels are part of the unseen, that men don’t generally see. They are created from light. They are servants of Allah and submit to His command completely.

A scholar points out that if one does not believe in the angels, then he cannot believe in the coming of the revelation, for who bought the revelation to Muhammad sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam other than Gabriel?

Ibn ‘Uthaymeen [or Uthaimeen] says that belief in the angels comprises of 4 things:

  1. Belief in their existence
  2. Belief in them in general and also those specifically stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah (such as Jibreel/Gabriel and Mika`eel/Michael)
  3. Belief in their attributes as stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah
  4. Belief in their actions as stated in the Qur’an and Sunnah

We should also have a strong love for them because of their obedience and worship of Allah.

His Books

Belief in Allah’s books is the belief in the revelations Allah sent down to His Messengers as a mercy and guidance for mankind. Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says that belief in Allah’s books comprises of 4 things:

  1. One must believe that they are truly revealed from Allah
  2. One must specifically believe in the books mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah, namely:
    1. Qur’an (revealed to Muhammad)
    2. Taurah (revealed to Musa/Moses)
    3. Injeel (revealed to to ‘Isa/Jesus)
    4. Zaboor (revealed to Dawud/David)
    5. The “pages” of Abraham/Ibraheem and Moses
  3. One must believe in everything Allah revealed.
  4. One must act in accordance with the non-abrogated revelation (the Qur’an).

The Qur’an – The Final Revelation

All of the previous revelations have been abrogated by the final revelation – the Qur’an. The Qur’an has all of the guidance man needs from the time of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until the day of resurrection. Allah has protected the Qur’an from any tampering, mistakes or distortion. He says:

Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). (15:9)

His Messengers

The next article of faith mentioned by the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the belief in the messengers of Allah.

A messenger is any human who was chosen by Allah to receive revelation from Him and who was commanded to pass that revelation on.

A person cannot by himself, through spiritual incantations or whatever, reach the level of being a messenger or prophet. It is Allah alone who chooses His messengers and He knows best whom to choose.

The messengers were simply human beings and did not have any divine status or attribute of any kind. Their loftiest attribute is being a servant of Allah.

The first messenger, of course, was Nuh/Noah [read this post to find a discussion of the difference between a Prophet and a Messenger – the section Vocab: Nabiy v. Rasul].

Correct belief in the messengers comprises of 4 aspects. We can also thank Ibn ‘Uthaymeen for this explanation 😉

  1. Believing that the message of all of them is the truth and not denying any one of them. If you deny one, then you have denied all of them because their message was one and the same. This is something unique to Islam – we Muslims do believe in all of the Prophets that came.
  2. One must believe in all of the Messengers mentioned by name in the Qur’an and Sunnah. There are many others, but we do not know them all by name. Muslims must have a general belief in them.
  3. We must believe in everything they stated.
  4. One must submit to, accept and act in accordance with the law of the messenger who has been sent for his guidance.

Indeed, man is in more need of their guidance than he is of food and drink. Because without food and drink, you will die, implying loss of life. But without Allah’s guidance through the messengers, one would lose the everlasting bounties of the hereafter.

InshaAllah the next section will be on the Last Day and Qadr.

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