Deeds of Angels

Allah created Angels from a light with no darkness in it, and the Devils from a darkness without light in it, and constituted humans from the two opposites, light and darkness. The darkness of human desires is accompanied by the light of intellect, and between the two is a delicate barrier. This barrier cannot be discerned except by striving, much as the line separating sunlight and shadow can only be discerned by an architect. Angels extol Allah because of their purity, whereas Devils disobey Allah because of their impureness, therefore it is indeed a source of astonishment when piety comes from one whose nature is made of the two opposites – good and evil.

Humans comprise of intellect and desires, and the barrier of divine providence separates that path of guidance from the following of vain desires; because without the aid of the Merciful, the structures of self-discipline would crumble down and human nature would be unable to resist being slave to there desires; had it not been for the mercy brought forth of the ayah “we will surely guide them” (al-Ankabut 29:69) that came as a consequence of Mercy predestined for them, “Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has proceeded from Us” (al-Anbiya 21:101)

O warrior, maintain your forbearance, and fear not the ambush of, “And excite any of them whom you can with your voice, and urge your horse and foot against them, and be a partner in their wealth and children, and promise them. Shaytan promises them only to deceive.” (al-Isra 17:64) so long as you are supported by the aid of, “Allah confirms those who believe by a firm saying in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.” (Ibrahim 14:27)

As the tempest of the divine obligations blew upon humans, neither Harut nor Marut [The two Angels whose story is mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah] could hold together and so they were punished as the people of Ad had been punished, therefore the Angels who had acquired “will You place therein one who will harm therein and will shed blood” (al-Baqarah 2:30) came to agree thenceforth that courageous men have been created specifically for this war. And so, after the incident of Harut and Murt, Angels who used to invoke Allah against sinners started to pray for the people of the earth. Similar to how Prophet Dawud, peace be upon him, used to invoke his Lord not to forgive sinners, until he erred and then came to the realisation that sinning is an innate characteristic of humans.

When the sea of faithfulness and trust began to surge, Angels stopped short on the shore, while the strong will and determination of man provoked him to embark on the road of danger, disregarding the consequences because a devotee overlooks the consequences of his actions, and the intoxication caused by longing leads to courage.

It is a farfetched comparison to liken the struggle and worship of humans to the worship of Angels! For indeed, the situation of humans is much more astonishing in comparison to Angels, because the exaltation of Angels is inherently a part of their nature, and their worship does not involve any kind of of struggle, hardship or fatigue; their roses are free from the thorns of love and desire, unlike humans. Their predominant characteristic in this regard may be likened to the feminine trait of seeking safety, which is different from the case of humans whose characteristics in this regard are masculine, thus are virile and inclined towards enduring struggle and hardships. The beads of their exaltation and extolling have been naturally strung together without any difficulty, the fruit of their trees grow without enduring trouble, and are irrigated by the waters of infallibility, and all the while they “ask forgiveness for those who believe” (Ghafir 40:7) The Angels presumed that the power of infallibility was superior than the prise of exaltation of mankind to the Lord, yet they forgot that the desiccation of trees during winter is what makes them blossom and flower in the spring.

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi Pages 94-97