Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Why and how do we believe in angels?
I pray you are well.
We believe in the angels because Allah has commanded us to believe in Himself, His Messenger, and His book; angels are on the matters frequently mentioned in the Quran. The truth of the Quran has been independently proven through many proofs.
Servants With Many Functions
Angels are a creation of Allah made from light. They do not have free will like we do and must obey Allah: “They do not disobey God in what He commands them, and they swiftly do what they are told to do.” [Quran, 66:6]
They have many roles: some worship Allah constantly with dhikr or by sending blessings on the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the believers; others protect people; some document all that we do and say; or they carry out specific tasks like taking the souls of those who pass away. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]
We benefit from their prayers and their very presence. The mercy of Allah descends in a place where angels gather, such as the circles of dhikr and classes of Sacred Knowledge.
Belief In Angels
To believe in them we just affirm that they exist and that all the details regarding them that Allah and His Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us are true. That is all. We know these details are true because of the many established proofs of the truthfulness of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the Quran that was revealed to him.
One such proof is the first set of verses that were revealed. We were given details of the development of the fetus in the womb, and no human at the time of revelation could have known those details with such accuracy. The conclusion is that an all-Knowing Creator told His Messenger. The accuracy of the details attests to the truth of the Quran.
Du‘a and Angels
There are angels who hear our supplications, and one of the ways in which we can receive what we want is to ask those matters for others. For example, someone who wants to perform the Hajj should pray for another person to be able to perform it. Angels hear the prayer and pray for such a person.
The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is answered. At his head is an appointed angel; whenever he asks for good for his brother, the appointed angel says, ‘Amin (Accept our supplication) and may you get the same.’” [Muslim]
This is a beautiful way to benefit oneself and others through the supplications of the angels.
May Allah benefit us through them.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani