Will the angels die on the Day of Judgement or before or after it?

Question: Will the angels die too along with humans and jinns on the Day of Judgement or before or after it?


A similar question was asked to the standing committee of scholars and they replied:

The affairs of the angels are unseen matters which cannot be known except through texts. There is no text which speaks of the death of those who record good and bad deeds when the person whose good and bad deeds they record dies. There is no text which says whether they remain alive, or what happens to them. This is known only to Allah, and what you have asked about is not something that we are required to believe and no deeds are connected to it. Asking about this comes under the heading of things that we should not be concerned with. Hence we advise the questioner not to bother with things that do not concern him, and to devote his efforts to asking about things that will benefit him and the Muslims in their religious and worldly affairs. End quote. (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah)

Just to mention a little more on this topic, most of the texts related to this issue are unreliable. However possible deductions have been made from Quranic ayaahs and ahadeeth by the early scholars.

Among the texts that have been narrated concerning this is the verse in which Allah says:

“Everything will perish save His Face.” [28:88].

Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Allah tells us that all the inhabitants of the earth will depart and die, as will the inhabitants of the heavens, except those whom Allah wills, and nothing will be left but His noble Countenance, for the Lord, may He be exalted and sanctified, will not die, rather He is the Ever-Living Who will never die. (Tafsir al-Quran il-‘Azeem)

Allah says:

“And the trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown a second time, and behold they will be standing, looking on (waiting).” [39:68].

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Will all of creation, even the angels, die?

He replied:

What most of the people believe is that all of creation will die, even the angels, and even the Angel of Death. There is a hadeeth concerning that which is marfoo’ i.e., attributed to the Prophet (sallahu alahi wassalam).

The Muslims, Jews and Christians all agree that this is possible and that Allah is able to cause it to happen. It is only some groups of philosophers, the followers of Aristotle and the like, who differed concerning this, and those so-called Muslims, Jews and Christians who joined them in this, such as the authors of the Ikhwan al-Suffa letters and their ilk who claimed that the angels are minds and souls and that they cannot die under any circumstances; rather, in their view they are gods and the lords of this world.

The Quran and all other scriptures state that the angels are slaves of Allah who are subject to His command as Allah says:

“The Messiah will never be proud to reject to be a slave of Allah, nor the angels who are near (to Allah). And whosoever rejects His worship and is proud, then He will gather them all together unto Himself.” [4:172]

“And they say: ‘The Most Gracious (Allah) has begotten a son (or children)’. Glory to Him! They [whom they call children of Allah i.e. the angels, ‘Ia, son of Maryam, ‘Uzayr], are but honored slaves.” [21:26]

“And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with.” [53:26]

Allah is able to cause them to die then bring them back to life, just as He is able to cause mankind and the jinn to die then bring them back to life. Allah says:

“And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it (after it has been perished); and this is easier for Him.” [30:27].

It is proven in a saheeh hadeeth (authentic narration) from the Prophet (sallahu alahi wassalam), via more than one isnad (chain of narration) and via more than one of the sahabah (companions), that he said: “When Allah speaks the Revelation, the angels swoon”. According to another report, “When the angels hear His words, they swoon.” Another report states: “The angels hear something like a chain dragging on a rock and they swoon, then when the fear leaves their hearts, they say: ‘What did your Lord say?’ They say: ‘The truth.’ Then they call out: ‘The truth, the truth.’”

In these saheeh ahadeeth (authentic narrations) we are told that they can swoon, so if it is possible for them to swoon, it is possible for them to die.

As for the exception (in the verse “except him whom Allah wills”), this applies to those who have been admitted to Paradise of the hoor al-‘iyn (maidens of Paradise), for there is no death in Paradise; and it applies to others, but we cannot be certain about who is exempted. It is proven in al-Saheeh that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The people will swoon on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first one to wake up, and I will see Moosa holding onto the leg of the Throne and I will not know whether he awoke before me or whether he was one of those whom Allah exempted.” If the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was not told of everyone who will be exempted by Allah, then we cannot be certain of that. This is like knowing when the (final) hour will begin or the names of all the prophets, and other things that we have not been told, and this knowledge cannot be attained except by being told. And Allah knows best.

End quote from (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa).

Therefore, in the absence of direct texts concerning this topic, we shall refrain from commenting on it. Moreover, we shall not question the matters that are beyond our ilm.

(Abu Isaam Imran Ali)

(Also refer: http://islamqa. info/en/96306)

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