How many groups are angels divided into? What are their duties?
Angels are divided into mainly 3 groups:
1. Angels that worship; they are called Illiyyun - Muqarrabun,
2. Angels related to nature; they are called mudabbirat,
3. Angels related to human beings...
* Angels that worship: Muqarrabun:
They are always engaged in mentioning the names of God Almighty, glorifying Him by saying that He is free from all imperfection and blessing Him with all of His perfect attributes. They are overwhelmed by the knowledge, love and worshipping of Allah. (See: an-Nisa 4/172) Angels in charge of carrying out the tasks in Paradise and Hell are in this group. (ar-Ra’d 13/23-24; at-Tahrim 66/6; al-Muddaththir 74/29-31)
* Angels related to nature: Mudabbirat:
They are angles in charge of managing the universe, applying the divine laws that maintain the order in nature. They supervise and observe the manifestations of the will and power of Allah in nature.
* Angels related to human beings:
The most important one of them is Gabriel (pbuh). His duty is to convey the divine revelation to prophets. Therefore, he is also called the angel of revelation. Gabriel is also called ruhu’l-amin (reliable Spirit). (ash-Shuara 26/193-194) In another verse, he is called Ruhu’l-Qudus (Holy Spirit). (an-Nahl 16/102) he is also called Sayyidu’l-malaike (Lord of the Angels).
Another duty of the angels related to man is to strengthen the messengers of Allah and good slaves and to console them when they are in trouble or when they are sad, to elevate their spirituality and to help them actually if it is necessary. The Quran tells us that the angels helped believers actually in the battles of Badr, Uhud and Hunayn that took place in the Era of Bliss.
Another duty of the angels related to man is to inspire people good things and enable them to follow the right path and elevate them spiritually.
Some of those angels have some special duties:
• Angels in charge of inspiring the truth and good things into man’s heart. (Tirmidhi/ Tafsir 3);
• Angels in charge of saying amen at the end of the chapter al-Baqara... (Bukhari, Adhan 111, 112)
• Angels that are together with believers every day during the morning and afternoon prayers. (Bukhari, Mawaqit 16; Muslim Masajid 37)
• Angels that come down to the earth when the Quran is recited. (Bukhari, Fadailu’l-Qur’an 15; Muslim, Musafirun 36).
• Angels that look for places where the names of Allah are mentioned (dhikr), the Quran is recited and useful knowledge is taught (Bukhari, Daawat 66; Muslim, Dhikr 8)...
• Angels that ask for mercy for believers (al-Ahzab 33/43)
• Angels that ask for mercy for scholars (Tirmidhi, Ilm 19)
There are two recording angels with each person. They write down and record all kinds of acts, words and behavior of each person, whether they are good or bad. They are called Kiraman Katibin: Honorable Recorders in the Quran. (See Qaf 50/17-18; al-Infitar 82/10-12; az-Zukhruf 43/86)
Munkar - Nakir Angels:
They are the angels that question man after he dies in the grave and asks questions like, “Who is your Lord? What is your religion, Who is your prophet?
He is in charge of removing souls from people’s bodies. He is also called the Angel of Death. (as-Sajda 32/11)
He is the angel in charge of delivering the sustenance to their owners and arranging natural events like wind and rain in accordance with Allah’s will.
He is the angel in charge of blowing Soor (the trumpet) and announcing the time of the Doomsday. After the Doomsday strikes and all living beings die, Israfel will blow the trumpet again and people will come out of their graves and go to the Gathering Place.
• What are the greatest angels?
There are four great angels. They are Gabriel (Jibril), Mikail, Israfel and Azrael. We have mentioned what their duties are above.