Is it appropriate to get angry with the angel of death, Azrael, because he takes away our souls?
Azrael is one of the four great angels. He is one of the four angels that bear up the throne of Allah. Angels are the envoys of Allah; they do not act on their own, they do not act independently; they work under command. They do whatever Allah tells them to do. Azrael is one of the four great angels. He is one of the four angels that bear up the throne of Allah. Angels are the envoys of Allah; they do not act on their own, they do not act independently; they work under command. They do whatever Allah tells them to do.
When the Quran mentions the angels, it states that they never disobey Allah and do promptly what they are ordered to do.(1)
When the Quran talks about Hazrat Azrael, it describes him as The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord. (2) and defines his duty. When we see it in the light of this verse, Hazrat Azrael does the duty assigned to him, he works in the name of, on behalf of Allah.
It may be disputable but if it is necessary to give an example, we can say the following: The security forces work on behalf of the state, they act in accordance with the authority given to them by the state and the law. If the police do not allow us to enter some places can we accuse the police?
When there is an incident involving many people, they collect everybody immediately without differentiating between guilty and innocent people. Then they release the innocent people and detain the guilty people. Since they do not act on their own accord and they only carry out the orders they are given, nobody objects to them and people wait for the judgment.
We cannot object to the security forces, cannot accuse the police, do not try to defame or discredit them; likewise we have no right to defame, discredit or accuse Hazrat Azrael because he carries out the duties given by Allah like the other angels.
Hazrat Azrael is just a reason for death. To kill and to resurrect are the actions of Allah. The following hadith states this reality:
Hazrat Azrail (A.S.) says to Allah, "Your slaves will complain about me and will be offended by me because of my duty to take their lives. Allah says I will put the cover of misfortunes and diseases between you and my slaves so that they will not complain about you or will be offended by you." (3)
Likewise Hazrat Azrael himself is a cover; so that the complaints of the people who cannot see the reality of the death will not reach Allah. Not all people can see the real, beautiful, merciful side of the death. They may think death as non-existence or nihility. Therefore Allah has put the cover of misfortunes and diseases between Hazrat Azrael and death, as He has made Hazrat Azrael a cover for death to prevent peoples unjust objections and complaints reach Him. However; as we have stated Hazrat Azrael is also a reason like misfortunes and diseases.(4)
It is very dangerous in terms of belief to get angry with Hazrat Azrael and insult him because of this duty, and it is not suitable for a believer. Not to believe in only one part of belief distracts people from religion; similarly not to love Hazrat Azrael, whom Allah appointed as a reason for death, to get angry with him or to insult him are all sins. Likewise, Hazrat Israfel will blow the soor (bugle) when it is the end of the world in the Day of Judgment. However, the blowing of the soor is only a reason for the Day of Judgment. It is a grave mistake to accuse Hazrat Israfel because of this duty; because actually it is the action of Allah. Hazrat Israfel is only a reason.
Hazrat Azrael is responsible for the protection of our souls, which are our most valuable possessions. It is important for us the protection of our possessions; Hazrat Azraels duty is much more important than that.
Badiuzzaman say the following explaining this issue in the Rays:
One day while reciting in a supplication: O My Sustainer! In veneration of Gabriel, Michael, Israfel, and Azrael, and through their intercession, preserve me from the evil of men and jinn, I experienced an exceedingly pleasant and consoling state of mind on mentioning the name of Azrael, which generally makes people tremble in fear. All praise be to God! I exclaimed, and began to feel earnest love for him.
Everyones most precious possession and the one over which they most tremble, is their spirit. I felt sure that to surrender it to a strong and trustworthy hand thereby preserving it from being lost and annihilated and from aimlessness, afforded a profound joy.
That is, we cannot surrender our spirit that we cannot entrust to anyone, that we shall not dare to surrender to anybody, that we cherish to anybody except somebody like Hazrat Azrael , who is a very trustworthy and dependable messenger of Allah.
The words like He escaped from Azrael, He tackled Azrael used for people whose time of death have not come has no significance. These words are wrong and unnecessary.
Azrael has never returned without carrying out the duty given to him.
Even for the prophets who are closest to Allah and who are His messengers, there is no exception.
The Prophet (PBUH) was in his last moments of life. Hazrat Gabriel came over with Azrael. And asked him how he was. Then he said, "The angel of death asks your permission to come in."
When our Prophet (PBUH) gave the permission, Azrael came in and sat in front of the Prophet (PBUH).
Azrael said, "Oh Messenger of Allah! Allah ordered me to obey what you say. If you wish, I will take away your spirit; if not I will leave it".
Our Prophet (PBUH) looked at Hazrat Gabriel, who said "Oh Messenger of Allah! The exalted community (people of the heavens) is waiting for you."
Then the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Oh Azrael! Come and carry out your duty and surrendered his spirit to him."(5)
That is, Azrael does not return without carrying out his duty he has been given even if the person is the most beloved person by Allah, and the perfect person, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As a matter of fact, Allah had let the Prophet (PBUH) make the decision.
If something like that is not possible for the prophets, how can it be possible for somebody else?
It is stated as follows in a verse: "when their Term expires they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour). (6)
Death is not an event depending on coincidence, nor something that happens spontaneously. Allah defines its time directly. He gave the life, so he will give the death. One of His names is Hayy (ever-living), he gives life. Another name is Mumit (taker of life).
Nobody has been liberated from, escaped from or overcome death so far; when a persons breaths he takes in this world finishes, he surrenders to the big reality (death).
Furthermore, death is not non-existence, nihility or disappearance, why should we be scared or afraid of it?
First of all, death is not something very ugly, very bad, terrible or horrible.
Death is a transition from the temporary life to the eternal life
It is a tulle curtain that needs to be pulled open by people who want to live eternally.
It is a phenomenon inherent in every human being who wants eternity, foreverness and deathlessness by his nature.
However, when is death, where and at what age? Nobody has any knowledge about it. Nobody has been given such knowledge. The occurrence has been kept as a secret by the creator of death.
Death is a reality we may face at any age, at any moment, at any time. It is a clearer and bigger reality than life.
As the poet Cahit Sıtkı says:
Who knows, where, at what age? You will have a sultanate only a prayer long, Like a throne on that musalla stone.
Necip Fazıl says:
Death is something nice, that is the news behind the veil... If it werent nice, would the Prophet die?
Death is not a non-existence, nihility, disappearance, an end or exhaustion. It is not a parting without return, not a leaving without meeting or reunion at all. Death is, for a person who believes in beyond death, is arrival in a new, fresh, permanent and eternal world.
"When the veils go up and down, The feat is to be able to say Welcome to Azrael."
(1) At-Tahrim, 66:6
(2) As-Sajda, 32:11
(3) Tefsir Ed-Dürr-ül Mensur - Suyutî 5/173- 174; Tefsir-i Ruh-ul Beyan İsmail Hakkı Burusevî 7/114
(4) The Rays, 11. Ray, 11. Topic, Bediüzzaman Said Nursi
(5) Tabakât, 2:259.; ibn-i Kesîr, Sîre, 4:550.
(6) An-Nahl, 16:61