Angels

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by NoName, May 1, 2006.

  1. NoName

    NoName New Member

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    All three of us, from what I know, Belive in Angels. So would any Christians, Muslims and Jews like to share there veiws on what they are, there role in our religons and storys of people who claim to encounter them?
     
  2. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    hi,
    To be specific, all three believe in thier existance. After that, details differ somewhat. One that I know of is what many Christians have told me i.e. the Devil used to be an angel that went bad. Muslims do not share this view. We believe that the angels do not have a free will. The origin of the Devil, from a Muslim point of view, is that he is from a different race of being called the Jinn. They have a free will just like we do and they will be judged as we will be.
    Im actually unaware to a certain extent as to how much of our beliefs regarding the angels and the devil coincide with the Jews. Id appreciate a jewish perspective on this myself.
    regards,
    thipps.
     
  3. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    A Jewish understanding says that angels have no free will of their own, as with Islam. They are simply servants of God. But in Judaism there is no devil.

    Beliefs about the nature of angels can vary quite a bit. One form of rationalism states that angels should not be regarded as beings at all. There's a quote from a primary source available at wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel#Jewish_views

    But according to other views angels are indeed some type of being and some sources would even say that there are whole worlds beyond us populated with celestial beings.

    Dauer
     
  4. NoName

    NoName New Member

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    Well, thipps is right has about our devil, manny of us Christians belive in garden angels and spirtal warfar. This meaning that eather though we can not see it but good angels are fighting to protect our souls from evil fallen angels (or demons or Devils) and bring us closer to God. Think of it as bodey gaurd for the spirt world.
     
  5. peace4all

    peace4all New Member

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    I'd like to share the muslim perspective on angels.

    The Koran mentions angels several times, but only 2 are mentioned by name: the archangels Michael (Mika-eel) and Gabriel (Jibra-eel). Gabriel is the angel that passed the words of God to the prophets Muhamad, Jesus, Abraham, etc. He is also the angel that appeared to Mary in the form of a man to inform her of her pregnancy.

    Also mentioned are angels that control the wind, the angel that collects our souls when we die, an angel that will blow the trumpet on the day of judgement, and other angels that do nothing but worship God. Also each person is assigned an angel on each shoulder that records every good and bad deed we do. We are also assigned protective angels in front and back of us.

    The devil (Shaytaan or Iblis) is of a separate race, Jinn. But he was raised in heaven among the angels, and became a leader of angels. But when God instructed all angels to bow down to Adam, he refused. And so he was cast out of heaven and into hell.

    Of course, there are many more legends of angels that muslims believe in, but I wanted to limit this post to what the Koran says.
     
  6. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    So, do angels really use their wings to flap around the universe?

    Chris
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I think you may find the winged version of angels comes from Greek art - my impression is that angels are generally not described as having wings in the Bible - sometimes appearing like a man, or dressed in white, and although Ezekiel's vision has angels with wings, they appear very different to the 2 winged people kind we might associate with the image. :)

    If I recall, Greek's were putting wings on figures to ascribe divinity (along with halos) before Christianity, and the practice continued on with Christian art in the Graeco-Roman world.

    2c.
     
  8. Light

    Light New Member

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    peace4all is right...
    I'd like to add. Following are the names of 10 angels with their respective duty that Muslims know...
    1) Jibrail - He is the angel who reveal gods message to the prophets
    2) Mikaeel - His task is to sends down rizk (subsistence) upon Allah's instruction
    3) Ridhwan - He is the guardian of the Gate of Heaven
    4) Malik - He is the guardian of the Gate of Hell
    5) Mungkar - He and angel Nangkir tasks is to ask 5 questions to every dead people in their grave.
    6) Nangkir - His task is together with Mungkar.
    7) Ratib - Angel who records man's good deeds.
    (Not 100% sure, it might be the reverse, ie. Atid recoding good deeds)
    8) Atid - Angel who records man's bad deeds
    9) Israil - His task is to pull out the soul of man from his physical body when he dies.
    10) Israfil - His task is to blow the trumpet at the beginning of the judgement day. He will make the first blow that will kill all Allah's creation, save a few by Allah's permission. After a period, he will make the second blow to raise up the whole mankind from Adam the first man to the last to be judge by Allah.

    We were also taught that Angels is not like human and they don't sleep, eat nor drink. Neither do they have gender or any desire. And they are immortal until such time permitted by Allah.

    There is also a narration, where it depict the huge numbers of Angels that Allah created. In this narration, it was said that every day there will be 70,000 angels who will be making pilgrim at a sacred place. And each angels is only able to make this pilgrim once in their lifetime. And this pilgrimage has and is still going on since Allah create the universe until judgement day.

    Wallahu alam.
     
  9. Postmaster

    Postmaster New Member

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    Hmm.. Angels they exist in my opinion.
     
  10. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Well, I don't remember if it's the seraphim or the cherubim, but one or the other is described in the Bible as having three sets of wings. This should predate the Greek stuff (theoretetically). I'm just wondering what angels need wings for. You know, if they get down into the atmosphere maybe they can use the front wings as canards, the middle set to induce lift, and the back pair as a propulsion device. Then again, wouldn't all thjose feathers kinda have a tendency to burn when penetrating the atmosphere? And I'm not sure what they would do with them in near or outer space, plus, if they're flying from heaven down to here utilizing a flapping propulsion technique how many light years does that journey take?

    Chris
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Yes, I think that's the description in the Ezekiel - think it's also referenced in Revelations as well.
     
  12. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| Dauer,
    appreciate your post alot. This reminds me of a related question. You noticed that I mentioned that the Devil (Satan) is from the race of creatures called the Jinn. I recall that i read in the Jewish Encyclopedia about 'Spirits' and the context, as i recall, is of the Prophet Solomon(pbuh). and with reference to the context, these spirits are the same creatures we call the Jinn. so, leaving aside what you and we call them, could you shed some light on these 'spirits'? any details would be appreciated.
    regards,
    thipps.
     
  13. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    CCS,

    The three sets of wings, as I recall, were used thusly: two to fly, two to cover the genitals, and two to cover the face to prevent viewing God. I don't know the source for that.

    Thipps,

    I'm really not certain what you were reading about. Spirit/wind/direction in Hebrew is ruach, which I think parallels ruh (?) in Arabic, and to my knowledge isn't associated with any particular type of being. If you could put me in the direction of what you were reading, I might be able to be a bit more helpful. BB, as well, might know a little more on this subject than I do.

    There are folk stories from the middle ages about demons, but they're much like the Christian stories, only the demons sometimes get into legal disputes, are taken before a bet din, a jewish court, and then follow whatever ruling the court makes. But those stories aren't so much canonical as much as they are a product of the times.

    ...

    I took a look at the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on Solomon. It looks like the most explicit mention of spirits is in the section on "Solomon in Arabic Lit." For example, there is a story given about Solomon and Sakhr, the first given source of which is the Quran. However, in the section entitled "His Realm" it states: " His realm is described by the Rabbis as having extended, before his fall (see below), over the upper world inhabited by the angels and over the whole of the terrestrial globe with all its inhabitants,including all the beasts, fowls, and reptiles, as well as the demons and spirits." which is based on rabbinic sources.

    There are certain beliefs that appear sometimes in rabbinic literature that today are often attributed to Babylonian influence, and usually disregarded for this reason. For example, there is a section that, as I recall, warns about thieves stealing tefillin left in the window of an outhouse. But another opinion given is that the disappearing tefillin is due to demons in the outhouses. I would surmise that the idea of spirits is similarly attributed to Babylonian influence, but I could be wrong. BB's contribution would be helpful here.

    For quick reference, this is a link to the section:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=894&letter=S

    Dauer
     
  14. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| dauer,
    yes, this is the page that i looked at in the Encyclopedia. There are a couple of places where these spirits were mentioned. In the 'his realm' section, also under the heading ‘Solomon's Carpet’ it says: 'With reference to Solomon's dominion over all the creatures of the world, including spirits, several stories are current, the best known of which is that of Solomon and the ant(Jellinek, l.c. v. 22 et seq.)'.
    it also goes on to say in the 'his realm' section that 'His control over the demons, spirits, and animals augmented his splendor, the demons bringing him precious stones, besides water from distant countries to irrigate his exotic plants.'
    These are the spirits that I read about to which I was referring to. Is the existance of these spirits considered to be correct by orthodox Jews? Or do even they now put it to Babylonian influence and disregard them? Just trying to get a feel here as to whether this disregarding is from the orthodox Jews or contemporary ones.
    best regards,
    thipps.
     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    From a Christian perspective:

    "Theology, in its sacred utterances concerning the formless Intelligences, does indeed use poetic symbolism, having regard to our intelligence, as has been said, and providing a means of ascent fitting and natural to it by framing the sacred Scriptures in a manner designed for our upliftment."
    Dionysius the Areopagite: "The Celestial Hierarchy"

    The Church regards angels as 'formless Intelligences', or as I think some of the Fathers have said, beings of pure intellect. How they appear to us is, as Dionysius says, 'fitting' for our contemplation and uplifting.

    "There must be some incorporeal creatures. For what is principally intended by God in creatures is good, and this consists in assimilation to God Himself. And the perfect assimilation of an effect to a cause is accomplished when the effect imitates the cause according to that whereby the cause produces the effect; as heat makes heat. Now, God produces the creature by His intellect and will. Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to "here" and "now." Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature."
    St Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica, FP, Q50, A1,

    Both have written extensively on angels:
    Dionysius: http://www.theveil.net/myst/dio/da_tch_1.html

    Aquinas: http://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/FP.html#TOC03
    In the Treatise on the Angels the following is covered:
    50. Of the Substance of the Angels Absolutely Considered
    51. Of the Angels in Comparison with Bodies
    52. Of the Angels in Relation to Place
    53. Of the Local Movement of the Angels
    54. Of the Knowledge of the Angels
    55. Of the Medium of the Angelic Knowledge
    56. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Immaterial Things
    57. Of the Angels' Knowledge of Material Things
    58. Of the Mode of the Angelic Knowledge
    59. The Will of the Angels
    60. Of the Love or Dilection of the Angels
    61. Of the Production of the Angels in the Order of Natural Being
    62. Of the Perfection of the Angels in the Order of Grace and of Glory
    63. The Malice of the Angels with Regard to Sin
    64. The Punishment of the Demons

    Thomas
     
  16. dauer

    dauer Active Member

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    Thipps,

    to my understanding the references to demons in rabbinic lit is generally regarded as superstition picked up from the Babylonians, similar in fact to the way stories about demons show up in the middle ages. I would surmise the same is true for spirits, but I'm not certain. I'm talking about the Orthodox position. Again, BB's input would be helpful here.

    Dauer
     
  17. thipps

    thipps God Alone is Great

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    h| Dauer,
    appreciate the reply. Thankyou for the info. Hopefully BB will come around some time in the near future.
    Thanks again.
    thipps.
     
  18. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I really like this explanation, and I'm wondering if it can be considered a "mainstream" Jewish understanding of the nature of angels.

    Chris

    Oh, I was just goofin' with the wing flapping propulsion thing, but I find it interesting that an angel would cover its genitalia...or that it would have genitalia in the first place. Hmmm...
     
  19. inhumility

    inhumility New Member

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    The Quranic concept of angels and what primarily they are ordained by God to do in all times past,present and future is amply described in following verse of Quran, Chapter 41 Ha Mim Al-Sajdah

    41:31] As for those who say, 'Our Lord is Allah;' and then remain steadfast, the angels descend on them, reassuring them: 'Fear not, nor grieve; and rejoice in the glad tidings of the Garden which you were promised;
    [41:32] 'We are your friends in this life and in the Hereafter. Therein you will have all that your souls will desire, and therein you will have all that you will ask for –
    [41:33] 'An entertainment from the Most Forgiving, Merciful God.'
    [41:34] And who is better in speech than he who invites men to Allah and does righteous deeds and says, 'I am, surely, of those who submit?'
    [41:35] And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he, between whom and thyself was enmity, will become as though he were a warm friend.
    [41:36] But none is granted it save those who are steadfast; and none is granted it save those who possess a large share of good.

    Thanks
     
  20. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    I think angels also give us new emotional experiences that create new channels for understanding.
     

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