The Quran about maintainers
In the name of God, the Gracious, The Merciful
In monotheistic religions, there is a description of supernatural (for people) beings, which are usually called angels. Angels have inherent hierarchy and it is expressed in their activities. Here is how the angels are described in Wikipedia:
Angel (al-Greek ἄγγελος, angelos – “messenger “) in the Abrahamic religions is a spiritual intelligent asexual and incorporeal being, expressing the will of God and possessing supernatural abilities.
The meaning of the life of the Angels is one day to be tempted, to stand before the choice, to make it and continue to follow it and protect it, more and more asserted and improved in its path. These are creatures with a one-time choice in favor of good or evil. Their destiny is closely connected with the fate of people, as creatures making this choice constantly and able to rely on the spiritual support of the respective angels of good and evil. The essence of this support is usually – in reinforcing the motivation in the desired choice and in its execution. The essence of the relationship of angels with God – or in great gratitude and love and service out of love for the given opportunity to exist, or in great hatred and opposition as the Being, from unity with which they renounced and for the sake of a separate existence from him are forced to create actions diametrically opposed to His will.
The meaning of the life of the Angels until the choice in favor of good or evil – presumably, in a co-creation with the person in mastering and owning the world, in serving the person in accordance with his abilities.
The proposed description does not cause much criticism; however, I would like to supplement the semantic description of angels through the prism of the Quran.
Traditionally, it is customary to translate from the Quran into English as an “angel” Arabic expression “malyakun“, which is formed from the root “malyak“, meaning: to own, control, to be able. As can be seen from the root meaning, the word “angel” does not convey a direct meaning, but shows only the kind of activity that is partially discussed in the article “The Quran about the Messengers”.
In order not to lose the true meaning of the Quranic word “malyak” and the expressions formed from it, an English equivalent is proposed – maintainer.
Praise to God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, who made the maintainers messengers having wings, two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Indeed, God is over all things competent! (35:1)
This passage confirms the status of the maintainers as the messengers of the Lord, additionally describing some physical data in the form of wings.
In the present state, the maintainers are faithful to their Creator and tirelessly pay tribute to their Creator:
The maintainers exalt with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Unquestionably, it is God who is the Forgiving, the Merciful! (42:5)
Of course, the role of maintainers does not end with a simple praise of the greatness of the Almighty. Their main task is the fulfilment of God’s decrees. One of the priorities is to maintain people in the right direction:
It is He who accompanies you, and His maintainers that He may bring you out from darknesses into the Light. (33:43)
Indeed, God and His maintainers accompany the prophet!
O you who have believed! Accompany the prophet and agree to accept him! (33:56)
The culmination of the right landmark is through contact with the chosen representatives of the Creator, whom we know as prophets:
He sends down the maintainers, with the Spirit and His command, upon whom He wills of His servants, “Warn that there is no deity except Me! So beware of Me!” (16:2)
History is full of facts of fierce resistance to the activities of the messengers, sometimes turning into physical pressure from the people. But the Creator provided the following conditions for such a scenario:
But if you cooperate against him – then indeed God is his Patron, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the maintainers, moreover, are assistants! (66:4)
God’s providence, despite resistance, is steadily being put into practice. Seeing this, in their powerlessness, the obscurantists become enemies, both to the Lord and to his servants:
Whoever is an enemy to God and His maintainers and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael – then indeed, God is an enemy to the ones who closed themselves. (2:98)
In addition to participating in the process of withdrawal of people from the darkness of ignorance, maintainers perform other duties:
Say, “The maintainer of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned!” (32:11)
The described “economic” activity of maintainers assumes a certain account before the Creator:
The maintainers and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a day the extent of which is fifty thousand years. (70:4)
In turn, God’s “reception” means assigning to the maintainers various orders:
The maintainers and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord with every command! (97:4)
For a believing person, there is no doubt that the Day of Debt will come, in which the results of our life activity will be summed up.
The day that the Spirit and the maintainers will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Gracious permits. (78:38)
Who will the Supreme allow to express his opinion? The maintainers will, since they are witnesses and participants in the life of people:
And the day when He will gather them all and then say to the maintainers, “Did these ones used to worship you?”
They will say, “Exalted are You! You are our patron not them! Rather, they used to worship the invisible creatures; most of them were believers in them!” (34:40-41)
We cannot ignore the message about the creatures hidden from human sight, in the Arabic version designated by the word “jinn“. The fact that the “jinns” and the maintainers were once united, we see on the example of the story with the creation of Adam:
And when We said to the maintainers, “Prostrate before Adam”; so they prostrated, except for disappointed (iblees). He refused and was arrogant and became of the closed ones. (2:34)
So the maintainers prostrated – all of them entirely.
Except for disappointed (iblees); he was arrogant and became among the closed ones. (38:73-74)
There is no doubt that the disappointed (iblees) belongs to the team of maintainers. Based on this, we can confirm their overall quality of secrecy from the human eyes.
When We said to the maintainers, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for the disappointed (iblees). He was of the invisible creatures and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as patrons other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the obscurantists as an exchange! (18:50)
Following the progress it is possible for us to discover the nature of creation of the invisible creatures – fire:
And the invisible creature We created before from scorching fire. (15:27)
What is the difference between the maintainers and the invisible creatures? After all, maintainers are also hidden from the human eye, except for situations when they want to manifest themselves.
The difference is seen in the qualitative sense of the abbreviation. Let me remind you that the word “malyakun” means – the maintainer and “jinn” – the invisible creature. Those named maintainers, who did not oppose the will of God and fulfil His commands rigorously, even though they have their own opinion:
And when your Lord said to the maintainers, “Indeed, I will place upon the earth a successor”, they asked, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood? We declare Your praise and sanctify You.” (2:30)
All the rest, not fulfilling the commandments of God, are called the common name “jinn” – invisible creature.