In Christianity, three such beings are honored with the title "Archangel." They are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Angels and other angel-like, divine beings are shared by many religions around the world. In particular, both Christianity and Islam feature beings known as angels. These beings occupy a category somewhere between humans and God. They are pure spirit, but in certain instances they take bodily form in order to better communicate with humans. Angels lead a completely different sort of existence from that of humans, but, according to many spiritual encouragement quotes, they are able to enter the earthly sphere and exert influence upon people.
According to Saint Francis de Sales, a much-loved 17th century Bishop of Geneva who spoke about angels often, you should strive to, "Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you."
Angels serve as emissaries for God, and they make announcements on behalf of God. Angels are created good but they can fall. In fact, both of these religions include stories about angels who fell and became permanent enemies of God.
In the modern era, some Christians consider angels to be imaginary beings who do not factor much into their religion or spiritual practice. However, there are still many Christians who regularly call upon angels for help and spiritual guidance. In contrast to this, angels are still considered very seriously in Islam, and believing in their existence is a fundamental part of the Muslim faith.
Angels in Christianity
In the Bible, angels are participants in several key episodes in the story of Jesus. An angel announces to Mary that she is to give birth (despite being a virgin), and angels announce the births of Jesus and John the Baptist. In addition, an angel in bodily form removes the stone from the opening to the tomb of Jesus. Another angel appears in human form after Jesus has ascended to Heaven and explains to the disciples the meaning of the Resurrection.
In Christianity, three such beings are honored with the title "Archangel." They are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Another named angelic figure is Satan, the leader of the fallen angels. Due to pride, Satan (also known as the devil) and his companions refused to bow down to God and consequently were cast out of God's presence.
Angels in Islam
In Islam, angels also played key roles at certain points in the religion's central narrative. In fact, it was the angel Gabriel who ushered in Muhammad's role as prophet by beginning to dictate the Quran to him. This dictation continued as Muhammad gradually comprehended his mission, and the resulting text as repeated by Muhammad and recorded by others is considered to be the verbatim word of God. Gabriel also served as Muhammad's escort during a key event, the Nocturnal Ascension, when the prophet was miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem and then into the presence of God.
There is also in Islam an angel who became a devil - Iblis, who fell from grace when he refused to prostrate himself before Adam, exhibiting the sin of pride. In addition, angels are involved with the lives of individual Muslims: they record each person's actions, and they take each person's soul at the hour of death. Finally, in Shia Islam, angels have yet another role - they provide special knowledge to their Imams, knowledge that is not provided to anyone else.
Angels in Islam and Christianity are beings that are close to God and bring key messages to human beings. As such, they were instrumental in bringing about the enlightenment of humankind as understood within each religion. While their role has faded in Christianity, in Islam angels continue to perform actions that are necessary and irreplaceable.
Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise? Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right. Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise. We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly. When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert. He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wilderness they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them. In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram. Fire blazed among their followers; a flame consumed the wicked. At Horeb they made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal. They exchanged their glorious God for an image of a bull, which eats grass. They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. So he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord. So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness, make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands. They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come. By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord, and trouble came to Moses because of them; for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips. They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. Therefore the Lord was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. He gave them into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.
Save us, Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord.