In order for us to understand the truth we have go back to the beginning. The only sources of information we have is the Quran, Hadiths and the Bible for the two religions.
What we know about Angels was revealed in the Quran the Torah and the Bible and further narrations made by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH (peace and blessings be unto him)) and Jesus (PBUH).
The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said “The Angels are made of light”, we have no knowledge of when exactly God created the Angels but we know it was before the creation of man.
The Bible and Jesus (PBUH) does not state what exactly Angles are made of but Jesus (PBUH) does declare that “a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:37-39).
“They, (angels) disobey not, the Commands they receive from God, but do that which they are commanded.” (Quran 66:6)
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. (Psalm 103:20)
As the belief in angels is a pillar of faith in Islam much more is mentioned by the prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and in the Quran.
The angels have great powers. They have the ability to take on different forms. They appeared before both Prophet Abraham (AS) and Prophet Lot (AS) as men. The angel Gabriel (AS) appeared before Mary the mother of Jesus (PBUH) as a man, (Quran 19:17) and he appeared before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a man, whose clothes were exceedingly white, and whose hair was exceedingly black.
From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) we know that the angel Gabriel’s great size in his angelic state filled “the space between heaven and earth” and that he had six hundred wings.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (radhiAllahu ‘anhu) said,
“The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw Jibraeel in his true form. He had six hundred wings, each of which covered the horizon. There fell from his wings jewels, pearls and rubies, only Allah knows about them.”
[Musnad Ahmad. Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidayah 1/47 that its Isnad is jayyid.]
“…Who made the angels, messengers with wings – two, or three, or four (pairs)…” (Quran 35:1)
Angels are also very strong. Four angels carry the throne of God, and on the Day of Judgement their number will be increased to eight. Among the traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a narration that describes one of the angels carrying God’s throne.
Among the greatest angels are those who carry the Throne (of Allah), who were described in the following report:
“From Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: ‘I have been given permission to speak about one of the angels of Allah who carry the Throne. The distance between his ear-lobes and his shoulders is equivalent to a seven-hundred-year journey.’” [Abu Dawood].
We can range the famous angels and their duties as follows:
Gabriel (AS): The Archangel
Gabriel (AS) is one of the four greatest angels. He is appointed to convey revelations to the prophets by God. In three places of the Qur’an, His name is Jibril.
The Angel of Soor (The Trumpet): Hz. Israfel (AS)
The angel that will blow the trumpet is called Israfel. His name is mentioned among the four great angels. Israfel will blow two times, in the first one, the Doomsday will occur and in the second blowing, the resurrection will occur. Because of this duty of him, He is called the angel of Soor (the Trumpet).
The Angel of Death: Hz. Azrael (AS)
His duty is to grasp the souls of people whose time of death have come. He is called as “Malak-ul Mawt”, that is, the angel of death.
Say: “The Angel of Death, put in charge of you, will (duly) take your souls: then shall ye be brought back to your Lord.” Quran;(Surah as-Sajda)
The Angel that controls the events in this realm: Hz. Mikail (A.S) (Michael)
He is one of the greatest angels of four and He is responsible for the pouring of rain, the blowing of the wind, natural events such as the ordering of seasons and the management of supplications of the created beings. He is only mentioned in one place of the Qur’an. Hz. Mikail is the angel that manages the divine work of arts that are planted on the field of earth with the power of Allah and His order.
The Angels of Kiraman Katibin
Is the names of the angels who are attendant on the right and left of humans. The angel on the right is responsible for recording the good deeds and manners; the angel on the left is responsible for recording the bad deeds and manners. “The angels who are also called Hafaza will attend as witnesses of the deeds of humans in the Day of Judgment during reckoning.
The Angels of Muqarrabun
The angels who are known asIlliyyun and Karubbiyyun are responsible for glorifying God, are very close to Him and have an exalted place before God.
“Those who sustain the Throne (of God) and those around it sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore forgiveness for those who believe.” (Quran,Surah Ghafir, 7)
Munkar – Nakir Angels:
They are the angels that question man after he dies in the grave. The words of “Munkar” and “Nakir” means unknown, unrecognized and unaccustomed. They are called by this way because they come to the dead in a way that he/she has not seen before. These two angels question the dead by questions as follows and treat them according to the answers that they receive: Who is your lord? Who is your prophet? What is your book?
There are more angels than mentioned here. In hadiths (a narration of an event in the life of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)), there are angels who inspires man the right and truth, descend on the earth when the Qur’an is recited, who are spiritual herders of animals on earth, who manage clouds, make the sound of thunder and so on…