I don’t know about you, but I think Islam’s introduction of the Angels is way more epic than cherubic creatures with feathery wings and golden halos.

Jibreel عليه السلام, for instance, is reported to have six hundred wings that (each) covered the entire horizon and dripping with multi-coloured jewels. [Musnad Ahmad]

In human form, he would present himself as the most beautiful man of that nation.

But what’s even more spectacular about these multifaceted beings fashioned by the Most High is their uncanny empathy and sound understanding of human nature.

Jibreel عليه السلام was a solid, miraculous, comforting, and sometimes daunting presence throughout history.  He was the bearer of the Word of Allah for Prophets and Messengers of all times, colours, and races, his coming was a sign that Allah’s Divine Guidance would make the harsh world a better place.

Can you imagine how those fortunate enough to see this majestic, beautiful creation would have felt as he came bearing glad tidings from Allah? 

It was Allah’s Commanding Angel who strengthened Ibrahim عليه السلام before he was catapulted into a blazing fire and to catch small Yusuf عليه السلام as he was pushed into an abandoned well by his brothers. [See references]

How Hajar عليها السلام must have felt, still breathless from running in the arid desert, as this breathtaking being stamped his foot and water gushed forth. What measure of comfort it must have given Sayyidina Maryam عليها السلامas she gave birth alone and in agony when this pure messenger from Allah called out words of encouragement!  And Zakkariyah عليه السلام, in his frail old age, was assured of the answer to his heartfelt du’a for a righteous child by this loyal Messenger of Light.

And may Allah protect us from ever feeling how it was to see Jibreel عليه السلام when he carried out the punishment of Allah, flipping over entire corrupt cities with the tip of his wing and kicking dust into the mouths of murdering tyrants.

If you can imagine a conversation between the best of Allah’s Creation, the most honored Angel giving his advice to the best of Mankind, it’s sure to be something we can all benefit from till the end of Time.

Rasulullah  shared a special bond with Angel Jibreel a.s, and this is evident by the sincere advice of the latter to the former.

“O Muhammad, live as you wish, for you will die. Work as you wish, for you will be repaid accordingly. Love whomever you wish, for you will be separated. Know that the nobility of the believer is in prayer at night and his honour is in his independence of the people.”

[al-Muʻjam al-Awsaṭ 4410 ]

While these powerful words are self-explanatory, here are 3 eye-openers we can derive from them.

“What is the purpose behind my dreams?”

Imagine you’re living in a rented house for a year until your dream house is finished. The space is clean and comfortable, but the heating system is not that great and the living room carpet is frayed at the edges. The master bedroom faces a rather dismal backyard, and there seems to be a mongoose family permanently residing on your roof.

My question is if this is your abode for only a year, will you let all these flaws bother you? Will you invest great amounts of money, time, and energy in renovating and redesigning this temporary home?

You might fix the heating system or even get a carpet. But your priority would be making sure the house you are building meets all your needs, expectations, and fantasies. You draw up detailed floor plans, pick out complementary colours, and plush furniture for your future living situation, your ‘forever home.’ 

In Surah Al-’Asr, we learn that the default state of mankind is loss because the passage of time so often gets the best of us.

At each stage of our life, our priorities are put to the test. We are sucked into a wormhole of wants and desires that temptingly coax us away from our purpose.

When we are children, all we care about is amusement and play.

As young adults, we try to find our place in the world, try to conform, and appear desirable to others.

As we advance in years, our responsibilities and achievements are overwhelmingly dunya-oriented, which leads to constant comparison with others and no true fulfillment.

And those who solely seek this dunya (worldly life), have no good place in the akhirah (hereafter).  [Al-Baqarah: 200]

But in the same surah Allah, so mercifully, teaches us of the pattern of those who are successful in both worlds.  It’s those “who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” [Al-’Asr: 03]

So, it’s important to examine the purpose behind our goals, whether it’s career, family, self-development, or anything that you aim towards. Are we only seeking what is temporary and superficial, or are we using our gains in this dunya to build our dream existence in our ‘Forever Home’? 

Be needy before Allah, not people 

I was scrolling through Instagram and this simple phrase hit me hard:

“Be like life; accompany everyone but hold on to none.”

People are in a state of constant struggle and neediness, so is it really fair to burden them with ours?

And when there comes a time when they cannot fulfill our request, when they move away, stop answering your calls, or have nothing left to give, then we fall apart because we have been leaning on something that was never meant to bear our weight.

Then what does this do to our self-worth, how can we raise our heads and be productive, purposeful individuals?

If we make Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى‎ the last Helper we remember and call upon, this life is going to suffocate and trample us.

“And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life,” [Ta-Ha: 24]

People are going to gradually inch away from us, even those who love us may feel burdened by the strain of our dependence on their limited resources and capabilities.

But Allah is both willing and capable to bring us ease and goodness, to help us whenever we need it. He commands us to ask Him for whatever we need, so why do we rush to other than Him?

Find fulfillment in your Qiyaam Al-Layl (Night Prayer)

Don’t wait for the world to turn its back on you to turn back to salah.

This is a reminder to myself first, that I cannot engage in better self-care than rising from my soft bed with my restless heart in tow, whose burdens can only be lightened by laying them before my Lord, sobbing out broken words to the One who knows exactly what I feel but loves to listen anyway.

As human beings, we have the natural urge to spill out our problems, Allah has created us that way! But there is nowhere more worthy of turning to in our weakest, most vulnerable state than to the One who has complete and sole control over all our affairs. 

The One who wants ease for us, He Who is pleased when we knock on His door no matter how many times we find ourselves begging, pleading, and hurting.  He honors us through this dependence on Him and strengthens us to present ourselves with dignity and humility before the people. 

Salah leaves us full and content, and only then can we reach out and fill the empty cups of others.



Story and Knowledge of Angel Jibreel by Dr. Omar Suleiman - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p09QoMRkt9g