(Maulana Wahiduddin Khan)
Of the many beings created by God, the angels are of special importance. They have been invested by God with the supernatural power to keep order in the functioning of the universe. They do not, however, deviate in the slightest from the path of God, for all their functioning is in complete obedience to His will.
Diverse and numerous events are taking place at every moment in the universe, for instance, the movement of the stars, the shining of the sun and moon, the falling of the rain, the alternation of the seasons, and so on. All of these, and many other continually recurring events are attended to by the angels. Working in the universe as extremely faithful and obedient servants of God, they ensure the continued existence of the human and animal species on earth.
As well as running the world’s systems, these angels, a numerous band, take charge of all matters in heaven and hell.
The role of the angels can be understood by the example of a large factory. In any such factory, there are many big and complex machines which produce the goods for which the factory has been established. But these machines do not run on their own. To facilitate their smooth running many human hands are required. Therefore, in every factory there are always a number of people whose duty it is to attend constantly to their proper and efficient functioning. Similarly, countless angels are appointed to ensure the proper functioning of the great factory of the universe.
The difference between the two factories is only that in the material one, the human hands are visible, while in the metaphorical one—the great mechanism of the universe—the angels remain invisible to the naked eye.
Man may not be able to see the angels, but the angels can certainly see man, and keep a watch on him on behalf of God. It is these very angels who take man’s soul away after death.