Angels in Islam: Hamalat al-Arsh

Hamalat al-Arsh in Paradise with Allah

In Islam, a group of angels called the Hamalat al-Arsh carry God's throne in paradise (heaven). The Hamalat al-Arsh focus mainly on worshiping Allah (God), just as the well-known seraphim angels who surround God's throne in the Christian tradition do. Here's what Muslim tradition and the Qur'an (the Koran) say about these heavenly angels:

Representing Four Different Qualities

Muslim tradition says that there are four different Hamalat al-Arsh angels. One looks like a human being, one looks like a bull, one looks like an eagle, and one looks like a lion. Each of those four angels represents a different quality of God that they reflect: providence, benevolence, mercy, and justice.

God's providence means his will—God's good purposes for everyone and everything—and protective care over all aspects of his creation, according to its intended destiny. The providence angel seeks to understand and express the holy mysteries of God's guidance and provision.

God's benevolence means his kind and generous ways of interacting with everyone he has made, because of the great love in his nature. The benevolence angel reflects the energy of God's love and expresses his charity.

God's mercy means his choice to forgive the sins of those who have fallen short of his intentions for them, and his willingness to keep reaching out to his creatures with compassion. The mercy angel contemplates this great mercy and expresses it.

God's justice means his fairness and desire to right wrongs. The justice angel grieves for injustices that are happening in the part of God's creation that are broken by sin, and helps figure out ways to bring justice into the fallen world.

Assisting on Judgment Day

In chapter 69, (Al-Haqqah), verses 13 through 18, the Qur'an describes how the Hamalat al-Arsh will join four other angels to carry God's throne on Judgment Day, when the dead are resurrected and God judges the souls of each human being according to his or her deeds on Earth. These angels who are close to God may help him either reward or punish people according to what they deserve.

The passage reads: "So when the trumpet is blown with a single blast, and the Earth and the mountains are borne away and crushed with one crash -- on that day the Event will come to pass, and heaven will be cleft asunder; so that day it will be frail, and the angels will be on its sides. And above them eight will bear that day Allah's throne of power. On that day you will be exposed to view -- no secret of yours will remain hidden."

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Your Citation
Hopler, Whitney. "Angels in Islam: Hamalat al-Arsh." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, Hopler, Whitney. (2021, February 8). Angels in Islam: Hamalat al-Arsh. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "Angels in Islam: Hamalat al-Arsh." Learn Religions. (accessed June 1, 2023).