Acknowledging Guardian Angels in Islam

How Muslims Incorporate Guardian Angels in Prayer

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In Islam, people believe in guardian angels but do not say traditional guardian angel prayers. However, Muslim believers will acknowledge guardian angels before praying to God or will recite Quran or Hadith verses about guardian angels. Learn more about how Muslim prayers may include guardian angels and references to guardian angels in Islam's holy books.

Greeting Guardian Angels

"Assalamu alaykum," is a common Muslim greeting in Arabic, meaning "Peace be upon you." Muslims sometimes say this while looking at their left and right shoulders. It is commonly believed that guardian angels reside on each shoulder and it is appropriate to acknowledge their guardian angels’ presence with them as they offer their daily prayers to God. This belief stems directly from the Quran, the holiest book of Islam.

"Behold, two guardian angels appointed to learn a man’s doings learn and note them, one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready to note it."—Quran 50:17-18

Islamic Guardian Angels

Guardian angels perched on the shoulders of believers are called the Kiraman Katibin. This angelic team works together to carefully record every detail from the life of the person to whom God has assigned them: every thought and feeling in the person's mind, every word the person communicates, and every action that the person does. The angel on the person's right shoulder records his or her good decisions, while the angel on the left shoulder makes note of his or her bad choices.

At the end of the world, Muslims believe that all of the Kiramin Katibin guardian angels who have worked with people throughout history will present all of their records to God. Whether God sends a person's soul to ​heaven or hell for eternity will then depend on what their guardian angels' records show what they thought, communicated, and did during their earthly lives. Since the angels' records are so important, Muslims take their presence seriously when they pray.

Guardian Angels as Protectors

During devotion, Muslims may recite Quran 13:11, a verse about guardian angels as protectors, "For each person, there are angels in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah." 

This verse emphasizes an important part of a guardian angel's job description: protecting people from danger. God may send guardian angels to protect people from any kind of harm: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. So by reciting this verse from the Quran, Muslims remind themselves that they are under the protective care of powerful angels who may, according to God's will, guard them against physical harm like illnesses or injuries, mental and emotional harm such as anxiety and depression, and spiritual harm that can result from the presence of evil in their lives.

Guardian Angels According to the Prophets

Hadiths are a collection of prophetic traditions written down by Muslim scholars. The Bukhari hadiths are recognized by Sunni Muslims as the most authentic book after the Quran. Scholar Muhammad al-Bukhari wrote down the following hadith after many generations of oral tradition.

"Angels take turns around you, some ​at night and some by day, and all of them assemble together at the time of the Fajr and 'Asr prayers. Then those who have stayed with you throughout the night, ascend to Allah, who asks them, though he knows the answer better than they about you, 'How have you left my servants?' They reply, 'As we have found them praying, we have left them praying.'"—Bukhari Hadith 10:530, narrated by Abu Huraira

This passage emphasizes the vital importance of prayer for people to grow closer to God. Guardian angels both pray for people and deliver answers to people's prayers.

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Your Citation
Hopler, Whitney. "Acknowledging Guardian Angels in Islam." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, Hopler, Whitney. (2020, August 25). Acknowledging Guardian Angels in Islam. Retrieved from Hopler, Whitney. "Acknowledging Guardian Angels in Islam." Learn Religions. (accessed June 3, 2023).