Who are superior: angels or humans?
Fatwa No: 166905

  • Fatwa Date:17-11-2011 - Thul-Hijjah 21, 1432
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Question

Who is superior – human or angel,

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The scholars differed in opinion about this issue, some of them said that the angels are superior to humans and some of them said that the humans are superior to the angels. Imaam Al-Qurtubi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him reported this difference of opinion and said in conclusion: “There is no way to authoritatively assert that the Prophets are better than the angels or vice-versa, because this can only be confirmed by Allaah or by His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) or by the consensus of the scholars, and there is none of this on this issue.

Indeed, there is no great benefit in investigating this matter; it is for this reason that Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him from the Hanafi School of jurisprudence, in his commentary on Al-‘Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyyah, after mentioning the difference of opinion on the issue, said: “I was hesitant in commenting on this issue, because its benefits are very few, and it is like a matter of no concern and “Among the good traits of a Muslim is abandoning that which does not concern him.” [Ahmad] On the other hand, the Shaykh (i.e. At-Tahaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him) did not confirm or refute any opinion on this issue, so it might be that he deliberately did not want to speak about it, as Imaam Abu Haneefah refrained from talking about it….This is the right thing to do; as we are obliged to believe in the angels and the Prophets, and it is not required from us to believe which group of them is superior to the other. Had this been an obligation, Allaah would have explained it to us. Allaah Says (what means): {This day I have perfected for you your religion.}[Quran 5:3] Allaah also Says (what means): {And never is your Lord forgetful.}[Quran 5:64]

Allaah Knows best.

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