How the recording angels know about a person's intentions
Fatwa No: 217657

  • Fatwa Date:25-9-2013 - Thul-Qi'dah 21, 1434
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Question

According to quran, the angels record the deeds if they are utterred in mouth or done by limbs. Are the good deeds (like dhikhr done within one's mind) and bad deeds (like having ill-intentions, bad thoughts etc.) done within mind are recorded by angels. Will only Allah knows these deeds and not even angels know about them?

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, is His Slave and Messenger.

Allaah The Almighty may inform the angels of what is in the heart of man and thus they write down for him the reward or the punishment he deserves. Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked about the words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: "When a person intends to do a good deed but does not do it, one good deed is recorded for him …” If his thinking about it is something hidden which is between him and his Lord, how can the angels know about it?" He replied:

"All perfect praise be to Allaah. An answer to this question was narrated from Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah, who said: 'If he intends to do a good deed, the angel smells a good fragrance, and if he intends to do a bad deed, the angel smells a foul odour. In fact, Allaah The Almighty is able to make the angels know what is in a person’s heart in whatever manner He wishes in the same manner He is able to make some humans know what is in a person's heart. So, if Allaah grants some humans the ability to know sometimes what is in a person's heart, then the angel who is entrusted with the person is more entitled to be informed of that by Allaah. It was said about the saying of Allaah The Almighty (which means): {And We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.}[Quran 50:16] that it refers to the angels. Allaah The Almighty made angels inspire man with good things as ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas‘ood,  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: "The angle inspires truth and a promise of goodness while the devil inspires falsehood and a promise of evil." He also narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “There is none of you who does not have a companion (Qareen) appointed for him from among the angels and a companion from among the jinn.” They (the Prophet's Companions) said, “Even you, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Even me, but Allaah helped me against him, so he only tells me to do that which is good.” [Muslim] If the evil deed that one intends to do is inspired by the devil, then, of course, the devil knows about it, and if the good deed that one intends to do is inspired by the angel, then, likewise, it is more appropriate for the angel to know about it and if that angel knows about it, then the angels entrusted to record the deeds of the children of Adam will know about it." [End quote]

Allaah Knows best.

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