вторник, 11 март 2014 г.

Azrael (Ashriel, Azrail, Azriel, Gabriel)

In Jewish and Islamic angelologies, the ANGEL OF DEATH . The name Azrael means “whom God helps.” With other angels charged with the same task, Azrael’s hands are stretched out to receive the souls of evil- doers in the agonies of dying. Azrael is one of the greatest of the angels, with his shape pleasing to the believer in order to facilitate the release from life. According to Sufi teacher Abdul Karim Jili, Azrael appears to the soul in a form pro- vided by its most powerful metaphors. He may even manifest invisibly, “so that a man may die of a rose in aromatic pain”—or of a rotting stench. When the soul sees Azrael it “falls in love,” and its gaze is thus with- drawn from the body as if by seduction. Great prophets and saints may be invited politely by Azrael in corpo- real form, as he did to MOSES and MUHAMMAD . When the Sufi poet Rumi lay on his deathbed, Azrael appeared as a beautiful youth: “I am come by divine command to inquire what commission the Mas- ter may have to entrust to me.” Rumi’s human com- panions almost fainted with fear, but the Sufi master replied: “Come in, come in, thou messenger of my King. Do that which thou art bidden, and God willing thou shalt find me one of the patient.” Islamic angelology holds that Azrael is another form of Raphael, and possess 70,000 feet and 40,000 wings. He has as many eyes and tongues as there are people. Arabic mythology tells that Azrael constantly writes and erases in a large book. The writing brings birth and the erasing brings death. A story regarding the creation of ADAM has Azrael fulfilling a crucial task. The angels Michael, Gabriel, and Israfil do not produce seven handfuls of earth nec- essary to make Adam; Azrael does. Thus, he is endowed with the power to separate the soul from the body.

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