|“||There's no reason to be scared of death my dear. Just think of it as a deep sleep. Yes. One nicer and more relaxing that you deserve after the tiring life you've had. And while you are sleeping, I will come and take you to your next adventure.||„|
Azrael is, along with Gabriel, Michael and Israfil, one of the four major archangels in Islam, and is identified with the Quranic Malak al-Mawt. He is responsible for transporting the souls of the deceased after death. In comparison to similar concepts of angels of death, Azrael holds a rather benevolent role as the angel of death. However, Azrael is not necessarily the only angel of death. Tafsir al-Baydawi mentions an entire host of angels of death (which includes Rahab, Samael and Sariel), subordinative to Azrael.
He helps the souls of the deceased make the transition from the physical realm to the afterlife, and he comforts people who are in eternal grief from the death of a loved one. In art, Azrael is often depicted wielding a scythe and wearing a hood, since these symbols represent his role as the angel of death who is reminiscent of the popular culture’s Grim Reaper.
Azrael also fiercely hunts down souls who were unfaithful and unrepentant for their sins in their past life. Azrael appears to them to notify that their time on Earth had expired. If they don't agree with that, he uses his scythe to extract their souls from their corporeal bodies. Then he takes their souls to Hell, and makes it certain that they get their punishment. A damned soul stated that when Azrael was extracting his soul, it felt as though that every fiber of his muscles, bones, and even molecules were being violently and ferociously pulled, all while being mutilated at the same time.
The reason that Azrael refuses to reveal his true form is due to his absolute hideousness. Azrael's true form is in fact so terrifyingly awful, the mere sight of it could not only kill a human, but can drive even an lower class Angel, Demon, and other Monsters to madness. Only his archangel brethren and the most powerful demons and gods are immune to this, though some admit being uncomfortable when in the presence of his true form. Azrael is described as being completely covered in eyes and tongues, and the number of eyes and tongues constantly changes to reflect the number of people who are currently alive on Earth.
Powers and Abilities
Being one of God's oldest Angels that came to existence, Azrael is frighteningly powerful angel. So much that he is considered the strongest Archangel of Death, rivalled and is only barely equaled by Samael, the Poison of God.
- Archangel Physiology: Being a True Archangel of Death, Azrael is powerful angel of the lord. Being one of the first angels that predated the dawn of creation.
- Supernatural Powers: Azrael is also considered a Destroyer Angel, due the fact he is the one that carry God's divine wrath. He is an Angel who represents or is associated with destruction and God's wrath. God on several occasions sent him and several of these Angels out to kill the enemies of the Hebrews. In Judaism, he is among the angels that punish the sinners. As long as mortals lives, God allows them to repent. He is also one of the angels, responsible for killing the inhabitants of Egypt when the Egyptians were coming after Moses and his followers the Hebrews, killing over 100,000 soldiers and drowning them in the seas.
- Death Embodiment: Being an Archangel of Death, he is the angelic embodiment of death itself, next or second only to Samael. This means that he can easily kill others, collect their souls when they die and take their souls to the afterlife. Due to been mentored and teach by Death himself, he can decide where a soul will go after death.
Azrael was the final plague of the ten plagues that God unleashed upon Egypt, causing the deaths of the firstborn children of Egypt but sparing the lives of the Hebrews. This event has since become known as the "Passover". His name became known when he carried the souls up to heaven to be judged by God.
Myths and Legends
Although some sources have speculated about a connection between Azrael and the human priest Erza, he is generally depicted as an archangel whose history long predates this figure. Rather than merely representing death personified, Azrael is usually described in Islamic sources as subordinate to the will of God with the most profound reverence, when he extracts the soul from a dying person, a good dying person will not feel the pain from the removal of the soul from his body, Azrael removing it with ease, and for those who are bad, the removal of the soul is tough and difficult.
Also, the Quran speaks about many angels of death. Islamic traditions explains that the lesser angels of death are for the common people, but saints and prophets meet the archangel of death himself. Azrael does not act independently, but is only informed by God when time is up to take a soul. According to one Muslim tradition, forty days before the death of a person approaches, God drops a leaf from a tree below the heavenly throne, on which Azrael reads the name of the person he must take with him.
Depending on the outlook and precepts of various religions in which he is a figure, Azrael may be portrayed as residing in the Third Heaven. In one description, he has four faces and four thousand wings, and his whole body consists of eyes and tongues whose number corresponds to the number of people inhabiting the Earth. He is constantly recording and erasing in a large book the names of men at birth and death, respectively.
He is also referred to as the angel of death in Islamic theology, known as Malak al-Maut, earning that title and that duty by assisting God in the creation of Adam, by gathering the clay from the Earth itself.