The 4 major angels: Raphael or Israfil

This article is also available in: Italiano

The angel Israfil, in the biblical tradition called Raphael, is certainly the one that most varies according to the cult followed, passing from announcer of the Day of Judgment to supreme curator

Israfil, The Angel of the Horn

“It is the one who transmits orders and blows spirits into the bodies. The Messenger of God said:” How can I rest assured, when the angel of the Horn has already taken the Horn, and already has his ear stretched out so that ordered to blow? “Muqātil claims that the Horn is the Trumpet of Judgment.”

“The wonders of creation” by Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al Qazwini

According to Islam, Israfil is above all the angel destined to blow the Trumpet of the Day of Judgment, a recurring element in the Holy Quran and which explains its importance. As mentioned in this passage, the latter is not Israfil’s only task but, inevitably, it is clearly the most significant. A peculiarity of this angel is that, unlike Gabriel, Michael and (in a sense) Azrael, he is not mentioned in the Quran.

Israfil’s appearance

“‘A’isha said:” I reported to Ka’b al-Ahbar that I heard the Messenger of God say: “Oh Lord of Gabriel, Michael and Israfil! I heard about Gabriel and Michael in the Qur’an, inform me on Israfil “. Then Ka’b said: “He is an angel of the highest rank, who has four wings: one points to the East, one to the West, with the third he descends from heaven to Earth and with the fourth he protects himself from the Majesty of God. Most High. His feet are below the seventh earth, while his head reaches up to the supports of the legs of the Throne […] “.

“The wonders of creation” by Zakariyya ibn Muhammad al Qazwini

In addition to the four wings and the very large tonnage, the same al Qazwini also provides us with many interesting features of this angel that complete its wonderful appearance. In fact, it is white in color but tending to red and has a green dress with a red cloak. He also has a white turban inlaid with gold with a knot on his forehead and has only one ring.

In Judaism and Christianity

The figure of Israfil is very different in the biblical world, taking on tasks and assignments that have nothing to do with the Day of Judgment. First of all, it seems that the appearance of him in the sacred texts took place only after the Babylonian Captivity, so much so that in the Torah (ie the first 5 books of the Bible) none of the angels are called by name. Subsequently, his first “rank” task will be to heal Abraham from self-circumcision and save Lot from the Sodom disaster.

Raffaele with Tobia

As for Christianity, his figure is certainly the most complicated among that of the archangels, as his name is mentioned directly only in the Book of Tobias, a text considered canonical by Catholics, Orthodox, but not by Protestants. The figure of him is also very important in the Book of Enoch, a text considered apocryphal by all the Churches except the Ethiopian and Eritrean ones. The only passage in the New Testament in which it appears to be present is that of the Pools of Bethesda, contained in the Gospel of John; in this passage, it will be explained that the healing powers of water are due to an angel (identified in Raffaele) who cyclically dives into it. Not surprisingly, the archangel Raphael is still considered by Christians to be “the angel of healing”.

Follow us on our facebook page, Spotify, YouTube,Twitter and Instagram, or on our Telegram channel. Any like, sharing or support is welcome and helps us to dedicate ourselves more and more to our passion: telling the Middle East ..

Leave a Reply