The Angel Israfil, by Muhammad ibn Muhammad Shakir Ruzmah-'i Nathani
Israfil in Islamic calligraphy

Israfil (Arabic: إِسْـرَافِـيْـل, Isrāfīl; or Israfel or Rāfā'īl)[1] is the angel who blows the trumpet to signal Qiyamah (the Day of Judgment); he is thus often considered the angel of music.[2][3] Though unnamed in the Quran, he is one of the four archangels in Islamic tradition, along with Mīkā'īl, Jibrā'īl, and Azrā'īl.[1] The "Book of Dead" described Israfil as the oldest of all archangels.[4]

It is believed that Israfil will blow the trumpet from a holy rock in Jerusalem to announce the Day of Resurrection. He is commonly thought of as the counterpart of the Judeo-Christian archangel Raphael.[5][6]

In religious tradition

Although the name Israfil does not appear in the Quran, a figure blowing a trumpet is repeatedly alluded to, and is assumed to be this figure:

And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those that are in the heavens and all those that are in the earth shall swoon, except him whom Allah will ; then it shall be blown again, then they shall stand up awaiting.

In Islamic tradition, he is said to have been sent along with the other three Islamic archangels to collect dust from the four corners of the earth,[7] though only Azrael succeeded in this mission.[8] It was from this dust that Adam, the first man and Prophet was formed.[9]

Israfil has been associated with a number of other angelic names not pertaining to Islam, including Uriel,[5] Sariel,[10] and Raphael.[6]

Certain sources indicate that Israfil was created at the beginning of time, has four wings, and is so tall that he can span the distance from the earth to the pillars of Heaven.[7] A beautiful angel who is a master of music, Israfil sings praises to God in a thousand different languages, the breath of which is used to inject life into hosts of angels who add to the songs themselves.[1] Due to his beautiful voice, he is also the Muezzin of those in Heaven.[11]

According to Sunni traditions reported by Imam Al-Suyuti, the 'Ghawth or Qutb, is someone who has a heart that resembles that of archangel Israfil, signifying the loftiness of this angel. The next in rank are the saints who are known as the Umdah or Awtad, amongst whom the highest ones have their hearts resembling that of angel Michael, and the rest of the lower ranking saints having the heart of Gabriel, and that of the previous prophets before Muhammad. The earth is believed to always have one of the Qutb.[12]

Israfil is mentioned in a hadith as the angel nearest to God, mediating the commands of God to the other archangels.[13]

A few reports assume that Israfil had visited Muhammad before Gabriel did.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Lewis, James R., Evelyn Dorothy Oliver, and S. Sisung Kelle, eds. 1996. Angels A to Z. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0-7876-0652-9. p. 224.
  2. ^ Burnham, Sophy. 2011. A Book of Angels: Reflections on Angels Past and Present, and True Stories of How They Touch Our Lives. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-48647-4.
  3. ^ Webster, Richard (2009). Encyclopedia of angels (1st ed.). Woodbury, he will blow the trumpet when the day comes to the end Minn.: Llewellyn Publications. p. 97. ISBN 9780738714622.
  4. ^ Shaikh Muhammad ibn Habib translated by Aisha Abd- ar Rahman at-Tarjumana Islamic Book of Dead Hadith Concerning the Fire and the Garden Diwan Press 1977 isbn 0 950444618 pp. 33-34
  5. ^ a b "Gabriel." Jewish Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ a b "Israfil" (revised). Encyclopædia Britannica. [1998] 2020.
  7. ^ a b Davidson, Gustav. 1967. "Israfel." Pp. 151–52 in A Dictionary of Angels, Including The Fallen Angels. New York: Free Press. ISBN 9780029070505. LCCN 66-19757.
  8. ^ Weil, Gustav. 1863. "Adam." Pp. 19 in The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud or Biblical Legends of the Mussulmans. via Internet Sacred Text Archive.
  9. ^ Noegel, Scott B., and Brannon M. Wheeler. 2010. The A to Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-1-461-71895-6. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Death, Angel of", Jewish Encyclopedia
  11. ^ Tottoli, Roberto. 2018. "Isrāfīl." Encyclopaedia of Islam 3, edited by K. Fleet, G. Krämer, D. Matringe, J. Nawas, and E. Rowson. Retrieved 9 January 2020. ISBN 9789004356641.
  12. ^ See Jalaluddeen Al-Suyuti's compilation on the proofs of Qutb, Awtad and Abdals.
  13. ^ Burge, Stephen. 2015. Angels in Islam: Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi akhbar al-mala'ik. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-50473-0. p. 92.
  14. ^ Kraemer, Joel L. 1993. Israel Oriental Studies, Band 13. Brill. ISBN 9789004099012. p. 219.


  • Campo, Juan E. (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. New York, NY: Facts On File. p. 750. ISBN 978-1438126968.
  • Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy; Lewis, James R. (2008). Angels A to Z (2nd ed.). Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781578592128.
  • Schwebel, Rosemary Ellen Guiley ; foreword by Lisa (2004). The encyclopedia of angels (2nd ed.). New York: Facts on File. p. 193. ISBN 9781438130026.
  • Webster, Richard (2009). Encyclopedia of angels (1st ed.). Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications. p. 97. ISBN 9780738714622.
  • Student's Britannica: India. New Delhi: Encyclopædia Britannica (India). 2000. p. 92. ISBN 9780852297605.