Israfel or Israfil (Arabic: إسرافيل) ("The Burning One"), is the angel of the trumpet in Islam, though unnamed in the Qur'an. Along with Mikhail, Djibril and Izra'il, he is one of the four Islamic archangels.

In religious tradition

Although the name "Israfel" does not appear in the Qur'an, mention is made of a trumpet-angel assumed to identify 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 Allah; then it shall be blown again, then they shall stand up awaiting." —Qur'an (39.68).

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, although only Izra'il succeeded in this mission. It was from this dust that Adam was formed.

Israfel holds his holy trumpet to his lips century after century, awaiting the signal from God to sound it at the Last Judgement. At this time he will descend to Earth and stand upon the holy rock in Jerusalem. The first blow of his trumpet will shatter the world, and the second blow will awaken the dead and summon them to judgement.

Israfel has been associated with a number of other angelic names, including Uriel, Sarafiel and Raphael.

Certain sources indicate that, created at the beginning of time, Israfel possesses four wings, and is so tall as to be able to reach from the earth to the pillars of Heaven. A beautiful angel who is a master of music, Israfel 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.

In the occult

Israfel appears in cabbalistic lore and 19th-century Occultism. He was given specific embodiment in Aleister Crowley's Liber Israfel, formerly Liber Anubis, a ritual designed to invoke the Egyptian god, Thoth, the deity of wisdom, writing, and magic who figures large in the Hermetica attributed to Hermes Trismegistus upon which modern practitioners of magick draw.

In literature

  • Israfel is the subject and title of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, used for the exotic effect of the name:

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
Whose heart-strings are a lute;
None sing so wildly well
As the angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.

  • Israfel appears as a character in the book Heavenly Discourse by C. E. S. Wood.

See also


External links

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