Who is Zabaniyyah Angle, And What Are Their Jobs

Guard of Hell, Zabaniyyah Angle
Guard of Hell, Zabaniyyah Angle (Freepik.com - Almuhtada.org)

Almuhtada.org – One of the angles that has mentioned by Allah in the Quran is an angle name Zabaniyyah. Who is this angle? And what job did Allah gave Zabaniyyah?

In Islam believing in the existence of angels is one of the pillars of faith. Usually as a Muslim we only just know ten names of the angles with their job that Allah has told them. But in the Quran also mention the name of Zabaniyyah angle. Allah mentioned in the Quran:

فَلۡيَدۡعُ نَادِيَهُۥ ١٧ سَنَدۡعُ ٱلزَّبَانِيَةَ ١٨


“So let him (Abu Jahl) call on his people (to help him). later We will call on the angel Zabaniyah.” (QS. Al-‘Alaq: 17-18).

Imam Ibn Kathir in his tafsir explains that the angel of Zabaniyah is the angel of punishment. “(Let them call their group, we will call Zabaniyah), so that he knows, who will win. Our group or his group.” (Tafsir Ibn Katsir, 8/438).

Next, Ibnu Katsir mention narrated by Ibnu Abbas which tells the reason for the revelation of the above verse, that Rasulullah SAW have been praying close to prophet Ibrahim’s grave.

Suddenly Abu Jahal came and said, “Hi Muhammad, didn’t I forbid you to do this kind of practice?” then Abu Jahal threatened him. Then Nabi Muhammad made a revenge, and Abu Jahal was mad, and screamed at Nabi Muhammad SAW. Then Abu Jahal said:

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“Oh Muhammad, What things are you gonna threaten? For God’s sake, I’m the person that has many supports in this area.”

Then Allah revealed the verse:

َلْيَدْعُ نَادِيَهُ سَنَدْعُ الزَّبَانِيَةَ


“Let him call his people (to help him), then We will call the angel of Zabaniyah.”

Besides Ibnu Katsir, Commentators such as Mujahid, Abu Qatadah and Dhahak said: Zabaniyyah is an angel. Abul Hudzail said: The Zabaniyyah are their feet on the earth and their heads in the sky.” (Tafsir ThabarI in Tafsir Al-‘Alaq).

Zabaniyyah is from the word Zabn (زبن) which means (دفع) push. Why are the angles called Zabaniyyah? The scholars explained that this is because they encourage the inhabitant of Hell to enter Hell.

It explained above that we know Zabaniyyah angle are the angels who are assigned to take care of and drag the inhabitants of hell into hell. Qatadah said: “Zabaniyyah means guard. Atha said: “They are an angle which are harsh and hard. Muaqtil said: “Zabaniyyah is the guard of Jahannam hell.” (Zaadul Masiir Fi ‘Ilmi Tafsir by ibn Jauzy: 4/468).

So, what is the nature of this angel? According to this Hadith Science graduate of STDI Imam Syafi’i Jember, among the characteristics of the angel Zabaniyah, Allah has mentioned them in the Quran is that they are harsh, hard, obeyed Allah, and never disobeyed what Allah has told them to do.

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Allah then said in the Quran:
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيكُمۡ نَارٗا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡحِجَارَةُ عَلَيۡهَا مَلَٰٓئِكَةٌ غِلَاظٞ شِدَادٞ لَّا يَعۡصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ ٦

“O you who believe, protect yourselves and your families from the Fire, whose fuel is man and stone; its guardians are angels who are harsh, hard, and do not disobey Allah in what He told them to do and always do what is told to.” (QS. At-tahrim: 6). [] Fahdina Dean Yustisia

Editor: Mohammad  Rizal Ardiansyah

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