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Azrael

Azrael is the traditional name of the Archangel of Death. He is also the Angel of Death in Islamic extrabiblical tradition and folklore. It is an English form of the Arabic name Azra'il (عزرائيل) or Azra'eil (عزرایل), the name traditionally attributed to the angel of death in Islam and some Hebrew lore. The Qur'an never uses this name, referring instead to Malak al-Maut (which translates directly as angel of death). It is also spelled Izrail, Izrael, "Azriel", Azrail, Ezraeil, Azraille, Azryel, or Ozryel. Chambers English dictionary uses the spelling Azrael. The name literally means Whom God Helps.

History Edit

Although some sources have speculated about a connection between Azrael and the human priest Ezra, 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." In Jewish mysticism he is identified as the embodiment of evil, not necessarily or specifically evil itself. 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.

Appearance Edit

In one of his forms, he has four faces and four thousand wings, and his whole body consists of eyes and tongues, the number of which corresponds to the number of people inhabiting the Earth. He will be the last to die, recording and erasing constantly in a large book the names of men at birth and death, respectively. Riffian (Berber) men of Morocco had the custom of shaving the head but leaving a single lock of hair on either the crown, left, or right side of the head, so that the angel Azrael is able "...to pull them up to heaven of the Last Day."

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