The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings. – Rumi
The word “angel” comes from the Greek word aggelos, which means “messenger.” The Torah defines an angel as “malach,” or a messenger of God. In Jewish scripture we learn of four important angels: Michael, the messenger of God; Gabriel, the strength of God; Raphael, the healing power of God; and Uriel, the light of God. Each calls for God’s will to be done, but never for selfish personal purposes.
The Bible refers to angels frequently:
He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully. – Luke 4:10.
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. – Thessalonians 1:7.
The Baha’i teachings, rich with the symbolism of angels, include prayers to help exalt us to the station of the angels:
Make him one of Thy angels whose feet walk upon this earth even as their souls are soaring through the high heavens. – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 65.
In my investigation of angels through scripture, I discovered guidance on five ways to attract these symbolic messengers and their beautiful qualities into my life:
1. Understand the existence of angels. All the Holy Scriptures refer to angels. Whether you envision them as human spirits, enlightened souls or simply imagine them as the pure breeze of God’s guidance and inspiration, faith will bring more angels into your life:
I can see angels sitting on your ears, polishing trumpets, replacing strings, stretching new skins on the drums—and gathering wood for the evening’s fire. They danced last night but you did not hear them. – Hafiz
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. – Hebrews 1:14.
2. Pray for your angels. I think of my grandmother as my guardian angel. I pray for her daily, and we visit in my dreams often. My prayers keep me intertwined with her precious spirit, as if she is on a long vacation far away and my prayers are the phone line that unites us. The Baha’i writings say that we are still connected to our loved ones who have passed on to the next world, and that these souls can intervene for us here on earth, as we can for them on their own spiritual journey. We are assured that our prayers reach them:
3. Attract the angels. By associating with angelic souls here on earth and working together in love and unity for the benefit of all mankind we attract the assistance of the angels:
If a small number of people gather lovingly together, with absolute purity and sanctity, with their hearts free of the world, experiencing the emotions of the Kingdom and the powerful magnetic forces of the Divine, and being at one in their happy fellowship, that gathering will exert its influence over all the earth. The nature of that band of people, the words they speak, the deeds they do, will unleash the bestowals of Heaven, and provide a foretaste of eternal bliss. The hosts of the Company on high will defend them, and the angels of the Abha Paradise [heaven], in continuous succession, will come down to their aid. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 81.
4. Be receptive to angelic inspiration. Our angels in the next world are with us more than we may realize. If we remain open and thoughtful, we can be inspired by them and feel their presence more in our lives.
I had a wonderful friend named Ramona Brown, whom I lovingly called “Dede” when I was a teenager. A lovely elderly woman who lived in California during the early years of the Baha’i Faith, Dede had the privilege of many meetings with Abdu’l-Baha, the son of the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah. When we could not be together, we would write each other letters. Often she would tell me precious stories of her visits with Abdu’l-Baha. One night, many years after her death, I sat reading her book, Memories of Abdu’l-Baha. I read an inspirational story about one of her meetings with Abdu’l-Baha, and remembered the story from our past talks. In the story Dede talked to Abdu’l-Baha about how, when she had a problem she liked to use one of his books, after meditation and prayer, as a means of guidance. Abdu’l-Baha smiled and told her:
You have intuition. You must follow it always, because when you follow it, it increases and becomes more clear. Only a few have this gift. It is like the tinkling of bells, a sixth sense, like the voice of God speaking. The more one follows intuition, the more it increases. – Memories of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 14.
I stopped reading and pictured her with me. I told her out loud how much I missed her, and listened in silence for a few minutes. Then a thought came to me, and I was inspired to go to my stack of her saved letters that I hadn’t read in years. I picked a random letter, and as I looked through it, I discovered the exact story I had just read regarding intuition, long before it was ever published it in her book! I felt overwhelmed with joy and certain that her spirit was with me.
5. Become an angel yourself:
The meaning of ‘angels’ is the confirmations of God and His celestial powers. Likewise angels are blessed beings who have severed all ties with this nether world, have been released from the chains of self and the desires of the flesh, and anchored their hearts to the heavenly realms of the Lord. These are of the Kingdom, heavenly; these are of God, spiritual; these are revealers of God’s abounding grace; these are dawning-points of His spiritual bestowals. – Ibid.
You may be used to the traditional depiction of angels with wings and harps—but the real angels, those who evince the angelic qualities of the spirit, walk among us and help guide us eternally through life.