Azrael

From Academic Kids

Azrael, also spelled Azrail, Ashriel, Azaril, and Azriel, is the Angel of death appearing in the Catholic and Orthodox canonical Book of Tobit and in the Qur'an; his name literally means whom God helps. He is depicted as an angel under the command of God, and in Islam, he is an archangel. He is said to reside in the 3rd Heaven and possesses 70,000 feet and 4,000 wings, while his body is provided with as many eyes and tongues as there are men in the world. In Muslim tradition, Azrael is forever writing in a large book and forever erasing what he writes; what he writes is the name of a man at birth, and what he erases is that said name at death. Also, in Islamic legend, Allah is said to have sent out four angels, Michael, Gabriel, Israfel, and Azrael, on a mission to retrieve seven handfuls of earth for the creation of Adam. Michael, Gabriel, and Israfel returned to Allah empty-handed, but the persistent Azrael had succeeded in wrestling soil away from the earth. For accomplishing this feat, he was appointed as the Angel of Death with the task of separating human souls from their bodies.

See Death (personification) for more information.

Azrael in fiction

  • In Terry Pratchett's novel Reaper Man, Death has a brief conversation with Azrael, who he addresses as "Lord" and who he is described to be an aspect of.
  • Jason Lee played the character Azrael, a forsaken muse, in Kevin Smith's movie Dogma (though the film gives the Loki-like character the name Azrael, and the Azrael-like character the name Loki).
  • In Kidou Senshi Gundam Seed, Murata Azrael is the name of the leader for Blue Cosmos, an extremist group dedicated to eradicating genetically enhanced humans (the coordinators).
  • There is also a novel "Azrael" by the German author Wolfgang Hohlbein. Azrael is a codename for a special drug to enhance human skills for military purposes.
  • In Yoshiki Tanaka's novel The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Azrael (or Azrail) is the name of a hawk. The name is translated to Japanese as 'Kokushitenshi' (告死天使) which means 'Angel Who Announces Death'.
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