Despite being a lesser-known angel, Azrael is an important figure within several major religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He is an archangel in Heaven, similar to Gabriel and Samael, but wields frightening power. The angel of destruction is commanded by God himself to eradicate and renew all life.
Though he's said to be a being of light, Azrael has a horrifying dark side. Similar to the fallen angel Abaddon, he is tasked with carrying out the will of God - whether it be collecting the souls of the departed or meting out punishments to sinners. Regardless of the chaos that he may cause, Azrael puts his loyalty to God above all else.
According To Islamic Tradition, He Takes The Souls Of The Departed To Their Destination
According to Islamic tradition, Azrael not only keeps the records of who is alive, but he must also transport the recently perished to the afterlife. Once someone has passed, Azrael removes their soul from their body and severs the link between the spiritual and physical worlds.
The angel then takes the soul either to Heaven or Hell, as decreed by God.
He Can Change Into Any Form To Carry Out His Work
Azrael is known to have several different forms. He's said to typically appear as a warrior or a giant being with thousands of eyes, wings, and feet, but he also takes the shape of a reaper or an old man.
Azrael also frequently assumes the appearance of a wanderer or beggar. This allows the angel to carry out his tasks and travel among humans without attracting attention.
Despite His Immense Power, He Can Only Do What God Commands
Azrael is a powerful entity capable of carrying out harsh acts at a moment’s notice, but he cannot do anything of his own accord. Instead, he is an obedient and loyal servant of God. This means that everything the angel does is at the command of his lord.
God reveals when a person is due to pass so that Azrael can collect their soul, and also indicates when the angel should punish those who have sinned.
Spiritual Experts Sometimes Characterize Him As A 'Grief Counselor'
While still associated with the grisly duty of helping those that have departed, Azrael supposedly holds a secondary function. According to some spiritual experts, Azrael essentially acts as a grief counselor to those who have lost a loved one.
The angel can advise those who are grieving and aid them through an emotionally difficult time. He will also try to make the journey from the physical world to a spiritual existence as comfortable and pain-free as he can for those who have passed.