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Do Angels Have Wings?
Question: A translation of a Qur’anic verse reads:
Praise be to God who created the heavens and the earth, who
made the angels messengers with wings
in two or three or four [pairs]. (35:1)
It apparently says that angels have wings. I was wondering if this is
a correct translation?
Answer: : The Arabic word used is Ajnihah which
means ‘forelimbs’. When used for humans it can be translated as
‘arms’ since the forelimbs of humans are called arms, and when used for
birds it can be translated as ‘wings’, since their forelimbs are called
wings. The word is used in both these senses in the Qur’an. For the
former use see 20:22, and for the latter see 6:38.
However, since we do not have any knowledge of the actual physical
structure of the angels, it cannot be said what the
form of their forelimbs is. Consequently, a more careful translation of
the word Ajnihah would be ‘forelimbs’.