There is a belief in religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism that there are good angels and bad angels. It is then assumed that those bad or more commonly known as ‘fallen’ angels or in some cases demons are now leading the world’s people towards sin. Religions say that Satan was one of the highest angels who was jealous of God and His creations, wanting more power. After his defeat, he was cast out of heaven, which is where the concept of ‘fallen’ angels comes into play. It is now assumed that Satan took his followers with him, which originated in the fallen angels and their mission.
How Did the Concept of Fallen Angels Originate?
The concept of fallen angels was derived from the supposition that the reference to the “sons of God,” in Genesis 6:1-4 was to angels. The concept of fallen angels was further strengthened after the proclamation from Augustine of Hippo that giants were a creation of relations between human women and fallen angels. However, after the 3rd century Rabbis and Priests rejected these Enochian writings. Thus, Christianity’s notion of fallen angels was inspired by Satan’s rebellion and downfall, and were then linked to demons.
The Perception of Fallen Angels By Different Religions
Different religions follow different teachings regarding fallen angels, though the concept and stories may be similar in some of them. Here is the perception of fallen angels by different religions:
Rabbis were not following the Enochian writings after the 3rd century possibly in order to stop Jews from worshipping angels and to also show that God is the Almighty and angels are only creations of God himself. However, in rabbinic writings, Samael, the archangel who is seen as sometimes good and sometimes bad, is seen to not be evil or fallen, but to have an evil inclination to disobey God which shows that he is a subordinate of God.
In Islam, mainly three fallen angels are mentioned in the Quran. One of them is Iblis, who was an angel made of fire. In Islamic teachings, it is said that Iblis refused to bow before Adam with the rest of the angels as directed by God because he felt himself to be superior to Adam. He was thus banished from heaven and is now plaguing humanity with evils.
Christianity and Eastern Orthodox Christianity have a shared belief similar to Islam that fallen angels were banished from heaven, and will always be inferior to God. Christians feel that fallen angels are also on earth to tempt believers and to move them from the righteous path.
It is interesting to see how these religions are similar in some ways, but their concepts may differ just due to different ideologies and possibly the manipulation of historic events. However, one thing that most religions agree on, is that where there is good, there is also evil.