(1) (35:1) All praise be to Allah, the Fashioner of the heavens and earth, Who appointed angels *1 as His message bearers, having two, three, four wings. *2 He adds to His creation whatever He pleases. *3 Verily Allah has power over everything.
*1) This can have two meanings: (1)"That these angels perform the service of communicating messages between Allah and His Prophets :" and (2)"that it is the duty of these angels to convey and enforce the Commands of Allah Almighty throughout the universe." The object is to impress this truth: The position of the angels whom the polytheists have made their gods and goddesses is no more than of obedient servants of Allah, the One. Just as the servants of a king run about for the implementation of his orders, so do these angels fly about in the service of the real Sovereign of the Universe. These servants have no authority of their own; All powers rest with Allah, Who is the real Sovereign. 2 We have no means to know what is the nature of the wings of these angels. But when Allah has used this word, which in human language is used for the wings of birds, instead of any other words, to express and depict the truth, one can certainly conclude that this very word of our language is nearest to the actual meaning. The mention of two and three and four pairs of the wings shows that different angels have been granted different degrees of powers by Allah. They have been equipped with different powers of speed and efficiency as demanded by the nature of service for which they arc employed. 3 These words show that the number of the wings of the angels is restricted to four, but Allah has provided some angels with more wings than four. According to a Hadith related by Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, the Holy Prophet once saw the Angel Gabriol (peace be upon hits) with six hundred wings. (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi). Hadrat 'A'ishah relates that the Holy Prophet had seen Gabriel twice in his real shape: he had six hundred wings and had covered the whole horizon. (Tirmidhi)