Do Angels Have Wings?
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

A translation of a Qur’ānic 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?


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’ān. 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’.

For Questions on Islam, please use our