The Angel of Death

“And now listen, those that have ears, to a tale of Solomon the King. Yes, Solomon, the mightiest and wisest ruler of the earth that ever was or shall be. Wealthy beyond measure was Solomon, and with such wisdom as only Allah may bestow.

“And lo, he commanded the wind, and both men and Jinn, birds and animals. All were servants unto him. Yet he lost favor in the sight of God, for neither wealth nor power nor wisdom brought him enlightenment.

“One day, while King Solomon was walking alone in the royal garden, he came upon Azrael, the Angel of Death, who was pacing back and forth with a most worried expression. Solomon knew well the face of the Deadly Servant, for with the sight given unto him he had seen Death often, hovering over battles, or in the tents of the ill and wounded. When Solomon asked what troubled him, the Angel sighed, saying that he had on his list of those destined for the next world two scribes of Solomon, the brothers Elihoreph and Alijah.

“Now Solomon was grieved at the thought of losing his scribes, for he had known them since childhood and loved them like brothers. So he ordered the Jinn to carry Elihoreph and Aljah to the fabled city of Luz, the only place on earth where Death has no power. Instantly the Jinn did as he commanded, but the two scribes died at the very moment they reached the gates of that city.

“The next day Azrael appeared before Solomon. The Angel of Death was greatly pleased and said, ‘I thank thee, O King, for speeding thy servants to the place appointed. The fate destined for them was to die at the gates of that far city, but I had no idea how they were to travel so great a distance.’

“Now the King wept exceedingly, torn between sorrow and wrath at the death of his friends and the inescapable doom of men. And Azrael wondered greatly at this. ‘Why do you weep, O Lord of the World?’

‘For the long friends of my youth who are with me no more,’ said the King. ‘Have you no pity for those whose life you end?’

‘Pity?’ exclaimed Azrael scornfully. ‘You weep for the loss of their companionship. Your true sorrow is for yourself, and your wrath is truly self-pity. Alas, it has darkened your wisdom. Death is the most sublime gift of God, distilling from this life of fleeting joys and many sorrows that single drop which is the soul. Of such wine, O King, is poured the Sea of Light. Praise Allah that I, who am to you the Angel of Death, am in truth the Angel of Mercy.’“

From Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

10 Responses to The Angel of Death

  1. Ali Ahadpour says:

    Salaam Brother Irving

    What a beautiful story and lesson on the “true way” to look at death as the ultimate favor of Allah to us- union with him and coming closer to him. Mashallah.


  2. Ya Haqq , brother Irving
    I heard it formerly but in your word it was so beautiful.
    I hope Sadiq Alam read it , so it is related to Maktub completely . These days he speake on Maktub.

    Ya Haqq

  3. Thank you for kind and generous words, brothers :)

    Ya Haqq!

  4. saly says:

    Mashallah, it is beautiful and I’m not saying it out of ‘taroof’, I really mean it:-) You are blessed by Allah with the power to move with words. SubhanAllah!

  5. Teddy says:

    Whereas this is a beautiful story, it is taken exactly as is from the Talmud (Tracktate Sukkah). The original is as follows:

    Solomon once noticed that the angel of death was grieved. When questioned as to the cause of his sorrow he answered: “I am requested to take your two beautiful scribes.” Solomon at once charged the demons to convey his scribes to Luz, where the angel of death could not enter. When they were near the city, however, they both died. The angel laughed on the next day, whereupon Solomon asked the cause of his mirth. “Because,” answered the angel, “thou didst send the youths thither, whence I was ordered to fetch them” (Suk. 53a)

  6. Indeed you are correct, friend Teddy: Master of the Jinn is derived from legends and stories found in the Talmud, the Koran, the Old Testament, Sufi stories and texts, and many other sources, including my own imagination. Many threads are woven into this tapestry, although they are reworked slightly to a Sufi frame of thought, where indeed the Angel of Death is in truth the Angel of Mercy.

    Thank you for stopping by :)

  7. 8:]Per... says:


    When death occured to the child of Marpa, Milarepa’s master, he cried so sadly that his disciples flocked around him and asked, “Master, didn’t you say that the world is only an illusion? Why are you crying so brokenheartedly just because your son has died?”

    Marpa answered them, “Yes, everything is illusionary, but the death of a child is the greatest illusion of them all!”

  8. k.malik says:


    i have read and re read your book so many times. something very mystical and real is happening in my life both good and bad.i dont understand it am scared too. whatever it is knows my every move even my thinking .honest to ALLAH im not lying/cant trust any one . can you recommend as to what i should do.

    Note: I will answer you privately by email instead of replying in a separate comment. Fear nothing but Allah! Ya Haqq, Irving

  9. MashaALLAH

    Mesmerizing and very well written
    I loved it

    Fatima Omar Khamissa

  10. Irving says:

    Thank you for the kind words, dear Sister Fatima :)

    Ya Haqq!

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