Nahjul-Balagha sermon 1 mentions angels "whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are protruding into the skies". What is the meaning of that clause? Is Imam Ali talking about literally gigantic angels? (If so, is there a name for that type of angel? Are there any stories about them?) Or is this meant as figurative/allegorical speech?

  • that's the size of any angel, do you have any reference that says angels are the same size of humans?
    – Thaqalain
    Mar 16, 2017 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


Concise answer:

There seems to be real description about them, not a figurative/allegorical speech (to the best of my knowledge).

Detailed answer:

At the first Khutbah (sermon) of Nahjul-Balaqah, Imam Ali (a.s.), after ... mentioned about the creation of the creatures of sky and angels (of up universe), and states regarding the sorts of the angels and makes them into 4 groups:

Then, it mentioned the fourth group and says (an approximate translation)):

A group of them (are so big that) their foots are fixed in the down floors of the earth, and their necks have passed the up sky, and the bases of their existence and their bodies have gone out of the world’s banks, and their shoulders are ready and proportionate for keeping the pillars of Allah throne.

(وَمِنْهُمُ الثّابِتَةُ فِى الاَرَضینَ السُّفلى اَقْدامُهُمْ وَ المارِقَةُ مِنَ السَّماءِ الْعُلْیا اَعْناقُهُمْ وَ الْخارِجَةُ مِنَ الاَقْطارِ اَرْکانُهُمْ وَالْمُناسِبَةُ لِقَوائِمِ الْعَرش اَکْتافُهُمْ).

I did not find any related issue regarding their names, but at the rest of the matter it is stated in regards to their non-bodily traits, such as their humility in front of their God and other matters.


It might be inferred from the sermon that: such huge angels are humble and submitted in front of God, and those huge angels have found the highest position of Tawhid (monotheism about Allah) and other points.

And Allah knows best.

Source and accurate info. (in Farsi [Persian]):

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