What is the source of the well known name of the Angel of death?
Allah Ta’ala has referred to the Angel of death as ‘Malakul Mawt’ [Angel of death]
(Surah Sajdah, verse: 11)
Many Mufassirun have stated that his name is ‘Izrail, which means ‘Abdullah or servant of Allah.
(Tafsirul Baghawi, Tafsirul Qurtubi, Surah Sajdah, verse: 11)
However ‘Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has stated that there is no mention of this being the Angel of death’s name in the Quran or authentic Hadith. The name ‘Izrail has been mentioned by some Tabi’un.
(Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, 1 pg. 77. Also see Kitabul ‘Azamah of Abush Shaykh Al Asbahani, Hadith: 441 and 445)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also echoed similar sentiments and has further pointed out the extreme weakness of a narration which suggests that Malakul Mawt’s name is Isma’il.
(Refer: As-ilatum Min Khattish Shaykh Ibn Hajar Al ‘Asqalani Wal Jawab ‘Alayha)
There is no harm in referring to the Angel of death with the name: ‘Izrail, but we cannot say with conviction that this is indeed his name.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar