In Judaism, the Ishim (Heb. אִישִׁים - "men", "personages", "personalities", "individuals") or Eshim (אֵשִׁים - "fires", "flames", "sparks", "conflagrations") are a class of angels said to be the closest to the affairs of mortals. They are composed of fire and snow, and are described as the "beautiful souls of just men" who reside in Makon, the 5th Heaven.
Since the dawn of Creation, the Ishim primarily exist to extol and praise the glory of the Lord, a function that is much similar to that of the Song-Uttering Choirs. In the Zohar, the Ishim are usually ranked as 10th in the Jewish angelic hierarchy, although Giovanni Mirandola's Kabbalistic interpretations rank them as ninth and the treatise Berit Menuchah ranks them as sixth. The Ishim are also comparable with the Erelim or the Bene Elim/Bene Elohim, both of whom are a part of the order of Thrones or Angels. The leader of the Ishim in the Zohar is said to be either Azazel or Zephaniah, but as they are incarnations of the tenth sephirah Malkuth, the Ishim are often reputed to be governed by Sandalphon (or sometimes Metatron).
In Islam, an Angel composed of half ice and half fire, usually named Habib, was encountered by Muhammad during his night journey in the first heaven. Gabriel told him, this angel offers advice to the believers on earth and prays for them. This angel is recognized as a miraculous creation, showing that God can bring forth any unimaginable event.
- Davidson, "Is(c)him". pg. 151.
- Guiley, "Issim". pg. 192.
- Christiane Gruber The Ilkhanid Book of Ascension: A Persian-Sunni Devotional Tale I.B.Tauris 2010 ISBN 978-0-857-71809-9 page 11
- Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. Free Press. 1971.
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Angels, Second Edition. Visionary Living, Inc. 2004.
- Stephen Burge Angels in Islam: Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti's al-Haba'ik fi akhbar al-mala'ik Routledge 2015
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