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Harut and Marut Angels

Harut, who is almost always mentioned alongside his partner Marut in Islamic mythology, is an angel who unwittingly became a master of evil. After witnessing the sins committed on Earth, angels began to mock man’s weakness. God declared that they would behave no differently under the same circumstances and suggested that some angels be sent to Earth to test their resistance to idolatry, murder, fornication, and wine. The chosen angels , Harut and Marut, were seduced by a beautiful woman as soon as they landed on Earth. They killed him when they realized there was a witness to their sin. The angels in heaven were then forced to admit that God was correct, whereas the fallen angels had to atone for their sins on earth or in hell. Harut and Marut chose to be punished on earth and were sentenced to be hanged by their feet in a well in Babylonia until the Day of Judgment.

The Quran (2:102) first mentions Harut and Marut as two angels purveying evil in Babylon, and the legend likely appeared to explain how they came to be in that position. The plot is based on a Jewish tale about the fallen angels Shemaza, Uzza, and Azael. Harut and Marut’s names appear etymologically related to those of the Zoroastrian archangels Haruvatat and Ameretat.


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