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AJRAIL The angel Ajrail crushes the evil-doers in the crusher like the sesame seed. (Gaurt Ki Var M. 4, Shalok M. 5, p. 315) He, who is dependent on Thee, O Lord! Ajrail is the friend of that person. (Tilang M. 5, p. 724) The rebels will be called to account; the angel Ajrail will surround them for punishment. (Ramkali Ki Var M. 3, Shalok M. l, p. 953) When the Malik-ul-Maut (the angel of death) will come after breaking all the doors; those dear brothers will bind you and send you for burial... (Shalok Farid, p. 1383).

Where Ajrail (Azrail), one of the archangels, is the angel of death. He is called Malik-ul-Maut in Persian. He becomes the guest of everyone on the fixed day and time. He punishes the evil-doers and is a friend of the virtuous, and devotees of the Lord.

Kohli, Surindar Singh, Dictionary of Mythological References in Guru Granth Sahib, 1993.

Baba Farid of course has based this on the Qu'ran

In the Qu'ran, the Angel Ajrail (who is usually transliterated in English as Azrael), with the help of either Nakir or Munkar's (two Islamic Angels) interrogation of the soul in its grave will separate the soul from the body, either harshly or painlessly depending on how righteous the person was during their lifetime (Qur'an 79.1-2). Muslims believe that one's soul stays in the grave till judgement day having vision and feeling pain. If one was evil in life, he will be "smashed with a hammer big enough to crush a mountain" and then wait, in that presumably painful state, till judgement day when things get worse.

If one did good things in life, his grave widens comfortably after his interview and a (magical-non visible to the living) opening is made, in order for the dead person's soul to see through, in the earth he/she is buried in allowing him to view heaven till judgement day.

From where might this ancient pre-Islamic Arabic belief have come?

The ancient Egyptian pyramids have a hole or shaft from the large, once treasure filled, burial chamber to the exterior to allow the dead pharoah's soul to ascend to the stars.