If the creatures of the universe are observed with care, it may be seen that like particulars, universals have collective identities, each of which appears as a universal function; it is apparent that each performs a universal duty. For example, just as a flower as itself displays an embroidery full of art, and with the tongue of its being recites the Creator’s Names, so the garden of the globe resembles a flower, and performs an extremely orderly, universal duty of glorification. And just as a fruit issues a proclamation expressing its glorification of God within an order and regularity, so does a mighty tree in its entirety have a most well-ordered natural duty and worship. And just as a tree glorifies God through the words of its fruits, flowers and leaves, so do the vast oceans of the heavens glorify the All-Glorious Creator and praise the Sublime Maker through their suns, moons, and stars, which are like words; and so on. Although external beings are outwardly inanimate and unconscious, they all perform extremely vital, living, and conscious duties and glorification. Of a certainty, therefore, just as angels are their representatives expressing their glorification in the World of the Inner Dimensions of Things, so are they the counterparts, dwellings, and mosques of those angels in the external and manifest world.

As is explained in the Fourth Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word, the first of the four categories of workers employed by the All-Glorious Maker of the palace of this world is that of the angels and spirit beings. Since, without knowing it, plants and inanimate beings perform extremely important though wageless duties at the command of One Who does know; also without knowing it, animals serve extensive universal aims in return for an insignificant wage; and since, observedly, in return for two wages, one immediate and the other postponed, human beings, knowing the All-Glorious Maker’s aims, are employed through their conforming to them, their taking a share of everything for themselves, and their supervising the other servants; it will certainly be the first category, as well as the fourth, which will constitute the servants and workers. They both resemble human beings in that knowing the universal aims of the All-Glorious Maker, they conform to them through worship, and they are contrary to them. For being beyond sensual pleasure and some partial wage, they consider sufficient the pleasure, perfection, delight and bliss they experience through the All-Glorious Maker’s attention, command, favour, consideration, and name, through their perception of Him, connection with Him, and proximity to Him. They labour with the purest sincerity, their duties of worship varying according to their different kinds, and according to the varieties of the creatures in the universe.

Like in a government there are various officials in the various offices, so the duties of worship and glorification vary in the spheres of the realm of dominicality. For example, through the power, strength, reckoning and command of God Almighty, the Archangel Michael is like a general overseer of God’s creatures sown in the field of the face of the earth. If one may say so, he is the head of all the angels that resemble farmers. And, through the permission, command, power, and wisdom of the All-Glorious Creator, the incorporeal shepherds of all the animals have a head, a supreme angel appointed to the task.

Thus, since it is necessary for there to be an angel appointed over each of these external creatures in order to represent in the World of the Inner Dimensions of Things the duties of worship and service of glorification which it performs, and to present them knowingly to the Divine Court, the way the angels are described in the narrations of the Bringer of Sure News (PBUH) is certainly most appropriate and rational. For example, he declared: “There are some angels which have either forty, or forty thousand, heads. In all the heads are forty thousand mouths, and with the forty thousand tongues in each of those mouths they glorify God in forty thousand ways.” This Hadith has a reality and both contains a meaning, and has a form, or manner of description. Its meaning is as follows:

The angels’ worship is both extremely orderly and perfect, and most universal and comprehensive. As for the form of the truth, it is this:

There are certain mighty corporeal beings that perform their duties of worship with forty thousand heads in forty thousand ways. For example, the heavens glorify God with the suns and the stars. While the earth, which is a single being, performs its duty of worship, its dominical glorification with a hundred thousand heads and with the hundreds of thousands of tongues in each mouth. Thus, the angel appointed to the globe of the earth has to be seen in this way in order to display this meaning in the World of the Inner Dimensions of Things.

I myself, even, saw a medium-sized almond tree which had close on forty large branches like heads. When I looked at one branch, I saw it had nearly forty smaller branches like tongues. Then I looked at one tongue of one of those small branches; forty flowers had opened on it. I studied the flowers considering the wisdom in them, and saw in each close on forty exquisite and well-ordered stamens, colours, and arts, each of which proclaimed one of the All-Glorious Maker’s Names and their constantly varying manifestations. Is it at all possible that the All-Wise and Beauteous One, Who is the All-Glorious Maker of the almond tree, would impose this many duties on an inanimate tree, and not mount on it an appointed angel appropriate to it, to be like its spirit, to understand and express its meaning, proclaim it to the universe, and present it to the Divine Court?

O friend! So far, our explanation has been an introduction to bring the heart to acceptance, the reason to submission, and to compel the soul to surrender. If you have understood it to some degree, and wish to meet with the angels, prepare yourself. Moreover, purify yourself of wrongful prejudice. Now look, the doors of the world of the Qur’an are open! Look, the paradise of the Qur’an is with “wide-open gates”!1 Enter and Look! See the angels in beautiful form in the paradise of the Qur’an! Each of its revealed verses is a place to alight, so look from them:

By the winds sent forth one after another to man’s profit, Which then blow violently in tempestuous gusts And scatter things far and wide; Then separate, one from another Then spread abroad a message.2

By the angels who tear out the souls of the wicked with violence, By those who gently draw out the souls of the blessed , And by those who gently glide along on errands of mercy, Then press forward as if in a race, Then arrange to do the commands of their Lord.3

Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God’s permission in every errand.4

...over which are appointed angels stern and severe, who flinch not from executing the commands they receive from God, but do precisely what they are commanded.1

Also listen to:

...Glory be to Him! They are but servants raised to honour. They speak not before He speaks and they act in all things by His command,2

listen to its praises. And if you wish to meet with the jinn, enter this resounding Sura:

Say, it has been revealed to me that a company of jinn listened to the Qur’an.3

See them and listen to what they say. Take a lesson from them. Look, they are saying:

“We have really heard a wonderful recital It gives guidance to the right, and we have believed therein: We shall not join in worship any gods with our Lord.”4