Furthermore, there is in the tasks that the angels perform at the command of the One Whom they worship, in the work they accomplish for His sake, in the service they discharge in His name, in the supervision they execute through His favour, in the honour they gain through their connection with Him, in the immaculateness they attain through studying His dominion in both its outer face and its face which looks to Him, and in the ease they find through beholding the manifestations of His beauty and glory, such sublime bliss that the human mind cannot comprehend it, and one who is not an angel cannot perceive it.
One sort of the angels are worshippers, and the worship of another sort is in work. Of the angels of the earth, the sort that are workers have a kind of human occupation. If one may say so, one type are like shepherds and another like farmers. That is to say, the face of the earth is like a general farm and an appointed angel supervises all the species of animals within it through the command of the All-Glorious Creator, and with His permission, for His sake and through His power and strength. And for each species of animal there is a lesser angel who is is appointed to act as a special shepherd.
The face of the earth is also a place of cultivation; the plants are all sown in it. There is an angel charged with supervising them in the name of God Almighty and through His power, and there are angels who are lesser than him and who worship and glorify God by supervising particular species. The Archangel Michael (Peace be upon him), who is one of the bearers of the throne of sustenance, is the most important overseer of these.
The angels who are in the position of shepherd and farmer do not bear any resemblance to human beings, for their supervision is purely for the sake of Almighty God, and in His name and through His power and command. Their supervision of animals consists only of beholding the manifestations of dominicality in the species where they are employed; studying the manifestations of power and mercy in it; making known to that species the Divine commands by way of a sort of inspiration; and in some way ordering the voluntary actions of the species.
Their supervision of the plants in the field of the earth in particular consists of representing the plants’ glorification in the angelic tongue; proclaiming in the angelic tongue the salutations the plants offer to the All-Glorious Creator through their lives; and employing the faculties given to plants correctly and directing them towards certain aims and ordering them to some extent. These duties of the angels are meritorious actions of a sort by reason of the angels’ faculty of will. Indeed, they are a kind of worship and adoration. But the angels have no real power of disposal, for on everything is a stamp peculiar to the Creator of all things. Another’s hand cannot interfere in creation. That is to say, this sort of work of the angels forms their worship. It is not a custom like with human beings.