This, the Twenty-Ninth Word, is about the Immortality
of Man’s Spirit, the Angels, and the Resurrection.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Therein came down the angels and the Spirit by the permission of their Sustainer.1 * Say: The Spirit [comes] by command of my Sustainer.2
[This treatise consists of an Introduction and two main Aims]
It may be said that the existence of the angels and spirit beings is as definite as that of human beings and animals. Indeed, as is explained in the First Step of the Fifteenth Word, reality undoubtedly requires and wisdom certainly demands that like the earth the heavens have inhabitants, and that its inhabitants are intelligent, and suitable for the heavens. In the tongue of the Shari‘a, those inhabitants, of which there are numerous kinds, are called angels and spirit beings.
Reality requires it to be thus. For despite the earth’s smallness and insignificance in relation to the heavens, its being filled with intelligent beings and from time to time being emptied and then refilled with new ones suggests —indeed, states clearly— that the heavens too, with their majestic constellations like adorned palaces, are filled with animate creatures, the light of the light of existence, and conscious and intelligent creatures, the light of animate creatures. Like man and the jinn, those creatures are spectators of the palace of the world, and ponderers over the book of the universe, and heralds of this realm of dominicality. With their universal and