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