وَاِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلٰئِكَةِ اِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي اْلاَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً قَالُوا اَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ قَالَ اِنِّي اَعْلَمُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
Behold, your Lord and Sustainer said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’ They said: ‘Will You place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Your praises and glorify Your holy [name]?’ He said: ‘I know what you know not.’
(Wa idh qāla rabbuka li’l-malā’ika innī jā‘ilun fī’l-arḍ khalīfatan qālū a taj‘alu fī-hā man yufsidu fī-hā wa yasfiku al-dimā’a wa naḥnu nusabbiḥu bi-ḥamdika wa nuqaddisu la-ka qāla innī a‘lamu mā lā ta‘lamūn.)
Consider this: confirmatory belief in the existence of the angels in one of the pillars of faith. We may discuss it here in several stations (maqāmāt):1
The First Station
Whoever observes the earth, [will see that] despite its lowliness it is filled with beings with spirits (dhawī al-arwāḥ), and if he studies the precise order of the world, he will surmise that the lofty constellations also have inhabitants.
A person who does not believe in the existence of the angels resembles a man who travels to a great city and there comes across a little house which is old, littered with refuse, and overflowing with people. He notices that its yard is full of beings with spirits all of which have particular vital needs: some are herbivorous and some pisciverous. Then thousands of lofty
For a more detailed discussion, see, the Twenty-Ninth Word (The Words, 521-37).