Classes of Angels
Classes of angels: There are angels representing in the inner dimension of existence species of earthly creatures and supervising them
Some animals, like honeybees, for example, act under Divine inspiration, although science asserts that all animals are directed by impulses. Science is unable to explain what an impulse is and how it occurs. Scientists are studying to find out, for example, how migrating birds find their way; or how, for instance, young eels which hatch in the waters of Europe can find their way to their nature waters in the Pacific Ocean. Even if we attribute this to the information coded into their DNAs, this information is assuredly from God, Who knows everything and controls the entire universe and angels deputed for such creatures direct their lives. If it is a scientific attitude that we unquestionably accept the existence of some invisible forces like the law of growth in living creatures, and then it will be more scientific to attribute those forces to God’s special servants, that is angels.
Each thing in existence, whether universal or particular, has a collective identity and performs a unique, universal function. As each flower displays a superlative design and symmetry and recites, in the tongue of its being, the Names of the Creator manifested on it, so the whole earth performs a universal duty of glorification as though it was a single flower. Likewise, the vast ‘ocean’ of the heavens gives praise to and glorifies the Majestic Maker of the universe through its suns, moons and stars. Even inert material bodies perform a vital function in praising God although they are outwardly inanimate and unconscious. Angels are the representatives of such bodies in the world of the inner dimensions of things, and express praises on behalf of them, and these bodies are, in turn, the representatives, dwellings, and mosques of the angels in the material world.
One class of angels is worshippers, and the worship of another class consists in working. The working division of the angels of the earth have a kind of human occupation. If one may say so, one type is like shepherds and another type are like farmers. That is, the face of the earth is like a general farm and an appointed angel superintends all the species of animals on it by the command of the All-Majestic Creator, and by His leave, power and strength, and for His sake. For each species of animal there is a lesser angel who is appointed to act as a kind of shepherd.
The face of the earth is also an arable field where all plants are sown. There is an angel appointed for the supervision of all of them in the Name of Almighty God and by His power. There are also angels of the lower rank who worship and glorify Almighty God by supervising particular species of plants. The Archangel Michael who is one of the bearers of God’s Throne of Sustenance – an official of the highest rank whom God employs to veil His acts in the administration of His providing for all His creatures – is the overseer of these of the highest rank.
The angels who are in the position of shepherds and farmers bear no resemblance to human beings, for their supervision is purely for God’s sake, and in His Name and by His power and command. Their supervision only consists in observing the manifestations of God’s Lordship in the species the supervision of which each is charged with, studying the manifestations of Divine Power and Mercy in it; communicating to that species the Divine commands through some sort of inspiration, and in some way arranging the voluntary actions of the species. Their supervision of the plants in the field of the earth in particular consists in representing in angelic tongue the glorification the plants do in the tongue of their being; proclaiming in the angelic tongue the praises and exaltations the plants offer to the Majestic Creator through their lives, and regulating and employing the faculties given to the plants correctly and directing them towards certain ends. Such services of the angels are actions they do through their partial will power and a kind of worship and adoration. The angels are not the originators or creators of their actions for on everything is a stamp particular to the Creator of all things. No one else has the smallest part in creation. In short, whatever the angels do forms their worship; it is not of the same sort as the ordinary acts of human beings.
Since there is an angel to represent every kind of creature in existence and present their service and worship to the Divine Court, the description given by the Prophet, of the angels are entirely reasonable and true: There are angels with forty thousand heads, each with forty thousand mouths, and forty thousand praises sung by forty thousand tongues in each mouth. This Prophetic tradition means that the angels serve universal purposes, and some natural creatures worship God with forty thousand heads in forty thousand ways. The firmament, for example, praises the Majestic Creator through the suns and stars, whilst the earth, although a single body, worships with many thousands of ‘heads’, each with many thousands of ‘mouths’, earth with many thousands of ‘tongues’ . Thus, the angel who represents the earth in the world of the inner dimensions of things or in the world of immaterial bodies is to be regarded as referred to by this tradition.
By M. Fethullah Gulen