(AI-Malik)The Sovereign Superme is the one whose essence and attributes are independent of all existing things, but everything in existence is dependent upon (in need of) Him. To be sure, nothing can exist with out Him, whether it be in respect of its essence, its attributes, its existence or its continued existence (baqa)'. Each and every thing derives its existence from Him or from that which is derived from Him. Everything other than He Himself is subject to Him in respect of both its attributes and essence. But He has no need for anything. This, indeed, is the absolute al-Malik.

It is inconceivable that man could be an absolute king since he is not independent of everything.To the contrary, he is always a pauper before God Most High, and this would be the case even if he were independent of everyone except God. By the same token it is also unthinkable that everything in the universe should have need of him. Rather he should know that the majority of things in existence have no need of him. Man begins to understand the limited degree to which he can accept the title of king only when he knows that whereas he might be independent of some things, he shall always be totally dependent upon others. The true king among men is the one who realizes that in reality only God is the absolute king. For this reason he is always and ever totally dependent upon God (though he might be independent in certain human relationships).

Nevertheless, he governs his own kingdom in such a manner that his troops and his subjects obey him. That kingdom which is his in a very specific way is his heart and his physical body. His troops are his appetite, anger and passion. His subjects are his tongue, eyes, hands and the remainder of his organs. He achieves the rank of a king in his world when he controls them and they do not control him; when they obey him and he does not obey them.

i If in addition to this he can become independent of all men, whereas mankind as such remains in dire need of him in respect of this life and that which is to come, then surely he becomes a king as far as this terrestrial world is concerned. This is the rank of the prophets - may the blessings of God and peace be upon them - for they could dispense with guidance in respect of the next life from everyone except God Himself, while everyone remained in need of their direction.

Next in order concerning this kingship are the scholars, the heirs of the prophets. Their supreme authority lies in the extent to which they have the ability of supplying spiritual guidance for men and at the same time remaining independent of seeking guidance from them. In this manner man is able to approach the angels and their characteristics and thereby draw near to God Most High.

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