(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.
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
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.
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.
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.