This being said, in order to prevent one from conditioning or limiting Him with these meanings, the warning that His Absolute Essence (dhat) is ‘beyond and free (ghani) from the worlds’ is frequently made. Nothing in existence can be likened to or define His Absolute Essence.
This also means, His ‘governance of the worlds’ is through the paths of each of His Names, whether these Names manifest under the name of astrology, or as the known and unknown life forms within the cosmos; whether one calls it consciousness, or forms of consciousness, invisible beings, or heaven and hell, all dimensions of existence are various ways of His governance.
As for the real meaning of polytheism or duality (shirq): one who fails to recognize the One denoted by the name Allah in all that is implicit and explicit (within the self and in the outer world) as the manifestations of the Names is defined as a polytheist or a dualist in the Quran. In other words, assuming a separate and equal existence to the manifestations of Allah’s Names is an act of fragmenting the Oneness of reality, and hence an act of advocating duality (shirq). (The original word that is used in the Quran is min dooni Allahi which means ‘as equal’ or ‘equivalent to’ referring to an existence that is ‘other’ than Allah. Whereas, Allah affirms that no other form of existence can be found outside of Allah as Allah encompasses the whole of existence. Thus, negating any possibility of the equivalence of other gods, lords, etc, the Quran uses the word min dooni Allahi.) That is to say, it is an act of committing shirq (assuming a separate existence) with the Names, to the Names.
As can be understood from above, Allah, who in respect of His Absolute Essence is free from concepts such as duality and non-duality, defines shirq to be a failure to recognize the true nature of existence. That is, when one fails to see that everything in manifestation is essentially comprised of the Names, one is assuming an equivalent existence to the Names, and this goes against the reality of non-duality. Hence, such a person falls short of truly understanding Allah and goes on living in an illusory world in his imagination.
Denial (kufr) on the other hand, rests upon the false belief that none is governing the individualized consciousness other than itself. Restricting the infinite consciousness to an individualized manifestation by calling it ‘I’ is a grave insult and limitation to the infinite qualities of the Names, which cannot be confined to a mere physical body. Such an attempt is termed denial (kufr) and is said to be going against the infinite qualities of the Reality of the Self, at least in terms of faith. Continual attempts in this way eventually lead one to confine the Self to the physical body alone, paving the path to pursuing a life of bodily pleasures, and adopting the view that death is extinction rather than a change of abode.
Hypocrisy is the lowest and densest state of the bodily life. A hypocrite (munafiq) is one who chooses not only to deny the Reality but also to take advantage of the believers for material benefits by imitating them! While even a dog approaches his owner for food with true sincerity and loyalty, a hypocrite lacks genuine intent and approaches others only with vested interests. The result upon realizing the truth of the matter is indefinite burning and no compensation.
Faith (iman) is the realization of consciousness, through the intellect, i.e. through analysis of various data, that beyond the seeming reality of forms and concepts lies infinity and it is this infinity that must be sought after. It is to know the ‘I’ness as consciousness, which cannot be confined into a material form, and to strive in this path. The hadith “He who lives by ‘La ilaha illallah’(“There is no God. There is only Allah.”) will assuredly enter heaven” points to this truth. This is applicable for those who have not encountered a Rasul. Those who have encountered a Rasul, whether by person or by teaching, are bound to believe in the Rabb of the Worlds (the source of the infinite meanings of the Names), or Allah, in accordance to the teachings of the Rasul, by having faith in the Rasul.
I say “having faith in the Rasul” because by appearance a Rasul is also an earthling with a physical body, there is no apparent difference between a Rasul and other humans. Yet the difference lies in that a Rasul is the articulation of the Reality, which cannot be seen with the physical eyes but initially experienced only through having faith.
The Quran explains faith in the One denoted by the name Allah as being in two stages. The first stage pertains to an ‘external’ creator beyond the reach of individual consciousness, that is, a creator or ‘the dimension of the Names’ comprising infinite and illimitable qualities. This is the faith shared by the majority of believers, and in terms of its proceeds, enables one to live a life bearing a paradisiacal state of existence. The second stage applies to believers with a truly enlightened heart and who have reached the essence of faith. This is the faith implied by the letter B, which points to the truth that the reality of the Self is the qualities of the Names, and these qualities are and forever will manifest themselves. Hence, it calls the believer to awaken to the reality that through his own acts he is at all times invoking and serving Allah, and as such, observing and evaluating the universal perfection of Allah on worldly forms (Hamd) manifested by the name al-Waliyy in his own being (b-Hamdihi).
‘To believe in the angels’ means to have ‘faith in the potentials’ arising from the Names. In other words, angels signify the various potentials that arise during the process of the Names becoming activated from their dormant states. Since what has come to be known as the world of multiplicity essentially comprises individualized manifestations of various Names, the higher (subtler) state of everything in existence is angelic (malakiyyah)… The difference lies not in whether this is present or not, but in whether this reality is recognized or at least, believed in or not. One who accepts himself only as an earthling through individual consciousness and who lacks faith will have grave difficulty recognizing and accepting this truth.
‘To believe in the Books-Knowledge’ is to have faith in the knowledge of Reality and the mechanics of the system - Sunnatullah imparted by the Rasuls and Nabis via a process known as revelation, that being the dimensional transferal (emergence) of this knowledge through pure consciousness.
 The original word that is used in the Quran is min dooni Allahi which means ‘as equal’ or ‘equivalent to’ referring to an existence that is ‘other’ than Allah. Whereas, Allah affirms that no other form of existence can be found outside of Allah as Allah encompasses the whole of existence. Thus, negating any possibility of the equivalence of other gods, lords, etc, the Quran uses the word min dooni Allahi.