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54 - الْوَلِيُّ

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الْوَلِيُّ is translated as The Protecting Friend and The Near Guardian. A Scholar mentions that this is a hard word to translate as it has a lot of meaning in it. 


وَلِيّ means patron / friend with the concept of protection similar to الْحَافِظُ and also has the concept of love similar to الْوَدُودُ. 



It is defined as Allah ta’ala being the One Who is helping us. It is mentioned in the Qur’an, 


اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ

Allah is the Wali (Protector) of those who believe, He brings them out of the depth of darkness and lead them into the light. [Surah Baqarah; 257]


Therefore Allah ta’ala is helping us in terms of guiding us. 


Literally it means to be close, so it means a close protecting friend who wants the best for us, who wants to help us, rectify our mistakes, fulfil our needs, who loves us and who is watchful over our affairs. Allah ta’ala being the Wali of the Believers includes all of this and it’s a very high stage to have. 


Mullah Ali Qari (Rahimahullah) said الْوَلِيُّ is that Being Who loves His friends and helps them against their enemies and the enemy can be people or one’s Nafs i.e. the impermissible desires of the Nafs (Sometimes we are our own worst enemies) so those enemies who stop people from preparing for the Aakhirah. 


A true friend in the world is not just one who likes you and hangs out with you but the definition of a friend includes so much more. Some Scholars say friends help us because they have Shafaqat (Affection).


How a person gets Wilaayat (Allah ta’ala’s friendship)

The actions are the means of attaining Allah ta’ala’s friendship and closeness. 


 لَهُمْ دَارُ السَّلَامِ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ۖ وَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

For them there will be a home of peace with their Rabb. He will be their protector because of their good deeds. [Surah An’aam: 127] 


In the Qur’an

It is mentioned 24 times in the Qur’an:

7 times with Naseer

3 times with Shafee – One Who intercedes (A friend will intercede for his/her friend)

Once with Ghaafireen

Once with الْحَمِيدُ

12 times by itself


أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِنْ دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۖ فَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْوَلِيُّ

Or have they chosen protecting friends besides Him? But Allah, He (alone) is the Protecting Friend. [Surah Ash-Shura; 9]


وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ - He is the Protecting Friend, the Praiseworthy [Surah Ash-Shura: 28]


Who were the Awliya of the Past?

The Ambiyaa AS, the Sahaba RA and many of those after them were the Awliyaa towards whom Allah ta’ala showed His friendship by granting them protection. 


When Ibraheem AS was thrown into the fire Allah ta’ala ordered the fire to become cool. It is related that this was also the case for Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (Rahimahullaah).


Adh-Dhahaabi narrated that Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi was claiming to be a prophet in Yemen and he wanted Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani to acknowledge him as a prophet. When Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani refused to acknowledge him as a prophet, Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi prepared a great fire and threw Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani into it, but it did not harm him.  He was thereafter forced to leave and he came to Madeenah. Upon arriving in Madeenah he entered the masjid, where ‘Umar RA saw him and got up to meet him.


He asked, “Where is this man from?”

He said, “From Yemen.”

He asked, “What happened to the one whom the liar burned with fire?”

He said, “That was ‘Abdullaah Ibn Thuwab.”

He then asked, “I adjure you by Allah, are you he?”

He said, “Yes, by Allah.”


‘Umar embraced him and wept, then he took him and seated him between himself and Abu Bakr and said, “Praise be to Allah Who did not cause me to die until I had seen among the ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam one to whom was done the same as was done to Ibraheem Al-Khaleel.”


When a person reaches the stage of Wilaayat, Allah ta’ala becomes their true protecting friend. 


How to Reach the Stage of Wilaayah?

•    Keep away from all Shirk

•    Refrain from all sins, minor and major and this is an ‘Ibaadah. A person once asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam how to become a person of ‘Ibaadah. He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam told him to protect himself from sins and he will become a person of ‘Ibaadah among people (‘Aabadan naas)

•    Refrain from injustice – not to hurt anyone intentionally


We think a Wali is one who worships Allah ta’ala all the times however these three qualities are the foundation and if a person thereafter performs optional devotions, then the stage of Wilaayat attained is very high.


It is mentioned in a Hadith Qudsi,
Allah ta’ala said, “Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” [Bukhari]


After the Battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyaan asked three times,” Is Muhammad present among these people?” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam ordered his companions not to answer him. Then he asked three times, “Is Ibn Abu Quhafa present amongst these people?” He asked again three times:, “Is Ibn Al-Khattab present amongst these people?” He then returned to his companions and said, “As for these (men), they have been killed.” Umar RA could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyaan), “You told a lie, by Allah! 0 enemy of Allah! All those you have mentioned are alive, and the thing which will make you unhappy is still there.” 


Abu Sufyaan said, “Our victory today compensates for yours in the Battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your (killed) men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.” After that he started reciting cheerfully, “0 Hubal, be superior!” On that the Prophet said (to his companions), “Why don’t you answer him back?” They said, “0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?” He said: “Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.” (Then) Abu Sufyan said:, “We have the (idol) Al-Uzza, and you have no ‘Uzza.” The Prophet said (to his companions), “Why don’t you answer him back?” They asked, “0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?” He said: “Say Allaahu Mawlaanaa (Allah is our Helper) and you have no helper.” 


To Remain a Wali

Once a person becomes a Wali, it does not mean he will always remain a Wali. Those who have attained the stage of Wilaayat after attaining it, remain steadfast because; 

•    They love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam

•    They love those who love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam

•    They dislike those who dislike Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam

•    They keep friendship and connection with those who keep friendship and connection with Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam

•     They keep working towards being obedient to Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam



To remember in all states of life that Allah ta’ala is my Wali. He is my close protecting friend and He knows what I’m going through. To have love for those who love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and keep a connection with them. 



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