Sunday, 10 June 2012

Who are Awliya Allah ?


 Introduction Wilayat (Sainthood) is a very special rank and position of acceptance
 given by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta'ala) to His beloved servants.  A Wali is a pious Muslim
who attains this position of wilayat.  Wilayat is deduced from the root word
“Wila”, which means closeness.  Some attain this position due to their sincere
devotion and worship.  Some attain this position from birth, but ultimately, it
depends on Allah’s mercy and kindness.  Wilayat is a shadow of Nabuwat
(Prophethood).  A Wali, no matter how great his status, cannot reach the status
of a Prophet or a Sahaabi (companions of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu
ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam
).  All the Awliya Allah belong to the Ahl as-Sunnah
wal Jama’at, and anyone belonging to any other sect cannot be Awliya because
they have beliefs contrary to the teachings of Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla
Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam
).  The following narration explains the status
of the Awliya: 

Hadrat Umar (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) said:
“I heard the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam) saying
that there will be certain worshippers of Allah who will not be Prophets, nor
martyrs, but the Prophets and martyrs will envy them on the Day of

The Companions then asked, “O Prophet of Allah, who are these people?”

Then the Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam)
explained to them the qualities of the Awliya.  The Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam
) read to them the verse:

Beware, verily on the friends of Allah, there is no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
(Surah Yunus, Verse 62)

There are two types of Wilayat:

1)   Wilayat-e-Amma (general closeness to Allah) – This is the closeness
of Allah to every believer, as Allah declares in the Qur'an al-Kareem:
“We are closer to him, than his own jugular vein.” 
(Surah Al-Kaaf, Verse 16)

2)  Wilayat-e-Khaas (special closeness to Allah) – This closeness is
exclusive to the Awliya.  This is a speciality of those who have traveled
on the path of Tasawwuf, and attained nearness to Allah.  This is
declared in a Hadith-e-Quddsi, where Allah says to the Most Beloved
Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam), “Among the things
that bring My servant close to Me, the ones I love best, are the things
that I have made fard (compulsory).  When My servant does nafil
ibaadat (optional prayer), he gets very close to Me.  So much so, that
I love him very much.  When I love Him, I become his hearing ear,
seeing eye, holding hand, and walking foot.  I give him whatever he
wishes.  When he invokes Me for help, I protect him.”

Allah’s closeness is not like material closeness that can be understood by
reason, or perceived through the sense organs.  It can only be comprehended
through the knowledge of Ma’rifa (gnosis) bestowed by Allah upon the Awliya.
From the Awliya of all the ummahs (of the previous Prophets), the greatest
Awliya are from the ummah of Sayidina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi
wa Sallam
).  There have been Awliya Allah in every era and there will always be
Awliya Allah in every era.  However, their recognition may be difficult. 

The Qur'an al-kareem divides those that are favoured by Allah into 4 groups:

a)  The Prophets – This cycle has ended after the appearance of Sayyadina
Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam).

b)  The Siddeeq (The Truthful) – This rank is next after the Prophets.  The
greatest Siddeeq was Hadrat Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu).  The
meaning of Siddeeq is Truth. Such a person recognizes truth in all its

c)  The Shuhada (Martyrs) – One need not actually be killed in the
battlefield to prove one’s self as shaheed (martyr).  One in this stage
feels satisfied by sacrificing everything that he has for the Creator.

d)  The Salih (Pious) – This is the lower grade that one can attain by
devotional activities.  In this stage, one cleanses himself from all
spiritual impurities such as jealousy, hatred, hypocrisy etc.

From the Awliya of the ummah of Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam
), the most superior Awliya are the four Khulafa-e-Rashideen
(The Righteously guided Caliphs), namely Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique (Radi
Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
, Hadrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), Hadrat
Uthman Ghani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), and Hadrat Ali Murtaza (Radi Allahu
ta'ala Anhu)
, and then all the other Sahaba.  All the Sahaba were Awliya, BUT
all Awliya are not Sahaaba.
Amongst the Awliya are the following groups:

  • At any given time, there are 4000 Awliya living on Earth.  They are not
    recognized by the general public.  In fact, amongst them, one does not
    know the other, and they themselves are not aware of the validity of their
    actions and devotion.
  • 300 from this group are statesman, involved in the administration of this
    world.  They control all transactions that take place. They are known as
    the “Akhyaar”.
  • Amongst these 300, 40 are known as “Abdaal”.
  • Amongst the 40, 7 are “Abraar”.
  • Amongst this 7, 4 are “Autaad”.
  • Amongst these 4, 3 are “Noqabah”.
  • From these 3, 1 is the “Ghaus” or “Qutub”.  He is the most senior of them
    all, and head of the spiritual assembly.

In reference to the Abdaals, Imam At-Tabarani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
quotes a Hadith Shareef in which the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam
) declares, “There will always exist 40 persons on the Earth,
each of whom is blessed like Hadrat Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam).  It rains because
of their barakah.  Allah appoints another when one of them dies.”

In another Hadith Shareef, Abu Naeem (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) reports that
the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam) said, “There
always exist 40 persons among my ummah.  Their hearts are like that of Hadrat
Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam).  Allah Ta’aala redeems His human servants from
disasters for their sake.  They are called Abdaal.  They do not attain to that
degree by performing salaah, fasting, or giving zakaah.”

Ibn Mas’ud (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) asked, “Ya Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu
ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam
), by what means do they attain that degree?”

“They attain it by being generous, and by advising muslims,” said the Beloved
Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala Alayhi wa Sallam).

Do remember that although all the Awliya Allah are equal as far as Wilayah is
concerned, they differ as far as status is concerned.


A supernatural act, or miracle, performed by a Wali, is known as karamat. 
One must understand that the performing of miracles, is not a necessary
condition of sainthood.  There are some people, when they read or hear
about the Awliya, he/she immediately looks for miracles.  They think that
since they have not heard of any miracle, that person cannot be a Wali.
This is totally incorrect.  To deny the karaamat of a Wali is a sign of
ignorance and misguidance, as this is proven in the Qur’an.  The Qur’an
al-Kareem relates that karamat of Hadrat Asif (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu),
who was a Wali from the ummah of Hadrat Sulayman (Alaihis Salaam). 
Before a blinking of an eye, Hadrat Asif (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
presented the throne of Bilqees, which was in a very distant place, before
Hadrat Sulaiman (Alaihis Salaam).  (Surah 27, Verse 10) 

Another narration is when Hadrat Zakariya (Alaihis Salaam) questioned Hadrat
Bibi Maryam (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhaa), the mother of Hadrat Isa
(Alaihis Salaam), about the fruit which were out of season, that he saw in
her place of worship.  She said that they had come from Allah. 
(Surah 3, Verse 37)
The mothers of the Prophets are Waliyas.


The method of recognizing a Wali and a non-Wali is to rectify one’s heart
and mind, and to adopt his company.  Thereafter if you find that his
company generates the thought and love of Allah in your heart, then he
is a Wali.  On the contrary, if the heart indulges in worldly thought, then
he is not a Wali, because it is said, “The heart is a mirror of another heart”.

Imam Nawawi (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), and also Ibn Maja (Radi Allahu
ta'ala Anhu)
report that when Sayyadina Rasoolallah (Salla Allahu ta'ala
Alayhi wa Sallam
) was asked about the characteristics of the Awliya, he
declared, “Allah is remembered when they are seen.”


In Bukhari Shareef, Hadrat Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) reports
the following Hadith-e-Quddsi:

The Most Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Ta'ala Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said
that Allah said, “Whoever shows enmity to a friend of mine, I shall be at war
with him.”

Who has the courage to be at war with Allah?  Certainly, they will be
destroyed!  Therefore, it is important that the Awliya should be respected
and honoured.  Whoever disrespects, and insults the Awliya, will without a
doubt, receive Allah’s wrath.

Hadrat Khawaja Gharib Nawaaz Mu’inuddin Chisti (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)

“There was a man who hated the Awliya.  When he died, and was placed in
the grave, the people tried to turn his face toward the Qibla, but it would
always turn away from that direction.  The people were astonished at this
action.  There was a voice from nowhere announcing, ‘It would be a futile
exercise to try to turn his face toward the Qibla, because he used to turn
his face away at seeing the Awliya, and that he who would turn his face in
disgust from My friends, I will turn My face on him.  He is a condemned
soul, and on the day of judgement, such people will appear with faces of


Allah revealed to Musa (Alaihis Salaam), “What actions have you done for
my pleasure?”  He said, “O Allah, I have prayed to you, kept fast, and paid
charity.”  Allah said, “Prayer is a clear proof for you, fast is a shield for you,
and charity is your shade.  But what have you done for me?”  Hadrat Musa
(Alaihis Salaam) then asked, “O Allah, show me as action which is only for
you.”  Allah said, “O Musa, have you loved someone for My sake, and hated
anyone for My sake?” 
(Ihya al-uloom id-deen, Vol II)

From this, we can say that although we have never seen many of the great
Awliya, but we only love them, because they love Allah, and Allah loves
them.  Therefore, we love them for the sake of Allah, and we should distance
ourselves from those who dislike the friends of Allah, as we will be hating
them for Allah’s sake.

Hadrat Baba Farid Ganje Shakar (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) has narrated:

“A sinful young man died in Multan.  Someone asked him in a dream as to
what was his condition.  He replied that Allah had pardoned him.  He
explained that one day, when Khawaja Baha-ul-Haq Zakarriya Multani
(Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) was walking, he had kissed his hand with utmost
respect.  Because of this respect, he had been pardoned.” 


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