In Sahih Muslim, Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R A) narrates that Rasool Allah Sallallaho ‘Alaihi Wasallam said, “There are many people who have unkempt hair, appear dirty and grimy, and are driven away from doors, but their status, in the Sight of Allah Ta’ala, is such that if they swear an oath on something out of stubbornness, then Allah Ta’ala makes their oath true.”

One of these blessed personalities is Sultan ul Hind, ‘Ataa e Rasool, Hazrat Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz, a summary of whose blessed life you will read about in the following few pages. Before I write about his life, I feel that it is necessary to clarify a few points about the word ‘Wali’ (Friend).

Wali (Friend): The word Wali is from the word “Walya” or “Walaayata”. ‘Walya’ means Close and ‘Walaayata’ means to Support or Protect. Therefore, the word ‘Wali’ means close, supporter, and protector. In the Holy Qur’an, the word ‘Wali’ is used to mean all of the following things: friend, close, helper, supporter, successor, One who is worshipped, owner, and guide.

1. “Only Allah is your Friend and His Messenger and the believers that they establish the prayer and pay the poor-due and are bowed down before Allah.” (Surah Maidah, Verse 55)

2. “We are your friends in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.” (Surah Ha-Meem / Fussilat, Verse 31)

3. “Allah is his Helper, and Jibreel, and the righteous believers and after that the Angels are his helpers.” (Surah Tahreem, Verse 4)

4. “…give us any defender from Yourself and give us any helper from Yourself.” (Surah Nisa, Verse 75)

5. “This prophet is the owner of the Muslims even more than their own selves and his wives are their mothers.” (Surah Ahzab, Verse 6)

In the above verses, the word ‘Wali’ means close, friend, helper, and owner.

6. “Undoubtedly, those who believed and left their hearth and homes for Allah and fought with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah, and those who gave shelter and helped they are heirs one of another.” (Surah Anfaal, Verse 72)

In this verse, ‘Wali’ means heir or successor, as in the early days of Islam, the emigrants (Muhajir) and helpers (Ansaar) were made heirs and successors of each other.

7. “And those who believed and did not emigrate, you have no duty to their inheritance…” (Surah Anfaal, Verse 72)

‘Wali’ means heir in this verse also, as during the early days of Islam, a non-emigrant was not considered to be an heir of an emigrant.

8. “And the infidels are heirs one of another.” (Surah Anfaal, Verse 73)

9. “And blood relations are nearer to one another…” (Surah Ahzab, Verse 6)

10. “…‘then bestow me from Yourself any one who may take over my work. He should be my heir and be the heir of the children of Yaqub’…” (Surah Maryam, Verses 5-6)

It is quite obvious that the word ‘Wali’ also means heir in the above three verses.

11. “Allah is the Protector of Muslims; brings them out from darkness towards light and the supporters of infidels are devils, and they bring them forth from light towards darkness.” (Surah Baqarah, Verse 257)

Here, ‘Wali’ means protector or supporter. In some places, the word ‘Wali’ has been used to mean One who is worshipped, as you will see below.

12. “And those who have taken for protectors other than Allah say, 'we worship them only so that they may bring us nearer to Allah'. (Surah Zumar, Verse 3)

In the above verse, it means One who is worshipped as they said “we worship.”

13. “Do then the infidels take my bondmen as their supporters beside Me? Undoubtedly We have already prepared hell for the hospitality of the infidels.” (Surah Kahf, Verse 102)

‘Wali’ also means One who is worshipped in the above verse (even though it is translated as ‘supporter’). The reason being that those who took others as their ‘supporters’ are called infidels (Kaafir). Making someone a friend, a helper, or a supporter does not make a person an infidel, as we have seen in the previous Verses, but worshipping someone other than Allah Ta’ala does make one an infidel.

14. “The example of those who have made guardians other than Allah is like the spider. She has made a house of cobweb.” (Surah Ankabut, Verse 41)

Infidels are being mentioned with contempt and derision in the above verse, and it is infidels who worship others rather than worshipping the true Lord. (‘Ilmul Qur’an, Page 74)

Friends of Allah, Enemies of Allah:
‘Wali’, meaning friend or helper, can mean two things; one is ‘Friend of Allah’, the other is ‘Friend competing with Allah.’ Friends of Allah are those who are close to Allah Ta’ala and are His friends, and because of this, people keep them as their friends. There are two types of ‘Friends alongside Allah Ta’ala.’ The first is making friends with those who are the enemies of Allah Ta’ala, like infidels, idols, Satan etc. The second is to consider the Friends of Allah Ta’ala (Prophets, Saints etc) as helpers alongside and in competition with Allah Ta’ala; thinking that they will compete with Allah Ta’ala to help us. To believe in ‘Friends of Allah’ is faith, and to believe or have faith in ‘Friends alongside Allah’ is clear infidelity and polytheism.

The following verse is for Friends of Allah Ta’ala:

“Listen carefully! No doubt, there is no fear nor any grief upon the friends of Allah.” (Surah Yunus, Verse 62)

The following verses are in relation to friends alongside Allah Ta’ala:

(1) “And neither you have any friend in need and nor any helper, save Allah.” (Surah ‘Ankabut, Verse 22)

(2) “…and you have against Allah, neither a friend nor a helper.” (Surah Shura, Verse 31)

The above two verses refer to making friends in competition with or alongside Allah Ta’ala. The first verse cautions against taking enemies of Allah Ta’ala as friends; whilst the second verse negates the possibility of taking friends to compete against Allah Ta’ala. This means that there is no one in the world who can compete against Allah Ta’ala as a friend- no friend of Allah Ta’ala, no spiritual guide (Peer), no Prophet- when these people help, they are helping with the Permission and Desire of Allah Ta’ala.

It is very important and necessary to keep in mind the translation and context of the word ‘Wali.’ Sometimes, incorrect translation and meaning leads to false beliefs and infidelity. For example, if the word ‘Wali’ is translated incorrectly, then Verse 55 of Surah Maidah would be translated, “Only Allah is your (Lord) and His Messenger and the believers…” and this meaning is polytheism. And if Verse 31 of Surah Shura is translated as, “and you have (except) Allah, neither a friend nor a helper” then this is infidelity, as this will negate the verses of the Qur’an where Allah Ta’ala mentions other helpers beside Himself. Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an, “Infidels have no helpers.” This means that believers do have helpers:

(1) “And he whom Allah curses, you shall never find for him any helper.” (Surah Nisa, Verse 52)

(2) “And whomsoever Allah leads astray, he has no friend against Allah.” (Surah Shura, Verse 44)

(3) “…and he whom He sends astray, for him you will never find a supporter to guide.” (Surah Kahf, Verse 17)


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