Wilayat (Sainthood) is a very special
rank and position of acceptance given by Allah 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 . All the Awliya Allah belong
to the Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jamaat, and anyone belonging to any other
sect cannot be Awliya because they have beliefs contrary to the
teachings of Hazrat Mohammed S.A.W. The following narration explains
the status of the Awliya:
Hazrat Umar (Radi Allahu taala Anhu) said:
"I heard the Beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) 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 Judgement."
The Companions then asked, "O Prophet of Allah, who are these
Then the Most Beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) explained to them the
qualities of the Awliya.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) read to them the verse:
"Beware, verily on the friends of Allah, there is no fear, nor shall
(Surah Yunus, Verse 62)
There are two types of
Wilayat-e-Amma & Wilayat-e-Khaas.
(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 (S.A.W.), "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 (S.A.W.). 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 (S.A.W.).
(b) The Siddeeq (The Truthful)
- This rank is next after the
Prophets. The greatest Siddeeq was Hazrat Abu Bakr (Radi Allahu
ta'ala Anhu). The meaning of Siddeeq is Truth. Such a person
recognizes truth in all its manifestations.
(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,
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 Hazrat
Abu Bakr Siddique (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu), Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radi
Allahu ta'ala Anhu), Hazrat Uthman Ghani (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu),
and Hazrat 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
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 (S.A.W.)
declares, "There will always exist 40 persons on the Earth, each of
whom is blessed like Hazrat Ebrahim (Alaihis Salaam). It rains
because of their barakah. Allah appoints another when one of them
In another Hadith Shareef, Abu Naeem (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu)
reports that the Beloved Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "There always exist
40 persons among my ummah. Their hearts are like that of Hazrat
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
Ibn Mas'ud (Radi Allahu ta'ala Anhu) asked, "Ya Rasoolallah (S.A.W.),
by what means do they attain that degree?"
"They attain it by being generous, and by advising muslims," said
the Beloved Prophet (S.A.W.).
Do remember that although all the Awliya Allah are equal as far as
Wilayah is concerned, they differ as far as status is concerned.