Thursday, 24 May 2007

Who Are The Awliya ?

This post intends to further elaborate the question passed by Bro. Syed Khalid, InshaAllah.


Saints are known as Awliya in Islamic terminology. In other words - the friends of Allah. Other terms depicting similar meaning include - "Abdals" and "Qutubs".

There are several narrations explaining about this in Ahadith. Some are described below.
Nabi Muhammad SAW is reported to have said:

"Abdals wil be found in Shaam. They will be forty in number. Whenever one of them passes away, he will be replaced by another. It is through them that Allah Ta'ala will cause it to rain and also grant the Muslims victory over their enemy and remove a possible punishment." (Musnad Ahmad)

Nabi Muhammad SAW is reported to have said:

"The Abdals of my Ummah shall be forty, of which twenty will be in Shaam and eighteen in Iraq. Every time one passes away, another replaces him. When Qiyamat, occurs, all will pass away." (Ibid)

Other narrations say that they are thirty in number. Some narrations say that there are five hundred such saints of which forty are Abdals. The Ahadith above only speak about Abdals. Some Ahadith make mention of Qutub. There are Ahadith mentioning the above points which are correct; whilst some others are fabricated.


Thus, Allah Ta'ala has created saintly persons in every time and era. Allah Ta'ala gifts some saintly persons with Karamats. However, performing miracles is not a condition to be a saintly person.


Allah Ta'ala commands in the Qur'an:

"O, you who believe! Fear Allah and be with the Sadiqeen (truthful ones)."

Here, it is inferred that company of the pious is instrumental in assisting one towards the goal of Taqwa (Fear of Allah). It is therefore, imperative that such a pious one be 'Muttabi us Sunnah' (a strict adherent of the Sunnah of Rasulullah SAW) so as to advise and assist others in attaining this goal. Such a person is indeed worthy of respect within the limits prescribed by the Shari'ah.

Many great and worthy personages and staunch upholders of the Sunnah have contributed tremendously to the service of Deen and have since left this world. They were indeed great Awliya of Allah.


Sadly, after an Awliya demise, some ignorant members of society fell into a great mischief. With hollow claims of Ta'zeem (according honour) and Muhabbat (love), they have began perpetrating such heinous evils that shake the very foundations of Deen. Were the Awliya, in whose names these are carried out, alive, they would have been the first to outlaw them. Among these evil practices, hereunder are one of them:

Kissing or Bowing before Graves

Among all the evils perpetrated by these persons, these are surely the most heinous. Nabi Muhammad SAW had expressly forbade that any person prostrate before him.

Rasulullah SAW said:

"Were I to command anyone to prostrate before another, I would have commanded the wife to do so before her husband." (Targheeb).

This hadith still does not allow prostration to any person; but it shows how much respect and honour a wife should give to her husband.

Thus, again from Hadith:

"Bowing to any besides Allah is Haraam." (Ibid)


Allah Most High says:

"He who is hostile to a friend (wali) of Mine I declare war against him. My slave approaches Me with nothing more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory for him, and My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me with voluntary works until I love him. An when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he seizes, and his foot with which he walks. If he asks Me, I will surely give to him, and if he seeks refuge in Me, I will surely protect him."

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