• Raya Shokatfard

WHO ARE THE FRIENDS OF ALLAH? (PART 1)

Updated: Nov 2, 2020


By: Raya Shokatfard


Part 2 , Part 3


Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:


Allah the Almighty has said, ‘Whoever has animosity with a friend (wali) of Mine, I declare war upon him.

My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties that I have imposed upon him; and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works such that I love him.

And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks. Were he to ask of Me, I would surely give him; and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it.’ (Al-Bukhari)


The above hadith refers to those who are truly the beloved friends of God. We will further expand on this topic for the hearts and minds of the believers.


God states:


{Lo, verily the friends of Allah are those on whom fear comes not near, nor do they grieve. Those who believe and keep their duty to Allah.} (Yunus 10: 62-3)


Friends of God are not all in the same rank. Depending on their faith and God-consciousness, they may fall into one of these categories. God explains:


{Then those who We chose of Our servants inherited the Book. But of them are some who wrong themselves and of them are some who are intermediate, and of them are some who outstrip others through good deeds, by Allah’s leave.} (Fatir 35: 32)


One does not have to be in the highest level of faith in order to be a friend of God. He points to various levels and of course the stronger iman (faith) one has the more beloved he/she is to the Lord.


No one can judge others regarding this matter. It is only between the servant and his Creator. Yet God has given us enough clues as to who are the ones who would fall into this category.


The family of the Prophet and the sincere companions are believed to be among the highest level of closeness to God. These were the pioneers of enjoining good and prohibiting evil.


Yet this could only be done successfully with acquiring knowledge. With religious knowledge and sincerity comes elevation of status with God.


{Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.} (Al-Mujadilah 58: 11)


God Defends, Protects and Supports His Awliya’ (Friends)


The one who strives to be close to God gets in return much more


Can a person be a friend of God without being loved by Him in return?


Wali implies closeness, which would further imply a two-sided relationship. The difference is that the one who strives to be close to God gets in return much more in bargain.


{Allah is the protecting friend (wali) of those who believe. He brings them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons (awlia’) are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Those are the companions of the fire; they will abide eternally therein.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 257)


Naturally, a wali observes God’s commands and prohibitions. But would observing such entitle one to be a friend of God?


Without sincere desire and self purification one may linger behind and may even deceive him/herself.


A wali (friend of God) loves and hates for the sake of God not his own desires and whims. We have many stories from the generation of the companions of Prophet Muhammad who disowned their own mother or father, sons or daughters for their disbelief in God. This was not an easy matter, but their love for God was far greater than their own personal love for their family.


Who Are the Enemies?


One may ask who would be the enemies of the friends of God?


Well, history can answer that. In every religion, there are sincere believers and those who would do all they can to ignite fire within the people of the Faith.


Even within the same Faith, there are those who use enmity to prove themselves right. Yet, had they followed the commands of their Prophets, they would have realized that all laws, commands and prohibitions given by their Lord were for improving life in this world and the


Hereafter. If that was their aim, the enmity would have been meaningless. Yet we see more often that one would like to see that love of power, fame and control has destroyed the real mission of some adherents of religions.


Differences by themselves do not mean enmity. In fact love can exist between people of the same Faith despite differences. Yet at times this love turns into hate for uncontrolled reasons which may lead into some disastrous conditions. In such cases, the Islamic Judiciary should be consulted to solve disputes.


Loving the Enemies?


Contrary to the Christian belief that quotes Jesus as saying: “love your enemy” (New International Version, Matthew 5:43–48), Islam strictly qualifies this matter to make sure that no one would love the enemies of God. Such will goes fully contrary to even common sense.


Yet, Islam encourages reconciliations and forgiveness between rivals, and God promises great rewards for such acts.


Those who love and support the enemies of God are truly friends of one another. They step outside the fold of Islam and are selling the pleasure of God at a very insignificant price.


There are those who have the desire for closeness to God but are too lazy


One must not hesitate to defend the truth and know the promise of God:


{Lo, Allah defends those who believe.} (Al Hajj 22: 38)


Yet, when one takes the disbelievers as friends and protectors, they have ignored the warning of God who says:


{Let not the believers take the disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoever does so, has no connection with Allah […]} (Al-Imran 3: 28)


God clearly defines who the friends of the believers are:


{Your friend (wali) can only be Allah and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poor-due and bow down (in prayer). And whoever takes Allah and His messenger and those who believe for friends (will know that), lo, the party of Allah, they are the victorious.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 55-6)


There are those who have the desire for closeness to God but are too lazy or feel they may do it later in life or when they have more time or other excuses. God warns:


{Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.} (Ar-Ra’d 13: 11)


Obligatory Deeds


My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties that I have imposed upon him.


What are these duties?


The following sum up the Pillars of Islam:


{Verily the prayers restrain one from evil and lewdity.} (Al-Ankabut 29: 45)


After prayer, God points to the next obligation:


{O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you in order for you to attain God-consciousness.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 183)


Almsgiving follows:


{Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them by that.} (At-Taubah 9: 103)


Some actions of the body that bring one closer to God:


{But prostrate yourself and draw nearer (unto Allah)} (Al-‘Alaq 96: 19)


Prophet Muhammad said:


The closest a servant is to his Lord is when he is prostrating.” (Muslim)


Obligatory deeds without pure, honest and sincere intention together with patience, being repentant, free of envy toward believers, away from pride or superstition, may just be some physical acts that does not bring the doer to the intended destination.

It is important to note that no voluntary deed no matter how noble is, would replace the obligatory deeds ordained by God.


The foremost important of these deeds is the five daily prayers. When one has achieved this goal and desires more closeness to God, then he would go to the next step.


To be continued…

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Published on: Thursday, 28 February 2013

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