Ingrate, Reconciliation, Awliyaullah
Issue 773 » January 17, 2014 - Rabi al-Awwal 16, 1435
An-Nahl (The Bee) Chapter 16: Verse 78
The Quran frequently returns to the theme of the arrogance of those who have a sense of entitlement to their wealth and social status. The unbeliever claims self-sufficiency when the reality is that everything he possesses, even his body and mind, were created by God.
The great scholar of the Quran Toshihiko Izutsu showed the importance of this Quranic concept of "gratitude" (shukr) in defining the relationship between God and humanity. He rightfully pointed out that the word kufr, usually translated as "disbelief," also signifies "ingratitude." In this respect, the Quran draws a close connection between faith and gratitude towards God. Disbelief is a wilful refusal to acknowledge God's favours to humanity. It is to be expected that someone who does not even acknowledge his responsibility to show gratitude to God will reject the idea that he has moral obligations towards humanity. Presenting himself as a "self-made man," the ingrate is arrogant and irresponsible towards God and humanity.
"The Story of The Quran: Its History and Place in Muslim Life" - Ingrid Mattson, p. 48
"Bringing about justice between two is an act of charity." [Bukhari, Muslim]
The wording of the above saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) implies bringing peace between two people, making conciliation between two people, judging justly between two people and so forth. It implies bringing two people or parties together in such a way that one has not made something forbidden permissible or vice-versa.
Making things aright between people is described as a kind of charity because of the wonderful results it brings about. It brings about peace, love and harmony between people who may have had, for whatever reason, some disharmony in their relationship with one another. From the Shariah point of view, this goal is so important that it is one of the few areas in which some form of lying is considered permissible. According to al-Bugha and Mistu, reconciling relationships between individuals is a communal obligation (fard kifayah). Sultan points out that the effect of such conciliatory behaviour is that it will make society like one body, united and working in accord with one another.
"Commentary on the Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi" - Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo, p. 1000
[... continued from previous issue]
The word ‘Awliya’ is plural of ‘wali,’ which means protector, guardian, supporter, and friend. In the Quran the derivatives of the word ‘wali’ is used for both Allah and His creation. The word ‘wali’ when used as an attribute of Allah usually means protector, guardian: “Allah is the protector and guardian of those who believe” [Al-Baqara 2:257]. The same word when used in reference to humans usually refer to close friends: ‘Know that the friends of Allah need not worry or be afraid” [Al-Yunus 10:62].
One may wonder what is the difference between an abd of Allah and a wali of Allah. Allah explains the progression in a beautiful hadith Qudsi that when Allah’s servants and admirers go beyond obeying all the commands of Allah and strive to get closer to Him through supererogatory acts then they become his friends and reach the station of Awliyaullah; consequently their ears, eyes, hands, and feet only do what Allah is pleased with [Bukhari, Book #76, Hadith #509]. They don’t do anything that is against the wish of Allah. They are indeed the true Ibadullah and only those who have reached the level of Ibadullah in every aspect of their lives can reach the station of Awliyaullah.
Those who do not feel any urge to enjoin what is good and stand up against what is evil in their societies through establishing a system of governance in light of the guidance from Allah cannot be the wali of Allah just through prayers, fasting and remembrance. This is evident from the hadith where Jibreel was commanded to destroy a city because of their disobedience and evildoing. When Jibreel inquired about a person living in that city that he thought never disobeyed Allah, Allah responded by saying, “Destroy him as well, because he was not offended by their evildoing.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Bahaiqi]
True remembrance of Allah is to always be active in serving the wishes of Allah and feel the urge to improve the condition of the society one lives in according to the guidance of Allah. When we do that and reach a state whereby all of our limbs act in accordance with Allah’s command only then we have truly reached the station of Awliyaullah.
[to be continued]
“Four Stations of Believers” - Ghulam Azam