Who Are the Awliya? 3 Ways to Become a Friend of Allah

The awliya (friends of Allah), these close friends of Allah are very much so scattered amongst the people, you don’t know who they are, and that’s what makes this so interesting.

 You don’t know who a wali, friend of Allah, is. In fact, some of the awliya of Allah themselves don’t know that they’re awliya of Allah; they don’t quite understand how much Allah loves them and how they could have ascended in those ranks.

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There are three ways, that the scholars mentioned, to attain that special friendship with Allah, the one that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) narrated in a hadith Qudsi that Allah has said:

Whoever takes that special friend of mine as an enemy, I will wage war on him.

 May Allah let us be the friend of Allah, and not the one having war waged upon them.

Read Also: How to Become A Friend of Allah?

 That’s very beautiful and very scary at the same time because again the awliya, friends of Allah, are hidden.

Ali said:

Allah has hidden two things amongst the people: He’s hidden His pleasure in His good deeds; so you don’t know which of the good deeds is the one that unlocks His pleasure. And Allah has hidden His awliya, His special friends amongst the people.”

 You don’t know who you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with that person. But also it doesn’t mean a person goes out and commits major sins and says well I might just be that waly of Allah! No.

There’s a person that’s striving to reach that position, and then there is the person that has unlocked for them. And Allah says:

 Whoever reaches that position I will wage war on the one who harms that person.

Ibn Al Qayyim said:

“How many nations have been protected or destroyed because of a waly within them or against them. One or two people that Allah holds in such high standard.

 3 Things That Allow A Person To Attain That State

1- Fulfill the Obligations and Do Good

You fulfill the obligations and you do good until you taste the sweetness of that good, which is the pleasure of Allah, and that becomes your unique driving force in life.

You don’t come close to Allah with anything more beloved than doing your obligations: praying on time, fasting, doing the things that Allah tells you to do.

 And then you get closer to Him with nafl. You taste the sweetness of the obligations and now you start to do the voluntary deeds until Allah loves you with that exclusive special love.

 And when Allah loves you that way, He becomes the hearing with what you hear, the sight with which you see, the hand with which you strike, the way that you walk. You become entrenched in that pleasure of Allah, and seeking that pleasure of Allah; and it becomes your exclusive driving force.

The pleasure of Allah is what drives you through all of your good deeds so that you keep on doing more and more, and you can’t get enough of it. Because you tasted the sweetness of prayer, now five times it’s not enough anymore; you tasted the sweetness of fasting, Ramadan is not enough anymore; you tasted the sweetness of Hajj, Hajj is not enough anymore…

So Allah unlocks these things for you, and you taste the pleasure of those good deeds and that becomes the driving force.

 2- The Sincerity of Your Repentance

This actually a more sudden one. A person makes the sincere repentance to Allah, for Allah, because of Allah; and the pleasure of Allah in that repentance completely removes the effect of the pleasure of that disobedience to Allah.

So that’s where you find those hadiths about a person who is in major sin and then suddenly switches; the pleasure of Allah overwhelms any type of pleasure they used to get from that disobedience. And now they are calibrated in that way, and they immediately rise in status with Allah.

3- When Allah Tests You With a Major Tragedy

Allah takes away something from you, and through that tragedy you do ihtisab, which is to seek the reward (Allah’s pleasure). And you try to seek that pleasure from Allah, and that’s what seized you through that tragedy. That again becomes the way that you contextualize all of your tragedies and all of your tribulations; that a person would reach that status of wilaya (friendship).

About Omar Suleiman
Imam Omar Suleiman is the President of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University. He’s also the resident scholar of the Valley Ranch Islamic Center and Co-Chair of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, a multi-faith alliance for peace and justice.