Clients and Patrons
(mawlā, walī)

Gibril Fouad Haddad

Clientship and patronage (walāʾ, walāya, wilāya) concern the rights that pertain to (i) manumission (see Freedom and Emancipation) and inheritance in this world, particularly in the absence of blood-related heirs, and (ii) the ramifications of friendship, especially friendship with Allah, in this world and the next. 

Definitions and usage

Clientship and patronage are the two contrasting denotations of over 100 of the 233 Qurʾānic occurrences of the cognates of the root w-l-y, infinitive noun waly, verb waliya, “to be near” (Jawharī, Ṣiḥāḥ, 6:2528; Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, sub w-l-y), “both spatially (bil-makān) and by rank (bil-makāna)” (Ibn al-ʿArabī, Amad, 2:148-149, sub walī).

These cognates are:

  • the noun walī (pl. awliyāʾ) (86 times);
  • the noun mawlā (pl. mawālī) (21 times), both walī and mawlā meaning “strong helper(s), patron(s), ally/ies” among other meanings including, most notably, that of “inheritors” as in Q 33:5 (see next paragraph) and the verse and for all [wealth] We have appointed mawālī—of what parents, near relatives, and those with whom your right hands have pledged an alliance leave—so give them their due share… (Q 4:33);
  • the noun wālī/in (pl. wulāt not in the Qurʾān) (Q 13:11), “benevolent caretaker” (Zajjāj, Asmāʾ, p. 61);
  • and the verbs wallā, yuwallī (Form II) in the transitive sense of “give as patron” (Q 4:115, 6:129) and tawallā (Form V) in the reflexive sense of “undertake” (Q 24:11), “follow” (Q 22:4), “take as patron/ally” (Q 5:51, 5:56, 5:80, 9:23, 16:100, 22:4, 58:14, 60:9 x2, 60:13), and “take as client” (Q 7:196). All of the latter twelve instances convey a sense of clientship, as do mawlā and its plural mawālī in the verses the Day when no mawlā shall avail his mawlā at all, nor shall they be helped (Q 44:41) and …Proclaim their real parentage… and if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in the faith and your mawālī (Q 33:5) respectively. (For the importance of the latter verse in abolishing pre-Islamic customs in the concept of adoptive fosterage, see Children.)

Synonymy, antonymy and homonymy in walī, mawlā and wālī

The three nouns walī, mawlā and wālī are all synonyms since “walī and mawlā in the language of the Arabs are one and the same” (Farrāʾ, Maʿānī; Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, sub Q 19:5), while “a wālī is one who takes care of a person’s concerns, like a walī, both being derived from wilāya in the way ʿalīm and ʿālim are both from ʿilm” (Ibn ʿAṭiyya, Muḥarrar, sub Q 13:11). Mawlā is glossed as “both manumitter and manumitted, companion and ally, agnate (ibn ʿamm), supporter, and neighbor; all these connotations stem from al-waly, which means closeness (al-qurb); and anyone who undertakes (waliya) someone else’s affair is his walī” (Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs, sub w-l-y).

Walī and mawlā are also auto-antonyms (aḍdād), meaning that they are able to signify either one thing or its opposite: “Mawlā is one of the auto-antonyms: it can mean a benefactor who frees from slavery (al-munʿim al-muʿtiq), as well as a beneficiary who is freed (al-munʿam ʿalayh al-muʿtaq) (Ibn al-Anbārī, Aḍdād, p. 46); “walī and mawlā are both used for help and support, whether in the sense of agent or of recipient” (Rāghib, Mufradāt, sub w-l-y); “a walī is one who undertakes help and support, or who disposes of affairs…. and he is one who is deserving of the help he receives in his need….; mawlā is identical” (Ṭabarsī, Majmaʿ, sub Q 5:55-56 and 62:6-11).

Finally, walī and mawlā are also among the Qurʾānic “polysemic homonyms” (al-wujūh wal-naẓāʾir), one of the earliest exegetical disciplines, meaning that they have a number of widely differing meanings: “Walī has eleven different meanings: son, companion, relative, lord (rabb), helper, deity (ilāh), agnates (ʿaṣaba), religious ally in unbelief, religious ally in Islam, freedman, and faithful friend” (Muqātil, Wujūh, pp. 200-203; Hārūn b. Mūsā, Wujūh, pp. 196-198; Yaḥyā b. Sallām, Taṣārīf, pp. 304-309). Additional meanings are “loving follower, custodian of an orphan’s affairs, and controller of a woman’s marriage contract” (Azharī, Tahdhīb, 15:448-449, sub w-l-y) although the latter can be identical with any one of the categories of son, relatives, and agnates, being what is elsewhere called “a close relative” (al-walī bil-nasab) (Ibn Ḥajar, Hady, 1:501, sub w-l) (see Guardianship, Marriage and Divorce).

Mawlā has the following 21 meanings, some of which were already mentioned above:

The controller of a woman’s marriage contract; a religious ally (mawlā fīl-dīn); the inheriting agnates (ʿaṣaba); ally (ḥalīf); freedman who now shares in your tribal name (al-muʿtaq intasaba bi-nasabik); strong helper; controller of your affairs; client through friendship (mawlā al-muwālāt), meaning a person who embraces Islam through you and becomes a friend, helper and client of yours; bestower of favor—specifically, an emancipator; a slave you have freed (muʿtaq), for he is tantamount in status to an agnate: it is obligatory for you to support him and you can inherit from him if he dies without heir (Azharī, Tahdhīb, 15:450-451); companion and neighbor (Ibn Fāris, Maqāyīs); lord; possessor; master; lover; follower; contract partner; in-law; and slave (Ibn al-Athīr, Nihāya, sub walā).

Walī, Mawlā and Wālī as Divine Names

Several Qur’ānic verses use these three names to refer to Allah Most High (see Beautiful Names of Allah):

  • Allah is the protecting friend (walī) of those who believe; He brings them out of darknesses and into light. Those who disbelieved, their protecting friends are the devils: they bring them out of the light and into darknesses. Those are the people of hellfire and are in it to abide forever (Q 2:257). From this verse alone, the Egyptian exegete and polymath Jalāl al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr al-Khuḍayrī al-Suyūṭī (849-911/1445-1505) extracted 120 categories of rhetorical tropes and more than twenty paradigms illustrating various branches of the Islamic sciences in his brief treatise Fatḥ al-Jalīl lil-ʿabd al-dhalīl (The opening of the All-Glorious for the lowly servant). Twelve other verses explicitly identify Allah Most High as walī in the sense of protecting friend (Q 3:68, 3:122, 4:45, 5:55, 6:127, 7:155, 7:196, 12:101, 34:41, 42:9, 42:28, 45:19), one of which adjoins to Allah Most High the Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—and the entirety of the believers: your protecting friend is none other than Allah, and His Messenger, and those who believe (Q 5:55). Other verses state eliminatory affirmations and prohibitions or ask rhetorical questions about having none besides Allah as protecting friend(s) (walī/awliyāʾ) (Q 2:107, 2:120, 3:7, 6:51, 6:70, 9:74, etc.).
  • Allah Most High is identified in the third person (Q 3:150, 6:62, 8:40 x2, 9:51, 10:30, 22:78 x2, 47:11, 66:2) as the supportive ally (mawlā) of the believers, specifically that of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace (Q 66:4), and thus invoked in the second person (Q 2:286). Of the eighteen occurrences of the sing. noun mawlā, twelve refer to the Creator of the worlds.
  • …and when Allah wishes for evil to befall a people, none can repel it and they have none besides Him as protector (wālin) (Q 13:11). This is the only instance where this form-III agential name is used.

In part of a supplication which he practiced and taught assiduously, the Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—invoked Allah Most High as the walī and mawlā of every believer’s soul (Muslim, al-Dhikr wal-duʿāʾ wal-tawba wal-istighfār, al-taʿawwudh min sharri mā ʿamila wa-min sharri mā lam yaʿmal; Aḥmad, 32:61 §19308, 42:492 §25757). Exegetes include all three names among the Divine Names (Qurṭubī, Asnā, 1:298-306; cf. Zajjāj, Asmāʾ, pp. 55, 61; Qushayrī, Sharḥ, pp. 195-197; Ibn al-ʿArabī, Amad, 1:146-153).

The walāya, wilāya, and awliyāʾ of Allah

Glossed respectively as “helping friendship” and “authority,” the wordings walāya and wilāya both occur in alternative mass-transmitted readings of the same verse, Q 18:44 (Khaṭīb, Muʿjam, 5:223-224; see Canonical Readings). As a result, they can be translated four ways: (i) Therein lies exclusive friendship (al-walāyatu) with Allah; (ii) Therein lies sovereignty (al-wilāyatu) of Allah; (iii) Who is True (al-Ḥaqqi); (iv) which is true (al-ḥaqqu) (Naysābūrī, Ījāz, 2:522; cf. Qushayrī, Tafsīr). The major Basrian grammarian Abū Bishr ʿAmr b. ʿUthmān b. Qanbar al-Shīrāzī, known as Sībawayh (148-180/765-796), considered them synonyms (Jawharī, Ṣiḥāḥ, 6:2530, sub w-l-y) while the Khārijī exegete and linguist Abū ʿUbayda Maʿmar b. al-Muthannā al-Taymī (d. 110-210/728-825) said walāya pertains to the Creator, wilāya to creatures (in Ibn al-Jazwī, Zād, sub Q 8:72).

When affiliated with Allah as in the momentous verse Behold, truly the friends (awliyāʾ) of Allah—there is no fear over them, nor shall they grieve (Q 10:62), the plural noun awliyāʾ (sing. walī), commonly translated “friends of Allah”, carries two meanings brought out in the following gloss:

Walī, a word in the faʿīl form, is an intensively active doer (al-fāʿīl): one whose acts of obedience follow one another non-stop, without interference of sin; or, alternately, in the passive sense of mafʿūl… in which case a walī is one on whom divine kindness and munificence are lavished, and the sense becomes that he is protected (maḥfūẓ) against ordeals in all his states, the worst ordeal being the commission of sins (Qushayrī, Tafsīr, sub Q 10:62; cf. Risāla, 2:523, karāmāt al-awliyāʾ, faṣl: fa-mā maʿnā al-walī?).

Pre-Islamic clientship and the abrogation of inheritance for non-relatives

The verse Q 4:33 already mentioned above, and for all [wealth] We have appointed mawālī (inheritors) of what parents, near relatives, and those with whom your right hands have pledged an alliance leave; so give them their due share (cf. Naḥḥās, Iʿrāb, 1:451; Bāqūlī, Bayān, 2:656; Darwīsh, Iʿrāb, 2:17), was also glossed as “for each individual man and woman” instead of “for all wealth” (Wāḥidī, Wasīṭ), “whether young or old” (Biqāʿī, Naẓm). The mawālī meant “the awliyāʾ in the sense of helpers and that of near relatives for the purpose of inheritance… whether they are specific agnates, i.e., inheritors, or agnates at large, namely the Muslims” (Biqāʿī, ibid.). This right of mutual inheritance created by the pledge of alliance between Muslim non-relatives in the above verse, and in verse Q 8:72 was later abrogated in favor of Muslim relatives:

Verily those who believed and emigrated and struggled with their wealth and lives in the path of Allah, and those who gave shelter and lent assistance—those are the awliyāʾ of one another… (Q 8:72) in inheritance cases: they would inherit from one another at the exclusion of their near relatives who had not migrated, and that is what is meant in the continuation of the verse, …and those who believed but did not emigrate, you are entitled to none of their wilāya until they emigrate… (Q 8:72), meaning, “of their inheritance.” Thereafter was revealed the verse and those who believed later on and emigrated and struggled with you, those are part of you; and blood relatives are more entitled to one another in the Book of Allah… (Q 8:75), so they inherited from one another [as blood relatives only], and this latter verse abrogated the one before it (al-Farrāʾ, Maʿānī, sub Q 8:75).

Those with whom your right hands have pledged an alliance means allies (al-ḥulafāʾ, sing. ḥalīf) according to all the exegetes. In Jāhiliyya, a man would make a contract with another man and say to him, “My blood is your blood, my hearth is your hearth, my war is your war and my peace is your peace. You inherit from me and I inherit from you.” When Islam rose, one-sixth was allotted to the ally, and that is [by] the saying of Allah, …so give them their due share… (Q 4:33); then this was abrogated by His saying, but those related by blood are more entitled (or, closer) to one another in the Book of Allah (Q 8:75) (Wāḥidī, Wasīṭ; cf. Makkī, Hidāya; Māwardī, Nukat; Ibn Ḥazm, Nāsikh, p. 34; all sub Q 4:33).

The above abrogation thus cancelled the early mutual inheritance rights that the Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—had instituted at the time he created bonds of formal brotherhood (ukhuwwa) (see Brothers and Brotherhood) between the Makkan Emigrants and the Madīnan Helpers (see Muhājirūn and Anṣār) who were mutually unrelated by blood (Tafsīrs of Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Abī Ḥātim, Māturīdī, etc. sub Q 4:33) and to which he referred, for example, by calling his adopted son Zayd b. Ḥāritha (47bh-8/576-629) “our brother and mawlā” (Bukhārī, aṣḥāb al-Nabī ṣallā Allāh ʿalayh wa-sallam, manāqib Zayd b. Ḥāritha mawlā al-Nabī ṣallā Allāh ʿalayh wa-sallam; Aḥmad, 2:249 §931).

Inheritance was the only aspect of the pre-Islamic contractual form of alliance meant to be abolished in the hadith “There is no alliance in Islam” (lā ḥilfa fīl-Islām) (Bukhārī, Kafāla, qawlu Allāhi taʿālā wal-ladhīna ʿaqadat aymānukum [Q 4:33]), while every other aspect of mutual assistance remained, as confirmed by the continuation of the same hadith in another version, “but any alliance made in the Jāhiliyya, Islām intensifies” (Muslim, Faḍāʾil al-Ṣaḥāba, muʾākhāt al-Nabī ṣallā Allāh ʿalayh wa-sallam). The apparent contradiction was resolved as a confirmation that the elements of brotherhood and mutual assistance towards virtue and opposition to injustice were very much preserved in Islam and only inheritance was being abolished (Ṭaḥāwī, Mushkil, 4:296-302, bayān mushkil mā ruwiya ʿan Rasul Allāh ṣallā Allāh ʿalayh wa-sallam min qawlih Lā ḥilfa fīl-Islām, wa-tamassakū bi-ḥilf al-Jāhiliyya; cf. Nawawī, Sharḥ, Faḍāʾil al-Ṣaḥāba, muʾākhāt al-Nabī ṣallā Allāh ʿalayh wa-sallam; Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ, 4:473, Kafāla, qawluh bāb qawl Allāh ʿazza wa-jalla wal-ladhīna ʿāqadat aymānukum).

Manumission, contract and conversion as causing non-blood-related walāʾ

This section examines the three types of acquirable walāʾ that permit mutual inheritance between non-relatives: emancipation (ʿitq), contract (ʿaqd), and conversion (islām).

The Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—made emancipation a basis for the exclusive claim of walāʾ: “Walāʾ goes exclusively to the emancipator” (innamā al-walāʾ li-man aʿtaq) (Mālik, al-ʿatāqa wal-walāʾ; maṣīr al-walāʾ li-man aʿtaq; Bukhārī, Buyūʿ, idhā ishtaraṭa shurūṭan fīl-bayʿ lā taḥill; Muslim, ʿItq, innamā al-walāʾ li-man aʿtaq). He also made the status of clientship untransferrable: “Walāʾ is a parentage like genealogical parentage (ka-luḥmat al-nasab): it can be neither sold nor donated” (Shāfiʿī, al-ʿItq wal-walāʾ wal-mudabbar wal-mukātab wa-ḥusn al-malaka, al-nahy ʿan bayʿ al-walāʾ wa-ʿan hibatih; Dārimī, Farāʾiḍ, bayʿ al-walāʾ; Ibn Ḥibbān, 11:326 §4950; Ḥākim 4:341). All of the above further confirms that one cannot be a client to more than one patron at the same time. It is in that sense that he further said, as narrated by several of his freedmen themselves, “The mawlā of a clan is one of them” (mawlā al-qawmi minhum) (Aḥmad, Musnad, 24:478 §15708 (Mahrān); 31:326 §18992 (Rifāʿa); 39:289 §23863 (Abū Rāfiʿ)) and even named his mawlā Thawbān b. Bujdud (d. 54/674) as belonging to his very House while making it clear, as do the above-cited reports, that with such status came the prohibition of accepting zakāt money:

The Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—summoned the people of his household and he mentioned ʿAlī, Fāṭima and others; so I said, “Messenger of Allah, am I from the Ahl al-Bayt?” He remained quiet. I asked again, “Am I from the Ahl al-Bayt?” The third time he replied, “Yes, as long as you do not stand at a palace gate or visit a governor to solicit him” (Aḥmad, Faḍāʾil, 2:634 §1080; Ṭabarānī, Awsaṭ, 3:98 §2607).

Another valid cause of non-blood-related clientship in Islam is “contractual clientship” (al-walāʾ bil-ʿaqd), also known as the contract of loyal friendship (ʿaqd al-muwālāt). This type was regarded by the rightly-guided caliphs as a licit avenue of inheritance between unrelated individuals and entailed the duty to share in or remit any due blood-wite (ʿaql, see Blood money) (ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān, and ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib: Ibn Ḥazm, Muḥallā, 11:58-59; cf. Ibn Abī Shayba, 16:364 §32237; 16:374 §32276). It is in this sense that mawlā came to designate any free non-Arab who affiliated himself with an Arab tribe, such as the founding jurist of Persian origin Abū Ḥanīfa (80-150/699-767) who was affiliated to the Banū Taym as “al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit b. Zūṭā al-Taymī, mawlāhum, al-Kūfī” (Dhahabī, Tadhkira, 1:168 §163).

Conversion to Islam is yet another valid cause of non-blood-related clientship, although there was no consensus as to its validity among the Sunni schools, some of which considered it tantamount to the prohibited form of alliance (ḥilf):

Al-Ḥasan [al-Baṣrī] did not consider that a convert to Islam could have any wilāya… The scholars differed over persons who converted to Islam at the hands of a Muslim. Al-Shaʿbī said the same as al-Ḥasan: “A convert at his hands neither inherits nor has any walāʾ; and the inheritance of a Muslim who leaves no inheritors goes to Muslim society” [Ibn Abī Shayba, 16:364-365 §32240-32243]. That is the position of Ibn Abī Laylā, Mālik, al-Thawrī, al-Awzāʿī, al-Shāfiʿī and Aḥmad [see Māwardī, Ḥāwī, 8:119-120, Farāʾiḍ, aqrab al-ʿaṣaba at the very end]. Their conclusive proof of this is the Prophet’s saying, “Walāʾ belongs exclusively to the emancipator.” Thus he precluded anyone other than the emancipator from inheritance as well as from walāʾ. Yet Ibn Wahb mentioned that ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb said, “His walāʾ belongs to the one who converted at his hands,” and this is the position of Rabīʿa, Isḥāq, al-Nakhaʿī…. Abū Ḥanīfa, Abū Yūsuf, and Muḥammad, all three of whom adduced the hadith of [the Palestinian Companion] Tamīm al-Dārī to whom the Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—replied, when Tamīm asked him of a man who converted at someone’s hands and then died: “He is the most entitled of people in the matter of his life and death” [Abū Dāwūd, Farāʾiḍ, fīl-rajul yuslim ʿalā yaday al-rajul; Tirmidhī, Farāʾiḍ, mā jāʾ fī mīrāth al-ladhī yuslim ʿalā yaday al-rajul; Dārimī, Farāʾiḍ, fīl-rajul yuwālī al-rajul; cf. Bukhārī, Farāʾiḍ, idhā aslama ʿalā yadayh; etc.] (Ibn Baṭṭāl, Sharḥ, 8:374-375, Farāʾiḍ, idhā aslama ʿalā yadayh rajul).

The latter ruling was deemed legally binding by the rightly-guided caliphs and the jurists of the early generations (ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, Ibn Masʿūd, ʿUmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, Ziyād b. Abīh, al-Nakhaʿī, al-Ḥasan (conditionally): Ibn Abī Shayba, 16:362-364 §32231, §32233-32234, §32236-32239; Ibn al-Muqriʾ, Muʿjam 1:366 §1210; and Abū Yūsuf, Ikhtilāf, p. 88). As already mentioned, none of the three types of walāʾ could be contracted with more than one patron at the same time, on pain of the divine curse on the patron (Bukhārī, al-Iʿtiṣām bil-Kitāb wal-Sunna, mā yukrahu min al-taʿammuq wal-tanāzuʿ fīl-ʿilm; Muslim, ʿItq, taḥrīm tawallī al-ʿatīq ghayr mawālīh).

The manuals of Islamic sacred law (fiqh) discuss all of the above aspects of clientship in great detail across the Four Schools (e.g. Sarakhsī, Mabsūṭ, walāʾ, on walāʾ al-ʿitq and walāʾ al-muwālāt; Qāḍī ʿAbd al-Wahhāb, Ishrāf, ʿitq; Māwardī, Ḥāwī, ṭalāq; Ibn Qudāma, Mughnī, diyāt and ʿitq). It is remarkable that in more than a millennium of classical Islamic legal literature there is an abundance of chapters entitled “manumission” (ʿitq), but not one chapter has the word “slavery” (riqq) as its title.

The mawālī in later times and in End times

The post-Prophetic period over the first ten centuries of Islam saw the mawālī rise in number and importance as a social body of non-Arab Muslims with (or even, for many, without) formal affiliations to Arab tribes, vying for socio-political and administrative participation under the Umayyads (40-132/ 661-750), then the Abbasids (132-656/750-1258) and Mamluks (659-923/1261-1517), until they wrested power from the Arabs. The Cairene-born scholar of Lebanese origin and foremost Mamluk historian Abū al-ʿAbbās Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-Maqrīzī (766-845/1356-1441) identified the second Abbasid caliph, Abū Jaʿfar al-Manṣūr, whose actual name was ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbbās (95-158/714-775), as "the first caliph to use his mawālī and slaves (ghilmān) in his projects and give them precedence over Arabs, after which subsequent caliphs adopted his practice until the governance of the Arabs collapsed, their leadership ended, and their hierarchies disappeared" (al-Sulūk li-maʿrifat duwal al-mulūk, 1:116-117).

The Tunisian historian of Yemeni origin Abū Zayd Walī al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad, known as Ibn Khaldūn (732-808/1332-1406) identified this phenomenon at the heart of his study of what he called “group feeling” (ʿaṣabiyya) in the rise and fall of political authority and government hierarchies (Ibn Khaldūn, Muqaddima, pp. 215-217, iii.19-20=Rosenthal transl. pp. 146-149, iii.17-18; cf. Hodgson, Venture, 1:249-250, 273-275).

Maqrīzī’s diagnosis and Ibn Khaldūn’s extrapolations both confirm Prophetic hadiths revealed centuries before them, not only on the general irrelevance of race in the definition of moral merit in Islam, such as “There is no superiority for Arab over non-Arab (ʿajamī/aʿjamī), nor for non-Arab over Arab” (Aḥmad, Musnad, 38:474 §23489), but also on the positive role that non-Arabs will play in End-time events: “When the devastating battles take place, Allah shall send forth an army of the mawālī. They are the noblest of Arabs in cavalry and the most expert of them in weaponry; Allah shall support the religion through them” (Ibn Mājah, Fitan, malāḥim, rated ḥasan by al-Būṣīrī; cf. Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ, 6:278). Their being both clients and Arabs alludes to the reversal of identity-related values mentioned in the hadiths, “O Allah, may I not reach the time of a people whose hearts are the hearts of non-Arabs (qulūb al-ʿajam) while their tongues are the tongues of Arabs” (Ḥākim, 4:510; rated ṣaḥīḥ by Ibn Abī Ḥātim in his ʿIlal, 6:28-29 §2288 and 6:558 §2755); “ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAmr asked, ‘And what are the hearts of foreigners?’ The Prophet—upon him blessings and peace—replied, ‘Love of this world’” (Ṭabarānī, Kabīr, 14:68 §14666).

On the Day of Judgment, prized mawālī bonds, like all valued blood ties, shall be of no avail: the Day one shall desert his brother, his father, his mother, his mate and his children (Q 80:34-36) will also be the Day when no mawlā shall avail his mawlā at all, nor shall they be helped (Q 44:41).


Abū Dāwūd. Sunan.

Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb b. Ibrāhīm al-Anṣārī. Ikhtilāf Abī Ḥanīfa wa-Ibn Abī Laylā. Ed. Abū al-Wafā al-Afghānī. Hyderabad: Maṭbaʿat al-Wafāʾ, 1357/1939.

Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal. Faḍāʾil al-Ṣaḥāba. Ed. Waṣī Allāh Muḥammad ʿAbbās. 2 vols. Beirut: Muʾassasat al-Risāla, 1403/1983.

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See also

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