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The Quran and Ahadith on the Concept of Protection and Friendship
The Quran says that Allah alone is a believer’s wali (protector, helper, friend etc.):
Allah has full knowledge of your enemies, and Allah is Sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper. S. 4:45
Verily, Allah! Unto Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, He gives life and He causes death. And besides Allah you have neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper. S. 9:116
Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper etc.) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or be admonished)? S. 32:4
And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads abroad His Mercy. And He is the Wali (Helper, Supporter, Protector, etc.), Worthy of all Praise. S. 42:28
The Quran, in many places, outright prohibits Muslims from seeking friends and protectors from any other entity besides Allah, even if they happen to be his servants like the prophets:
Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves [i.e., the angels, God's Messengers, 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), etc.] as Auliyâ' (lords, gods, protectors, etc.) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of God Islâmic Monotheism). S. 18:102
The Quran nowhere prohibits the Muslims from taking friends other than Allah. does not refer to human friends but gods. It is surprising how you take it as a friend. Human friends are to be taken but no god other than Allah is to be taken. A very wild imagination is needed to reach a conclusion that Sam Shamoun has reached.
The Quran continues:
The likeness of those who take Auliya' (protectors and helpers) other than Allah is as the likeness of a spider, who builds (for itself) a house, but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house; if they but knew. S. 29:41
And as for those who take as Auliya' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, etc.) others besides Him [i.e. they take false deities other than Allah (as) protectors, and they worship them] Allah is Hafiz (Protector) over them (i.e. takes care of their deeds and will recompense them), and you (O Muhammad SAW) are not a Wakil (guardian or a disposer of their affairs) over them (to protect their deeds, etc.). S. 42:6
Or have they taken (for worship) Auliya' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, etc.) besides Him? But Allah, He ALONE is the Wali (Protector, etc.). And it is He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things. S. 42:9
In front of them there is Hell, and that which they have earned will be of no profit to them, nor (will be of any profit to them) those whom they have taken as Auliya' (protectors, helpers, etc.) besides Allah. And theirs will be a great torment. S. 45:10
A very interesting trick is being played here by the allegation layer. In the first verse presented, the meaning for Auliya is given as (lords, gods, protectors, etc.) but in the above verses presented later, the meaning has been given as supporter, helper etc. I wonder why different meanings for different verses.
Sam Shamoun needs to read these verses in context. These verses are referring to gods and deities and not human friends. This is a good trick to pick verses out of context and use incorrect and different meanings of one’s choice to support one’s incorrect claim.
When one reads these verses in context, one sees that they are being spoken to the unbelievers who have taken false gods to be their protectors. Sam Shamoun picks these verses and makes his claim that friends are not to be taken.
The Quran even says that Allah has no wali and partner in his sovereignty:
And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son (nor an offspring), and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali (helper, protector or supporter). And magnify Him with all the magnificence, [Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Most Great)]." S. 17:111
Yet the Quran contradicts itself since it expressly says that Allah is not the only wali a Muslim has!
Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, - those who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and they bow down (submit themselves with obedience to Allah in prayer). S. 5:55
The believers, men and women, are Auliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); they perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. S. 9:71
I wonder why you haven’t mentioned more about these verses such as who is God speaking to here and in what context. You yourself have given many meanings of the words “Wali” and “Auliya”. Let me post all those meanings here.
Wali - protector, helper, friend, guardian, supporter etc
Auliya - lords, gods, protectors, helpers, guardians, supporters
The above are the meanings posted by Sam Shamoun.
In the context we see that when Allah is saying that He is the only wali, the meaning to use is different but when Allah says that He, His messengers and believers are wali, the meaning to use is friend. This is not a false explanation because the context says that when “only wali” is used, Allah is speaking to those who have other gods than Allah and when wali (friend) is used, Allah is speaking to the believers.
It is quite evident that Muhammad believed that he had a share in Allah’s sovereignty and ownership.
He also gave some verses that said,
And whatever Allah restored to His Apostle from them… 59:6
The verse does not say that the Prophet is a partner in the sovereignty and ownership but says that Allah has given whatever He has given. Besides, the world is a very small thing compared to the whole creation of Allah. The earth is no comparison to the heavens. If Allah on this earth gives something, this does not mean what Sam Shamoun has wrongly taken it to mean.
Shamoun also quotes many Aahadith that say that the earth belongs to Allah and His apostle, claiming that Prophet Muhammad had a share in allah’s ownership and sovereignty. This is also a very wrong claim. The earth is no match for the creation other than it. If I am a king of the earth, does that make me a sharer of the ownership in any way? No. This is an absurd comment. This false allegation and interpretation also shows the material thinking of the accuser. For him, earth is everything.
Yet Muhammad violated this teaching since he sought the protection and aid of the Christian ruler of Abyssinia. As the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali noted in his comments to Sura 5:82:
"The meaning is not that they merely call themselves Christians, but that they are such sincere Christians that they appreciate Muslim virtues, as did the Abyssinians to whom Muslim refugees went during the persecution in Mecca. They would say: 'It is true we are Christians, but we understand your point of view, and we know that you are good men.' They are Muslims at heart, whatever their label may be." (Ali, The Holy Qur'an, p. 268, fn. 789; bold emphasis ours)
Thus, the Muslims had no problem seeking the protection and aid of unbelievers when it was expedient for them!
Allah says again and again in the Quran that the boats belong to Him whatever is in the earth belongs to Him, the plants that we grow are not grown by us but by Allah. Allah also says that the enemies of Allah that you kill are not killed by you but by Allah. Any good that we receive is not due to anyone or anything other than Allah.
Allah has His ways. The help obtained by the Abyssinian king was actually help obtained by Allah but through man. All help is from Allah, the ways can be many.
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