Walī has several meanings in Islam, revolving around the theme of closeness.
Ally, protecting friend, close friend
Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light. And those who disbelieve - their allies are Taghut. They take them out of the light into darknesses. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein. (2:257)
Saintly person, pious person
A person who is very close to Allāh.
The word saint has two meanings in English:
- an extremely virtuous person
- a person entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding for people on earth
One of the problems in the Muslim world today is that some people turn to
In Islam, the Walī is completely #1. To fall into the trap of #2 is committing the sin of Shirk.
- has strong Īmān, super good Muslim, at level of Iḥsān
- Nobody knows who Wali is except for Allāh
- thinks themself to be worst sinner on earth, humility, e.g. Omar thought of himself as a munafiq
- anybody who calls themself a Wali or expects others to treat him such is definitely not a Wali
- don't have supernatural powers (that would be a Saḥir)
- Most people who claim to be Wali are frauds
- true sign is private ʿibādah
karāmat miracles of wali. karama is from allah alone. and it's not a sign of being a wali. allah chooses to give when allah wants, not when you want. true . There is a phenomenon people literally worship these people. They themselves are trying to come close to Allah. Be like them, don't worship them.
al-Khidr is called "one of Our servants"
- Authorized agent of a bride
- legally responsible for a child