Fasting and Shortening the Prayer for the Traveler

Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah was asked  about the traveler in the month of Ramadhan who is fasting and is rebuked for doing so. He is called ignorant, and it is said to him that breaking his fast is better.
And what is the distance required in order to shorten (the prayers)? If the day has begun in which one is to travel does he break his fast? Is the fast broken by those who lease out donkeys for hire, merchants, those who lease out camels, the sailor, and those traveling
by sea? And what is the difference between travelling for an act of obedience and traveling for an act of disobedience?

He Answered:
Praise be to Allah: Breaking the fast for one travelling is permissible according to the agreement of the Muslims, whether one is traveling for Hajj, Jihad, trading etc., or other cases of travels that are not disliked by Allah and His Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam).

They disputed over traveling for an act of disobedience, like one who travels for highway robbery and the like, for which there are two views, and they also disputed over shortening the prayer.

In the case of the journey for which shortening prayer is allowed, breaking the fast is permissible as long as it is later made up according to the agreement of the Imams. Breaking the fast is allowable for the traveler whether he was able to fast or unable to fast,
whether it was easy for him to fast or not. Even if he was traveling in the shade with provisions and a servant, he is allowed to break his fast.

Whoever alleges that breaking the fast is only allowed for one unable to fast, then such a person is to be asked to repent. He either repents, or he is to be killed. Whoever condemns the traveler who breaks his fast is also sought to repent. Whoever says the traveler who breaks his fast commits a sin, he is also sought to repent.

All of these cases contradict the Book of Allah, and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and they contradict the consensus of the Ummah.

It is also the Sunnah for the traveler to pray the four Rak`ah prayer as two Rak`ahs only. Shortening is better than performance of the normal four Rak`ahs of the prayer according to the four Muslim Imams; Malik, Abu Hanifah, Ahmad and Ash Shafi`i in the most correct of his views.

The Ummah did not dispute over the permissibility of breaking fast for the traveler. They disputed over the permissibility of fasting. A group of the predecessors and the successors consider that the one fasting while traveling is like the one breaking his fast while a resident, and that his fast is not rewarded at all and he must make it up. This is
reported from `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf, Abi Hurayrah, and others among the predecessors. And this is the Madhhab of the Dhahiriyah.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is not an act of righteousness to fast while traveling” [Bukhari and Muslim]

But the Madhhab of the four Imams is that it is permissible for the traveler to fast or to break his fast.

As reported in the Two Sahihs on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him: “We used to travel with the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam); some of us would fast, and some of us would break their fast. Neither the fasting would criticize the one breaking his fast, nor would the one breaking his fast criticize the one fasting.”

Allah, the Almighty said: And whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of fasting days missed must be made up) from other days. Allah intends ease for you, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.

It is recorded in the Musnad that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Indeed, Allah likes that His permission be adopted, just as He hates that acts of disobedience be committed” [Ahmad bin Hanbal]

It is recorded in the Sahih that a man said to the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “I am a man that fasts often. Am I allowed to fast while traveling?”

He (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“If you break your fast, this is good. And if you fast, there is no harm.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In another Hadith he (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The best among you are those who shorten their prayers and do not fast while traveling.” [Abdur-Razzaq]

As for the distance for shortening the prayer and breaking one’s fast: In accordance with the Madhhab of Malik, Ash Shafi`I and Ahmad, it is a journey of two days on foot or by camels. It is sixteen Farsakhs (approx. three miles each), equal to the distance between
Makkah and Usfan, or Makkah and Jeddah.

Abu Hanifah said it is a journey of three days. A group of the predecessors and the successors said that one is permitted to shorten the prayer and break the fast for traveling for less than two days. This is a strong view since it is confirmed that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would perform the prayer at `Arafah, Muzdalifah, and
Mina in shortened fashion. Behind him were the inhabitants of Makkah and others following him. He did not command any of them to complete the prayer.

If one travels during a day, it is permissible for him to break his fast? There are two wellknown sayings of the scholars of Fiqh, both of which are reported via two narrations from Ahmad.

The Most apparent one of them is that it is allowed. As confirmed in the Sunan that some of them companions used to break his fast if they initiated their journey during the day, and they mentioned that it was a Sunnah of the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

It is confirmed in the Sahih that the Prophet intended to travel while fasting, then he asked for a water container and broke his fast while the people were watching him. [Bukhari and Muslim]

As for the second day (of the travel), undoubtedly, one breaks his fast, even if his journey is only for two days, according to the majority of the Imams and the Ummah.

But if the traveler returns during the second day, the scholars of Fiqh have different wellknown views about the obligation of breaking his fast. But he has to make it up whether he breaks his fast or not.

Those who regularly travels, breaks his fast when he has a place to resort to. Like the trader who imports food and other commodities, the one who hires out his mounts, the

courier who travels for the Muslim interests and the like. The sailor who has a place on the land where he lives, they all have the same ruling.

As for the one who has his household with him on the ship and permanently travels, he is not permitted either to shorten the prayer nor to break his fast.

The dwellers of the desert, like the Bedouin Arabs, the Kurds, the Turks who spend winter in one place and spend summer in another place – while they are traveling from their winter residence to their summer residence they shorten prayers. When they reach
their winter or summer residences they are not permitted to shorten their prayers nor to break their fast, even if they were moving from one location to another in search of pastures.

And Allah knows best.

(taken from ‘The Nature of Fasting’ published by Darussalam)

The Superiority Of the Muslims Over the Jews and Christians

“So, it is known that those who transmitted what Muhammad called to of the Religion and Shari’ah, and transmitted what he came with of signs and miracles, are greater than those who transmitted the likes of these from Musa and ‘Isa. Likewise, what he came with of these are, in and of themselves, greater than what Musa and ‘Isa came with. In fact, the one who looks with a sound mind in these times to what the Muslims have of beneficial knowledge and righteous actions, and compares that to what is with the Jews and Christians, will come to know that there is a huge, massive difference between them.

This is because that which is with the Muslims of the Tawhid of Allah, knowledge of His Names and Attributes, His Angels, Prophets, Messengers, the Hereafter, the descriptions of the Paradise and Hell, reward and punishment, promise and threat – all of these are much greater and loftier than that which is with the Jews and Christians, and this is clear to any who look into it.

And that which is with the Muslims of outer and inner acts of worship – such as the five daily prayers, the other prayers, the remembrances and supplications, etc. – are greater and loftier than that which is with the People of the Book. Such is also the case with the laws governing transactions, marriage, legal punishments – that which is with the Muslims is greater and loftier than what the Jews and Christians have.

So, the Muslims are superior to them in regards to every bit of beneficial knowledge and righteous action, and this is evident to anyone with the slightest bit of intelligence, and this does not require much effort to realize…

And every person of intellect admits this, even from the Jews and Christians. They admit that the religion of the Muslims is a true religion, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and that whoever obeys him enters Paradise. In fact, they even admit that the religion of Islam is better than their own religion, as was mentioned by the philosophers, such as Ibn Sina, etc. The philosophers of the world are agreed that there is no law better than this Law. However, those who refuse to follow it excuse themselves by saying that it is not obligatory for him to follow it, since the Messenger was sent to the unlettered Arabs in exclusion to the People of the Book, and if his religion is true, then our religion is also true, and the paths to Allah are many…”

[‘Majmu’ al-Fatawa’; 4/104-105]

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Daily Routine

al-Imam al-Bazzar wrote a long, first hand account of the life of Ibn Taymiyyah, who was his personal friend and companion. The book is called ‘al-A’lam al-’Aliyyah fi Manaqib Ibn Taymiyyah,’ and this is a very, very small glimpse from it:

“During the nights, he would separate himself from everybody, secluding himself with his Lord, strictly maintaining his recitation of the Mighty Qur’an, and repeating the various types of daily and nightly worship.

When the night was over, he would rejoin the people for the Fajr prayer, praying the optional prayer before meeting them. When he would begin the prayer, your heart would want to fly from its place just from the way in which he would make takbirat al-ihram. When he would begin the prayer, his limbs would shake, moving him left and right. When he would recite, he would elongate his recitation, just as was authentically reported in regards to the recitation of the Messenger of Allah. His bowing and prostration, as well as his coming up from them, are from the most complete of what has ever been reported in regards to the obligatory prayer. And he would severely lighten his sitting for the first tashahhud, and would say the first taslim out loud, to the point that everyone who was present would hear it…

…And I came to know that it was his habit that nobody would speak to him unless absolutely necessary after the morning prayer. He would remain in a state of dhikr of Allah, listening to himself. Sometimes, he would let those sitting next to him listen to his dhikr, all the while constantly turning his eyesight to the sky. He would remain in such a state until the Sun rose, and the time in which prayer is forbidden had passed.

During my stay in Damascus with him, I would spend some of the day and most of the night with him. He would draw me near to him, sitting me beside him. I would hear what he would recite and repeat, and I saw that he would repeat ‘al-Fatihah’ over and over again, and would spend all of his time between Fajr and sunrise doing this.

So, I kept thinking to myself, wondering: why would he recite this specific chapter of the Qur’an in exclusion to the others? Eventually, it became clear to me – and Allah Knows best – that his intention in doing so was to combine with his recitation between what was narrated in the ahadith and what was discussed by the scholars, in regards to whether the narrated adhkar should take precedence over recitation of the Qur’an, or vice versa. So, he saw that in repeating ‘al-Fatihah,’ he could combine between both opinions, and reap the benefits of both actions, and this was from his strength in logic and depth of insight.

After this, he would pray Duha, and if he wanted to hear Hadith in another place, he would rush to that place with whoever was with him at the time.

It was rare that any intelligent person would see him and not come and kiss his hands. Even the busiest of businessmen would walk from what they were doing to greet him and seek his blessings. With all of this, he would give everyone of them their share of time, greetings, etc.

If he saw any evil in the street, he would work to remove it, and if he heard of a funeral taking place, he would rush to pray in it, or would apologize for missing it. Sometimes, he would go to the grave of the deceased after he finished listening to Hadith and pray over it.

Afterwards, he would return to his mosque, where he would remain either giving fatawa to the people or fulfilling their needs, until it was time to pray Dhuhr in congregation. He would spend the rest of the day in such a manner.

His classes were general for the old, the young, the wealthy, the poor, the free, the slave, males, and females. He appealed to everyone that would pass by him of the people, and everyone of them would feel that Ibn Taymiyyah was treating them better than he was treating anyone else present.

He would then pray Maghrib, and would follow it up with as much optional prayer as Allah made possible. I, or someone else, would then read his writings to him, and he would benefit us with various points and notes. We would do this until we prayed ‘Isha’, after which we would continue as we were before, delving into the various fields of knowledge. We would do this until much of the night had passed. During this entire time – night and day – Ibn Taymiyyah would constantly remember Allah, mention His Oneness, and seek His forgiveness.

And he would constantly raise his eyesight to the sky, and would not stop doing this, as if he saw something there that kept his eyesight hooked. He would do this for as long as I was staying with him.

So, Subhan Allah! How short were these days! If only they were longer! By Allah, until this day, there has never been a time in my life that is more beloved to me than the time I spent with him, and I was never seen in a better state than I was at that time, and this was for no other reason than the barakah of the Shaykh, may Allah be Pleased with him.

Every week, he would visit the sick, especially those at the hospital.

I have been informed by more than one person – whose trustworthiness I do not doubt – that the entire life of the Shaykh was spent in the way that I witnessed (and described above). So, what worship, and what jihad is better than this

credits to

Commentary on the Verse 35:32

[Extracted from “The Criterion Between the Allies of the Merciful and the Allies of the Devil” And “An Introduction to the Principles of Tafseer” ]

“Then We gave the Book for inheritance to such of our servants as We chose. But there are among them those who wrong themselves (al-Dhaalim li Nafsi-hee), and those who are average in doing their duties (al-Muqtasid) and some who are by Allaah’s leave the foremost (al-Saabiq) in good deeds.” [al-Faatir (The Originator of Creation) 35, verse 32]

We know that al-dhaalim li nafsi-hi refers to those who neglect their obligatory duties and commit what has been forbidden. Similarly, the muqtasid means those who perform their duties and abstain from the forbidden; and the saabiq means those who go beyond others in seeking the pleasure of Allaah by doing superogatory things over and above the obligatory. Hence, the muqtasid are the people of the right hand and the saabiq are the most near and dear to Allaah.

[This is a reference to the Qur’aanic verses, 56:8, 10. “So those of the Right Hand (i.e. those who will be given their Records in their right hands), – Who will be those on the Right Hand? (As a espect for them, because they will enter Paradise).” 56:8″And those Foremost [(in Islamic Faith of Monotheism and in performing religious deeds of obedience to Allaah and His Messanger Muhammad /sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam/) in the life of this world on the very first call to embrace Islam,] will be foremost (in Paradise).” 56:10]

The Salaf (the early Muslims, of the first three generations: the Companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, their successors, and their successors) have explained these points with refence to one or the other act of obedience to Allaah. One has said: “The saabiq is the one who offers prayers at the earliest time; the muqtasid is the one who offers them late, but in time; and the dhaalim is the one who defers, for instance, the evening prayer till the sun turns pale.” Another has said that Allaah has described all the categories of men: the saabiq, the muqtasid and the dhaalim li nafsi-hi towards the end of the Soorah Baqarah where he has mentioned the muhsin or the generous (who) spend money in charity; the ‘Aadil or the just who trade; and the zaalim or the unjust who charge interest. People are either generous in matters of money, unjust or just. The saabiq are the generous ones who give money in charity over and above meeting their obligations, the dhaalim are those who take interest or fail to pay zakah and the muqtasid are those who pay zakah as well as refrain from taking interest, and so on.

– An Introduction to the Principles of Tafseer by Shaykh-ul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah, p. 20-21

Allah mentioned the two groups of His allies – those who strive moderately, and the forerunners – in the sura called Fatir, saying:

[Then we passed the Book on to those whom we chose from among our slaves. Among them were those who opressed themselves (i.e. by disobeying Allah), thsoe who did good in moderation, and forerunners for good with the permission of Allah, that is the greatest of honous.Gardens of permanance which they enter. Therein they are dressed in bands of gold and pearls, and their clothes are made of silk. Theywill say: Praise be to Allah who has removed from us the fear (of falling into the forbidden during the life of this world), our Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Appreciative. He who settled us in the home of permanence and honour, no weariness will touch them therein, neither spiritual nor physical.] Qur’aan, 35/32-35

The three groups mentioned in these verses are the nation of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) specifically, since they are the ones referred to in the phrase: Then, we passed the book onto those whom we chose from among our slaves.

The nation of Muhammad are the ones who were made to inherit the book after the previous nations, as a nation, and this does not refer specifically to those who memorised the Qur’an. Rather, everyone who believes in the Qur’an is one of this group, and Allah divided them into oppressors of themselves, doers of good in moderation, and forerunners. (…)

Thus, the oppressors of themselves are those who intentionnally commit major sins, the doers of good in moderation are those who perform the obligatory and avoid the forbidden, and the forerunners for good are those who fulfil the obligatory, and make extra effort with the nawaafil (non-obligatory actions pleasing to Allah), just as they were described in the above mentioned verses. Whoever repents from his sin – whatever his sin may be – a true and acceptable repentence, is not removed from being among the forerunners for good or the doers of good in moderation, as in Allah’s statement:

[And rush to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden whose width like the heavens and the earth which has been prepared for the pious. Those who spend in good times and in bad, who refrain themselves when enraged, and who are forbearing with people. Allah loves the doers of good. Those who, when they commit some outrage or oppress themselves (by disobedience to Allah), remember Allah and seek His forgiveness for their sins. And who can forgive sins except for Allah? And they do not persist in the wrong which they did after they know. Their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever, and that is the reward of those who strive.] Qur’an, 3/133-6

– From The Criterion Between the Allies of the Merciful and the Allies of the Devil by Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn-e-Taymiyyah, p. 35-36

credits to

Characteristics of a Wali of Allah

Characteristics of a Wali of Allah
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

[This article is adapted from his Book “Criterion between the Allies of Allah and the allies of the Devil”]

From As-Sunnah Bimonthly Islamic Newsletter

The word ‘Awliya’ singular ‘wali’ comes from the root word of wilaya. Wilaya is the opposite of enmity (adawaa). The Wali is therefore the one who is close.

Allah has explained in His Book, and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) that He has awliya among the people and that shaitaan also has his awliya. The Qur’aan mentions the allies of Allah.

“Indeed there is no fear upon the awliya of Allah, nor shall they grieve; those who believe and used to fear Allah much. For them are glad tidings in this life and the Hereafter…” [Soorah Yunus (10): 62]

“Allah is the protector (ally) of those who believe, He takes them out of darkness into light.” [Soorah Baqarah (2): 257]

The allies of devil have also been mentioned in the Qur’aan: “…As for those who disbelieve, their allies are the taaghoot who take them out of the light and into the darkness. Those are the people of fire, and they will be in it forever.” [Soorah Baqarah (2): 257]

“We have made the devils allies of those who do not believe; those who commit outrages and then say: “We found our predecessors on this (tradition)” Surely they have taken the devils as allies instead of Allah, and they think that they are on guidance” [Soorah Al-A’raf (7): 27-28]

After knowing that there are among people allies of the Merciful and the allies of the devil, it becomes very important to differentiate between these groups by means of the criterion, as described by Allah and His Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) as follows: .

The First and Foremost Condition of an Ally of Allah – Taqwa and Belief in Allah –

No slave can be an ally of Allah, unless he has the characteristics of faith and pious practices, since Allah has made faith and piety a pre-condition for His Wilaya. He said:
“Indeed there is no fear upon the awliya of Allah, nor shall they grieve, those who believe and used to fear Allah much (i.e. have Taqwa – piety). For them are glad tidings in this life and the Hereafter…” [Yunus (10): 62]

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said:
“Allah, the Exalted said: “Whoever takes a Wali (loyal slave) of Mine as an enemy, I will wage war on him; and My slave will not perform any act with which he draws closer to Me, more beloved to Me then when he fulfills what I have ordained on him; and My salve will keep drawing closer to Me by performing the Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) until I love him, and when I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him; and if he seeks refuge with Me, I will grant him refuge.” [Saheeh Bukhari]

From this narration and the above-mentioned Qur’aanic verse, we know that the Awliya of Allah are those who believe in Allah and give Him their full loyalty Thus, they love all that Allah loves, hate what Allah hates, are pleased with what Allah is pleased with, despise what Allah despises, they enjoin what Allah enjoins, forbid that what He forbids, give to those whom Allah loves for them to be given, and withhold from those whom Allah loves not to receive, since Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) explained the best handhold of faith to be love and hate for the sake of Allah: “The most dependable handhold on faith is: love for the sake of Allah and hatred for the sake of Allah.” [At-Tirmidhee]

“Whoever loves for Allah, hates for Allah, gives for Allah, and withholds for Allah, has sought the completion of his faith.” [Abu Dawood]

Belief (imaan) of necessity entails belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His Prophets, and the Last Day:
“Say: We believe in Allah and in that which has been sent to us and in that which was sent to Ibrahim, and Ismail and Ishaq and Ya’qub, and the tribes and that which was given to Moosa and Isa and that which was given to the Prophets form their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them, and we submit to Allah. And so, if they believe in that which you believe, they have achieved guidance, but if they turn away, they are surely in rebellion. Allah will suffice you against them and He is the all-hearing, the all-knowing.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 136-137]

“The Prophet has believed in that which is sent to him from his Lord as have the believers. All of them believe in Allah, His angels, His books and His Messengers. We do not differentiate between any of His messengers, and they say: “We hear and we obey. (We seek)Your forgiveness, our Lord to You is the return (of all). Allah does not burden any soul beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.” [Soorah Baqarah (2): 285-6]

“This is a book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who are pious. Those who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them. Those who believe in that which was sent down to you and that which was sent down to those before you, and certainly of faith in the existence of the Hereafter. Such are on a true guidance from their Lord, and such are the successful.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 1-5]

Thus, a necessary component of faith (eeman) is to believe that Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) is the seal of the prophets, and there is no prophet after him, and that Allah sent him to all of the two possessors of free will: humans and jinns. From the moment he was made a prophet, Allah made him the criterion between His allies and His enemies, none are the allies of Allah except one who believes in Muhammad (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) and in that with which he was sent, and follows it openly and in secret. Whoever claims love of Allah and alliance with Allah but does not follow the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) is not one of the allies of Allah. He is one of the allies of shaitaan.

Allah said: “Say (O Mohammad) If you truly love Allah, then follow me so that Allah loves you.” [Al-Imraan (3): 31]

Allah made it clear in the verse that Allah loves whoever follows the Prophet, and whoever claims the love of Allah, but does not follow the Prophet, is not from the allies of Allah. Al-Hasan al-Basri said about this verse: “A group of people claimed to love Allah, so He sent down this verse as a test for them.”

And secondly to believe in all that which he (Prophet) was sent with. Anyone who does not believe in it is not a believer, much less a pious ally of (waly) of Allah. Whoever believes in part of what he brought and rejects part is a kaafir, and not a believer:

“Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Prophets and seek to differentiate between Allah and His prophets, and they say: “We believe in some and we reject some” Such are true disbelievers, and We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment. As for those who believe in Allah and His prophets, and sought not to differentiate between any of them. We shall give them their rewards. And Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful.” [(4): 150-152]

Whatever stage the person reaches in terms of asceticism, devotion, and knowledge, but without belief in the entire message brought by Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), it can never make him a believer, nor an ally of Allah.

Allah said: “Whoever turns away from the reminder of the Merciful, we will assign to him a devil, who will be a partner to him.” [(43): 36]

The reminder is the reminder with which He sent His Messenger such as the Qur’aan. So, whoever does not believe in the Qur’aan, and all the information contained therein, has turned away from it, and so is assigned a shaitaan. He turns himself as blind from the Book of Allah and Allah will turn him blind on the Day of Judgment:

“And whoever turns away form my reminder will have an oppressive, restricted life, and We will resurrect him on the Day of Qiyamah: blind. He will say: “Oh my Lord! Why have you resurrected my blind, while I used to see?” (Allah) will say: “Just as My verses came to you and you forgot them, today you are forgotten.” [Soorah Ta-Ha (20): 124-126]

This verse clearly shows that ‘my reminder’ here is the same thing as ‘my verses’ which Allah sent down. Thus, even if someone mentions Allah (which is known as ‘dhikr’ in Arabic) constantly, day and night, with devotion, but at the same time is not a follower of Allah’s dhikr (Qur’aan) which He sent down to His prophet, he would be one of the allies of shaitaan, even if he were to fly through the air, or walk on water.

Faith also includes – belief that Prophet is the intermediary between Allah and His creation for the purpose of delivering His orders and forbiddance, His promises and threats, and the definition of Halaal and the Haraam. The Halaal is that which Allah and His Messenger have declared Halaal, and the Haraam is what Allah and His Messenger have ordained, because Allah commands the believers to obey him:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and Obey the Messenger and make not vain your deeds.” [Soorah Muhammad (47): 33]

“He who obeys the Messenger had obeyed Allah” [Soorah An-Nisa (4): 80]

He also says: “Whatsoever the Messenger gives you take it and whatsoever he forbids you refrain from it.”

Thus, whoever believes that any waly has a way to Allah without following the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) is a kaafir, and is an ally of the devil.

Actions of the Allies of Allah

The allies of Allah are of two levels: forerunners those who brought near – and those of the right hand who act in moderation. Allah, the Exalted says reminding the Day of Judgement:
“And you (all) will be in three kinds (i.e separate groups). So those on the Right Hand and Who will be those of the Right Hand? And those on the Left Hand and who will be those on the Left Hand? And those foremost will be foremost in Paradise. They will be those nearest to Allah.” [Soorah al-Waqiyah (56): 8-12]

And again Allah says in the end of the same Soorah: “Then, if the dying person be of the Muqarraboon (those brought near to Allah.) (There is for him) rest and provision, and a Garden of delights (Paradise). And if he be of those on the Right Hand. Then there is safety and peace for those on the Right Hand. But if he be of the denying then for him is entertainment with boiling water. And burning in Hell-Fire.” [(56): 88-94]

And the actions of these two groups are mentioned in the Hadeeth of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam):
“Allah says: “Whoever takes a Wali (loyal slave) of Mine an enemy, I will wage war on him; and My slave will not perform any act with which he draws closer to Me, more beloved to Me then when he fulfills what I have ordained on him; and My salve will keep drawing closer to Me by performing the Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) until I love him, and when I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hands with which he strikes, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him; and if he seeks refuge with Me, I will grant him refuge.” [Saheeh Bukharee]

Consequently, the righteous – those of the Right Hand are those who seek to come close to Allah with obligatory actions: they do that which Allah has ordered them to do, and avoid that which Allah has forbidden them, and do not demand of themselves the doing of the commendable but less than obligatory (i.e. mandoob), or the avoiding of some of the disrecommendable of the allowed (i.e. makrooh)

As for the forerunners those brought near, they sought to come close to Allah with extra efforts after the obligatory. They did the obligatory and the commendable, and avoided the forbidden and the non-recommended. When they sought to come close to Him with everything within their ability of that which they love, Allah’s love for them became complete, as Allah says: “…My salve will keep drawing closer to Me by performing the Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship) until I love him…” [Saheeh Bukharee]

The Allies of Allah have no Special Appearance

The allies of Allah have no special appearance with which they differ form other people. They have no special dress from other than just being permissible. Rather, they are to be found in all categories of the nation of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam). However, the Qur’aan and the Sunnah show clearly that the best people in the sight of Allah is the one with the most of Taqwa (pious practice):

“O people, we have created you from a male and a female and made you in peoples and tribes that you may know each other. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the greatest in righteous practice.” [Soorah al-Hujarat (49): 13]

Abu Hurairah narrates in a Saheeh Hadeeth: “The Prophet of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) was asked: “Which people are the best? He said: “Those greatest in taqwa (righteous practice)”… [Bukhareee and Muslim]

Allies of Allah are not ma’soom (protected) from mistakes

It is not a condition for an ally of Allah that he be free of (protected from) mistakes and errors. It is quite possible that some knowledge of the shari’ah may be hidden from him, just as it is possible for him to be confused about some issues in Islam But, he may not necessarily because of this, leave the ranks of allies of Allah, since Allah has overlooked and forgiven for this Ummah error, acts of forgetting, and things done under compulsion:

“There is no burden upon you for that in which you were mistaken, rather that which you have done with the full determination of the heart.” [Soorah Ahzab (33): 5]

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “When a ruler exerts himself to arrive at the correct ruling, and is correct, he gets two rewards and when he exerts himself but is mistaken, he gets one reward.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

Since, it is possible for any ally of Allah to make a mistake. It can never be obligatory upon the people to believe in everything any one of them says, except that in the case that one of them is a prophet. Rather, it is obligatory for him to measure all of that up to the criterion of that which the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) brought. If it is in agreement therewith then he can accept it, but if it is in disagreement then he must reject it, and if he cannot be sure whether it is in accordance with the Prophet’s message or at variance with it, he must refrain from believing it or applying it.

The second Caliph Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), regarding whom Prophet of Allah (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “In previous nations there were individuals who were addressed (with the truth). If there are such people in my nation, Umar is the one of them.” [Bukharee and Muslim]

“Verily, Allah has put the truth on the tongue of Umar and in his heart.” [At- Tirmidhee (hasan)]

But, Umar always did that which was obligatory upon him: i.e. – to measure things that occurred to him against that with which the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam) was sent. He never said: “I am mahaddath, I receive inspiration and visions, and so you should accept that which I say and not oppose me therein.”

Heart is an intuitions and not protected from falling into errors, and so one needs always to measure them against that which has been brought by the Prophet (sallalahu alaihe wa-sallam), the protected from falling into error. And the early scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed that the opinions of any man can be accepted and rejected i.e. they are open to questions except for the statements of the Prophet.

The point we are making here is an issue of complete consensus of the allies of Allah:

It is obligatory upon the allies of Allah to hold tight to the criterion; the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, and no one of them is ma’soom; i.e. protected against falling into errors, such that it is permissible to him or to his followers to follow that which comes to his heart without subjecting it to the test of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Whoever does not accept this is in no way or shape or form among the allies of Allah, whom Allah has ordered us to emulate. Such a person is either ‘kafir’ or is engaged in extreme and excessive foolishness and ignorance.

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