Part Seven: Our Walaa' (Loyalty)
Our Walaa' (loyalty) are directed to Allah ( SWT ), His Messenger and the Believers.
"Allah is the Wali (Protector, Guardian, Supporter) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 257.]
"Verily, my Wali (Protector, Guardian, Supporter) is Allah, who revealed the Book (the Qur'an) and He protects (supports and helps) the righteous." [Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 196.]
"That is because Allah is the Mawla (Lord, Master, Helper, Protector) of those who believe." [Surah Muhammad (47), Ayah 11.]
"Say: `Shall I take as a Wali (Protector, Guardian, Supporter) any other than Allah, the Creator of the Heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed.'" [Surah Al-An'am (6), Ayah 14.]
Allah is the Protector of the faithful. It is He who creates and gives sustenance. He gives life and causes death. He guides to the Truth and gives victory to its people. He accepts repentance and relieves hardship. He accepts the smallest good works and rewards their doer and forgives much error and sin. He gives the believing servants assurance and support in their graves in order to supply the correct answers to the questions of the two Angels. He assures them on the day when all of creation will tremble with fear: The Day of Judgement. He will admit the believers into Paradise when the rest of people who fall into the Hell-Fire. So how can we not seek Allah's protection? To whom else could we turn if He deserted us and what destruction would befall us if He left us to fend for ourselves for a single instant? We can but stand in humble supplication between the Hands of our Lord, asking Him as Prophet Joseph (as) had done (which means),
"You are my Wali (Protector, Guardian, Supporter, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous." [Surah Yusuf (12), Ayah 101.]
Indeed, this is the correct starting point. To uproot all loyalty and allegiance from the heart except loyalty and allegiance to Allah ( SWT ) alone. As the Prophet
is the Messenger who conveyed the words of his Lord. Allah linked obedience to Him with obedience to the Prophet in forty verses of the Qur'an. He linked love for Him with love for His Messenger and that he is more deserved of our hearts and sacrifices than our own selves, as Allah ( SWT ) says (which means),
"The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves." [Surah Al- Ahzaab (33), Ayah 6.]
We must hasten to give Walaa' (allegiance and loyalty) to the Prophet and love him more than we love our own selves. How can we not do this when he takes us by the hand into Paradise when our selves attempt to entice us away from it? It is the Prophet who shields us from the Hell-Fire when our selves virtually attempt to push us into it. This was why the Prophet instructed `Umar bin Al- Khattab to love him more than he loved himself.
Our loyalty is to Allah, the Benefactor, the Guide to the Straight Path and to His Messenger who conveyed His Guidance to us:
"Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brother, your wives, your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; and the dwellings in which you delight, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and waging Jihad in His Cause, then wait until Allah brings about His Decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are Fasiqoon (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).'" [Surah At-Taubah (9), Ayah 24.]
Every loyalty and love, apart from those reserved for Allah and His Messenger, are uprooted from the heart. The servant puts his love for Allah and the Prophet
above any other affection and he stands waiting for the instructions from his Lord and his Messenger:
"Verily, your Wali (Protector, Guardian, Supporter) is Allah, His Messenger and the believers." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 55.]
"As whoever takes Allah, His Messenger and those who have believed, as awliyyaa' (protectors, supporters), then the party of Allah will be the victorious." [Surah Al-Ma'idah (5), Ayah 56.]
"The believers are nothing else than brothers." [Surah Al-Hujuraat (49), Ayah 10.]
Allah instructed the believers to protect, love, support and assist one another, that is, in other words, to be awliyyaa' of one another. They stand together like a solid structure; their feelings, thoughts, principles, aims, `Aqeedah, methods, traditions and habits united. The believers are one group and one sect, with only the love and loyalty for Allah and His Messenger in their hearts.
This is the unifying tie and real bond. All other ties other than that of `Aqeedah, be it a tie of blood and kinship, homeland and country, tribe and folk, colour and language are Jahili ties. All these are bonds of ignorance that should be placed under the feet of Islam.
Islam has abolished all these loyalties and bound all the Muslims together with the greatest of ties. No Arab is favoured over a non-Arab, no fair skinned Muslim is superior to a black Muslim, except by the degree of piety they have. The believers alone direct their loyalty and allegiance to Allah, His Messenger and all the believers who came before them,
"And those who came after them say: `Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of Kindness, most Merciful." [Surah Al-Hashr (59), Ayah 10.]
The Muslims also stand alone to direct their loyalty to those who will come after them. All the false ties disappear and only faith and loyalty to Allah and the Prophet remain to hold them together. The source of their faith is one, their method of receiving it is the same, their criteria for judging all things are identical. In fact their structure has been made fairly solid.
If any Muslim is weakened, his brethren strengthen him; if any of them slip, his brethren help him up; if any excel, his brethren support him. This loyalty gives Muslims the greatest strength; it gives them the support of Allah, His love, assistance and protection. It gives them strength and brings about solidarity. Their enemies. realise the dangers this unity poses to them, but it remains impossible to penetrate their ranks and destroy this sacred bond. The faithful, therefore, must be on guard. Our only true strength is Allah and His Messenger. Our only real bond is faith. If we neglect this bond, Allah will abandon us and we will be scattered like dry leaves in the wind, divided by colour, race, language, nationality and political inclination. The Prophet said, "The strongest bonds of faith are loyalty to Allah and animosity to His enemies, love for Allah and abhorrence of what He dislikes." The degree of a servant's faith determines the degree of loyalty he has towards Allah and the Prophet .
 It has been authentically related through a number of transmitters that the dead are questioned in their graves upon burial by two angels called Munkar and Nakeer. These two angels ask the dead the following questions: "Who is your Lord?", "What is your religion?" and "What do you say about the man who was sent to you (meaning Muhammad )?". Only the righteous will be able to answer these questions correctly with the help of Allah ( SWT ). Allah knows best.