Dictionary / Arabic - Turkish Terminology

WALÂYAH – ولاية


Literally: A being closely connected with another in love, friendship and loyalty. Being an aid or protector. Aid. Protection.

The state and situation of a person who is walî. Being walî and darwish.


In Maktubat, Imam-i Rabbani (Radiallahu ‘anh), the hero and a sun of the Naqshbandi Order, said: "I prefer the unfolding of a single matter of the haqiqahs of îmân to thousands of azwâq, ecstasies, and instances of karâmât."

He also said: "The final point of all the tarîqs is the clarification and unfolding of the haqiqahs of îmân."

He also said: "Walâyah is of three sorts: one is the 'lesser Walâyah,' which is the well-known Walâyah. The others are the 'middle Walâyah' and the 'greater Walâyah.' 'Greater Walâyah' is to open up by way of the legacy of nubuwwah a direct way to haqiqah without entering the barzakh of tasawwuf."

He said also: "The ma'nawî journeying on the Naqshi way is with two wings." That is, "Through having a firm belief in the haqiqahs of îmân and carrying out the religious fardh. If there is a defect in these two wings, the way cannot be traversed." In which case, the tarîq of Naqshi consists of three 'veils':

The First and most important is direct service to the haqiqahs of îmân; Imam-i Rabbani (ra) travelled this way in his later years.

The Second is service to the religious fardh and Glorious Sunnah under the veil of the tarîqah.

The Third is to work to eliminate the sicknesses of the heart by way of Tasawwuf and to journey with the feet of the heart. Of these, the first is the equivalent of fardh, the second wâjib, and the third Sunnah.” The Fifth Letter


“My ‘Azîz Brother!

Your First Question:

Why could the Sahâbah not discover the corrupters with the eye of walâyah, so that it resulted in three of the four Rightly-Guided Khalîfahs becoming shahîd? Whereas, it is said that the lesser Sahâbah is greater than the greatest awliyâ?

The Answer: There are two Stations in this matter.


This question is solved by explaining a subtle mystery of walâyah. It is as follows:

The Sahâbah's walâyah is a walâyah which is called walâyah al-kubra (the greatest walâyah) which arises from the legacy of nubuwwah, passes directly from the apparent to the haqiqah without taking the way of barzakh and looks to the unfolding of Ilahî immediacy.  Although this way of walâyah is very short, it is extremely elevated. Its wonders are few, but its virtues are many. Kashf and karâmât are seen a few on this way. Moreover, the karâmât of the awliyâ are mostly involuntary; wonders appear from them unexpectedly as an Ilahî bestowal. And the majority of these kashf and karâmât occur during their ma'nawî journeying while they pass the barzakh of the tarîqah; they manifest these extra-ordinary states because they withdraw, to a degree, from ordinary humanity. As for the Sahâbah, due to the reflection, attraction and elixir of the conversations of nubuwwah, they were not compelled to traverse the vast sphere of ma'nawî journeying present on the tarîqah. They were able to pass from the apparent to haqiqah in one step, through one conversation.

For example: There are two ways of reaching the Night of Qadr if it was last night:

One is to travel and wander for a year and so come to that night. In order to gain this proximity the distance of a year has to be traversed. This is the way of those who take the way of ma'nawî journeying, which most of the people of tarîqah take.

The second is to slip free of the sheath of corporeality, which is restricted by time, to rise in the rûh through divesting, and to see the Night of Qadr, which was last night, together with the night of the 'Id, which is the day after tomorrow, as being present like today. For the rûh is not restricted by time. When human feelings rise to the level of the rûh, present time expands. Times which are the past and the future for others is as the present for such a person.

Thus, according to this comparison, in order to reach the Night of Qadr, one has to rise to the level of the rûh and see the past as though it is the present. The basis of this obscure mystery is the unfolding of Ilahî immediacy.

For example: The sun is close to us, for its light, heat and reflection are present in our mirror and in our hand. But we are far from it. If we perceive its immediacy from the point of view of luminosity, and understand our relation to its image in our mirror, which is a similitude; if we come to know it by that means and know what its light, heat and totality are, its immediacy is unfolded to us and we recognize it as close to us and we become connected to it. If we want to draw close to it and get to know it from the point of view of our distance from it, we are compelled to embark on an extensive journeying of the mind and thought, so  we may rise to the skies by our thought through the laws of science, and conceive of the sun there and after understanding its light and heat and the seven colours in its light by a lengthy scientific investigation we can barely attain to the ma'nawî proximity the first man attained with little thought through his mirror.

Thus, like this comparison, nubuwwah and the walâyah in the legacy of nubuwwah look to the unfolding of the mystery of Ilahî immediacy. The other walâyah proceed mostly on the basis of proximity, and are compelled to traverse numerous degrees in ma’nawî journeying…

If it is said : Why did Hazrat 'Umar (ra) not see his murderer, Firuz, who was at his side with that piercing eye of walâyah of his, although while in the minbar he said to one of his commanders called Sariya who was a month's distance away, يَا سَارِيَةُ اَلْجَبَلَ اَلْجَبَلَ 1 making Sariya hear it and wondrously causing a strategic victory-showing how piercing his view was?

The Answer: We answer with the answer that the Hazrat Ya’qûb (as) gave. That is, it was asked of Hazrat Ya’qûb, زِ مِصْرَشْ بُوىِ پِيرَاهَنْ شِنِيدِى چِرَا دَرْ چَاهِ كَنْعَانَشْ نَدِيدِى بَگُفْتْ اَحْوَالِ مَا بَرْقِ جِهَانَسْتْ دَمِى پَيْدَا و دِيگَرْ دَمْ نِهَانَسْتْ گَهِى بَرْ طَارُمِ اَعْلَى نِشِينَمْ گَهِى بَرْ پُشْتِ پَاىِ خُودْ نَبِينَم "How did you perceive the odour of Yûsuf's shirt from Egypt when you did not see him in the well at Cana'an close by?" He replied: "Our state is like lightning; sometimes it appears and sometimes it is hidden. Sometimes it is as though we are seated on the highest spot and can see everywhere. And sometimes we cannot even see the arch of our foot."

In Short: However much man acts with choice, still, in accordance with the mystery of the âyah, وَمَا تَشَاؤُنَ اِلاَّ اَنْ يَشَاءَ اللّٰهُ 2 , Ilahî will is fundamental and qadar is dominant. Ilahî will gives back human will. It confirms the statement, اِذَا جَاءَ الْقَدَرُ عُمِىَ الْبَصَرُ "If Qadar speaks, human power cannot speak, man's juz’ al-ikhtiyârî falls silent."The Letters (71-74 )



1 (Yâ Sariya! The mountain, the mountain!)

2 (You do not will it except as Allah wills)

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