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Offline Reader Questions

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What is the Meaning of 'Maula' in the Quran
« on: June 29, 2012, 07:45:57 AM »
Assalam Bro JAI,

The meaning of Maula in Arabic is Master (Allah) but in Aya 33:5 it is as friend in faith. What is difference between "Mawallayykum" and "Maulaykum " & what is the singular form of these words?

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: What is the Meaning of 'Maula' in the Quran
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 07:47:27 AM »
Salamun Alaikum

The meaning of 'mawla' does not only mean 'master' in the Quran. It admits different shades of meaning depending on context. When used as an attribute of God, it can also mean Protector as well as Master / Lord.

It also means heir, friend and also 'protector' even when not used as a Divine attribute.

For example, if you read 22:13, 'mawla' is used with 'bisa' (to be evil) to say 'lab'isa mawla' which means 'surely an evil protector / friend'. So here the word 'mawla' simply means 'protector / friend' and is not used as a Divine attribute.


'mawla'   =          singular
'mawali'  =           plural 

The root is WLY (wali).

Even God calls the human owner of a slave the 'mawla' - See 16:76. So 'mawla' is simply an attribute describing a charge, one who is a protector or master. Even the fire of hell is called 'mawla' of the disbelievers (57:15) i.e. their protector / refuge / master / friend. Therefore, different shades of meaning are clearly apparent in the Quran and the word is not used exclusively for God.

The word 'maula'na' with the 1st person plural pronoun 'na' (our) meaning 'our protector' is an attribute used for God in the Quran.

In 33:5, the word is 'mawaleekum' and not ‘Mawallayykum’. Your are pronouncing it incorrectly. ‘Mawaleekum’ as used in 33:5 simply means your friends / protectors. As the context is about 'deen', it simply means your friends / protectors in religion.

Context is very important as is an appreciation of the shades of meaning depending on how and where a particular word has been used.

I hope that helps, God willing.
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