The plural of ‘Wali’ is ‘Awliya’. It is an Arabic word meaning friend. Awliya Allah, therefore, means Friends of Allah almighty. To become a friend to Allah isn’t something you just do. Allah honours certain people; some from birth and others due to their deeds. Here are some characteristics of the Awliya.
#1. They love Allah
Every person obviously wants the love of Allah, or should I say needs the love of Allah. But how many of us are willing to love Allah back? The Awliya are people who actually love Allah. Not because HE can punish them or because HE is more powerful than them. They just love him for being Allah. They always want HIM to be pleased with them. The Quran says: “And those who believe are overflowing in their love for Allah” (2:165)
#2. They remind you of Allah
The Hadith reports that that when the Prophet (pbuh) was asked about the characteristics of the Awliya, he declared, “Allah is remembered when they are seen.” (Nawawi and Ibn Majah). In order words, their presence alone can make you increase in faith.
#3. They do not grief or fear
The holy Quran says: “No doubt! Verily, the Awliya’ of Allah [i.e. those who believe in the Oneness of Allah and fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which he has forbidden), and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)], no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve, Those who believed (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and used to fear Allah much (by abstaining from evil deeds and sins and by doing righteous deeds). For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world (i.e. righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allah, this is indeed the supreme success.” (Yunus 10:62-64)
#4. They feel fear when they hear the verses of Allah
Allah (SWT) said in the Quran Surah Al Anfal verse 2 to 4: “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’an) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone); Who perform As-Salat (prayer) and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in truth. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and Forgiveness and a generous provision (Paradise).”
#5. They constantly make Tawbah
The friends of Allah constantly repent for their sins. They do not underestimate any sin no matter how little it may seem, and they fear deeply when they feel they have done wrong.
#6. They remember Allah much
The friends of Allah ponder much and are very conscious of their creator. The holy Quran says: “Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Their hearts are attached to Allah.
#7. They do not talk much
We are accounted for every word we utter. That is why the people who are very close to Allah do not engage in talkativeness. They only talk when necessary and they speak truth. In their silence, they are remembering Allah.
#8. They do not eat much
For a person who constantly remembers Allah, death, day of resurrection, heaven and hell, food is the least of his priorities. That is because they are too afraid of their creator to have appetite, and too eager for their meeting with HIM (swt) and paradise.
#9. They love for the sake of Allah
The friends of Allah only love that which Allah loves and hate what Allah hates. Their friends are those who are pious and also fear Allah. They do not keep bad company at all. In fact, it is better for them to be alone than to keep a company that is not for Allah’s sake.
#10. They are charitable
The friends of Allah are very generous. They give and keep little for themselves but they are not extravagant.
#11. They have taqwa (piety)
The holy Quran says: “Those who have accepted faith and practice piety”. (Surah Yunus 10:63). Taqwa has many meanings; faith, consciousness of Allah. The friends of Allah are constantly thinking about the hereafter. They constantly think about death, and heaven and hell.
#12. They perform supererogatory acts of worship
The Awliya do not just perform the obligatory prayer, they go an extra mile. They feel excited to carry out good deeds because they enjoy pleasing Allah. In fact, the Awliya are well known for fasting and spending the night worshipping Allah. According to the hadith, Allah says, “My slave keeps drawing nearer to Me by means of supererogatory (nawafil) acts of worship until I love Him.”
#13. They are humble
A wali of Allah may not even know he is a Wali of Allah. He may look very poor or shabby. He wants neither praise nor flattery and he never shows off.
Although the description of the awliya is like the description of believers in general, it is important to understand that the awliya are steadfast and devoted completely to Allah. They give everything to Allah, and have absolutely no attachment or love for the worldly things. They are very eager for the meeting with Allah because of the immense love they have for HIM.
The reward for the friends of Allah Is mentioned in the holy Quran: “Verily those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and they remain steadfast, on them the angels will descend (at death) saying: “Fear not nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise, which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are so in the hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner selves desire, and therein shall you have all that you ask for” (41:30-31)
We ask Allah to grant us death as Muslims and resurrect us with the believe