Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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Walī
(2,438 words)

(a.) 1. From the Arabie root wala, to be near, and waliya, to govern, to rule, to protect someone. In ordinary use this word means protector, benefactor, companion, friend and is applied also to near relatives, especially in Turkish [cf. the art. ʿaṣaban wilāya].

When used in a religious connection walī corresponds very much to our title “saint”; but the idea behind it has given rise to a regular theory and in practice has attained sufficient importance for it to be necessary to explain the use of the term. In the Ḳurʾān this theory does not yet exist; the term walī is found there with several…

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Carra de Vaux, B., “Walī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 10 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_5949>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936



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