Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Friends and Friendship
(1,442 words)

One attached to another by affection, loyalty or common experience. In the Qurʾān, the terms walī, khalīl and (in certain instances) ṣadīq all correspond in some sense to the English word “friend.” Of these, the term walī (sometimes in the plural form awliyāʾ) appears most frequently, and it is often paired with naṣīr, “helper,” or shafīʿ, “intercessor” (see intercession ). Unless otherwise indicated, the term walī is used in all references cited below.

The Qurʾān envisages friendship primarily as an alliance (see covenant; loyalty; protection). It makes little distinction between al…

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Marlow, Louise, “Friends and Friendship”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 30 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00165>

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