Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(545 words)

Person marked by divine favor, holiness. The idea of special, chosen people, “saints,” is alien to the Qurʾān (for the closest qurʾānic attestation of this concept, see election ). The word walī (pl. awliyāʾ) used later for these people, though occurring very frequently, does not designate special people distinguished by striking qualities but the faithful as such, who are devout ( ṣāliḥūn, muttaqūn; see good and evil; piety). This makes them friends of God and he is their friend (see friends and friendship; clients and clientage). Satan (see devil ), who is the enemy ( ʿaduww) of God and…

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Radtke, B., “Saint”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 29 March 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00366>

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