Does Taqwa and Dhikr Lead to Wilaya (Divine Election)?
Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
Does abstaining from sin and remembering Allah Most High bring upon electhood/friendship with Allah?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Allah Most High states in the Quran, “There will certainly be no fear for the close servants of Allah, nor will they grieve. They are those who are faithful and are mindful ˹of Him˺. For them is good news in this worldly life and the Hereafter. There is no change in the promise of Allah. That is ˹truly˺ the ultimate triumph.” [Quran, 10:62-4]
The close servants of Allah Most High mentioned in the above verse are the Awliya (i.e. the elect servants and friends of Allah), and Allah Most High describes them with two main qualities: faith and mindfulness (taqwa).
These are the two most essential qualities for a believer to reach wilaya. Faith and taqwa are only achieved through the acquisition of the personally obligatory knowledge of the Religion and implementing such knowledge which is the understanding of mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as ‘obeying the commands of Allah Most High and abstaining from His prohibitions, both outwardly and inwardly, out of a sense of reverence, fear, and awe of Allah Most High.’ [Haddad, The Book of Assistance]
By implementing these two qualities, one will attain general electhood. Higher levels of electhood are then achieved by increased amounts of voluntary worships and abundant remembrance of Allah Most High.
This entire process is summarized in a beautiful Hadith Qudsi. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) narrates that Allah Most High says, “My slave cannot draw nearer to Me with anything more beloved to Me than that which I have made obligatory on him. My slave continues to draw nearer to Me with voluntary (worships) until I love him. And when I love him, I become the eyes by which he sees; the ears by which he hears, the hand by which he grasps, and the feet by which he walks. If he asks of Me, I give him and if he, seeks refuge with Me, I protect him.” [Bukhari]
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.