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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2009) Part of a series on Aqidah Five Pillars of Islam Shahādah · Ṣalāt Ṣawm · Zakāh · Hajj Sunni Islam Six articles of belief Allah Prophets / Messengers Holy books · Angels The Last Judgement Predestination · Afterlife Shi'a Twelvers Principles Tawhīd · ‘Adalah Nubuwwah · Imāmah Qiyamah Practices Ṣalāt · Ṣawm · Zakāh Hajj · Khums · Jihad Commanding what is just Forbidding what is evil Tawallā' · Tabarrá Ismaili Seven Pillars Walāyah · Ṭawhid · Ṣalāt Zakāh · Ṣawm · Hajj · Jihad Kharijites Sixth Pillar of Islam v · d · e This article is about the "pillar of Islam", for the historical view, see Imamah (Shi'a Ismaili doctrine) Walayah (Arabic: ولاية‎) means Guardianship. Walayah or Walaya, in the most literal form of the word, means "a person, community, or country that is under the direction and rule of another". It is an Arabic word derived from the root wly, which carries the basic meanings of “friendship, assistance”, and “authority or power”.[1] The word holds a special importance in Islamic spiritual life and it is used with various meanings, which relate to its different functions, which include: “next of kin, ally, friend, helper, guardian, patron, and saint”.[1] In its connotation of sainthood, the word describes an innate sense of selflessness and separation from one’s own wants in favor of awareness of being “under the dominion of the all-living, self-subsistent one and of the need to acquire nearness to the necessarily existent being – which is God.” [2]. Contents 1 Overview 2 Ismaili and Druze pillar 3 References 4 See also Overview Individuals that have attained this level are believed to be both favored and live in a state of nearness with God. The first step in sainthood is indicated in the Qu'ran verse (2:257): God is He Who loves, guards and directs those who believe; He has led them out of all kinds of darkness into the light, and keeps them firm therein. and also in (10:62): Know well that the confidants (saintly servants) of God-there will be no reason for them to fear (both in this world and the next, for they shall always find My help and support with them), nor shall they grieve.[2] One who has been favored with sainthood is called a wali or Waliullah, meaning a saint.[2] Walayah may also be translated as a word used to describe a certain group of people selected by God from among millions of others to be “His friends” because of their closeness to God. And thus, a saint, or a friend to God, is thought to have favor in the eyes of the Lord.[2] For an individual to achieve walaya, or sainthood, a person must first become, and remain, a pristine example of a truly religious person, an example for all other Muslims to look up to. Upon these individuals, the peace and blessing of God have been placed.[2] In the Qur'an, walaya is expressed in the fable of the rich but immoral owner of two gardens and his poor but pious companion. The rich man ends up a loser despite his prosperity and power, for ultimately, the walayah belongs to God, the Truth (18:44).[3]. It is said that “Saints, as exemplary Muslims, represent the highest virtues and religious commitment worthy of emulation."[cite this quote] These individuals who have reached such statuses in the Muslim religion are thought to bridge the gap between followers and their God and the common folk. Waliyy, or saints can be both men and women. Ismaili and Druze pillar Walayah is an Ismaili and Druze pillar of Islam denoting: "love and devotion for God, the Prophets, the Imam and the dai." References ^ a b "Walyah". BookRags.  ^ a b c d e "Walaya sainthood".  ^ "WALAYAH, WALI, WILAYAH". BookRags.  Bloom, J.; Blair, S. (2002). Islam, A Thousand Years of Faith and Power. New Haven: Yale University Press.  See also Islamic leadership Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)