Home > Tawheed > Who is the most intimate friend (kha’lil) of The Lord of the Universe?

Who is the most intimate friend (kha’lil) of The Lord of the Universe?


I came across this interesting piece on the types of love and who are the 2 that are khalil (intimate friends) of Allah. This is an excerpt from Muhammad Ansari, Commentary on the Creed of at-Tahawi, pp. 220 -223

(33) He is very dear to the Lord of the Worlds.

    It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be on him) enjoyed the
    highest degree of Allah’s love, which is khilllah (intimacy). He said,
    “Allah took me as His most intimate friend (khatfI) as He had earlier
    taken Abraham as His most intimate friend.”‘5 On another occasion
    he said, “If I were to take an inhabitant of the Earth as my most
    intimate friend, I would chose Abu Bakr. But Allah, the Most
    Gracious, has taken your companion (I.e. the Prophet) as His most
    intimate friend.”‘6 Both of these a/:ziidfth are in the Sa/:zf/:z (of Imam
    Muslim). They clearly refute those who say that khilllah (intimacy)
    was only for Abraham while ma/:zabbah (love) was for MuJ:1ammad.
    Therefore, they say, Abraham is the khalfl Allah (‘the intimate of
    Allah’) while Mu1)ammad is Allah’s /:zabfb (‘beloved’). In the Sa/:zf/:z,
    there are also the words, “Let it be known that I (the Prophet) have
    no khalfl among mankind.””
    As for love, it has been confirmed for many others besides the
    Prophet (peace be on him). For example, Allah says, “Allah loves
    those who do good” [3:134]; “Truly, Allah loves the pious” [3:76],
    and, “Truly, Allah loves those who keep themselves pure and clear”
    [2:222].

    It is clear, therefore, that those who say that intimacy (khallah)
    was reserved for Abraham and that Mul;mmmad was only given love
    (maf;abbah) are wrong. The truth is that khallah was reserved for
    both of them while love was granted to many others. At-TinnidbI
    recorded on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas a f;adUh which states,
    “Abraham is the khaW ofAllah. As for me, I am the f;ablb of Allah.
    And this is not boasting.”88 But this f;adUh is not authentic.
    Love has different degrees:
    First is ‘iltiqah, where the heart has fondness for the beloved.
    Second is irtidah, where the heart is inclined towards the
    beloved and seeks the beloved.
    Third is liabtibah, where the heart overflows with love which
    cannot be checked, in the same way that the flow of water into a
    tunnel cannot be checked.
    Fourth is ghartim, where the love clings to the heart and is
    always present. From the same root is ghtirim, which means ‘one
    who keeps constant company’. Allah has used it as an adjective,
    “…the torment ofHell will always be with them (gharam)” [25:65].
    The fifth is mawaddah or wadd. This is the pure, sincere and
    real love. Allah says in the Qur’an, “The Merciful will set for them
    His pure love (wadel)” [19:96].
    Sixth is shaghaj, which is infatuation, or love that has gone into
    the innermost recesses ofthe heart.
    The seventh is ‘ishq. This is the extreme love that even threatens
    the life ofthe lover. One cannot attribute this kind of love to Allah,
    nor is this the kind of love that the servant has for his Lord, even
    though some people do use this term. There is a difference of
    opinion concerning why it is prohibited. Some say that it is because
    the word never occurs in the Qur’an or f;adUh. Other reasons are
    also given. Perhaps, it is prohibited to use this term because it
    implies lust (shahwah).
    Eighth is tatayyam, which means love that enslaves.
    Ninth is ta ‘abbud, or worship.
    And tenth is khallah. This is the love that permeates and fills the
    spirit and the heart ofthe lover.
    These types have also been mentioned in different sequences by
    different people. But the above order is the best. A little reflection
    will reveal its merits.

    8SPart of a i).adfth in Muslim, AI-Masiijid, 532; also in AkTabaranI, AI-Kabir, ] 686.
    “Muslim, Far,!ii’il a,y-$aQiibah, 2383; At-TirmidhI, AI-Maniiqib, 3656; Ibn Majah,
    93; A!)mad, 1:377, 389, 409, 433.
    “Muslim, 532; At-TabaranI, AI-Kabfr, 1986.

    92 Sharf; Al- ‘Aqldah At-Taf;tiwlyyah

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