Quranic Reflection No. 538. Ayat 7:196 – Divine Guardianship for the Righteous

إِنَّ وَلِيِّيَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ ۖ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ
Inna waliyyallāhul-ladhī nazzalal-kitāba wahuwa yatawallas-sālhīn
My guardian is indeed Allah who sent down the Book, and He takes care of the righteous.
(Sūrat al-A‘rāf, No 7, Āyat 196)

One of the hopes of a believer is to be righteous and be counted from among respected group of the righteous people. A constant prayer recited often is: unite me with the Righteous (Q 26:83). It was a prayer also recited by the Prophets themselves. Prophet Yūsuf ‘alayhis-salām says: Originator of the heavens and earth! You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter! Let my death be in submission [to You] and unite me with the Righteous. (Q 12:101)

In the above verse and the verse preceding it, the Holy Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam is told to tell the disbelievers that they can scheme against him as much as they wish and not give him any respite. Allah ‘azza wajall has sent down the Quran to him as a source of inspiration and guidance. And he is under Allah’s guardianship. How can anyone hurt him who has Allah for a guardian? Whatever befalls him would be what his guardian wants him to go through.

The guardianship of Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā is the source of much good for the believer:
a. Path towards Light – Allah is the Guardian of the faithful: He brings them out of darkness into light. (Q 2:257)
b. Gives courage – When two groups among you were about to lose courage—though Allah is their guardian, and in Allah let all the faithful put their trust.  (Q 3:122)
c. Is sufficient for him – But Allah knows your enemies better, and Allah suffices as guardian, and Allah suffices as helper. (Q 4:45)
d. His guardianship extends to His chosen ones who act as guides for the believers – Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down. (Q 5:55)
e. He will be with them in their abode in the Hereafter – For them shall be the abode of peace near their Lord and He will be their guardian because of what they used to do (Q 6:127).

These and other verses show the power of guardianship of Allah.

This understanding of Allah as a guardian has very powerful consequences for the morale of a believer. It boosts his spirit, gives him strength, and makes him unafraid of enemies, even if they are apparently strong and overwhelming. Imam Husayn ‘alayhis-salām recited the above verse in his sermon to the enemies on the Day of Ashura: O people of Iraq! Listen to me and do not make haste to kill me so that I may tell you what I must and appraise you of the reason for my coming to Iraq. If you accept my excuse, believe in what I say, and behave towards me fairly, you will level for yourselves the path of prosperity, and then you will have no reason to kill me. And even if you do not accept my excuse and deviate from the path of justice, you must ponder over the pros and cons of the matter before you kill me and should not undertake such a delicate task rashly and without deliberation. My guardian is indeed Allah who sent down the Book, and He takes care of the righteous.

One of the greatest lessons we have learned from Karbala is trust and reliance on Allah (swt). To know that Allah is guardian of believers gives us strength in facing our own circumstances and the challenges that we face as an Ummah. May the Almighty accept our ‘Azā for the holy family and make us from the righteous ones who have the honor of Allah’s guardianship.

Sources: Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nūr.