To Be A Man Of Wara'

Hadrat [1] Imam-i Rabbani says in the 66th letter of the second volume of his Maktubat:

Our Prophet said, "Allahu ta'ala declares: 'O My born slave! Do the fard [2] I command; you will be the most devoted of human beings. Avoid the haram [3] which I prohibit; you will be a man of wara' [4]. Be contented with the sustenance that I give you; you will be the wealthiest of human beings; you will not need anybody." Our Prophet said to Abu Hurayra 'radiy-Allahu anh': "Be a man of wara' so that you may be the most abid (devoted) of human beings."

Hadrat Hasan-i Basri 'rahmatullahi aleyh' says, "Attaining wara' as much as a mote is more useful than a thousand supererogatory fasts and salat [5]." Abu Hurayra 'radiy-Allahu anh' said, "On the Day of Resurrection, those who are valuable in the presence of Allahu ta'ala are people of wara' and zuhd [6]." Allahu ta'ala said to Hadrat Musa 'alaihis-salam': "Among those who approach Me and who attain My love, there will not be anyone who approaches as close as people of wara' do."

Some great savants said, "If a person does not know the following ten things as fard for himself, he will not be a man of perfect wara': he should not backbite; he should not feel su'i-zan for other Muslims, which means to distrust them and to think of them as bad persons; he should not make fun of anybody; he should not look at women and girls (that are forbidden for him by Islam); he should tell the truth; he should think of the gifts and blessings which Allahu ta'ala has endowed upon him so that he will not be self-conceited; he should spend his possessions on the halal [7]; he should not spend them for the haram; he should desire rank and posts not for his nafs [8] nor for his comfort, but because he knows them as positions for serving Muslims; he should know it as his first duty to perform the five times of salat in their correct time; he should learn well the tenets of iman [9] and the deeds communicated by the Ahl as-Sunna [10] savants and adapt himself to them.

While describing the conditions for being an imam [11], Ibni Abidin says, "It is called wara' to abstain from the dubious. It is called taqwa [12] to abstain from the haram. It is called zuhd to abstain from the majority of the mubah [13] for fear that they may be dubious."

[1] Hadrat: title of respect used before the names of great people like and Islamic scholars.
[2] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-karim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).
[3] haram: an action, word or thought prohibited by Allahu ta'ala.
[4] wara': (after avoiding harams) abstention from doubtful things (mushtabihat).
[5] salat: i) prayer; (with salam)= salawat; ii) ritual prayer of at least two rak'as; "namaz", in Persian; salat janaza: funeral prayer.
[6] zuhd: not setting one's heart on worldly things; abstention from (even) mubahs.
[7] halal: (act, thing) permitted in Islam.
[8] nafs: a force in man which wants him to harm himself religiously; an-nafs al-ammara. A negative force within man prompting him to do evil. (Nafs-i ammara). Nafs is ammara by creation, that is, it always wishes evil and harmful deeds to be done. It is reluctant to obey the Shari'at. The nafs of a man who obeys the Shari'at and makes progress in the way of tasawwuf becomes mutmainna. It wishes to obey the Shari'at.
[9] iman: faith, belief, beliefs of Islam; kalam, i'tiqad.
[10] Ahl as-Sunna (wa'l-Jama'a): the true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These madhhabs are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.
[11] imam: i) profound 'alim; founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) caliph.
[12] taqwa: fearing Allahu ta'ala; abstention from harams.; practising 'azimas (See wara' and zuhd).
[13] mubah: (act, thing) neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.