Forty Meanings of ‘Maula’ – I

The tradition of Ghadeer, in regard of its chain of narrators, is authentic and reliable. On the 18th of Zilhajj, 10 A.H., the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared the mastership of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) by proclaiming. “Of whomsoever I am the Master (Maula) Ali is his master (Maula) too.” before a crowd of more than one lakh Muslims, comprising of both, Mohjajereen and Ansaars. Now, there was no way out for the truth-evaders except by debating on the meaning of the word ‘Maula’ and interpreting it to suit their own desires, even if it was against the aims and intentions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Undoubtedly, the clones of the devil are truly cunning. This was the tactic adopted by some prominent Sunni scholars like Fakhruddin Raazi, Qaazi Azod Eejee and Nasrullah Kaabuli, with Ibn Hajar, the author of “As-Sawaaeq al-Mohreqah”, heading the list. Some Indian scholars, unfortunately, have tried to tread the same path. Prominent among them are Shah Waliullah Dehlavi (the author of Tohfah Ithna Ashariyyah), Abdul Haq Dehlavi (the author of Lamaat), Qazi Sanaaullah Panipati (the author of Saiful Maslool)…. They tried their best to conceal the truth from the masses. Hence, the word ‘Maula’ has always been a point of hot debate between the Shia and Sunni scholars, and remains so till date. According to the Shia scholars, the word ‘Maula’ in the context means leader, guardian, one who possesses complete authority, etc. In the light of this meaning, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)’s tradition clearly proclaims that of whosoever I am the leader and guardian, Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) also is his leader and guardian. Thus, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) announced the Caliphate, Imamate and successorship of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) on the day of Ghadeer. But the Sunnis interpret this word differently. In their opinion, ‘Maula’ means a friend. Therefore, in application, the tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) would be translated as “Of whomsoever I am a friend, Ali is his friend.” They have even fabricated stories to support their interpretation. Sometimes, they say that there was a dispute between Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and Zaid Bin Haaresa which resulted in the latter refuting Ali’s friendship. To rebuke Zaid, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) uttered this tradition. Ironically Zaid Ibn Haaresa was martyred in a war before the last Hajj. Truly, it is easy to fabricate but difficult to live with it. To get themselves out of this tight corner, others argue that it was not Zaid Bin Haaresa but Usaamah Ibn Zaid. While still others are creating fables that those who had accompanied Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) on the mission of Yemen, like Buraidah Al-Aslami and Khalid Bin Waleed, on their return, lodged complaints to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) against Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). When things reached to unbearable limits, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) gathered the people and spoke about Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s friendship and the consequences of his enmity, ending his sermon with this tradition. It is undoubtedly evident that both of these concocted stories cannot match the authenticity and validity of the actual tradition which has been narrated by innumerable Sunni traditionalists, historians and interpreters. All those stories were fabricated to reduce the significance of the event of Ghadeer. According to these stories, the meaning of the word ‘Maula’ does not indicate Caliphate or Imamate of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). The actual debate on the meaning of ‘Maula’ concerns the Caliphate and Imamate of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) a right which was usurped by others. Thus, it is not merely a literal discussion. Shia scholars have presented scores of proofs in support of their viewpoint but till date, no logical answer has been forth coming. Yes, truth cannot be concealed for long. We classify our evidences into four: 1) Introduction 2) Literary Proofs 3) Historical
Proofs 4) Other Proofs is his Maula too

” Or “this Ali is his Maula too” because in some other places this tradition is narrated in a different way. The other three ways in which this tradition is narrated is so clear that there remains no place for any doubt whatsoever. These very clearly hail Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as the heir and successor to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). They are narrated as follows:

1) Tabaraani narrates in his Al-Mojam al-Kabeer, vol. 5, page 186 citing from Zaid Ibn Arqam, “Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) by his hand and said, “On whomsoever I have more authority than himself, Ali (a.s.) is his Wali.” Qazi Sanaaullah Panipati, student of Shah Waliullah Dehlavi has also narrated the same tradition in exactly similar wordings in his book ‘Saiful Maslool’.

2) Sibte ibne Jauzee in his ‘Tazkeratul Khawaas’ p. 32 quoting Hafiz Abul-Faraj Yahya bin Saeed Isfahaani has taken the meaning of Maula as one possessing authority. To prove his argument, he has brought forward the sentence of the Ghadeer sermon; “Of whomsoever I am the master and having more authority upon him than he himself, Ali is his authority too”.

3) The chief of the Hanbali sect, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, in his book, ‘Musnad’, vol. 5, page 350, 358, 361, narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) via Buraidah, “Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too.” The same tradition has been mentioned by Imam Nesaai in his ‘Khasaaes’ on page 4, 93, 101, 103, narrating from Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), Buraidah and Sa’d Ibn Majah, in his Sunan, vol. 1, page 42, also relates from Buraa bin Aazib and other companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Apart from them, many other great Sunni traditionalists have quoted this tradition, in a similar way. Therefore, we see that the sentence, “Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too” has come in three different forms which proves that the word ‘Maula’ in the Prophetic tradition, only means one having authority and mastership. For, one tradition explains another.

B) Literary Proofs:

1) The best judges to solve any literary dispute between Shia and Sunni scholars are Arabic litterateurs and their works. Let us see how this word has been used in Arabic literature. Some Sunni scholars like Fakhruddin Raazi claim that the word ‘Maula’ has never been used in Arabic literature as ‘one having authority’. From the following points, we will realize the truth of his claim.

2) Many Sunni literary writers and interpreters have implied “Aula” (one with authority) from the word ‘Maula’. Those who are in this category number up to fifty. After having so many evidences, only a biased person can agree with Fakhre Raazi. Such attitude must be either due to ignorance or sheer enmity. By confessions of so many scholars, does this sentence not mean that, “Of whomsoever I am master, Ali is his master too,” and is this not a sufficient proof of Ali’s caliphate and successorship.

3) ‘Maula’ has been used in the meaning of Aula (one having authority) and the best proof for this argument is the Holy Qur’an itself. Many Qur’anic verses have used ‘Maula’ in this very meaning. Allah the Almighty says: “Your abode is the fire that is your Maula.”

Surah Hadeed : Verse 15

All renowned Sunni interpreters like Kalbi, Ujaaj, Faraa, Abu Obaidah, Akhfash, Abu Zaid, Mubrad, Ibn Al-Anbaari, Ali Ibn Eesa, Tha’labi, Waahedi, Zamakshari, Bagwi, Baizaawi, Nasafi, etc. have interpreted the above verse as, “Your abode is the fire it is your master.’ Now, if we translate this verse like the Sunnis do for the word ‘Maula’ on the Ghadeer occasion, it would sound quite funny. Your, place is the hell. It is your friend.” Yet, so-called scholars like Fakhruddin Raazi, who are unaware of Qur’anic concepts like their leaders, deny the meaning of Maula as master.

4) Even in traditions, the word ‘Maula’ is used in the meaning of ‘Master’. For example, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “If a (virgin) woman marries without the permission of her master then her marriage is null and void.” All the traditionalists unanimously opine that the meaning of ‘Maula’ in this tradition is nothing but the one having authority over her’ or ‘master’. Bukhari and Muslim have quoted this tradition from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in their Sahih. “I am the master of all the believers upon the earth. Then whoever amongst you leaves debt and property, then I am his master too.” Even in this tradition, the word ‘Maula’ clearly indicates one who is having
authority or master. How come ‘Maula’ has been used as ‘master’ in all other traditions except that of Ghadeer? Is not this approach based on prejudice and ignorance

5) Even in Arabic poems, Maula means ‘master’ (Aula). The couplets of Lubaid in “Moallaqaat-e-Khamsah” is quite popular in this regard and in the context of meaning of Maula, litterateurs have given the reference of his poem in many instances. And when in Arabic literature, this word has always been used in the meaning of (Aula) ‘master’ right from ancient times, how come the uniformed and illiterate deny the word ‘Maula’ ever being used to mean ‘Master’ and that ‘Of whomsoever I am Master, Ali is his Master’ does not proclaim the successorship of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)

C) Historical Proofs: There are many historical incidents which prove that the word ‘Maula’ in the sentence, “Of whomsoever I am Maula, Ali is his Maula”, precisely means ‘master, ‘ruler’, “guardian” and “authority over others.” We relate a few of them hereunder:

6) On the day of Ghadeer, when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) proclaimed the successorship of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), Islam’s famous and well known poet, Hassaan Ibn Thaabit, obtained the permission of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and recited a few verses of poetry. These verses, loudly and clearly, indicate the concept of ‘Maula’ as ‘Master’. “Then he (s.a.w.a.) said to him, “Stand, O Ali, for surely I am satisfied with you as Imam and guide after me.” This couplet, which clearly proves that Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) was introduced on that day as Imam, Caliph and Guardian of the Muslim nation, has also been narrated by well-known Sunni scholars.

7) Moawiya wrote a letter to Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) trying to brag about his own excellences. Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) replied him thus: “Is the son of Hind, the eater of (Hamza’s) liver imposing his excellences over me?” Then he (a.s.) immediately composed a few couplets, ordered his stenographer to note it down and sent it to Moawiyah. The meaning of one of these couplets is as follows: “Then he made his successorship for me obligatory upon You all. The Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadeer-e-Khum.” This couplet has been narrated by 26 Sunni scholars in their books, leaving no scope for any doubt or dispute about its authenticity. Is not the witness of the gate of the city of knowledge sufficient, with whom truth is always attached?

8  )In Islamic history, there are various incidents in which the word ‘Maula’ in Hadees-e-Ghadeer has been used to prove the successorship of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) in the presence of his enemies and none of them ever objected to these claims. In the battle of Siffin, Qais Bin Sa’d, the chief of Khazraj, recited the following verse : “Ali is our Imam and Imam of everyone, this came through (divine) revelations, the day Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, “f whomsoever I am Master, then he is his master too, a majestic statement.” Even a great Sahaabi like Qais Bin Sa’d has derived the meaning of Maula as Caliph and Imam.

9) When Moawiya appointed Amr Aas, the old and loyal sycophant of the Umayids, as the governor of Egypt , Amr Aas did not send him the regular taxes. Moawiya wrote him a letter to immediately send the taxes without further delay. Amr Aas was taken aback because he did not expect Moawiya to order him around. In his reply to Moawiya, he penned a few poems, describing in them how much he had borne and how many sacrifices he had made to install his government, although he had no right to rule. If anybody had the right to form a government, it was Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). The effect of these poems was so strong that never again did Moawiya demand anything from Amr Aas. Does not Amr Aas’ explanation and Moawiya’s silence prove the concept of ‘Mastership’ on the day of Ghadeer? Is it not sufficient evidence for the followers of Moawiya? Some of Amr Aas poems are as follows: “How many special things have we heard about Ali from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). When he went on the pulpit and
conveyed the message on the day of Ghadeer.
And bestowed him with the authority of believers’ affairs on God’s command His hand was in Ali’s hand and was proclaiming on divine order. And said: “Of whomsoever I am the
master; Ali is his best master too.”

10) Mohammad Ibn Abdullah Hemyari, a friend of Amr Aas and the poet of Moawiya’s court was once attending the court along with two other poets and Amr Aas himself. Moawiya ordered the poets to say something about Ali, albeit warning them, ‘but remember, do not say anything except the truth’. (i.e simply in the greed of my rewards, do not speak against Ali.) Hemyari’s friends recited such malicious poems against Ali that they were condemned by Moawiya. (The poems were so much far from the truth that even a man like Moawiya had to rebuke them.) When Hemyari’s turn came, he saw that there is not much possibility of a punishment either from Moawiya or Amr Aas. On the contrary, he might even be rewarded. Therefore, he said a few poems on Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), a couplet of which read as follows: “Forgot the people the day of Khum, When Ali was appointed by the Creator and the Prophet.” So, it’s quite evident from the above incident that even the sworn enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.) confessed about the divine appointment of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as Imam on the day of Ghadeer-e-Khum. Is it not better for Sunnis of our age to refer and accept the views of their reliable personalities of early days of Islam in order to understand the Quran and traditions? 11) The sermon of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on the day of Ghadeer has been rendered in poetry form by many Islamic poets. Allama Amini (a.r.) in his priceless compilation, ‘Al-Ghadeer’ has collected about 95 poems from authentic chain of narrators. All these have discussed in detail about the Imamate and Caliphate of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) on the day of Ghadeer. When poets and litterateurs of every era have taken the meaning of the sentence, “Of whomsoever…” as the proclamation of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s caliphate, Imamate and superiority, will not the denial of this bright fact and clear truth be termed as plain prejudice and detestable short-sightedness? What can be done for a ‘bat’ who being scared of sun light, prefers darkness?

12) In the Council (Shura) appointed by Umar, comprising of Usman, Abdur Rahman Awf, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqaas, Talhah and Zubair, Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), while expressing his virtues and superiority, mentioned the Hadees-e-Ghadeer. He said, “I ask, for the sake of Allah, is there anybody amongst you except me, about whom the Prophet had said, ‘Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too. O Allah! Befriend him who befriends Ali, be enemy of Ali’s enemy, help him who helps Ali?” They all said, “By God! None except you.” The whole crowd (including Uthman the third Caliph of Ahle Sunnat), which had gathered to appoint a Caliph for themselves, unashamedly admitted the appointment of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as Imam by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on the day of Ghadeer. None amongst those present objected that ‘Maula’ meant friend and not an Imam, leader or Caliph. God only knows who stuffed  his stupid idea in the minds of their scholars?

13) Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) had also used Hadees-e-Ghadeer to prove his Caliphate and Imamate on other occasions like in the period of Usman’s Caliphate or the battle of Jamal. He expressed this in presence of companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) like Ammar-e-Yasir, Abu Huraira, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Khuzaymah Ibn Saabit, Qais bin Saabit, etc. But in these instances, none amongst the gathering raised any objections to his claim. On the contrary, they even supported it. Such discussions and debates were even perpetuated by Imam Hasan (a.s.), Abdullah Ibn Jafar, Asbagh Ibn Nubaatah, Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz, Mamoon al-Rashid (the Abbaside Caliph) etc. (Al-Ghadeer, Vol. 1, p. 159-212). On all these occasions, no objections were raised by the opponents, on the meaning of the word ‘Maula’. And they have never interpreted the word of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in any other meaning except of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s successorship. Thus, it is quite evident that such interpretations are the handiwork of the later devils since we don’t find them
in the early writings of Islam.

14) It was thirty-five Hijri, twenty-five years had passed since the Ghadeer event. Many Muslims of early days had either been dead, martyred or migrated to other cities and dispersed to different places. Some had sold the truth while others had hidden their identity due to fear of enemies. The opponents of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) were busy in destroying the excellences of the Ahle Bayt (a.s.) and fabricating stories of their own greatness. Things reached to such an extent that those who were not present in Ghadeer, nor did they possess any knowledge nor were firm in their beliefs, started doubting about the events of Ghadeer. Noticing the gravity of the situation, Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) gathered the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Tabe’een (those who had seen the companions but not the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) himself). He delivered a sermon and asked only those persons to stand as witnesses who had themselves heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) speaking on the occasion of Ghadeer. Approximately thirty people (12 of whom were even participants of the Battle of Badr) stood up and witnessed that they had themselves heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say: “Am I not having more authority upon you than yourselves?” We affirmed: ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah’. Then he (s.a.w.a.) declared: “Of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master too.” Amongst them were Abu Ayyub Ansari, Abu Zainab Ibn Auf, Sahl Ibn Hunaif, Abdur Rehman Bin Abdur Rab, Abu Huraira, Noman Bin Ajlan, Khuzaymah Bin Saabit (Dhu Shahadatain), Abdullah Ibn Saabit (the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) servant), Habashi Ibn Janaan, Ubayd Ibn Aazib, Saabit Ibn Darmiyah, etc. Zayd Ibn Arqam, who was also present in the crowd, refused to be a witness. Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) cursed him which resulted in him becoming blind. This incident has been narrated via four companions and twenty four Tabe’een by famous Sunni Scholars like Nisaai in Khassaaes, Ibn Katheer in Al-Kaamil, vol. 5, page 211. Ibne Atheer in Usudul Ghaabah, vol. 4, page 28, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, vol. 4, page 370, etc. Is this incident, famous as ‘Yaum-ur-Rohbah’, not sufficient to prove the Shia view point at Ghadeer for those who believe that
they should follow the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

15) The great Sunni Qur’anic commentator, Abul Qasim Jaarullah Zamakhshari (exp. 528 A.H.) in his book ‘Rabi-ul-Abraar’, narrates the following incident: “One year, Moawiyah went for Hajj. There, he called a black but brave woman named Akramiyyah and inquired: “Why do you love Ali and hate me?” The lady replied: “Will I be safe if I give a true reply?” Moawiya replied in the affirmative. The lady answering his question said, “I like Ali because on the day of Ghadeer, when you were present too, the Holy Prophet announced his mastership (and not your’s). Further, because he loves the poor and respects the religious people. But you indulge in killing Muslims, create rifts between them and act unjustly in your judgements.” When the event of Ghadeer was so popular that it could not be hidden from women who were confined to the four walls of their houses and they were giving evidences of successorship from this event, it is highly surprising that Sunni scholars are uniformed and unaware of such an occasion.

16) Before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)’s sermon, the following Qur’anic verse was revealed: “O Messenger of Allah convey what has been revealed to you from your Lord and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message. And Allah will protect you from the people.” Surah Maidah (5): Verse 67 What is this all important message, not conveying of which will result into the nullification of the whole messengership? Was it just to announce that the Ali is my friend? What was the need of divine protection in Ali’s friendship? Hence, it’s quite evident that this message is the proclamation of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s mastership, non-conveyance of which would result in the nullification of Prophethood.

17) After the sermon, the following verse was revealed: “This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My bounties upon you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.”

Surah Maidah (5): Verse 3 In other words, today I have perfected for you your religion (by the proclamation of Ali’s mastership) and completed the bounties and chose Islam as your religion whose leader is Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). How can one explain this Qur’anic verse if there was no proclamation of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s successorship in Ghadeer? For, Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s love has been declared obligatory previously, time and again but what was the message on Ghadeer which completed the bounties and made Allah satisfied? What else can it be except the mastership of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.)?

18) The news of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s appointment as master and leader by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) on divine command spread like wildfire. A person named Haaris Ibn Noman Fehri came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and said: “You asked us to give two witnesses (of divinity and messengership), we gave. You made prayers, Zakaat and Hajj obligatory upon us, we accepted. Now, you intend to appoint your cousin (Ali) as our master by announcing, “Of whomsoever I am his master, Ali is his master too.” Is this announcement from your side or on divine order?” The Messenger of Allah answered, “I swear by Allah, except Whom there is no God, this command was certainly divine.” On hearing this, Haaris stood up and walking towards his camel, grumbled, “O Allah, if this order is from your side, then punish me by raining stones upon me.” He had hardly completed his sentence, when a stone fell from the sky and crushed him to death. At this justice, the Qur’anic verse was revealed, “One demanding demanded the chastisement which must befall.”

Surah Maarij (70): Verse 1 The enquiry of Haaris clearly shows that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had announced the mastership of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) on the day of Ghadeer. Those who deny the mastership of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and give self-seeking explanations to the Ghadeer incident, should learn a few lessons from the fate of Haaris. They should avoid divine wrath being incurred upon them, although their wisdom has already been stoned to death.

19) After proclaiming the mastership of Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a.) told the Mohajireen and the Ansaar, “Go and tell Ali ‘O Ali, we promise you, and give an oath to you by our tongues and pay allegiance to you with our very hands that we shall definitely convey this matter to our children. We will not go back on our words. You be witness upon us. And Allah suffices as a Witness.” Salute Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as “Ameerul Momineen” and then say, “All praise is for Allah who guided us to this path and guidance was not possible for us had Allah not guided us.” Do all these talks not make Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.)’s Caliphate crystal clear?

20)  fter listening to the command of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), Abu Bakr, Umar and Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) wives were the first to congratulate Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) as a Caliph and master and paid allegiance to him. They congratulated him by these words: “Congratulations, congratulations, O son of Abu Taalib! You have become my master and the master of every believing man and woman.” Then, the Mohajireen and Ansaar followed suit. It is highly surprising that Abu Bakr and Umar understood the concept of Caliphate and successorship from the hadees: “Of whomsoever I am master, Ali is his master.” But those who claim to be their followers like Raazi, Dehlavi, Nadwi, etc. derive some other meaning from the same. God knows whom do these people follow? And how do they attempt to distort the meaning of ‘Maula’ despite confessions of their own leaders? The above mentioned evidence has been given in atlest 60 authentic Sunni references. (Contd. in Part II)