Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer!
Today (1st Muharram 1434), I would like to discuss on this very popular statement: Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer! This statement is generally said immediately after yet another most inspiring statement: Hasbunallahu Wa Ni’mal Wakeel!
Hasbunallahu Wa Ni’mal Wakeel, Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer!
These two phrases/statements are mentioned separately in different Surahs in the Qur’an. The meaning and the context of these two statements are so striking that we notice many among Muslims uttering and proclaiming them together. While it is not ‘a must’ to say them together, yet the miraculous beauty of the Qur’anic words weaves a tapestry in the canvas of one’s mind! Subhanallah!
The word مولى (Maula) comes from the Arabic root و ل ي (w-l-y) which means:
to be near, be close, lie next, to adjoin, be adjacent, to border, to be a friend, to back up, to take control, helper, backer, guardian, benefactor, patron, companion, partner.
From the same root comes the word ولي (waliyy) which means:
near, adjacent, helper, supporter, benefactor, sponsor, friend, close associate, relative, patron, protector, ally.
In Surah al An-aam, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is commanded to ask the unbelievers:
قُلْ أَغَيْرَ اللَّـهِ أَتَّخِذُ وَلِيًّا فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
‘Say: ‘Shall I take for my guardian anyone other than Allah – the Originator of the heavens and earth…..” (Surah al An-aam 6: 14; Read the full verse here)
In the verse next to the ayatul kursi in Surah al Baqarah, Allah says that He is the Waliyy of those who believe in Him:
“Allah is the Helper and Protector of those who believe in Him: He brings them out of the depths of darkness into the light. As for the disbelievers, they have taghut as their patron, who drives them out of light into the depths of darkness. These are the people who are doomed to the Fire, wherein they shall live for ever.” (Surah al Baqarah 2: 257)
Allah, therefore, is Al Waliyy, the Protector, the Ally, the Helper:
“He is the One Who sends down the rain after they despair of it, spreading out His Mercy. He is the Protector, the Immensely Praiseworthy” (Surah Ash-Shura: 42: 28; Also read ayah 9 here)
والي is another word that comes from the same root as of Waliyy and Maula. It means ‘protector, guardian, supporter, ally’.
Allah says وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ “Apart from Him, they have no protector” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13: 11)
In Surah Aal Imran, in addition to the word ‘Waliyy’, an interesting word - أَوْلَى – which means ‘more entitled, worthier, more deserving, more appropriate, more suitable, more adequate – coming from the same root as of Maula and Waliyy, is used in the context of one’s close relationship with Prophet Ibraheem, Alaihis Salam:
“Surely the people who have the best claim to a relationship with Ibraheem are those who followed him in the past, and presently this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who believe in him; Allah is the Guardian of the Men of Faith” (Surah Aal Imran 3: 68)
They say blood is thicker than water. We say: Faith is thicker than blood!
Back to Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer.
Allah is Maula for those who believe in Him and for the unbelievers there is no Maula!
“That is because Allah is the Protector of the believers whereas the unbelievers have none to protect them” (Surah Muhammad 47: 11)
Ni’ma means ‘what a perfect……!, wonderful…..!, truly, an excellent…..!
As discussed before, Maula means:
“to be near, be close, lie next, to adjoin, be adjacent, to border, to be a friend, to back up, to take control, helper, backer, guardian, benefactor, patron, companion, partner”.
Allah is Near and close to us. He is adjacent to us. He is our Friend. Allah is our Back up. He is our Controller. He is our Helper.
Allah is our Guardian, our Benefactor, our Patron, our Companion, our Partner! Subhanallah!
Ni’mal Maula = What an Excellent Protector! What an Excellent Companion! What a perfect Controller! What a wonderful Companion!
Naseer almost carries the similar meaning: ‘helper, supporter, defender, ally, protector’.
Ni’man Naseer = What an Excellent Defender! What a perfect Helper! What a wonderful Supporter!
Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer = What an Excellent Protector! What a perfect Helper!
The amazing thing is that the noun ‘Maula’ is mentioned with all pronouns in the Qur’an:
مولاه – His Protector. Read ayah 4 of Surah At-Tahreem here
مولاهم – Their Protector. Read ayah 62 of Surah al An-aam here
مولانا – Our Protector. Recall the last part of the famous du’aa أَنتَ مَوْلَانَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ Read the details here
مولاكم – Your Protector. Read ayah 8 of Surah al Anfaal and 78 of Surah al Hajj mentioned below.
The phrase/statement “Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer” comes twice in the Qur’an.
1. Read this beautiful ayah of Surah al Anfaal wherein Allah, Maulakum, Ni’mal Maula, Ni’man Naseer are mentioned one after the other. What a flawless flow, Subhanallah!
“But if they turn away, then know well that Allah is your Protector – an excellent Protector and an excellent Helper” (Surah al Anfaal 8: 40)
2. In this ayah of Surah al Hajj, the words Allah, Huwa, Maulakum, FaNi’mal Maula, wa Ni’man Naseer are amazingly presented in the Qur’an’s unique inimitable style:
“And strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has chosen you and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty. [It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people. So establish prayer and give zakah and hold fast to Allah. He is your protector; and excellent is the protector, and excellent is the helper” (Surah al Hajj 22: 78)
Please underline and underscore the fact that in both the places in the Qur’an wherein the phrase/statement Ni’mal Maula Wa Ni’man Naseer is mentioned, it is preceded by the command to perform Jihad.
That is to say: if you struggle in the way of Allah with all your might, then know that Allah is not only your infinite Protector, He alone is the Best to Protect, He alone is the Best to Help. And what an Excellent Protector He is! What an Excellent Helper Allah is!!
Let me conclude by quoting an amazing ayah wherein the word Nasir is used instead of Naseer: