This word refers to the existence of a proximity relationship connecting two beings in a hierarchical fashion. For example, the relationship between a master and a slave, a slave and a master, two friends (implying an equality rather than hierarchy), two tribes, a tribe chieftain and his tribe members, a governor and his people, a father and his children, a husband and his wife etc. In pre-Islamic Arabia there was virtually no law and hence a person could only be protected by walayah relationships.

« Back to Glossary Index