Younus AlGohar answers a viewer’s question about the meaning of ‘Wali-Murshid’ and ‘Peer’.
Koran 18:17 uses the term ‘Wali-Murshid’ together. According to the laws of spirituality, not every saint is a Spiritual Guide, but every Spiritual Guide must be a saint of God. No saint becomes a Spiritual Guide of their own will; they are appointed by God to render guidance and granted the knowledge of Muarifat.
The reason the Koran mentions the term ‘Wali’ (saint) first and then ‘Murshid’ (Spiritual Guide) second implies that the Spiritual Guide is actually an upgraded version of a saint. He has God’s friendship and a connection with God and he also has the ability to connect people to God and obtain benevolence from him.
‘Peer’ is not a spiritual term. It is a Persian word which refers to an elderly person. For quite some time in India, Persian was widely spoken. Due to the Persian influence, Muslims in India began to use the word ‘Peer’. The word ‘Peer’ has no significance in spirituality – rather, spiritual dignitaries are referred to as Faqir’, ‘Kamil Dhaat’, ‘Kamil Mumaat’, etc.
In the Indian subcontinent, Salat is also known as Namaz – however, the term Namaz is not recognised in the Arab world. The original word is ‘Salat’, but ‘Namaz’ means the same thing. Similarly, when someone says, ‘Peer-e-Kamil’ it refers to a Perfect Spiritual Guide – although this is not in itself found in spiritual terminology.
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