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The word Mawlā has two meanings. Mawla is an Arabic word, "مولی", prominently used in Islamic literature which means patron or protector.

“Call them by (the names of) their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah. But if you know not their father's(for obvious reasons)they are your Brothers in faith and those entrusted to you. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” Qur'an chapter 33V:5


Morphologically, the Arabic word mawlâ also transliterated mawla is composed from the morpheme indicating place, lit. 'noun of place' (ism al-makân) and derives from the root word وَلِيَ waliya (masdar/verbal noun: الوِلایة al-wilâyah) classically translated as "to be proximal"[1] [to both parties in a vertical relationship] or "to intercede". Thus the semantic translation of mawla most closely resembles the phrase "place of intercession."

Historically, the word mawla has been interpreted to mean either master, protector or supporter; walî, wilâyah, awliya' are its supporting synonyms.

A mawla is usually one who has more authority over believers than they have over themselves. It can also mean a much more elevated person, a "master," "lord," "vicar" or "guardian" (see: maulana, "our lord" or "our master").


Quran uses the word Mawla in various meanings and in Arabic language its usage is many fold such as 'protector', ‘master’, 'supporter', ‘slave’, ‘emancipated slave’, ‘helper’, ‘friend’, ‘loved one’ etc.[citation needed]


Translations of Sura 47:11.[2]


  • Transliterated: Dhalika bi-anna Allaha mawla allatheena amanoo waanna alkafireena la mawla lahum
  • Pickthall:That is because Allah is patron of those who believe, and because the disbelievers have no patron.
  • Yusuf Ali:That is because God is the Protector of those who believe, but those who reject God have no protector.
  • Shakir:That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, and because the unbelievers shall have no protector for them.
  • Sher Ali:That is because ALLAH is the Protector of those who believe, and the disbelievers have no protector.
  • Khalifa:This is because GOD is the Lord of those who believe, while the disbelievers have no lord.
  • Arberry:That is because God is the Protector of the believers, and that the unbelievers have no protector.
  • Palmer:That is because God is the patron of those who believe, and because the misbelievers have no patron.
  • Rodwell:This - because God is the protector of those who believe, and because the infidels have no protector.
  • Sale:This [shall come to pass], for that God is the patron of the true believers, and for that the infidels have no protector.


  1. ^ Wehr, Hans. (1979) A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic: (Arabic-English)/ Hans Wehr. Ed. by J Milton Cowan. -4. ed., Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz
  2. ^ Quran Browser Search Results: 47:11

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