Using the word Mawla/Mawlana

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by ShariahBoard.org
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Dear sir,
I wish to have your comments on the following.
Well, ever since I have read  the word and meanings of “Moula”, In  Sura Aal-e-Imran, Ayat 150 says…..
” balkay Allah hee tumhara Moula hay aur wohee behtreen madadgaar hay.”
So when we put Na with it it becomes “Moulana” which is like “Rabbana”, means “Mera Rabb”
So when we say “Moulana” becomes “Mera Moula”.
Is it not  shirk to say “Moulana” to any one, particularly to Molvis and Aalims of all sects as it’s just like to say 
“Mera Moula”



الجواب وبالله التوفيق

There are numerous different meanings of the word “مولی”in the Arabic language. In that respect, using this word for others (i.e. other than Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta‘ala) is also considered permissible, as mentioned below according to the proof from Quran and hadith.  


A few of the meanings of the word Mawlaare:

(*الرب،والمالک، والسید، والمنعم، والْمُعْتِقْ، والناصر، والمحب،والتابع، والجار ،وابن لعم، والحلیف، والعقید، والصھر، والعبد، والْمُعْتَقْ،والمُنْعَمْ علیہ۔(فتاوی دارالعلوم زکریا بحوالہ النھایۃ فی غریب الاثر

As per Quran and hadiththe word مولی and رب have been used for others in addition to being used for Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta‘ala. Hazrat Zakriyah Alyhissalamused the following words while making duafor his progeny:

وانی خفت الموالی من ورائی

Here, the word موالیis a plural of the word مولیwhich is used as عصبہwhich means relatives of the husband.

Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallamsaid about Hazrat Ali RaziAllah Ta‘ala Anhu:

من کنت مولاہ فعلیؓمولاہ

Similarly, Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallamsaid about Hazrat Zaid RaziAllah Ta‘ala Anhu:

انت ۔۔۔اخونا و مولانا۔۔۔ (فتاوی دارالعلوم زکریا، ص54، ج1

Hence, the word مولی is only attributed to Allah Subhanahu Ta‘alawith respect to one of its meanings as mentioned in the ayat referenced in your question. However, from the perspective of its other meanings the usage of this word for others (ghairullah) is also considered permissible and correct and not considered as shirk. Since the Khairul-Qurun(i.e. the 3 consecutive eras after Rasulullah Sallallaho Alyhi Wasallam) until now, the word Mawlana has been used to address ulamah kiram. The word رب has also been used in a similar fashion. Hazrat Yousuf Alyhissalamsaid:

قال معاذ اللہ انہ ربی احسن مثوای(سورہ یوسف ، 23

The meanings of the word رب  here is “the ruler of Egypt”. In another instance, Hazrat Yousuf Alyhissalam instructed one of the prisoners who was getting released from the prison to give his message to the ruler of Egypt in the following words:

وقال للذی ظن انہ  ناج منھما اذکرنی عند ربک (سورہ یوست، 32

Here again, the word رب has been used to address the ruler of Egypt.

والمنعم*= the one who rewards,والْمُعْتِقْ = the one who liberates, والجار= neighbor, وابن لعم = uncle’s son, والعقید = party to a contract, والصھر = son in law or brother in law, والْمُعْتَقْ= the one who is liberated,والمُنْعَمْ علیہ = the one who has been rewarded

واللہ اعلم بالصواب

This answer was collected from Shariahboard.org. It was established under the supervision of the eminent faqih of our era, Hazrat Shah Mufti Mohammed Navalur Rahman damat barakatuhum.