(Wilayah/Walayah). Wilayah is the sainthood of the great friends of Allah (awliya). It is a Divine gift and the height of human perfection. The distinguishing mark and basis of sainthood is gnosis, not holiness or piety. The friend upon whom sainthood is bestowed has no choice in this. All is the Grace of Allah. The degree of his Knowledge of Allah, through which his sainthood descended, is also a gift from Allah. Wilayah is privacy with Allah. This privacy is indicated in the words of Muhammad al Mustapha, may the Salutations of Allah be upon him and peace, "There is a time for me with Allah, in which neither the nearest angel nor a sent Prophet is contained". Wilayah is 'seeing Allah through Allah'. The Friends of Allah, those upon whom wilayah has been bestowed, open up what the Prophets left closed. They are the mouthpieces of the Prophets. Through them the fragrant musk and the sweet honey of the Teaching of the Holy Prophet Muhammad continues to fill the world. Within wilayah there is an hierarchical order at whose peak is the Pole.