pl. mawali. A term used in Muslim law for a slave, but in the Qur’an for “a protector or helper,” i.e. God Almighty.
Surah viii. 41 : “Know ye that God is your protector.”
Surah ii 386: “Thou (God) art our protector.
Surah xlvii 12: “God is the protector of those who believe.” The plura1 form occurs in the Qur’an, Surah iv. 87, where it is translated by Palmer thus: “To everyone have we appointed kinsfolk” (mawali).
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam