The basic qualification of Aulia Allah is to be ‘saleheen’. Both Muslims and non-Muslims may do pious/ ‘saleh’ deeds but non-Muslims cannot be elevated to the spiritual level of ‘saleheen’. In other words, non-Muslims cannot become Aulia Allah.
We have seen in the article ‘Aulia Allah’ that ‘Aulia Allah’ are those blessed people who succeed in attaining certain levels of spiritual elevations; some of them are given responsibility to manage world affairs. The minimum qualification of a ‘wali’ is to be ‘saleh’/pious. Various virtues have been mentioned in Quran and sunnah; some virtues are apparent e.g. virtues developed by ‘aabid’, ‘zahid’, ‘aalim’, ‘zakir’, ‘munfiq’, ‘muttaqi’, ‘khasheh’; some virtues are hidden e.g. virtues pertaining to ‘mumin’, ‘sabir’, ‘mutahhir’, ‘muhsin’, ‘mutawakkil’. When a person has attained certain degrees of apparent and hidden virtues, he is graced with spiritual level of ‘saleheen’.
We have also seen in the article ‘Concept of Pious Deeds/ ‘Aamal-e- Saliha’ that both Muslims and non-Muslims do pious deeds. Al-baqra-62 and al-maidah-69 state about non-Muslims' pious deeds and their reward.
"Indeed, those who believed (in Muhammad (saw)) and those who are Jews or Christians or Sabeans, those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness (pious deeds) - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve" (al-baqra-62).
"Indeed, those who have believed [in Prophet Muúammad (saw)] and those who are Jews or Sabeans or Christians – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness (pious deeds) – no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve"(al-maidah-69).
Though non-Muslims may do pious/ ‘saleh’ deeds,and they are also rewarded for their pious deeds in this world and 'uqba' but not in 'ukhra' (for details plz see my article 'Non-Muslims' Paradise') but non-Muslims cannot be elevated to the spiritual level of ‘saleheen’. In fact, if a person conducting pious/ ‘saleh’ deeds is not automatically elevated to the spirirtual level of ‘saleheen’.
“And those who believe and work righteous/ ‘saleh’ deeds,- them shall We admit among the Righteous/ ‘Saleheen’’ (al-ankbut-9).
From this verse, it is clear that people doing ‘saleh’ deeds are not automatically categorized as ‘saleheen’; rather this verse is saying that those people who have faith and do ‘saleh’ deeds will be admitted by Allah to the group of ‘saleheen’. In other words, ‘Eman’ / faith is essential to be raised to the spiritual level of ‘saleheen’. Without 'Eman'/faith a person cannot do 'saleh' deeds to such an extent and in such forms that are minimum requirements to be elevated to the level of 'saleheen'.
Quran further states:
"And whoever denies the faith - his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers" (al-maidah-5).
“Indeed, the ‘Deen’ in the sight of Allah is Islam….” (al-Imran-19).
“And whoever desires other than Islam as ‘Deen’- never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers” (al-Imran-85).
These above mentioned verses make it clear that non-Muslims cannot be rewarded in ‘ukhra’ life; all their pious/ ‘saleh’ deeds will be wasted in ‘ukhra’ life. The people having wasted pious deeds cannot be elevated to level of ‘saleheen’ who are essentially to be admitted to paradise in ‘ukhra’ life. Quran says:
“……but whoever does righteous/ ‘saleh’ deeds, whether male or female, while he is a believer/ ‘mumin’ - those will enter Paradise, being given provision therein without account” (ghafir-40).
This above verse shows that a person doing ‘saleh’/ pious deeds will be admitted to paradise, if he/she is ‘mumin’. In other words a non-Muslim doing ‘saleh’/ pious deed will not be consigned to paradise.
W e may conclude that elevation to the spiritual level of ‘saleheen’ is not an automatic result of doing ‘saleh’/pious deeds. Grant of spiritual level of ‘saleheen’ is conditional one; and the condition is that the person must be having ‘eman’/Islam. In other words, only a Muslim may be elevated to the spiritual level of ‘saleheen’. Because to be a ‘saleh’ is the basic/minimum qualification to become a ‘wali’, it means non-Muslims cannot become ‘Aulia Allah’; only Muslims may become ‘aulia Allah’.