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The word مُوَلِّي appears in Quran verse 2:148. I have read a few translations of the verse (e.g. here) but I still don't have a good understanding of what the word means. I looked it up on المعاني but it is not there.

What is the meaning of the word?

I am not looking for the translations of the verse, I know them. I am trying to understand the verse better by understanding the meaning and the usage of the word in Arabic.

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I found a text in the site www.mahdi313.ir which could be profitable for you. In accordance with its Tafseer, the meaning of مولی could be a Qiblah, or a direction, which is related to a leader or Imam (as the right direction)

Of course I found some sites in Farsi which are related to your question, (if you know Farsi), you can see them. They are as shown in below (as sources).


Sources:

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It is hard to translate this word in English. I can nearly say مولی is a subject that means a person who stand in a special direction و لکل وجهه هو مولیها means any direction has some people who stand in.

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Well the مُوَلِّي is a noun (from the family) of the verb وَلَّى which may have many meanings like elapse (if the context is time), follow (if it's about a person or an authority) or assign or direct, turn, turn away ... as you can find here:

http://www.almaany.com

In the context of the Verse only turn/turn away are acceptable.

This would mean that مُوَلِّي is a person which turns to a certain direction or turns away from a certain direction.

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