His name was Uwais al-Qarni. He embraced Islam during Muhammad’ﷺs lifetime but he could not present himself before Prophet Muhammad ﷺ because he looked after his elderly, blind mother and thus remained deprived of the honour of companionship. Regardless, because of his piety and great service to his mother, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ called him the best of the Tabieen (successors) and advised his companions to, “Get him to pray for your forgiveness.”
In a Hadith Qudsi recorded by the Companion Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, upon whom be peace and blessings, said speaking on behalf of his Lord:
“Allah, Exalted and Mighty is He, loves of His creation the God-fearing, the pure in the heart, those who are hidden, and those who are innocent, whose face is dusty, whose hair is unkempt, whose stomach is empty, and who, if he asks permission to enter to the rulers, is not granted it, and if he were to ask for a gentle lady in marriage, he would be refused, and when he leaves the world it does not miss him, and if he goes out, his going out is not noticed, and if he falls sick, he is not attended to, and if he dies, he is not accompanied to his grave.”
They asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, how can we find someone like that?” He, upon whom be peace and blessings, said, “Uwais al-Qarani is such a one.”
During Prophet ﷺ last days, he asked Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali to take his blessed shirt to Uwais Qarni, and ask him to pray for the forgiveness of the Muslim Ummah. The reason for this was to show the exalted status of Uwais Qarni.
Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali then asked the people of Madinah if there was anyone present from Qarn. One man came forward and told them how to find the place, so they set out for Qarn. When they arrived, they asked the people where Uwais Qarni was. The villagers answered their questions, but were very surprised to see the two prominent Companions asking for an unknown camel shepherd.
When Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Ali reached him, they saw him saying his prayers. As he finished his prayers, he said, “It is the first time anyone has ever seen me praying.”
“What’s your name?” Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali asked.
“Abdullah (the servant of Allah).”
“Tell us your real name?”
“Show us your hand,” Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali immediately kissed the white patch the Holy Prophet had talked about. Then they presented to him the holy dress and asked him to pray for the Ummah as directed by the Holy Prophet.
When they handed Hazrat Owais Qarni, the blessed shirt of Rasulallah ﷺ, he was reluctant to accept. “Surely, there is some mistake!”, he exclaimed, in his wish to hide himself. Seeing the light upon his hand, however, they cried, “You are the saint described to us by Allah’s Beloved Messenger ﷺ, for he told us about the light on your hand.” They then informed him of Rasulallah ﷺ’s message, asking Hazrat Owais Qarni to pray for the forgiveness of the Ummah. This he did, and after a while he said, “Allah has forgiven and rewarded as many of Rasulallah (s.a.w)’s followers as the hair of the sheeps from the Rabia and Mazhar tribes.”
Such is the importance of service to ones mother! May Allah make us from those who whose mothers are happy with them!
Some Ahadith related to Uwais Al-Qarni from the Chapter in Sahih Muslim dedicated to his virtues
Usair b. Jabir reported that a delegation from Kufa came to ‘Umar and there was a person among them who jeered at Uwais. Thereupon Umar said:
Is there among us one from Qaran? That person came and Umar said: Verily Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) has said: There would come to you a person from Yemen who would be called Uwais and he would leave none in Yemen (behind him) except his mother, and he would have the whiteness (due to leprosy) and he supplicated Allah and it was cured except for the size of a dinar or dirham. He who among you meets him should ask him to supplicate for forgiveness (from Allah) for you.
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2542 a
In-book reference : Book 44, Hadith 319
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 31, Hadith 6170
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‘Umar b. Khattab reported:
I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Worthy among the successors would be a person who would be called Uwais. He would have his mother (living with him) and he would have (a small) sign of leprosy. Ask him to beg pardon for you (from Allah).
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2542 b
In-book reference : Book 44, Hadith 320
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 31, Hadith 6171
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Usair b. Jabir reported that when people from Yemen came to help (the Muslim army at the time of jihad) he asked them:
Is there among you Uwais b. ‘Amir? (He continued finding him out) until he met Uwais. He said: Are you Uwais b., Amir? He said: Yes. He said: Are you from the tribe of Qaran? He said: Yes. He (Hadrat) ‘Umar (again) said: Did you suffer from leprosy and then you were cured from it but for the space of a dirham? He said: Yes. He (‘Umar) said: Is your mother (living)? He said: Yes. He (‘Umar) said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) say: There would come to you Uwais b. Amir with the reinforcement from the people of Yemen. (He would be) from Qaran, (the branch) of Murid. He had been suffering from leprosy from which he was cured but for a spot of a dirham. His treatment with his mother would have been excellent. If he were to take an oath in the name of Allah, He would honour that. And if it is possible for you, then do ask him to beg forgiveness for you (from your Lord). So he (Uwais) begged forgiveness for him. Umar said: Where do you intend to go? He said: To Kufa. He (‘Umar) said: Let me write a letter for you to its governor, whereupon he (Uwais) said: I love to live among the poor people. When it was the next year, a person from among the elite (of Kufa) performed Hajj and he met Umar. He asked him about Uwais. He said: I left him in a state with meagre means of sustenance. (Thereupon) Umar said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: There would come to you Uwais b. ‘Amir, of Qaran, a branch (of the tribe) of Murid, along with the reinforcement of the people of Yemen. He had been suffering from leprosy which would have been cured but for the space of a dirham. His treatment with his mother would have been very kind. If he would take an oath in the name of Allah (for something) He would honour it. Ask him to beg forgiveness for you (from Allah) in case it is possible for you. So he came to Uwais and said.: Beg forgiveness (from Allah) for me. He (Uwais) said: You have just come from a sacred journey (Hajj) ; you, therefore, ask forgiveness for me. He (the person who had performed Hajj) said: Ask forgiveness for me (from Allah). He (Uwais again) said: You have just come from the sacred journey, so you ask forgiveness for me. (Uwais further) said: Did you meet Umar? He said: Yes. He (Uwais) then begged forgiveness for him (from Allah). So the people came to know about (the status of religious piety) of Uwais. He went away (from that place). Usair said: His clothing consisted of a mantle, and whosoever saw him said: From where did Uwais get this mantle?
Reference : Sahih Muslim 2542 c
In-book reference : Book 44, Hadith 321
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 31, Hadith 6172
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