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Hadrat Uwais al-Qarani Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu

by Shaykh Muhammad Sa'id al-Jamal ar-Rifa'i from his book, The Children Around the Table of Allah

 

In a Hadith Qudsi recorded by the Companion Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, the Most Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) said speaking from 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, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), said, "Uwais al-Qarani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) is such a one." They asked him, "and who is Uwais al-Qarani (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu)?" He, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), answered, "He is dark skinned, wide shoulder, and of average height. His complexion is close to the color of earth. His beard touches his chest. His eyes are always looking downwards to the place of prostration, and his right hand is on his left hand. He weeps about himself with such a flow of tears that his lips are swollen. He wears a woolen garment and is know to the people of the heavens. If he makes a promise in the Name of Allah, he keeps it. Under his left shoulder there is a white spot. When the Day of Resurrection comes and it is announced to the slaves, "Enter the Garden," it will be said to Uwais, 'Stop and intercede.' Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, will then forgive them to the same number as are the people of Rabi'a and Mudhar. (These are the two tribes that Uwais, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), belonged to). So, O Umar (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) and O Ali, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) if you can find him, ask him to intercede for you. Then Allah will forgive you."

 

Ten years passed by which they inquired about him, but without being able to find him. In the year 21H./644CE, the same year that Umar ibn al-Khattab (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), the Second Righteous Caliph after the Prophet's death, (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), Umar (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) went to the Mountains of Abu Qubays (mountain overlooking Makka) and called in his loudest voice, "O people of the Yemen, is there anyone up there called Uwais (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu) ?"

 

An old Shaykh with a long beard stood up and replied, "We do not know who this Uwais is about whom you ask, but my brother's son is called Uwais. But he is too unimportant to be asked about, and too poor and submissive that he should be raised up to your level. He is our camel-herder, and he has no standing amongst our people." But Umar again asked him if he knew Uwais.

 

The man answered, "Why do you ask about him, O Commander of the Faithful, for by Allah there is not one of us who is more foolish and more needy than he."

 

Umar, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), then wept and said to him, "You are so, but not he. For I heard the Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam), say, "Those who enter the Garden through Uwais, asking for forgiveness for them, are the people of the tribe of Rabi'a and Mudhar." Umar, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), asked him where he could find him, and was told, "On the Mount of 'Arafat."

 

Umar and Ali, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), then went quickly to Arafat where they found Uwais praying under a tree with camels grazing around him. They approached him and greeted him, saying, "As-salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmut Allahi wa Barakatuh." Uwais cut his prayer short, and when he had finished it, returned their greeting. They asked him, "Who are you?" He replied, "A herdsman of camels and a hired workman for a tribe." They said, "we do not ask you about your tending of animals, nor about your being a hired worker, but what is your name?" He answered, "Abdullah." They said, "All the people of the heavens and the earth are the slaves of Allah, but what is the name in which your mother named you?" He said, "O you two, what do you want from me?" They said, "The Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu ta'ala alayhi wa Sallam) once spoke to us about Uwais al-Qarani. He gave us a description of the bluish-black color of his eyes, and he told us that he has a white mark under his left shoulder. So please show us if you have this mark, for then it is you for whom we are searching."

 

Uwais then bared his left shoulder, and they saw a white mark. They then embraced him and kissed him and said, "We declare that you are Uwais al-Qarani, so ask for forgiveness for us and May Allah forgive you."

 

He answered, "I cannot even forgive myself, nor one of Adam's children. But there are on land and in the seas believing men and women, Muslim men and women, whose invocations to Allah are answered." They replied, "Surely this is so." Then he said, "O you two, you know about me and I know about my state, but who are you?"

 

Ali, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), answered, "This is the Commander of the Faithful (al-amir al-muminin), Umar ibn al-Khattab, and I am Ali ibn Abu Talib."

 

Uwais stood up straight and said, "As-salaamu alaikum ya 'amir al-mumminin. And you, O Ali, may Allah repay you with goodness for this Community (Ummah)." They said, "May Allah repay you for yourself and your goodness."

 

Then Umar, (Radi Allahu ta'ala anhu), said to Uwais, "Your place is here until I return to Madinah, and may Allah have mercy upon you. Then I will bring you help from my provision and some of my clothes. This has been the meeting place between you and me."

 

- Release Date: 20/08/2008 08:12 AM

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