Home PRINCIPLES OF THE TARIQA THE MURAQA'A The story of sayiduna Uwais al Qarani (ra)

The story of sayiduna Uwais al Qarani (ra)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
و الصلاة و السلام على أشرف المرسلين
و على اله و اصحابه أجمعين

In Kitab ulhuliya, Abu Na’im relates the story of one of the greatest Tabi’in. The story of sayiduna Uwais al Qarani when he met al Farooq and sayiduna Ali (radiAllah ‘anhum). Uwais (Radi Allah Anhu) used to take fabrics in garbage so he could wear them. He was totally unkown to the people of the earth and known to the people of the heavens.

Why are some people against wearing the Muraqqa’a while sayiduna Uwais and Sayiduna ‘Umar ibn al Khattab(radi Allah anhum) wore it?

According to Abu Hurayra (radiAllah ‘anhu): the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was with a group of Companions when He said : “Tomorrow, a man of the Paradise will pray with us.”
Abu Hurayra said: “I hoped I was this man, so I went the next day to the mosque, I prayed behind the Prophet ﷺ and I stayed until everybody left.”

Then entered a black man of strong constitution. He was enveloping himself in a tatters clothing and wearing a Muraqqa’a. He came closer and he put his hands between the hands of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ, he then said: “O Prophet of Allah ! Invoke Allah for me !”

The Prophet ﷺ implored for him the martyrdom. A strong scent of musk emanated from him. I then asked : “O Messenger of Allah, is it him?”
He answered: “Yes , It is. He is a servant from so and so tribe.”
I said: “Would you not buy him to free him, O Messenger of Allah?”
He replied: “and why would I do that ? If Allah wanted to make him one of the kings of the Paradise, O Aba Hurayra ! Indeed, there are Kings and Lords for Paradise and this black man became one of them. O Aba Hurayra, Allah ﷻ 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, who are never asked. Those who, if they were to ask for a gentle lady in marriage, they would be refused, and when they leave the world it does not miss them, and if they attend something their presence is not felt, and if they leave, no one notices and if they fall sick, they are not attended, and when they die, no one attends their funeral.”
The companions asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, how can we find someone like that?”
He ﷺ said: “Uwais al-Qarani is such a one.”

They asked him: “and who is Uwais al-Qarani?”
He ﷺ answered: “He is readhead and he is dark skinned with dark blue eyes, he remains straight and has wide shoulder. His chin touches his chest when he prays. His right hand is on his left hand (during prayer). He recites the Qu’ran and he weeps about himself. He wears tatters and a woolen garment. He is unkown to the people of the hearth and he is know to the people of the heavens. No one pays him any attention. If He swore by Allah, he would be answered.

Under his left shoulder there is a white spot. When the Day of Resurrection comes and it is announced to the slave : « Enter the Garden», it will be said to Uwais, “Stop and intercede.”
Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, will then forgive them to the highest number of people he could intercede for. So, O Umar and O Ali, 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. The same year during which Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi Allah anhu) will be killed. During the pelgrimage, Sayiduna ‘Umar (radi Allah anhu) went to the Mountains of Abu Qubays and called in his loudest voice :
“O people of the Yemen, is there anyone up there called Uwais?”

An old man 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 asked : “Where is your bother’s son ? Is He far from us ?”
“Yes, He is.”
“Where could I find Him”
“On the mount ‘Arafat”
Umar and Ali (radiAllah ‘anhum) then went quickly to Arafat where they found Uwais praying under a tree with camels grazing around him.

They approached him and greeted him:
“As-salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmut Allahi.” (May peace and the Mercy of Allah be upon you).

Uwais cut his prayer short, and when he had finished it, he replied:
« As-salaamu Alaikuma wa Rahmut Allahi .»
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 word but what is your name?”
He answered: “Abdullah (Servant of Allah)”
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 ﷺ once spoke to us about Uwais al-Qarani. He gave us a description of the dark blue color of his eyes, and he told us that he has a white mark under his left shoulder and that he is redhead. 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 the muslims and the believers among Adam’s children. O you two, Allah let you know about me and my state, but who are you?”
Ali (radiAllah ‘anhu) answered: “This is the Commander of the Faithful (al-amir al-muminin), Umar ibn al-Khattab, and I am Ali ibn Abi Talib.”
Uwais stood up straight and said:
“As-salaamu alaikum ya ‘amir al-mumminin, O Commender of the faithful. And you too, O ‘Ali. May Allah repay you with goodness because of your good deeds for this Community (Ummah).” They said: “May Allah repay you both for your goodness with the muslim community.”
They replied: “May Allah repay you too”
Then Umar (radiAllah ‘anhu) said to Uwais : “Stay here, may Allah have mercy upon you. Let me the time to go back to Maccah. Then I will bring you help from my provision and some of my clothes. This has been the meeting place between you and me.”
But Uwais (radiAllah ‘anhu) answered him: “O Commander of the Faithful, there will be no other meeting place, in the knowledge of Allah, between you and me, but this one. So tell me, what should I do with your provision, and what should I do with your clothes? Do you not see that I am wearing a woolen gown and a woolen wrapper, so when do you see me tearing them? Do you not see that I only have four dirham, and when would I spend them? O commander of the Faithful, Between you and me there is a higher barrier which cannot be crossed by a weighty person, So leave these things, and Allah will have mercy upon you.”
When Umar (radiAllah ‘anhu) heard these words, he throw to the ground his purse and shouted loudly: “O would that Umar had not been born by his mother, and that she had been sterile!”
Uwais said: “O Commander of the faithful! Take this direction, so I can take this one.”

So ‘Umar went in the direction of Mecca while Uwais (radi Allah anhu) herded his camels back to his tribe. Not long after this, Uwais left his work as a herdsman and he continued in his bondsmandship until Allah, Glory be to Him took him back to Himself

[Hilyat al Awliya, Abu Na’im, hadith n°1606].

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