Lover of Mohammad
UWAIS AL QARANI AND PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
This article is about one of the greatest lovers of Prophet Mohammad known as Uwais al-Qarani. Many of us must have heard or read his name but very few actually know about his life and the intensity of love he had for Prophet Mohammad.
Nurturing love for Prophet Mohammad is an obligatory aspect of faith. However, merely expressing it verbally is not enough. Islam emphasizes that a believer must be so true in his love for Prophet Mohammad that it should overpower all other love. Moreover, Allah dearly loves his beloved Prophet Mohammad and keeps those people closer to Himself who greatly love and revere Prophet Mohammad. Hence, the rank and status of those who unconditionally love Prophet Mohammad, is extremely elevated. Among the greatest lovers of Prophet Mohammad, the first name after the Sacred Companions is that of Uwais al-Qarani.
SACRED BIRTH OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
The sacred birth of Uwais al Qarani took place in the tribe of Murad that lived in the village of Qarn in Yemen. His father was Amir ibn Jaz. Uwais al-Qarani’s mother named him Uwais from which he got popularity. His father died during his childhood. His mother was very old and blind. His mother’s name is claimed to be Badaar. He spent most of his life serving his mother. Many of us have heard Uwais al Qarani story and read about Hazrat Owais Qarni biography but few of us know the love he nurtured for Prophet Mohammad.
REASON FOR POPULARITY OF QARN:
Qarn is a small village in Yemen. When Qarn was being constructed and the earth was dug, a cow’s horn was discovered. In Arabic, a horn is called Qarn and hence, the place became known as Qarn. Uwais al-Qarani was born in Qarn. Therefore, Qarani is attached to his name. According to another tradition, his body was quite hairy due to which he was called Qarani as Qarn also means hair. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil)
SACRED APPEARANCE OF UWAIS AL-QARANI:
According to Abd al Wahhab al-Sha’rani the appearance of Uwais al Qarani was such that his eyes were yellow with a tinge of red. His skin colour was dark brown. He always kept his head down, eyes on the place of prostration and kept his left hand upon his right. Many people have made Uwais al Qarani movie to depict his physical self.
Hasan al Basri said:
I have seen Uwais al Qarani wrapped in a woolen blanket which had patches upon it. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri)
THE ATTIRE OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
The author of ‘Fasal al Khattab’ Mohammad Parsa writes a tradition in his book with regard to Hasan al Basri that Hasan al Basri saw Salman the Persian in a patched blanket and Uwais al Qarani in a garment of patched camel skin.
Uwais al Qarani was so frugal regarding clothes that according to a tradition, he had a sheet and pyjamas made of hair.
It is written in ‘Mustadrak’ that Uwais al Qarni kept nothing with him apart from the meal he had in his belly and the clothes he was wearing. He said, “O Allah! I apologize for having an empty stomach and a bare body. I have nothing except what I have eaten and what I am wearing.” (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil)
SOURCE OF INCOME AND LIVELIHOOD OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
It is written in ‘Majalis al Momineen’ that Uwais al Qarani used to do camel grazing and this was his source of livelihood. From this income, he would feed himself and his mother. In Qarn there was no one as poverty-stricken and destitute as Uwais al Qarani. Whichever way he passed by, people would throw stones and dust on him out of their disgust.
Asma relates, “At night, he would give away all the leftovers of the day and pray, ‘O Allah! If someone dies out of hunger or thirst, then please do not impeach me for it.'” (Book: Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri)
BOND BETWEEN UWAIS AL QARANI AND PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Uwais al Qarani was so drowned in his love for Prophet Mohammad that people took him to be a mad man or a lunatic. The passion of intense love ingrained within Uwais al Qarani for Prophet Mohammad is not found in the entire human history. The rank of Mohammadan love achieved by Uwais al Qarani is something even the Sacred Companions were desirous of. From the spiritual beneficence of Prophet Mohammad, the inward of Uwais al Qarani enlightened. It was a special blessing of Allah that He enriched the inward of Uwais al Qarani with the love and reverence of His beloved Prophet Mohammad. Due to the light of this spiritual beneficence, Uwais al Qarani achieved the gnosis of the Mohammadan Reality. This secret of Allah is not revealed upon everyone, which he deciphered while being far away from Madina in Qarn.
Prophet Mohammad had special spiritual attention upon Uwais al Qarani. Prophet Mohammad was fully aware of the yearning and desire of the love for Prophet Mohammad present within Uwais al Qarani. It was this intense love, which created a strong inward and spiritual bond between Uwais al Qarani and Prophet Mohammad.
GRANDEUR OF UWAIS AL QARANI IN LIGHT OF HADITH:
There are many Uwais al Qarani Hadith which describe him. Umar ibn Khattab relates the tradition that Prophet Mohammad said, “The best of Tabuin is a person with the name Uwais. He has an old mother. His hand has a spot of leprosy. Whenever you meet him, ask him to pray for the forgiveness of the umma.” (Muslim 6491)
It is related from Ibn Said that Prophet Mohammad said, “My best friend among the Tabiun is Uwais al Qarani.” (Mustadrak Hakim, Ibn Sa’id)
Prophet Mohammad said, “There would be a person among my umma called Uwais al Qarani. Due to his prayer of forgiveness, my umma would be forgiven with the numbers of hair of the sheep of tribe Rabi’a and Mudar.” (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil)
PROPHET MOHAMMAD’S PREDICTION ABOUT UWAIS AL QARANI:
Farid ud Din Attar writes in his book ‘Tazkirah tul Auliya’ that Prophet Mohammad would often go out of town at the time of sunset along with sacred Companions. Prophet Mohammad would point towards Yemen and say, “I can smell Allah from the direction of Yemen.”
Prophet Mohammad said that on the doomsday, Uwais al Qarani would enter paradise among the splendour of 70,000 angels. In addition, these 70,000 angels would be identical to Uwais al Qarani so that no one can identify him. Only those would be able to recognize him who would be graced by Allah for his vision. This would be so because Uwais al Qarani spent his entire life in solitude hidden from people only to pray and worship Allah only. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri)
PROPHET MOHAMMAD’S DESCRIPTION OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
It is related from Abu Hurairah that Prophet Mohammad said, “Among the companions of Allah, Allah keeps such pure companions that are hidden from the worldly people. Their faces are black, stomachs are flat, backs are thin and they are so careless that even if a king asks to meet them, they refuse to meet. If rich women want to marry them, they shun them. If they are lost, no one misses them. If they die, people do not gather for their funeral. Wherever they come, people are displeased and if they fall ill, no one asks for their good health.” The sacred Companions requested, “O Prophet Mohammad! Tell us who it is?” He replied, “That person is Uwais al Qarani.” The sacred Companions implored, “Who is Uwais al Qarani?” Prophet Mohammad answered, “His appearance is such that his eyes would be blue, his height would be medium and there would be sufficient distance between both his ears. His left hand would be upon his right hand, his gaze would be down in prostration and his chin would be bent towards his chest. He would be wearing old worn clothes with pyjamas and a sheet. No one in this world knows him but in the heavens, he is quite famous and if he swears on something, then Allah makes it come true.” (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil, Book: Hazrat Uwais al Qarani aur Hum by Dr Syed Mohammad Amir Gilani)
UWAIS AL QARANI’S PASSION AND DESIRE FOR WORSHIP AND STRUGGLE:
Maulana Moin ud Din Nadwi writes in his book ‘Seerat al Ashab (Ways of the Sahabah Companions of the Prophet)’:
“He spent all night in orthostasis (qiyam). He spent the 2nd night in bowing (ruku) and 3rd night in prostration (sujud).” When people inquired him that does he have enough strength that he spends the whole long night in one position. He replied, “The nights are not long. I wish there was 1 night from preexistence to preeternity where I could repent in one prostration but unfortunately the nights are so small that while I take a gap between prostration, the day breaks. I desire to worship the way angels do.” He dearly loved prayer because his beloved Prophet Mohammad also loved prayer. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri)
UWAIS AL QARANI’S RENUNCIATION OF THE WORLD:
Uwais al Qarani’s attention had now diverted from the world towards the hereafter. He only involved in worldly affairs as was least necessary for living. He loved solitude and preferred to stay away from crowds. Hence, he resided in a house away from people. When people started reaching out towards this house and he felt his worship being disrupted, he left that house and headed towards the jungles and remained focused in worship of Allah.
Uwais al Qarani would set out from home at Fajr prayer and would return at Isha prayer. Whatever surplus of food he had apart from that which he had eaten, he would distribute it to the needy, had simply no liking towards the worldly things. Prophet Mohammad used to say that the love for material things, is the root of all evil (so do not love this world). This is why Uwais al Qarani did not care about the world and remained away from it worshipping Allah. He knew that the result of love for the world is destruction of the hereafter.
He also had to face difficulties in this renunciation of the world. People used to mock him but he never cursed anyone. Whenever he would pass by people, children and ignorant people would laugh at his condition. They would take him as a lunatic and would throw stones at him to tease him to which he would say:
“O people! Throw smaller stones. When you throw large stones, I start bleeding which breaks my ablution and my prayer gets delayed (qaza).” (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil)
UWAIS AL QARANI ENTERS THE ASSEMBLY OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Imam of Tabiun Uwais al Qarani belonged to the Mohammadan era and accepted Islam spiritually. However, despite being present in the oath of prophethood, remained deprived of outward oath of allegiance. He was one of the lovers of Prophet Mohammad who loved him without seeing him. He is counted among those unconditional lovers whose soul is enriched with Divine love at the time of creation. These worshippers of Allah are the chosen ones of Allah. Allah introduced him to Prophet Mohammad through Angel Gabriel. The lover (Uwais al Qarani) and beloved (Prophet Mohammad) did not have an outward but an inward bond and communication. Due to his spiritual engrossment, Uwais al Qarani remained deprived physically seeing Prophet Mohammad.
UWAIS AL QARANI’S REASON FOR NOT MEETING PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Another reason for being absent from the Mohammadan Assembly was his mother who was old and blind who would not let him go away. He spent day and night looking after her. In the Quran, after obedience to Allah and Prophet Mohammad, serving parents is ordered. Hence, considering it a Divine order, he remained in service of his mother. He could not afford to take his mother along to meet Prophet Mohammad nor could he leave her alone. Hence, he remained deprived of meeting Prophet Mohammad.
The desire to behold Prophet Mohammad and intensity of love for Prophet Mohammad had rendered Uwais al Qarani extremely anxious. One day he trembled like a fish without water and asked his mother for leave. His mother permitted him but asked him to come back soon. He collected few necessary things and without wasting a moment, he set out bare footed in his impatience.
UWAIS AL QARANI ATTEMPT TO MEET PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Uwais al Qarani travelled the long distance from Qarn to Madina by foot and entered the city of Prophet Mohammad.
He entered the guest room of Aisha bint Abi Bakr but got to know that Prophet Mohammad had gone somewhere outside so Uwais al Qarani requested Aisha bint Abi Bakr to present his greetings when Prophet Mohammad returns. According to his mother’s order, he did not wait and returned immediately. When Prophet Mohammad returned home, he beheld a halo of Divine light which he had never seen before. He asked Aisha bint Abi Bakr that who came in his absence. She replied that a camel grazer came and left after saying greetings for you. Hearing this, Prophet Mohammad said that undoubtedly this light belongs to Uwais al Qarani. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani by Prof Mohammad Tufail Chaudry)
UWAIS AL QARANI’S JOURNEY TO MADINA:
After his mother’s death, Uwais al Qarani often visited Madina. About his presence in the Mohammadan Assembly at Madina, Sultan Walad writes in his book ‘Mathnawi’ that after Prophet Mohammad passed away, Uwais al Qarani’s desire to visit his tomb everyday, overpowered him. He went to Madina and the Sacred Companions inquired him that why did he never visit Prophet Mohammad during his lifetime. He answered that his mother was ill and would not let him go anywhere. The sacred Companions asked that they sacrificed all their riches and family in the love and desire for Prophet Mohammad so why could he not leave his mother only. He replied that the sacred Companions have had the blessing of the love and service of Prophet Mohammad so kindly describe the appearance of Prophet Mohammad. They described his physical appearance and narrated few of his miracles. Uwais al Qarani said that he did not mean to ask about his physical self but about his spiritual appearance.
UWAIS AL QARANI’S DESCRIPTION OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
The sacred Companions said that they have revealed all they knew, if he knows more, he might describe. At this, Uwais al Qarani drowned in his love for Prophet Mohammad described his beauty and splendour, habits and behaviour and attire in such a beautiful way that the sacred Companions got overpowered with the state of ecstasy and absorption. When they settled, the sacred Companions desired to be in his place and out of love for him, they kissed his hands. This proved how much love he had for Prophet Mohammad and the level of spiritual proximity he had with him. (Book: Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani by Prof Mohammad Tufail Chaudry, Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri)
SEARCH FOR UWAIS AL QARANI AT THE WILL OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Before his death, Prophet Mohammad made a will to his sacred Companions to take his sacred cloak to Uwais al Qarani, present his greetings and request him to pray for umma as his prayer would be accepted. He added that when they would go to Yemen, they would find him sitting amongst camel grazers. Hence, after Prophet Mohammad passed away, Ali ibn Abi Talib and Umar ibn Khattab went to Qarn and inquired people about Uwais al Qarani. People agreed that a lunatic keeps sitting away from people and grazes camel in valley of Arfa. Ali ibn Abi Talib and Umar ibn Khattab went to valley of Arfa and saw Uwais al Qarani occupied in prayer.
PRAYER OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
After prayer, both sat in front of him and presented Prophet Mohammad’s greetings, sacred cloak and requested prayer of forgiveness for the Mohammadan umma. When Uwais al Qarani kissed the sacred cloak, bowed and prayed, “O Allah! I will not wear the sacred cloak of Your beloved until you forgive the Mohammadan umma. Your beloved Prophet Mohammad has assigned me this duty.” A voice from the concealed world came that a certain thousand people have been forgiven. Uwais al Qarani exclaimed, “I have requested forgiveness for everyone.” The voice came that another thousand have been forgiven. Uwais al Qarani kept insisting until the voice said that the umma has been forgiven with the number of hair on the sheep of tribe Rabi’a and Mudar. Achieving this blessing, he got up from prostration, wore the sacred cloak and acknowledged Ali ibn Abi Talib and Umar ibn Khattab with the Mercy of Allah.
UWAIS AL QARANI THE LOVER OF PROPHET MOHAMMAD:
Although Uwais al Qarani was unable to be graced with the physical vision of Prophet Mohammad but he left this world after showing how to follow Prophet Mohammad. This was such a unique style of expressing love which was only a speciality of Uwais al Qarani. His love for Prophet Mohammad had reached the highest rank. His rank in the court of Allah is extremely high. He is the true lover of Mohammad which is why Allah counted him amongst His chosen men. He had achieved the secret of Divine Oneness and remained engrossed in Divine secrets and observations. The personality of special companion of Prophet Mohammad and Khayr al Tabiun (the best of Tabiun) Uwais al Qarani is the best example for the lovers of Prophet Mohammad. His pious character holds a great lesson for the lovers of Prophet Mohammad. He is the source of guidance for those who strive to find the Truth.
DEATH OF UWAIS AL QARANI:
It is written in the exegesis of Muslim Sharif and Tazkira tul Auliya that Uwais al Qarani took part in the army of Ali ibn Abi Talib in the battle of Siffin and embraced martyrdom as he fought. Musa Rae brought him to Qarn which is why his shrine is in Qarn. According to some sources Uwais al Qarni mosque was demolished by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in 2014.
منزل عشق کا مینار اویس قرنیؓ
عاشق ِ سید الابرار اویس قرنیؓ
ظاہری آنکھوں کو دیدارِ محمدؐ نہ ہوا
پھر بھی کرتے تھے بہت پیار اویس قرنیؓ
دل کے آئینے میں حبیبؐ ِ حق کا
روز کر لیتے تھے دیدار اویس قرنیؓ
Meaning: Uwais al Qarani is the minaret of the destination of Ishq. He is the true lover of the Prophet of Islam. The physical eyes could not see Prophet Mohammad, yet he loved him intensely. In the mirror of his inward, Uwais al Qarani used to behold his beloved everyday.
Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani Ashiq e Rasool by Mohammad Ilyas Adil
Seerat Hazrat Khwaja Uwais Qarani by Mohammad Haseeb al Qadri
Seerat Hazrat Uwais al Qarani by Prof Mohammad Tufail Chaudry
Hazrat Uwais al Qarani aur Hum by Dr Syed Mohammad Amir Gilani
Seerat Pak Ashiq e Rasool Hazrat Uwais al Qarani by Hazrat Pir Syed Irtaza Ali Kirmani
SULTAN MOHAMMAD NAJIB UR REHMAN:
Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman is the present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order. He is the perfect spiritual guide (murshid) of this era who is on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad. He grants the highest stage of invocation and Ism e Allah Zaat as well as Ism e Mohammad. Faqr is the heritage of Prophet Mohammad and the only way for the vision of Allah. Everyone is welcome to be a part of this way and to pledge allegiance to him.
This article was originally published in the October issue of Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (the monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) as Ashiq e Rasool Hazrat Uwais al Qarani written by Noreen Abdul Ghafoor Sarwari Qadri from Sialkot.
Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri, Lahore, Pakistan, has translated this article in English including all the poetry present in this article. Some parts may seem additional as they have been written to enhance the meaning and to maintain the essence of the subject. Hope you enjoy reading this article. If you wish to read the original article, please visit:
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What is the meaning of the name Uwais al Qarani?
Uwais means fearless. Qarani is derived from Uwais al Qarani’s birthplace Qarn, Yemen.
What is the relationship of Uwais al Qarani with Prophet Mohammad?
Although Uwais al Qarani could not see Prophet Mohammad in his lifetime yet he lived in the same time period and was his ardent lover. He pledged oath to Prophet Mohammad and communicated with him spiritually. Their relationship was based on spirituality and love.
What is Uwais al Qarni Dhikr?
It is the Dhikr to know more about the Prophet and to get closer to Allah. However, the highest form of Dhikr is that of Ism e Allah Zaat that paves the way for presence in the Mohammadan Assembly as well as vision of Allah.