The Story of Uways al-Qarniyy

The Story of 'Uways al-Qarniyy, whom the Prophet praised in his hadith:

"إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس بن عامر من قرَن ثم من مراد، له والدة هو بها بر، كان به برص فأذهبه الله عنه إلى قدر درهم، فإذا لقيتموه فمروه فليستغفر لكم".


In this hadith, the Prophet told us the best of the followers of the Companions was a man by the name of Uways Ibn ^Amir from the tribe of Qarn, a part of the tribe of Murad. He was known for his kindness to his mother. He had been inflicted with leprosy from which he was cured--except for a small spot. The Prophet ordered the companions, should they meet Uways al-Qarniyy, to ask him to make supplication to Allah to forgive them. This is what our Master ^Umar Ibnul Khattab did during his caliphate when some reinforcements from Yemen came to al-Madinah to support the Muslims in their battle with the blasphemers. The reinforcements had come to our Master ^Umar, in al-Madinah so that he would tell them where to go and what to do according to his battle strategy.

Our Master ^Umar inquired whether or not Uways was with them. When he found him he asked him, "Are you Uways, the son of ^Amir?" Uways said, "Yes." ^Umar asked him if he was good and kind to his mother and again Uways replied, "Yes." ^Umar asked him, "Were you inflicted with leprosy and cured except for a spot as small as one dirham?" He said, "Yes." Then our Master ^Umar, remembering the order of the Prophet, asked Uways to make supplication to Allah to forgive him. Out of his humbleness, Uways told ^Umar that Umar’s supplication would more likely be answered since ^Umar had recently returned from performing Hajj. However, ^Umar told Uways about the order of the Prophet, and Uways made supplication for him.

Uways was a very humble person. Some of the children used to think he was a crazy person because he was so poor and his clothing so old. Our Master ^Umar told him he would write to the ruler of the country where Uways was headed to list his name as one of those who would receive money from time to time, however, Uways did not accept--despite his very poor situation. Rather, he told ^Umar, "I prefer to be like other people."

In another hadith, the Prophet said:
"رُبَّ أشعث أغبر ذى طمْرَين مدفوعٍ بالأبواب لو أقسم على الله لأَبَرَّهُ".

which means: <<There are some people who [because they are so poor] cover their unlawful nakedness with two pieces of ragged clothing; whose hair is tousled and appearance dusty such that if they knock at a door, they would be turned away. Yet, if they raise their hands and make supplication to Allah, they will be answered.>>

Among the true Sufis are the waliyys--the highly righteous Muslims--who attained such a high level because of their adhering to the laws of the Religion and their following the Prophet in sincerity. They perform the obligations, refrain from all the prohibitions, and engage in performing many supererogatory acts of worship. They are the ones about whom Allah said in Surat Yunus, Ayah 62:

(إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا فَلا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ)

which means: [There is no fear on them and they will not be sad (on the Day of Judgment).] Those waliyys did not reach their high status by ignorance. It is known and unanimously agreed upon that Allah did not make any ignorant person a waliyy. All the waliyys of Allah are knowledgeable.

Allah knows best.


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