Download PDF: Biography of Hadrat Owais Qarni
Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – was commonly known as “Khayrut Tabe’een.” There are different opinions on his exact name and title, however the generally accepted genealogy of his is Abu Amr Owais bin Aamir bin Juz’a (Abdullah) bin Maalik bin Amr bin Sa’ad bin Aswan bin Qarn bin Rumaan bin Naajiyah Qarni.
Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – was born in a village called Qarn and this is where he continued to live his life. While still young, he lost his father and his mother was also extremely old and frail. He spent his time taking care of his mother. He earned his livelihood taking care of camels and whatever he earned in this way, he spent on his mother. Whatever remained after this, Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – gave away in charity.
Due to the fact that Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – continued to serve his mother, he never managed to personally meet the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – although he lived in the time of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.
However, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – did foretell of his arrival in the coming years. In the book Ikmaal fi Asmaa’ul Rijaal it is reported that he did meet Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – and various other blessed companions. He was very famous for his immense piety and spiritual penitence. It is reported that he was martyred in the Battle of Siffin fighting on the side of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.
In the Ashi’atul Lam’aat, it is reported that Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – was actually martyred in the Battle of Nahaawand. Also, bear in mind that this place, Qarn, is not the same place which is referred to as the “Miqaat” of those coming from Najd. In fact, this place is near Taif and this village of Qarn is actually found in Yemen. It could also have been a little district. It is said to have been named by the forefather of the great Saint, namely Qarn bin Rumaan bin Naajiyah bin Muraad. This was the person who started this village and also invited other inhabitants to settle here. Hence, this village or district became famous through his name.
Another narration mentions that while digging in this village, they found the horns of an ox. In Arabic, the word for “horn” is also “Qarn.”
It is reported that Hadrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him –performed Hajj during the era of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – and the eminent companion also did meet him on this occasion. Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – also inquired from him where he wanted to settle and he said that he wanted to settle in Kufah. This is where he spent his last few years. Since it was destined that this great Saint would arrive during the era of Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him, it was for this reason that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – before he passed away, specifically informed Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – about the arrival of this person. The Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – informed them, “Whoever among you meets Owais should request him to make Du’a for you.” This also proves the vast Knowledge of the Unseen as possessed by the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. There are also many ahadith which allude to his eminence and greatness.
The following Hadith Shareef is narrated by Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him, who narrates that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – stated, “There will come to you a person from Yemen who is called Owais. Only his mother has stopped him in Yemen. (Either he or his mother) has suffered from vitiligo (which is a certain skin disease which creates white patches on the skin). When Owais made Du’a to Allah Almighty, this disease was removed. There only remains a small amount the size of a dirham. Whoever meets Owais then he should ask him to make Du’a for him so that he can make Du’a for this person who seeks Du’a.”
This also proves that even a senior person can request a junior person to make Du’a for him and this would not be considered unbecoming or improper. After all, we know that the blessed Ashaab are far more superior in status than Hazrat Owais Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him, but they were requested to ask him to make Du’a for them. In fact, once when Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – was leaving for Umrah, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – also requested him to remember him in his Du’as.
In another report, it is mentioned that Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – heard the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – declare, “Among the Taba’een, Owais is the most supreme. He has a mother who suffers from vitiligo. You should ask him to make Du’a for you.”
Various Ahadith in this regard
There are many Ahadith which explain his eminence, however, we will present merely two of them.
Imam Jalaaludeen Suyuti – may Allah be pleased with him – in Jam’ul Jawaame’ has also complied many Ahadith in this regard. The same with ibn Asaakir in his Taarikh, Abu Nu’aim in the Hilyah, Imam Bahiqi in the Dalaa’il and also Abu Ya’la and ibn Mandah Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with them.
- Ibn Asaakir – may Allah be pleased with him – reports from Hadrat Sa’eed ibn Musaayib – may Allah be pleased with him – who reports from Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – who narrates that, “Once the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – mentioned to me, ‘Among my Ummah, there is a person named Owais. There is an indication in his body that he once suffered from vitiligo but through his Du’as, this has been healed and very little remains. If you meet him then convey my Salaams to him and request him to make Du’a for you. With Allah Almighty he certainly possesses a very high status. If he swears in the Name of the Almighty, Allah Almighty will certainly fulfil his oath. He will intercede for my Ummah. Through his intercession, people equal to the number of the Bani Rabee’h and the Bani Mudar tribes will be pardoned.”
Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then continues, “I then searched for him during the time of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and also during the era of Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr – may Allah be pleased with him – but could not find him. I did find him in my time”.
- Ibn Asaakir – may Allah be pleased with him – reports from Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – that Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – waited many days for Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais – may Allah be pleased with him. He searched for him among the Hujjaj and one day, he came to know that there were a few people from the Bani Muraad who had arrived for Hajj. Both he and Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – then went in search for him. They asked the people from the caravan whether there was someone among them whose name was Owais. One person mentioned that he has a nephew whose name is Owais but he is extremely thin and weak. They mentioned that they were in search of this person. The person informed them that he was stationed near the Plains of Arafat tending to the camels.
Both of them then approached him and asked him, “Are you a Qarni Muraadi?” He replied that yes he was. They then asked him whether a small patch of this illness still remained on the side of his body and he replied that yes, there was still a small patch which remained. They then asked him to show them this spot. When he picked up his kurtah, both of them then kissed this spot. They then informed him that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had conveyed his Salaams to him and has also commanded him to make Du’a. Therefore, he had to make Du’a for both of them. At first, he tried to excuse himself from this, however later on, he made Du’a for them.
There are some reports which mention that someone once asked him how come he had lived in the time of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – but did not see him. He asked this person whether he had seen the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and this person replied that indeed he had. He then asked the person to mention the number of white hair which was found on the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. This person could not answer the question. He then mentioned that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had fourteen white hair on his blessed head. He had five white hair on his blessed beard and one on his lower lip. Allah Almighty knows best.
His life as a complete Derwish
Imam Hujjatul Islam, Abu Mohammed al Ghazzali – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Ihya ul Uloom and the Kimiyaah Sa’aadat explains that the Imam of this Ummah, namely Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him, restricted the world so much upon himself that people actually considered him as someone who was insane. He was such a private person that people never saw him for two or three years in row. He used to appear during the Fajr Azaan and only return after ‘Isha. His food was the dates which he found on the road as he walked along and if perchance he found any good dates, he used to keep this for Iftaar. If he collected more dates than he needed, then he used to give away these dates as charity. Besides the clothes he wore, which were very old and tattered, he had a blanket in which he covered himself. When people saw him, some used to make fun of him and some children even threw stones at him. However, he never scolded them, only warning them not to throw large stones which would injure him and disable him from reading his Salaah.
A similar account has also been mentioned by Shaikh Sharfudeen Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – in the Maktubaat and Khawaja Shaikh Fareedudeen Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – in the Tadkiratul Awliyah. The King of the Saint, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ghous Paak Hazrat Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Ghunyatut Taalibeen has said, “When little children used to throw stones at him, he used to advice, ‘If you are happy with throwing stones at me, then please throw small stones so that I do not become so severely injured that I am unable to perform the Salaah”.
Khawaja Mohammed Paarsa Hazrat Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Faslul Khitaab reports that Hadrat Sayyiduna Hasan Basri – may Allah be pleased with him – used to say that, “I once saw Hadrat Sayyiduna Salman Farsi – may Allah be pleased with him – who only had a shawl which had patches everywhere. And I have also seen Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – who had clothes made from wool and there were many patches on his clothing”.
In brief, everyone who saw him used to make fun of him and even some members of his family were also guilty of this. In one book it is mentioned that there was no one more weak and thin in Yemen than Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. In fact, in whichever area he arrived, people used to make fun of him and throw stones on him. People used to also throw sand on him.
His status among the Eminent Awliya
Hadrat Data Saheb – may Allah be pleased with him – in his masterpiece, Kashful Mahjub, has included him among those who were very learned among the Taba’een, a true light of the Ummah, a giant among the Awliya and the people of Tasawwaf. He has also reported that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – had stated:
“The status of Owais is such that he will intercede for my Ummah equal to the number of hair which is found on the goats which belong to the Bani Rabee’h and the Bani Mudir. He then turned towards Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – and said to them, ‘Both of you will see him. He is short and his hair is also long. On his side there is a small white spot equal to the size of a dirham. When you meet him, convey my Salaam to him and also request him to make Du’a for my Ummah.
“A while later, both of these eminent companions arrived in Mecca Shareef and called out to the people whether there was anyone among them who was from the area of Qarn. The people mentioned that indeed there were people from Qarn among them and these people came forward. When these people appeared, he asked them, ‘Is there anyone among you whose name is Owais?’ The people replied, ‘Owais is certainly an insane person who lives on the outskirts of the village. He does not sit with anyone and even his food is different from the food of other people. Both sorrow and happiness is the same to him. When people laugh, he cries and when people cry, he laughs.’
“Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – then mentioned to them that he wanted to meet this person. The people replied that he will find this person in the wild tending to the camels. Both of them then went and met him at this place. They noticed that he was busy in Salaah. Both of them then sat on one side. When he had completed his Salaah, they greeted him and saw the white mark on his hand. They then conveyed the Salaam of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and also requested him to make Du’a for the Ummah.
“They sat with him for few minutes and Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais – may Allah be pleased with him – mentioned to them that they had indeed created inconvenience for themselves by coming to visit him. They then left his presence and when the people from Qarn saw that he had been visited by eminent leaders of Islam, only then did they understand the true status of Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. All of them started to display immense respect for him.
“However, he soon left this place and settled in Kufah. One day, he was also seen by Hiram ibn Hayyan. No one saw him after this and he only reappeared during the Battle of Siffin and while in the army of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him, he was martyred. As long as he lived, he sang the praises of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and when he passed away, he sang the song of martyrdom.”
His meeting with Hiram bin Hayyan
According to Hadrat Data Saheb – may Allah be pleased with him – among the Taba’een, one of the few people to have met Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – was Hadrat Sayyiduna Hiram bin Hayyan – may Allah be pleased with him. This was also that person who had also met a number of eminent Ashaab. In the Kashful Mahjub, their meeting is recorded.
This Saint departed with the intention of meeting Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. He continued on this journey until he arrived in Qarn.
However, the great Saint, Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him, was not in this place and he returned disheartened. He then arrived in Mecca Shareef and was informed that the great Saint was in Kufah. He then travelled to Kufah but again could not meet the great Saint. He then spent a lengthy period in Kufah and finally decided to travel to Basrah. As he was travelling, he noticed the great Saint sitting next to the Euphrates making Wudu. He was also wearing a Khirqah. He immediately recognized the great Saint. After making Wudu and combing his hair, the great Saint started to walk forward but Hadrat Sayyiduna Hiram bin Hayyan – may Allah be pleased with him – stepped in front of him and greeted him.
The great Saint replied to his greeting and also mentioned his name as well. Hadrat Sayyiduna Hiram bin Hayyan – may Allah be pleased with him – was surprised that he had been recognized and wanted to know how this was possible. The great Saint, “My soul had recognized your soul”.
He then spend a few minutes with Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – and most of his conversation centred around Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar and Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with them. He also mentioned that he had heard a Hadith Shareef from them which was that, “The foundation of action is based upon the intention of someone. Everyone would receive what he had made intention for. He who has migrated for the sake of Allah Almighty and His Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his migration is for Allah Almighty and His Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. He who had migrated for the sake of acquiring the world or for the sake of a female so that he can marry her, then his migration would be for that which he had intended.”
He then advised me, “Protect your heart from all outside influence.” There are two implications to this statement. One is that one should perform so much of spiritual penitence that his heart becomes obedient and the second meaning of this is that he should make his Nafs or carnal desires obedient to his heart thereafter.
Hadrat Data Saheb – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions that these is indeed very mighty principles. When a person intends to make his heart obedient, then he should remove all types of greed and carnal desires from his heart. He should also remove all types of wordily concerns from his heart. He should only concentrate on truth.
The miracle of Khawaja Habeeb bin Sahl and Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with them
Hadrat Sayyiduna Habeeb bin Sahl Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – in the book Zahratur Riyaaz mentions, “Once, I was in a boat travelling with a few business people. In this boat, there were many expensive items that were placed around the boat. Suddenly, a mighty storm appeared. The boat also began to fill with water. Everyone on the boat had also lost all hope. On this boat there was also a person who was wrapped in camel skin. This person then stood up and then walked on the water. He then began to read his Salaah. He was so intent in his Salaah as if nothing was happening around him.
“Everyone then shouted to him, ‘O true Muslim! Please make Du’a for us in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty’. He then turned towards us and asked what the problem was. We then mentioned to him that he could clearly see our state and the mighty waves which were battering the boat. He then advised us to gain the nearness of the Allah Almighty. We then asked how we could do this. He then said that we should give up the world and we all screamed that we had divorced the world. He then told us to read the ‘Bismillah’ and join him on the water. We obeyed his command and all of us stood with him on the water. We were about nearly a hundred people. All the goods in the boat were also destroyed. He then mentioned to us that we were now free from the clutches of the world.
“We then asked him who he was and he replied that his name was Owais Qarni. We then mentioned to him that the goods in the boat belonged to the poor people of Madina Shareef which had been sent by a rich person from Egypt. The main reason for this aid was that the people of Madina Shareef were suffering from a terrible drought. He then asked us, ‘If your goods were returned to you, would you distribute this among the poor of Madina Shareef?’ We all replied that we would certainly do so. Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – then recited two rak’ah of Nafil Salaah while standing on the water and made Du’a to Allah Almighty. Suddenly the same boat arrived safely on the shore and all of these goods were distributed among the poor people of Madina Shareef. In fact, so much of wealth and aid was distributed among the poor in Madina Shareef that it was difficult thereafter to find any poor people.”
The Issue of Miracles or Karamat which occurs through a Wali
It must be remembered that miracles which occur through the blessed hands of a Wali is something which is based on truth and those who reject this are people who are misled and corrupt. In the Sharah of Al Fiqhul Akbar, on page 95, it is mentioned, “Miracles emanating from the Awliya are nothing but the truth and is proven from the Qur’an and Hadith.”
Hadrat Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlwi – may Allah be pleased with him – explains, “The people of truth are unanimous in the fact that miracles do occur from the Awliya. This is proven from the Qur’an and Ahadith and is also clearly proven from the testimony of the blessed Ashaab and the Taba’een.” (Ash’atul Lam’aat. 4/595)
Bear in mind that a Wali is that special Muslim, who through the means of his human attributes, becomes aware of the Divine Attributes of the Allah Almighty. He is also someone who is very firm in abiding by the laws of Shari’ah. He does not become involved in animal desires and this is mentioned in Sharah Aqaa’id Nasafi.
In other words, a true Wali is that person who has to abide by the laws of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah. Someone who does not abide by these laws, besides being a Wali, he cannot even be called a Muslim or a believer.
These special servants of Allah Almighty are also able to help and assist people even after they leave this world. In Tafseer Azeezi, in the last para on page 50, it is mentioned, “Those Awliyah who have passed away, even after leaving this world they are able to be of benefit to others.”
Proof for the occurrence of these miracles
In the Qur’an, the story of the Ashaabe Kahaf, Sayyidah Bibi Maryam and Asif bin Barkhiyah are clear miracles which did occur. One can also refer to Surah Ale Imraan for further elaboration. We will however, present a few Ahadith in this regard.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that once Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – sent an army to the area of Nahaawand (which was a distance of nearly a month from Madina Shareef). The commander of this army was someone whose name was Saariyah. One day, while Hadrat Sayyiduna ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with him – was delivering the Juma Khutbah, he suddenly shouted in a loud voice, ‘O Saariyah, seek protection in the mountain’. A few days later a messenger from this same battalion arrived and informed the leader of the Muslims, ‘O Ameerul Mo’mineen! Such was the ferocity of the enemy’s attack that we were close to defeat. However, suddenly we heard some shout out, ‘O Saariyah! seek protection in the mountain’ and when we heard this voice, we used the mountain as our back and continued to struggle against the enemy and finally (through the Divine Help) of Allah Almighty the enemy was defeated.’”
- Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn Munakdar – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that Hadrat Sayyiduna Safeenah – may Allah be pleased with him – was a servant of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. He once forget his way on how to reach the Muslim army while they were in Rome. He was someone who had just been imprisoned (and had escaped) and went in search of the Muslim army. Suddenly a lion appeared in front of him and he said to the lion, “O Abul Haarith! I am a servant of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him” and he also explained what had happened to him. The lion then began to wag his tail like a dog would normally do and came and stood next to Hadrat Safeenah – may Allah be pleased with him. They continued to walk in this fashion. Whenever the lion heard any noise, he ran to investigate and then returned to Hadrat Sayyiduna Safeenah – may Allah be pleased with him – and continued walking next to him. This continued until he was able to re-join the Muslim army. The lion then turned back. (Mishkaat Shareef)
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that one night Hadrat Sayyiduna Usaid bin Huzair Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Abaadah bin Bishar Hazrat Owais Qarni– may Allah be pleased with him –continued to speak to the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – until it became quiet late. The night also was very dark. When these people began to leave, both of them had a small stick in their hands. One of these stick then became a source of light for both of them. When their paths separated, the stick of the other person also lit up and each of them continued in this fashion until they reached their homes.” (Bukhari Shareef, Mishkaat Shareef)
The immense Ibadah of Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him
In the Tadkiratul Awliyah, it is reported that once Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee bin Khaysham – may Allah be pleased with him – went to meet Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. At that time, he was reading the Fajr Salaah. After he had completed the Salaah, he continued making the Zikr until the time of Zohr. He continues, ‘I then continued to wait for him and in this fashion, three days and nights passed by. He did not eat or drink anything. On the fourth night, he did experience the urge to sleep and made Du’a in the Divine Court of the Allah Almighty, ‘I seek protection in You from this sleep.’ Hadrat Sayyiduna Rabee – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions, ‘I then decided to leave it at that and said to myself, ‘If I do not speak to him and trouble him, it would be better.’”
In the Kimiyah Sa’adat and the Roudur Riyaaheen, Hadrat Sayyiduna Sahl Yemeni reports about the Ibadah of Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. In one night he used to say, “Tonight is the night of Ruku” and in this manner, he spent the entire night in Ruku. In another night he used to say, “This is the night of Sajdah” and in this manner, he spent the entire night in Sajdah. Someone once asked him, “How do you manage to spend the entire night in Ruku or Sajdah?” He replied, “My wish is that from the beginning to the end (of my life) it is only one night and I continue weeping while in a state of Sajdah. Unfortunately, now I am only able to mention the Tasbeeh once in Sajdah and the night ends, but it is the Sunnah of my master to read three Tasbeeh. It is my wish that I continue to make Ibadah like the Angels. Those who are in Sajdah, spend their entire life in Sajdah. Those who are in Ruku, spend their entire existence in Ruku.’”
Once, for three days and night, he did not eat a single thing. While he wasw walking, he found an onion. He wanted to pick this up but then thought that perhaps this is not Halaal for him. He then saw a bird approaching him with a piece of bread in its mouth. A voice was then heard saying, “You refrained from eating the onion thinking it was Haraam, now eat from the hands of the Angels so that your Nafs may find peace.”
On another occasion, for three days he did not eat anything and he received food through a sheep and while he looked at this sheep, it disappeared.
Dr. Iqbal has quite eloquently mentioned that when we as Muslims have forgotten the teaching and the path adopted by Hadrat Sayyiduna Salman – may Allah be pleased with him – and Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him, from that moment onwards, we have been thrown into the valley of disgrace. And yet, our state was that as long as we held on to the Masjid, great leaders of their era were overpowered by us.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Makhdum Jahaaniya Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Safar Nama Farzandi writes that one day, the leader of both Khuraasan and Yemen had the wish to meet all the eminent Awliya and Mashaa’ikh of their era. Even those who had adopted seclusion. All of these eminent people arrived except Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him.
In the same manner, it is mentioned in the Sharah of Hidaayah which is the Malfuz of the above mentioned Saint that once the ruler of Yemen came to meet Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – but the Saint made sure that he had his front door locked. This person then stood a long while outside waiting for the great Saint. Finally, Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – came outside for some work and only then did he have the opportunity of meeting him.
There were two reasons for this behaviour. The first was that he wanted to be independent of all creation. The second was that he did not want to become famous and preferred privacy and seclusion.
It is also mentioned that he once made a special Du’a in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty which was, “O Allah Almighty! As You have kept me secluded in this world, in the same manner keep me secluded in the Hereafter.” Suddenly he heard a Voice declare, “We have accepted your Du’a”. He then asked, “On the Day of Judgement, when eighteen thousand worlds will appear, how would I be kept secluded?” Again the Voice mentioned, “Seven hundred or seventy thousand Angels would be created in your image through our Power and within them you would be concealed and taken to Jannah.”
It is also mentioned that the Awliyah are in the Divine Shadow or Protection of Allah Almighty and no one would know them or recognize them except the Allah Almighty.
In the Tadkiratul Awliyah, the following statement of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is also mentioned which is that the most beloved Awliya in front of Allah Almighty are those who are extremely pious and remain secluded.
In fact, someone has stated that when a normal person in the world does something privately and in seclusion, it becomes a source of business and yet when the Awliya perform an act in privacy and in seclusion, it becomes known as “Taqwah”.
The reason why Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him –remained in Seclusion
The Awliya also mention that the state and stature of those Awliya who remain secluded and alone is certainly much greater than those Awliya who are famous. In fact the great Saint, Hadrat Sayyiduna Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him – has mentioned that the state of these Awliya is like the state of those females who adopt seclusion and privacy when they are in the state of Haiz. This has been mentioned in his masterpiece, Sirrul Asraar fi maa Yah taaju ilay hil Abraar.
Another reason is that when a Saint becomes famous through some miracle, then at times, it is very disadvantageous to him and his improvement on a spiritual level. Imam Mullah Ali Qari – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Sharah of the Mishkaat gives his explanation which is that Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – desired to be in seclusion because he was someone who was “Mustajaabud Du’a.” (In other words, someone whose Du’a was immediately accepted)
Since many people came to Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – to make Du’a for them, he did not think it proper to make Du’a for those people who were good and ignore those people who were not that good. Hence, he made Du’a to remain secluded from people. In fact, if his name did not appear in the Hadith Shareef, no one would have been aware of his existence. (Sharah Mashaa riq)
In fact, one of the famous Du’as of the Awliya is, “O Allah Almighty, conceal us among your servants and among your creation.”
This is also one of the reasons that there is so much of confusion about where his actual grave is situated. In fact the writer of Lataa’ife Nafeesiyah reveals a very strange incident. He reveals that once Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – was sitting among six other Derwishes and he was in state of spiritual ecstasy. When he raised his eyes and looked at these six Derwishes, the entire appearance of these six Derwishes transformed into his image. No one could recognize who was who. With the result, wherever these Derwishes travelled to, people were convinced that this was Owais Qarni. Wherever each one passed away, the people buried them in that place thinking that they were burying Owais Qarni. Because of this, in a certain area in Sindh which is called “Thatha,” there is a Mazaar which is said to be his Mazaar. There is another Mazaar of his which is said to be found in the city of Ghazni. Another is said to be in the port of Zubayd. In like manner three other areas are also said to contain his Mazaar. However, Hadrat Sultanul Awliya Fatheh Mohammed has stated that his actual grave is to be found in Yemen. Many eminent Awliya have spent time in this place as a form of Chillah and also received many spiritual benefits.
Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Jalaaludeen Suyutwi – may Allah be pleased with him – writes that when he was placed in the grave, a sign was also placed near his grave. When people returned a short while later, there was no sign of any grave or symbol.
The relationship between us and the true servants of Allah Almighty
We must bear in mind that Islam has emphasised the relationship of religious brotherhood rather than family brotherhood. If we look at the relationship of Abu Lahb, he was a relative of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and was his uncle. He used to stay in the same area as the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and yet, when we look at Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him, he was not a relative of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and also lived many miles away from the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, but the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – used to remove the cover from his chest and pointing in the direction of Yemen he used to declare, “I am able to smell the fragrance of Rahman from the direction of Yemen.” (Tadkiratul Awliya)
The people of the world do not recognize them but among the people of the heavens, they are certainly very famous
In fact such was his immense stature in the blessed court of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – that once, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – presented his blessed Jubbah and said that this should be given to Owais and that he was to make Du’a for this Ummah. (Tadkiratul Awliyah)
The ‘Ulama explain that one of the reasons that he did not appear in Madina Shareef was because he was serving his mother who was very frail and weak. Some ‘Ulama also explain that another reason that he did not appear in Madina Shareef is that perhaps he did not want his feet to touch the blessed footprints of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. In fact, he was such a true Aashiq of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – that he did not want any action of his to appear as if he was disrespecting the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him.
“This is my Owais”
In the book Majaalisul Mo’mineen, it is mentioned that once Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – did get permission from his mother to visit Madina Shareef. However, she had also made it clear that if he did not find the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – at home he was to immediately return.
When the great Saint arrived in Madina Shareef, he was informed that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – was not at home. He then immediately returned to Yemen. When the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – returned to his blessed house, he inquired whether anyone had come to meet him and he was told, “There was a camel herder from Yemen who had come.” When he heard this answer, he replied, “That was my beloved Owais”.
In fact, the manner in which these pure souls should be welcomed has also been presented in the Qur’an. In Surah Al An’am, verse 54, the Qur’an declares:
وَ اِذَا جَآءَکَ الَّذِیۡنَ یُؤْمِنُوۡنَ بِاٰیٰتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلٰمٌ عَلَیۡکُمْ کَتَبَ رَبُّکُمْ عَلٰی نَفْسِہِ الرَّحْمَۃَ ۙ اَنَّہٗ مَنۡ عَمِلَ مِنۡکُمْ سُوۡٓءًۢا بِجَہٰلَۃٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنۡۢ بَعْدِہٖ وَ اَصْلَحَ فَاَنَّہٗ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۴﴾
“And when those who believe in Our signs come humbly in your presence, say to them, “Peace be upon you – your Lord has made mercy obligatory upon His grace – that whoever among you commits a sin by folly and thereafter repents and reforms (himself), then indeed Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
There is no doubt that the basis of every action is upon the intention. Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – displayed immense love and respect for the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – even though he could not reach Madina Shareef in that blessed era.
We must also bear in mind that when it comes to issues which pertain to excellence in attributes, even those Ahadith which are considered as weak are also acceptable. The report about wiping oneself after Wudu is considered weak, yet the entire world performs this. The report that when a person performs the Hajj, he or she returns as someone who has just been born is also a weak report, yet everyone speaks about it. In fact, every person who returns from Hajj is convinced about this.
The Mureeds of the Great Saint
Among the books which describe his blessed life, it is mentioned that he had only four Mureeds who took Bay’at at his hands. They were:
- Khawaja Moosa bin Yazeed Ar Rai Hadrat – may Allah be pleased with him. The great Saint once mentioned to this Mureed, “Always remember death. Your nose which you see in front of you, is also the shape of a grave.” Always bear this in mind. His spiritual Silsilah also spread through this Mureed.
- Khawaja Hisaamudeen Yemeni – may Allah be pleased with him
- Khawaja Ahmed Khurasaani – may Allah be pleased with him. This was the Mureed to whom he gave his blessed stick and blanket.
- Khawaja Sadrudeen Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him, the Mufti of Khurasaan. (Lataa’if Nafasiyyah)
It is also a tragedy to see that in the present era, no care is taken when it comes to making Mureeds. The only thing that most so-called Peers do is make sure that their register in full. They do not educate their Mureeds about Islamic Law or the basic tenets of what it is to be a Mureed. In fact, the Mureed needs to be educated about all aspects of behaviour, Ibadah and various dealings in this world. Some of these modern Peers are only interested in giving their Mureed some fancy hat and do not consider it important to guide their Mureeds. They must bear in mind that this is not a small minor road which the Mureed needs to walk on. It is a path which is delicate and is always surrounded by pitfalls.
In fact, the Mureeds have to be reformed both internally and externally. If a person continues to visit the Mazaar of some great Saint and continues to display pride and arrogance in spite of this, then what is the value of visiting these Mazaars?
For those who seek the Hereafter, a very thoughtful incident
The following incident has always been presented by the wise for those who continue to possess hearts that ignore the Hereafter.
It is mentioned that once a certain Sultan decorated his palace and his officials were busy describing very important issues pertaining to the state. They were also describing the good and noble qualities of this Sultan. Suddenly, a very poor person asked permission to enter the palace. The Sultan gave permission that this person be allowed to enter the court. This poor person then gave the Sultan a mirror as a present. Perhaps, his intention was to ridicule the Sultan or give him the impression that before he looked at anyone else, he should first look at himself. Be that as it; the reason for giving this gift was known only to him.
The Sultan was very pleased with this humble gift and said to the poor person, “Tonight, from the time of ‘Isha until Fajr, you have complete permission to take whatever valuable you see in my court without any restriction being placed on you. However, the moment the time of Fajr appears, this open permission would cease to exist.”
The poor person was extremely joyous about this and he thought to himself that tonight, I will take so much of wealth that I will never ever have to beg anyone for anything again. After the ‘Isha Salaah, this poor person was allowed into the palace of the Sultan. When he entered the chambers of the Sultan, he was shocked to see the opulence and luxury in front of him. When he walked past one of the private bedrooms in which there was no one present, he stopped awhile and decided to look inside this room. The room was decorated with silk curtains. The entire floor was carpeted with luxurious carpet. It had expensive sofas and also a very large and luxurious bed which looked extremely comfortable. He thought to himself that since the night is still young and since there is plenty of time to take what one wanted, why not take a small rest. He decided to lay on this bed. The bed was so comfortable, that he slept the entire night. The poor person was lost in deep sleep while his destiny was also beginning to change.
If only he understood that this was not the time to sleep but the time to take whatever valuables he wanted and once he did this, there would be plenty of time to sleep later on. But he never thought about this. He only thought about the moment.
Suddenly, the sound of Azaan for the Fajr Salaah was heard in the town and the servants of the Sultan immediately entered the bedroom to wake this person. They then told him to leave the palace. He started to complain that he had not yet taken anything valuable from the palace and these people were being unfair. But the servants replied that the time which was given to him to take whatever valuable he wanted had elapsed and that he had wasted this time in sleeping.
Suffice to say that this poor person left the palace while he was still crying. The guards also made sure that he left the palace. In other words, he came empty-handed and he left empty- handed. Due to his forgetfulness, he achieved nothing from the opportunity which was given to him.
This is our message to the Muslims. In this world, Allah Almighty has given plenty of opportunity to people to gather as much wealth as they can in the form of Ibadah, Zikr, Durud, Salaam, etc so that they can rest in comfort and ease in the Hereafter. Yet sadly, there are many people in this world who instead of taking these valuables are busy sleeping and robbing themselves of immense benefit. Remember that when the time comes, you will also have to leave and no amount of screaming and tears will help. In the same manner, those who gather worldly treasures and wealth are also like the poor person. They are also in deep sleep and will only realise this when they are about to leave this world. It is a tragedy that people spend hours and hours in their business earning riches which they will never take with them. How can we say that these people of immense wealth and riches are actually intelligent people? An intelligent person would be that person who makes sure that what he works for, he takes with him. And yet, you are working day and night for something which you will never take. Where is the intelligence in this action of yours?
Many Sharah have also been written on the advice of the great Saint. One of the greatest lesson given to us by the great Saint is to keep the heart clean of everything satanic. It is no value to be alone when your heart is filled with satanic thoughts. Such seclusion is of no value at all.
The Saint has also advised that there are three qualities which if it is found in a person, then he is certainly very close to destruction. They are:
- To have the desire to always eat good food.
- To have the desire to always wear new and classy clothes.
- To display pride that one is in the company of the rich and famous.
There is a famous Arabic proverb which states that: “A rich person looks good standing at the door of a poor person but a poor person does not look good standing at the door of a rich person.”
We should look at the example below and be able to understand the status of the rich and famous in the eyes of the people of Allah Almighty. Even though this is a story from the past when the rich and famous were much better than the rich and famous of today, yet, it still is an important lesson to us.
A Nawab and a Faqeer
It is mentioned that the leader or Governor of an area in Bahawulpur was someone named Nawab Saadiq Mohammed Abbasi who was also the fourth Governor of this region.
One day, for some reason he became angry with his personal servant and decided to fire him. In fact, the only reason that he did this was because this personal servant had delayed bringing water to him. At the same time in those days, it was also extremely difficult to get such loyal staff. This person then pleaded to the Governor to rethink his decision but the Nawab Saheb was adamant and remained firm on his initial decision and refused to pardon this personal servant. Finally, this servant went to a place called “Kotmatan Shareef” where there was a famous Peer called Khawaja Ghulam Fareed. He then explained what happened and asked the Peer to intercede on his behalf. Also bear in mind that the Nawab Saheb was also someone who used to visit this Peer and considered himself as one of the loyal servants of this Peer.
This Peer then wrote a personal note to the Nawab and when he read this note, he immediately gave the person his job back. He also apologised to this poor person for his behaviour. What is amazing is that nowhere in any historical evidence, has there ever been a note written to any Nawab which was so short and so precise. The only thing which was explained in this note was an explanation of the symbols “Zer, Zar and Pesh”. Yet, the words used were such that it completely changed the attitude of this Nawab. It was actually written in the Saraa’iki language which is the language that was spoken by people in that area.
The letter read, “O Saadiq, become a Zabar das sakhi, (in other words, an extremely generous person) and become someone who is Zer-e-dast (always looking to help others) so that hopefully no difficulty comes in front of you or Dar Pesh hu. Fareed.”
These are some of the advices given by the great Saint:
- It is better to make Du’a for people while one is absent from them then to be among them.
- Busy yourself in the Zikr of Allah Almighty in such a manner as if you have severed all ties with the Dunya. Without divorcing yourself from the world, you will never achieve piety. Surrender yourself to Allah Almighty and remove all doubts in your acts of Ibadah.
- True sincerity in Salaah means that even if an arrow pieces your side, you should be unaware of this.
- I desired a status in the Hereafter and found it in contentment in this world.
- I desired pride and found it in choosing poverty.
- I desired a high status and found it in humility.
- I desired a high status in family lineage and found it in adopting piety.
- I desired leadership in the Hereafter and found it in this world by giving good advice to people.
- I desired independence and found it in honesty.
- I desired ease in the hereafter and found it in spiritual penitence and striving.
This completes the lecture on Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him.
His entire life was a symbol of Islam and what a true Muslim should strive for. It is also sad that we tend to mention only the miracles of these great Saints but take no advice from their blessed lives on how we should fashion our life. There are so many lessons which we can derive from the blessed life of Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him. One of them is serving your parents. One is respect for the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. One is great concern for this Ummah. One is how to refrain from the evils of trying to become rich and famous.
It is of no value to merely read the stories of such great people and learn nothing from it. Another important point that we should also bear in mind is that we should continue to make Du’a that we as Muslims enjoy the intercession of Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – on the Day of Judgement. In Sha Allah. At the same time, we also make Du’a that many other Muslims also enjoy this great benefit.
There is also a special Durud which has been written by Hadrat Sayyiduna Owais Qarni – may Allah be pleased with him – and we should endeavour to also enjoy the spiritual benefit which is hidden in this Durud.
اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلٰی سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰی اٰلِ سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدِ نِ الَّذِیْ اَخْبَرَ بَعْضَ صَحَابَتِہٖ وَ قَرَابَتِہٖ بِعَلَامَۃِ اُوَیْسِ نِ الْقَرَنِیِّ وَشَفَاعَتِہٖ۔
اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلٰی سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰی اٰلِ سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدِ نِ الَّذِیْ اَشْھَلَ الْعَیْنَیْنِ بُعَیْدٍ مَا بَیْنَ الْمَنْکِبَیْنِ۔
اَللّٰھُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلٰی سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰی اٰلِ سَیِّدِنَا وَمَوْلَانَا مُحَمَّدِ نِ الَّذِیْ اَخْبَرَ اَنَّہٗ مُعْتَدِلُ الْقَامَۃِ شَدِیْدُ الْاَدْمَۃِ ذُوْ رَاْفَۃٍ وَرَحْمَۃٍ یَشْفَعُ فِیْ کَثِیْرٍ عَنْ ھٰذِہٖ الْاُمَّۃِ۔