Continuing our Islamic Reflection series, Here we are with another Story.
Hadrat Owais Qarni (radi Allahuanhu) could never meet Rasul Allah(PBUH). He was living in Yemen during the life of the Prophet ﷺ, and embraced Islam at the hands of the delegations that visited Madinah. Although he never traveled to Madinah, he has the distinct and unique honor to be the only person of his generation to be mentioned by name and praised by the Prophet ﷺ. Let us read about the famous Owais Qarni (radiAllahu anhu) and derive lesson from his life.
Owais Qarni (radi Allahu anhu) had a deep love for Prophet Muhammad Sallalhu alaihe wa Sallam. Owais learned that there is a great reward in Islam for serving parents. His mother was sick and blind. So he devoted himself solely to the service of his mother.
Owais Qarni (radi Allahu anhu), the Prophet is said to have remarked, is the best among tabeiin, (second generation of the companions).
Usair bin ‘Amr (Ibn Jabir) reported:
When delegations from Yemen came to the help of (the Muslim army at the time of Jihad) ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) would ask them, “Is there Owais bin ‘Amir amongst you?” (He continued searching him) until he met
Owais (May Allah be pleased with him).
He said, “Are you Owais bin’Amir?” He said, “Yes”. ‘Umar asked, “Are you from the Qaran branch of the tribe of Murad?” He said, “Yes”. He ‘Umar(May Allah be pleased with him) again said, “Did you suffer from leucoderma and then you were cured from it but for the space of a dirham?”
He said, “Yes”. He ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “Is your mother still alive?” He said, “Yes”. He ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘There would come to you Owaisbin ‘Amir with the reinforcement from the people of Yemen. He would be from Qaran (the branch) of Murad. He had been suffering from leucoderma from which he was cured but for a spot of a dirham. He has a mother to whom he is very dutiful. If he were to take an oath in the Name of Allah, Allah would fulfill his oath. And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you.’ So, ask forgiveness for me”. He Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) did so.
‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) then said, “Where do you intend to go?” He said, “To Kufah.” He ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased withhim) said, “Let me write a letter for you to its governor,” where upon he Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “I love to live amongst the poor people”. The following year, a person from among the elite (of Kufah)performed Hajj and he met ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him). ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him)asked him about Owais (May Allah be pleased with him). He said, “I left him in a state with meagre means of sustenance in a decayed house.” (Thereupon) ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)saying, ‘There would come to you Owais bin ‘Amir of Qaran, a branch (of the tribe) of Murad, along with the reinforcement of the people of Yemen. He had been suffering from leucoderma which would have been cured but for the space of a dirham. He has a mother to whom he is very dutiful. Were he to swear, trusting Allah, for something, Allah would fulfill his oath. If you can ask him to pray for forgiveness for you, do so”. This man went to Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) and asked him to pray for forgiveness for him. Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) said to him, “You have just returned from a blessed journey, it is you who should pray for forgiveness for me; and did you meet ‘Umar?” The man said, “Yes”. ‘Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) then prayed for forgiveness for him. People became aware of the high status of Owais (May Allah be pleased with him) and he set out following his course.[Muslim].( Riyad as-Salihin 372)
Here is the famous invocation of Owais Owais Qarni (radi Allahu anhu): “O Allah, You created me when I was not worthy of mention; And You provided for me when I had nothing; And I wronged my soul and sinned, and I confess my guilt. If You forgive me, that will in no way reduce Your sovereignty; And if You punish me, that will in no way augment Your authority. You can find others to punish besides me, But I can find no one to forgive me but You. Truly, You are the most Merciful of those who show mercy.
When the people in Qarn began revering him and considering him a saint, on account of his status in Islam, he left Qarn for Kufa where he engaged in imparting Islamic education.
Owais Qarni (ra) considered worldly life a temporary thing. He often said; “Sleep with the remembrance of death, and rise with the thought that you will not live long.”
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What lesson do you Take from the Story? You are welcome to share your reflection and lesson in the comment box below.
1. Owais Qarni’s is a story that sets an example for all the Muslims as how even without meeting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), one may still earn Allah’s favor and His pleasure Today living in this age one can love Rasul Allah and go close to him spiritually. May Allah help us read Darud often.
2. We learn the virtue of being dutiful towards our mother.
3. Today we run behind name and fame which the true scholars seek refuge from.
4. Imparting Islamic education is one of the best engagement of time.
5. The love of the Holy Prophet is the boon that can be achieved without meeting him. This opens the door for millions of Muslims living in different areas and eras of the world.
6. Because of his status with Allah swt, Rasul Allah (pbuh) asked sahabi like Umar and Ali ra to seek forgiveness.
7..He did Sabr at his disease.