Sahabah of the Month: Hadrat Owais Al-Qarni
Hadrat Owais al-Qarni lived during the time of Rasulullah (ﷺ) even though he never physically met him since he lived in Yemen. He converted to Islam, and loved Rasulullah (ﷺ) deeply and always yearned to meet him, but he was never able to due to his duty to his mother. His story is that of true sacrifice, duty to parents, and love of Rasulullah (ﷺ).
Hadrat Owais’s full name is Hadrat Owais bin ‘Amir al-Qarni. He is al-Qarni since he is from the village of Qaran in Yemen. He had a mother who was old and incapable of caring for herself and so he spent much of his time caring for her. Hadrat Owais was a very noble and pious person who would spend all his time fasting, praying at night, and caring for his mother. Even though he was separated from Rasulullah (ﷺ), he still loved him, believed in him, and followed him unwaveringly. The closer he became to Allah, the more and more he yearned to see His beloved (ﷺ). It was after much persuasion that his mother finally agreed to let him travel to Madinah Munawarah Shareef to meet the Best of Creation (ﷺ) upon the condition that if he was not at his home, he would have to return immediately and could not wait for him (ﷺ). Hadrat Owais was overjoyed and agreed.
Soon after, Hadrat Owais finally reached the blessed land of Madinah Munawarrah Shareef. He rushed to find the house of Rasulullah (ﷺ) and found himself standing outside his door. He excitedly knocked, finally being able to see his beloved’s face (ﷺ), the person he had been hearing so much about, the one who brought him from darkness into light!
The door opened, and Bibi ‘Ayesha answered; Rasulullah (ﷺ) was at the masjid. Hadrat Owais’s heart sunk, he was only a couple of steps away from the masjid and seeing Rasulullah (ﷺ), but he remembered his promise and duty to his mother. No matter how much it pained him, he submitted to divine decree, showed patience, and left Madinah Munawarah Shareef without meeting Rasulullah (ﷺ). Imagine the sacrifice that must have been!
When Rasulullah (ﷺ) came back home, he said he smelled a sweet scent from Yemen. Bibi ‘Ayesha informed him of Hadrat Owais’s visit, and Rasulullah (ﷺ) took his cloak and asked the Sahaba to deliver it to Hadrat Owais as a gift. Rasulullah (ﷺ) knew of the love Hadrat Owais had for him, and out of his own mercy he sent his cloak as a means of consoling Hadrat Owais’s heart.
Rasulullah (ﷺ) also told his Sahaba, including the great Hadrat Umar and Imam Ali, that should they ever meet Hadrat Owais that they should ask him to make du’a for their forgiveness as Allah would accept his du’a! Not only that, but Rasulullah (ﷺ) said that Hadrat Owais was the best of the Tabi’een (the generation following the Sahaba Karam), and were he ever to take an Oath on Allah, Allah would fulfill his oath! The station of Hadrat Owais is only truly known by Allah, and he gained it through his intense love for Rasulullah (ﷺ) and his devotion to his mother.
His love, honesty, and integrity is truly a model for all Muslims to follow.