The best of the Taabi’een: Uwais al-Qarni

Imam Muslim narrates in his saheeh from Asair ibn Jabal that:

أن أهل الكوفة وفدوا إلى عمر وفيهم رجل ممن كان يسخر بأويس فقال عمر هل هاهنا أحد من القرنيين فجاء ذلك الرجل فقال عمر إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قد قال إن رجلا يأتيكم من اليمن يقال له أويس لا يدع باليمن غير أم له قد كان به بياض فدعا الله فأذهبه عنه إلا موضع الدينار أو الدرهم فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم

A delegation from Koofah came to ‘Umar. Among them was one who used to make fun of Uwais. ‘Umar inquired, “Is there anyone among you who is from Qaran?” So this man stepped forward. Then ‘Umar said, “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘A man will come to you from Yemen named Uwais. He will have left in the Yemen only his mother. He was suffering from leucoderma [a skin condition involving loss of pigmentation in certain areas] and prayed to Allah to be cured of it. So he was cured except for a space of the size of a dinar or a dirham. Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him.”‘

Imam Muslim also records another narration from a different chain in the same chapter:

عن عمر بن الخطاب قال إني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس وله والدة وكان به بياض فمروه فليستغفر لكم

‘Umar said: “I heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘The best of the Taabi’een [the generation after the sahaabah] is a man called Uwais, he will have a mother and he will be suffering from leucoderma. Go to him and ask him to pray for forgiveness for you”.

[Saheeh Muslim #2542]

Imam al-Nawawi, in his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, writes:

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( فمن لقيه منكم فليستغفر لكم ) وفي الرواية الأخرى ( قال لعمر : فإن استطعت أن يستغفر لك فافعل ) هذه منقبة ظاهرة لأويس رضي الله عنه . وفيه استحباب طلب الدعاء والاستغفار من أهل الصلاح ، وإن كان الطالب أفضل منهم .

His statement (ﷺ), “Whoever of you should meet him should ask him to pray for forgiveness for him” and in another narration, “He said to ‘Umar, ‘And if it is possible for you, ask him to ask forgiveness for you’” – this is a clear virtue of Uwais (radiAllaahu ‘anhu). And in this there is the recommendation to seek the du’a and istighfaar from righteous people, even if the seeker is better than them.

قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم : ( إن خير التابعين رجل يقال له أويس إلى آخره ) هذا صريح في أنه خير التابعين ، وقد يقال : قد قال أحمد بن حنبل وغيره : أفضل التابعين سعيد بن المسيب ، والجواب أن مرادهم أن سعيدا أفضل في العلوم الشرعية كالتفسير والحديث والفقه ونحوها ، لا في الخير عند الله تعالى . وفي هذه اللفظة معجزة ظاهرة أيضا .

His statement (ﷺ), “The best of the Taabi’een is a man called Uwais…” – this is clear statement that he is the best of the taabi’een. And it has been said, “Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others have said, ‘The most virtuous of the taabi’een is Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyib'” and the response to that is that Sa’eed was the most virtuous in the sciences of sharee’ah such as tafsir and hadeeth and fiqh and so on, not the best in the estimation of Allah, exalted is He. And in this wording there is a clear miracle also.

[Sharh al-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim 16/94-95]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s