Sometime before his passing, Prophet Muhammad (saw) informed Hazrat Umar (ra) that a pious man would one day visit him and that Hazrat Umar (ra) – the Khalifa-tur-Rasul – should ask this man to pray for the forgiveness of Hazrat Umar (ra). Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated that the man suffered, “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.” For years, Hazrat Umar (ra) had been in search of this man. But despite asking locals and visitors to Medina, he remained unsuccessful.
One year, during the time of a battle, delegations from Yemen came and Hazrat Umar (ra) inquired if the man was present. “Are you Uwais bin ‘Amir?” Hazrat Umar (ra) asked. The man replied, “Yes”. Hazrat Umar (ra) asked, “Are you from the Qaran branch of the tribe of Murad?” He said, “Yes”. “Did you suffer from leucoderma and then you were cured of it but for the space of a dirham?” He said, “Yes”. “Is your mother still alive?” He said, “Yes”. At this point, Hazrat Umar (ra) realized that he was speaking to Hazrat Uwais Qarni (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) then said, “So ask forgiveness for me,” which Hazrat Uwais Qarni (ra) did (Muslim).
An hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saw) hints at why Hazrat Uwais Qarni (ra) enjoyed this honor – and is instructive for us as Ahmadi Muslims. Prophet Muhammad referred to Hazrat Uwais Qarni (ra) as “خَيْرَ التَّابِعِينَ” or “the best of the tabiyyin” (Muslim). A “tabiyyin” is a Muslim who never met Prophet Muhammad (saw) and was from amongst the generation immediately following the sahabi. To earn the distinction of being the best of this group would require perfecting one’s practice of Islam without ever having enjoyed Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) physical company. In other words, such an individual must have cultivated the highest level of Imaan bil Ghaib (belief in the unseen) and become a mumin of the highest level.
So, becoming a mumin of the highest level is the reason why Hazrat Uwais Qarni (ra) enjoyed this status; it is also the reason why he and the Promised Messiah (as) – despite being physically far from Prophet Muhammad (saw) – are the only individuals to whom Prophet Muhammad (saw) sent his salaam (Friday Sermon 1/16/2004).
Thus, if he ever wishes to earn similar blessings, a spiritually fit Ahmadi Muslim must also realize that becoming a Mumin also requires perfecting one’s Islam despite one’s physical distance from Prophet Muhammad (saw).
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