Sayyiduna Uwais al-Qarni radiAllahu anhu
Hadhrat Uwais Qarni, the sun of the ummah and the Candle of Islam, is one of the greatest Sufi shaikhs among the followers of the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him. But he could not see the Prophet ﷺ , partly because he was overwhelmed by Hal (ecstatic rapture), and partly because of full devotion to his mothers service. The Prophet, peace be upon him, told his companions that there was a man in Qarn by the name of Uwais, “ Who will intercede for as many of my ummah on the Day of Judgement, as there are goats in the Rabia and Mundhir tribes,” (Who were famous for huge flocks of goats). He also bade Hadhrat Umar and Ali, May Allah be pleased with them, to go and see Uwais who had the following signs: Medium Height, long hair and a white spot the size of a dirham on his left side, not caused by leprosy, and a white spot on his palm. The Prophet ﷺ said, “ When you meet him, convey my salaams to him and ask him to pray for my ummah.” After the Wisaal of the Prophet ﷺ Hadhrat Umar and Ali happened to be in Makkah. During the Congregational address, Hadhrat Umar turned to the people of Najd and asked, “ Is there any men from Qarn among you?” When they replied in the affirmative, he enquired if there lived a person of the name of Uwais there. They said, “ Yes he is crazy, lives alone and does not mix with people. He does not eat what people generally eat, and is not affected by happiness or sorrow. When people laugh he weeps, and when they weep he laughs.” Hadhrat Umar said, “ I want to meet him.” They took Hadhrat Umar and Ali to the place where he lived and found him saying his prayers (salaat). When he finished the prayer, he wished them salaam and showed them the marks of recognition which the Prophet ﷺ had indicated. Hadhrat Umar and Ali delivered the Prophet’s message to him and asked him for doa (prayer) for the ummah.
They remained there for some time. Uwais said, “ I am sorry you had to travel all the way to see me. You better go back now, for the Day of Dooms is near and we will meet again there without fear of parting; for now I am busy in preparing for that day.”
After Hadhrat Umar and Ali, May Allah be pleased with them, had left, Uwais’s honor and esteem went up among the people; as a result of which he fled to Kufah and was no more seen by anybody except harm bin Hayan and that only once. He reappeared during the battle of Siffin (Between Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Muawiyah, May Allah be pleased with them). He fought on the side of Hadhrat Ali and fell a martyr. He lived as a hameed (Virtuous) and died as a shaheed (Martyr). He is reported to haved said, “ Safety lies in solitude”. For the heart which is alone is attached with God and detached from all else. But do not go away with the idea Solitude means living alone. Since even in Solitude, Satan is your companion and your nafs (lower self) is your overlord. So long as worldly thoughts go on haunting your heart, solitude is no solitude. It is equally if you are troubled by the pleasures of the world or the thought of thereof. It is equally possible to live among the people and have the benefit of Solitude and to live in Solitude and remain disturbed. Real solitude lies in the love of God. He who loves God, is not disturbed by anything. But he who loves the world, has nothing to do with God. Real solitude (wahdat) is characteristic of the pious soul (abd saf) who finds peace in the verse “ Alaisa Allah-u- Kaffin abdahu”(Is God not enough for the abd [true slave]?)[39:36]