According to Sufi masters such as Hujwiri, Attar Niyshabpouri, and Sheikh Mohammad Ghader Bagheri, the first recipient of Prophet Muhammad’s Cloak was Uwais al-Qarni. In so doing, the Messenger confirmed the method ofheart to heart communication through which Uwais had received the essence of Islam. The method of the passing of the Cloak represents two significant elements in the teachings of Muhammad which constitute the method of instruction of the School of Islamic Sufism–cognition must take place inwardly, and cognition must be confirmed. Since that time, the cloak and the method of receiving knowledge through the heart, symbolizing the highest level of divine illumination, and conferring honor, recognition and respect on the recipient, has been handed down through an unbroken succession of Sufi masters.
Urs date is 3rd Rajab 1437H This is approx Monday 11th April 2016
Hazrat Uwais Qarni was an ashiq (passionate lover) par excellence of Prophet Muhammad, sallalahu alaihi wa sallam. His love for his spiritual Master, Seal of the Prophet, dwarf love of any other human beings under the sky and above the earth. Never in the history of mankind have witnessed another crazy lover other than Uwais whose love for his Master was totally neoplatonic, yet of highest order, being free from physically seeing or being.
Uwais Qarni lived during the time of the Prophet and could never make to meet him physically due to serving his blind mother who was of advanced age and it was only Uwais to take care of her. But lets not forget that the Rule of love is quite different. Though Qarni never met the Prophet Muhammad yet both was fully aware of each other’s spiritual presence and attraction of love for the sake of God. The Uwaisi form of spiritual transmission in the vocabulary of Islamic mysticism was named after Uwais Qarni, as it refers to the transmission of spiritual knowledge between two individuals without the need for physical interaction between them. Sometimes the Messenger of God would turn in the direction of Yemen and say: “I perceive the fragrance of love from Yemen,” referring to the presence of a great lover of his living in that region.
About this man of tremendous spiritual status, Uwais Qarni – a true habib of al-habib-Allah, here are some remarkable sayings of the Master of love, Prophet Muhammad himself.
“Uwais Qarni is the noblest of the Tabieen with ihsaan.” (Ihsan is the highest spiritual stage where one worship Allah Ta’ala as if one sees Allah)
“Tomorrow on the Day of Qiyaamah (Day of Resurrection) God will create 70,000 angels in the image of Uwais Qarni who will enter in their midst into Paradise. No one will recognize him except those whom Allah wishes.” Since Uwais Qarni engrossed himself in worship in concealment, fleeing from people, Allah will preserve his concealment even in the Hereafter. On the reality of hiddenness of the saints/ friends of God, Allah has declared: “My Auliyaa (friends) are under My Mantle. None besides Me knows them.”
Among the friends of God, Uwais is special of the specials
The Beloved of God said: “In my Community (Ummah) is a man whose intercession (shafaa’at) will be accepted on behalf of so many people whose number equals the hairs on the sheep/goats of the tribes of Rabeeh and Mudhir.” (these two Arab tribes possessed the most sheep and goats, hence the analogy.)
When the companions inquired about the identity of this man, the Messenger of God said: “A servant among the servants of Allah.”
The companions responded: “Please excuse us O Messenger of God, we all are the servants of Allah. What is his name?”
The Beloved unveiled the name saying: “Uwais Qarni.”
The companions: “Where is he?”
The Messenger: “In Qarn (a place in Yemen).”
The companions: “Have he seen you, O Messenger of God?”
The Messenger: “Not with his physical eyes, but he has seen me with his spiritual eyes.”
The companions: “Such an ardent lover, but why has he not entered into your companionship?”
The Seal of Prophet replied: “There are two reasons. The first is ghalbah haal (i.e. he is always in a high spiritual state which makes him oblivious of everything besides God, the Supreme). The second is his profound observance of myShariat (Divinely Prescribed Way). His faithful mother is extremely old and blind. He tends to camels and with his earnings he supports his mother.”
The Companions asked: “Can we see him O Messenger of God?”
The Messenger turned to his companion-friend Venerable Abu Bakr: “You will not see him, but Umar and Ali will see him. His entire body is covered with bodily hair. On the palm of his hand and left side is a white spot, the size of adirham (coin), which is not the mark of leprosy. When you meet him, convey my greetings of peace to him and tell him to make supplication for my Ummah (community). Among the Auliyaa (friends of God) those who are the Atqiyaa (a very loft category of Auliyaa, special among the specials), he is the holiest.”
The Companions further asked: “Where shall we find him?”
The Messenger unveiled more: “In Yemen, he is a camel-herd known as Uwais. You should follow in his footsteps.”
As the time for the Messenger of God to return to his Lord came near the companions once asked: “To whom shall we give your holy cloak?”
The Prophet entrusted it to his favorite lover, by saying: “To Uwais Qarni.”
This is the beginning of the practice of Islam to entrust the Master’s cloak to his chosen spiritual disciple, a tradition preserved in the Islamic Sufi tradition. Uwais was indeed given the cloak of the Prophet after his passing and as he prophesied, his two leading companion, Umar and Ali, may Allah bless them both, indeed went in search of this great soul and found him. You may read in details of this account from the life of Hazrat Uwais Qarni .