Unverified Story of Uwais Al-Qarni Breaking his Teeth


Waqar Akbar Cheema

It is popularly held that on hearing about the injury of the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) during the battle of Uhad Uwais al-Qarni broke all his teeth.

Earliest well known source mentioning the story is Tazkirah al-Awliya of Farid ad-Din al-Attar (d. 607 AH). He relates that Uwais had the following conversation with ‘Umar and another companion;

ثم قال لهما: أنتما محبّي محمد ، فهل كسرتم شياَ من أسنانكم كما كسر سنه عليه السلام؟ قالا: لا. فقال: إني قد كسرت بعض أسناني موافة له

He said to the two of them: ‘You are the lovers of Muhammad, did you break any of your teeth as his tooth was broken?’ They said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Verily I did break some of my teeth in like the Prophet’s teeth were broken.[1]

He provides no authority for this.

The well-known mystic ‘Abdul Wahhab al-Sha’rani (d. 973 AH) states;

وقد روى … قال: والله ما كسرت رباعيته صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى كسرت رباعيتي، ولا شج وجهه حتى شج وجهي ولا وطئ ظهره حتى وطئ ظهري هكذا رأيت هذا الكلام في بعض المؤلفات والله أعلم بالحال

It has been narrated … that (Uwais al-Qarni) said, ‘By Allah, I will break my molar tooth just like the molar tooth of the Prophet was broken, and I will injure my face like his face was injured and I will have my back trampled upon just like his back was trampled upon.’ This is how I have seen this quote in some books, and Allah knows best its status (whether it is authentic or not).[2]

‘Ali bin Ibrahim al-Halabi (d. 1044 AH) refers to this statement of al-Sha’rani and further comments;

ولم أقف على أنه عليه الصلاة والسلام وطىء ظهره في غزوة أحد،

I did not find any account of the Prophet’s back being trampled upon in the battle of Uhad.[3]

 ‘Ali bin Sultan al-Qari’ (d. 1014 AH) sums the issue up saying;

أعلم أن ما اشتهر على ألسنة العامة من أن أويسا قلع جميع أسنانه لشدة احزانه حين سمع أن سن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم اصيب يوم أحد ولم يعرف خصوص أي سن كان بوجه معتمد فلا أصل له عند العلماء مع انه مخالف للشريعة الغراء ولذا لم يفعله أحد من الصحابة الكبرا على أن فعله هذا عبث لا يصدر إلا عن السفهاء

Know that that which is popularly narrated by people that Uwais (al-Qarni) broke all his teeth out of extreme grief when he heard that the tooth of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, had been broken, because he did not have reliable information as to which tooth it was. According to the scholars this story has no basis. Moreover, such an action violates the noble shariah. For this reason none of the elderly companions did this because it is a futile action and does not proceed from other than the fools.[4]

All these facts quotes show that the story of Uwais al-Qarni breaking his teeth is totally unverified. It has no real basis as it is not duly reported with a complete chain of narrators.

[1] al-‘Attar, Farid ad-Din, Tazkirah al-Awliya, Arabic Translation by Muhammad al-Asili al-Wastani al-Shafi’i (d. 826 AH), (Damascus: Dar al-Maktabi, 2009) 44

[2] al-Sha’rani, ‘Abdul Wahhab, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, (Cairo: Maktaba Muhammad al-Maliji, 1315 AH) Vol.1, 24

[3] al-Halabi, ‘Ali bin Ibrahim, Insan al-‘Uyun – Sirat al-Halabiyya, (Beirut: Dar al-Kotob al-‘Ilmiyya, 1427 AH) Vol.2, 347

[4] Al-Qari’, ‘Ali bin Sultan, al-Ma’din al-Adni fi Fadl Uwais al-Qarni, MSS No. 5/403 King ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Library; Download Link

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