Weeping From the Fear of Allaah
“Has not the time come for the hearts of those who believe to be affected by Allaah’s Reminder and that which has been revealed of the truth, lest they become as those who received the Scripture before, and the term was prolonged for them and so their hearts were hardened? And many of them were rebellious, disobedient (faasiqoon).” [Al-Hadeed, (57):16]
1 – Making yourself feel fear of Allaah.
This weeping is the fruit of beneficial knowledge, as al-Qurtubi says in his commentary on the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“And they fall down on their faces weeping”
This is an eloquent description of them and praise for them. It is the duty of everyone who acquires knowledge to reach this level, so that when he hears the Qur’aan he is filled with fear and humility. In Musnad al-Daarimi it is narrated from Abu Muhammad that al-Taymi said: Whoever is given knowledge and does not weep, he deserves not to have any knowledge, because Allaah has described those who have knowledge; then he recited this verse.
Al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam il-Qur’aan, 10/341-342.
2 – Reading the Qur’aan and pondering its meanings
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad to them): Believe in it (the Qur’aan) or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.
108. And they say: Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the Promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.
109. And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility”
“Those were they unto whom Allaah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nooh (Noah), and of the offspring of Ibraaheem (Abraham) and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allaah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping”
It was narrated that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me: “Recite the Qur’aan to me.” I said: “O Messenger of Allaah, shall I recite it to you when it was revealed to you?” He said: “I like to hear it from someone else.” So I recited Soorat al-Nisa’ to him, and when I reached this verse – “How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these people?” [al-Nisa’ 4:41] – he said: “That is enough for now.” I turned to him and saw his eyes were streaming with tears. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5050; Muslim, 800.
3 – Knowing the greatness of the reward for weeping, especially when one is alone.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man who weeps for fear of Allaah will not enter Hell until the milk goes back into the udder, and dust produced (when fighting) for the sake of Allaah and the smoke of Hell will never coexist.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1633; al-Nasaa’i, 3108; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
“until the milk goes back into the udder” is a metaphor for it being impossible, as in the verse where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and they will not enter Paradise until the camel goes through the eye of the needle” [al-A’raaf 7:40]. Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi.
And it was narrated that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are seven whom Allaah will shade with His shade on the day when there will be no shade but His: a just ruler; a young man who grows up worshipping Allaah; a man whose heart is attached to the mosque; two men who love one another for the sake of Allaah, meeting and parting on that basis; a man who is called (to commit sin) by a woman of high status and great beauty and he says, ‘I fear Allaah’; a man who gives in charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing; and a man who remembers Allaah when he is alone and his eyes flow with tears.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 660; Muslim, 1031.
Weeping when alone is singled out because being alone is a time when the heart tends to become harder and there is a stronger motive to commit sin, and it is farthest removed from the possibility of showing off. So if a person strives to do this, and makes himself feel the greatness and might of Allaah, and his eyes flow with tears, then he deserves to be beneath the shade of the Throne of the Most Merciful on the Day when there will be no shade but His shade.
4 – Thinking about your situation and your boldness in committing sin, and fearing to meet Allaah in such a state.
One of the righteous people used to weep night and day, and something was said to him about that. He said: “I am afraid that Allaah will see me committing sin and will say: ‘Go away from Me for I am angry with you.’” Hence Sufyaan used to weep and say: “I am afraid that my faith will be taken away at the moment of death.”
Ismaa’eel ibn Zakariya described Habeeb ibn Muhammad, who was a neighbour of his. He said: “Every evening I heard him weeping and every morning I heard him weeping, so I went to his wife and said: ‘What is the matter with him? He weeps in the evening and he weeps in the morning!’ She said to me: ‘By Allaah, when evening comes he fears that he will not live till morning and when morning comes he fears that he will not live till evening.’”
The salaf used to weep and grieve a great deal. When Yazeed al-Raqaashi was criticized for weeping a great deal and it was said to him, “If the Fire had been created exclusively for you, you would not weep more than this,” he said: “Has the Fire been created for anyone other than me and my companions and brothers among the jinn and mankind?”
When ‘Ata’ al-Sulaymi was asked: “What is this grief?” he said: “Woe to you! Death is close at hand, the grave is my house, on the Day of Resurrection I will stand and my path is over a bridge across Hell, and I do not know what will become of me.”
Faddalah ibn Sayfi used to weep a great deal. A man entered upon him when he was weeping and said to his wife: “What is the matter with him?” She said: “He says that he wants to undertake a long journey and he does not have proper provision for it.”
One night al-Hasan woke up weeping, and he disturbed the other people in the house with his weeping. They asked him what was the matter and he said: “I remembered a sin that I committed and I wept.”
It was narrated that Tameem al-Daari (may Allaah be pleased with him) recited this verse (interpretation of the meaning): “Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds” [al-Jaathiyah 45:21] and he started repeating it and weeping until morning came.
Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) used to weep intensely, and it was said to him: “Why are you weeping?” He said: “I do not know what is ahead of me – Divine pleasure or divine wrath.”
Sa’d ibn al-Akhram said: I was walking with Ibn Mas’ood and he passed by the blacksmiths, who had brought a piece of iron out of the fire. He stood and looked at the molten iron and wept.
5 – Making yourself feel regret and feeling that you have fallen short in your duties towards Allaah.
The tears of the repentant at night quenches thirst and cure sickness, as the Shaykh of the Mufassireen, Abu Ja’far al-Tabari, said in his commentary on the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“Do you then wonder at this recitation (the Qur’aan)?
60. And you laugh at it and weep not”
Do not weep at the warnings contained therein to those who disobey Allaah, when you are people who commit sin, “Wasting your (precious) lifetime in pastime and amusements (singing)” [al-Najm 53:61] – you are heedless of the lessons and reminders contained therein, turning away from its verses.
Jaami’ al-Bayaan ‘an Ta’weel Aayi al-Qur’aan, 27/82.
6 – Weeping out of fear of a bad end.
It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by al-Hijr (the land of the people of Thamood) he said: “Do not enter the dwellings of those who wronged themselves, lest what befell them befall you, unless you are weeping.” Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) covered his head and walked quickly until he had left the valley. Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3380; Muslim, 2980.
Al-Nawawi included this hadeeth in a chapter entitled “Weeping and feeling fear when passing by the graves of the wrongdoers and the places where they were killed, and expressing one’s need of Allaah, and being careful not to be negligent in that.” Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, p. 373.
7 – Listening to moving speeches and lectures that will soften the heart.
It was narrated that al-‘Irbaad ibn Saariyah (may Allaah be pleased with him), who was one of those who used to weep, said: “The Messenger of Allaah delivered a deeply moving speech at which our eyes began to overflow and our hearts melted.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2676; Abu Dawood, 4607; Ibn Maajah, 42; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
The righteous have cried, the worshippers have cried and the believers have cried. And in this time there are people by whom a complete year passes and they do not drop a single tear from the fear of Allaah.
O Allaah we seek refuge with you from hard hearts. O Allaah soften our hearts to Your remembrance!
“Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah – Islamic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allaah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest.” [Ar-Ra’d (13):28]
“The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur’aan) are recited unto them, they increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” [Al-Anfaal (8):2]
So why do we not cry today?
We do not cry from the strength of the hardness of our hearts and our hearts’ attachment to this world. So our hearts have hardened and our eyes have dried.
We are distant from our Lord. Had we been close our hearts would not have hardened. So he, who spends a whole week without his eye dropping a tear, let him sit and supplicate and humble himself. Maybe his heart would soften and his eye would drop a tear. And if his heart doesn’t drop a tear, then let him open the Book of Allaah and read its ayat with contemplation, humility and submissiveness. So if his eye cries, his heart fears and his soul humbles he has succeeded; and if he continues in the state of the hardened heart, let him sit in a dark room and weep over his state, for his heart has died.
May Allaah help us and you to do that which our Lord loves and is pleased with him.