Article: Statements of the Predecessors on Weeping for the Fear of Allah

An-Nidaa Publications

Muslim Ibn Bashir says that during his last illness Abu Huraira began weeping bitterly. He was asked the reason of his weeping. At this he said, ‘I am weeping because I have a long journey to cover and have the least provisions with me. In the morning I have found myself at a hillock which leads to both paradise and to hell, and I know not wither I would be made to go.’ [Al Hilyah, 1/383]

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said that the prophet asked him to recite the Quran to him. He said to the prophet, ‘Should I recite the Quran before you whereas it has been revealed unto you?’ At this the prophet said, I love it more to hear the Quran from someone else.’ Then Abdullah ibn Masud recited the chapter of ‘An-Nisa.’ When he recited the verse:

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِن كُلِّ أمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَـؤُلاء شَهِيداً

‘How will it be them, when We shall bring out each community, a witness, and We shall bring thee against these as witnesses..’(4:41)

The Prophet said, ‘This is enough.’ When Ibn Masud saw the face of the prophet, he saw tears rolling down both his eyes. [Al-Baihaqi in Al Bidayah, 4/59]

Abu Raja said that the cheeks of Ibn Abbas were just like a spring (from which gushed forth tears constantly). [Al Hilyah 1/329]

Uthman Ibn Abu Sudah says that he saw Ubadah Ibn Samit near the parapet (the rampart towards the valley known as the valley of Hell) with his chest resting on the rampart, and he was weeping. He said to him, ‘O Abu Walid! What makes you weep?’. At this he said, ‘This is the very spot from where, as he was told by the prophet, had seen the Hell.’ [Al Hilyah 4/10]

Abu Huraira says when the verse:

أَفَمِنْ هَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ تَعْجَبُونَ. وَتَضْحَكُونَ وَلَا تَبْكُونَز وَأَنتُمْ سَامِدُونَ

‘At this discourse then marvel ye? And laugh and weep not? And ye are behaving proudly.’ (53:59-61),

..were revealed, the fellows of the Suffah wept so much that their beads got wet and tears tricked down their cheeks. When the prophet heard their weeping and wailing, he too joined them in their weeping, and we too followed him. Then the prophet said, ‘The man who has wept on account of fear of Allah shall not enter the Hell. If you do not commit sins, then Allah will raise amongst you a people who will be buried in sins and Allah will forgive them.’ [Baihaqi in at-Targhib, 5/190]

Anas says that the prophet recited the verse,

فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱلنَّارَ ٱلَّتِى وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلْحِجَارَةُ ۖ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْكَٰفِرِينَ

‘…then dread the fire, the fuel whereof is men and stones, gotten ready for the infidels.’ (2:24).

Then he said, ‘The in Hell was kept burning for one thousand years and it turned red. Again it was kept burning for one thousand years and it got white in colour. Again it was kept burning for one thousand years and it turned black. So now it is black and its flames are not extinguishable.’ The narrator says that in front of the Prophet sat a black Abyssinian and on hearing this he began weeping. In the mean time Jibreal came and asked about that man. The Prophet told him that the man was an Ethiopian and also told him about his virtuous deeds. At this Jibreal said that verily Allah is saying, ‘By My Honour, by My Majesty! By My Exalted Throne! Whenever the eyes of any of My bondsmen weep because of My fear, I will cause him to laugh the utmost in paradise.’ [at-Targhib 5/194]

Qais Ibn Hazim says that he came to the Prophet – Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam – and found Abu Bakr – radiyallahu ‘anhu – standing at his place. He praises Allah too much and wept bitterly. [Abd al Razzaq in al Muntakhab, 5/260]

Hasan Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi Talib – radiyallahu ‘anhum – says that while delivering the Juma sermon, Umar recited the chapter of ‘takwir’, when he recited the verse, ‘Then every soul shall know that which it hath presented. ’(81:14), his voice got choked (on account of fear of Allah) and he could not recite any more. [Shafi’i]

Hasan – radiyallahu ‘anhu – says that Umar Ibn Khattab – radiyallahu ‘anhu – recited the verses,

إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ لَوَٰقِعٌ مَّا لَهُۥ مِن دَافِعٍۢ

Verily the torment of thy Lord is sure to befall: Of it there is no averter.’ (52:7-8).

On reciting this he became so much out of breath that the people had to make enquiries about his health for twenty days. [Abu Ubaidah]

‘Ubaid Ibn Umair – radiyallahu ‘anhu – says that once Umar – radiyallahu ‘anhu – led the congregational prayer of Fajr and began reciting the chapter of ‘Yusuf’. When he recited the verse, ‘And he turned away from them, and said:

وَقَالَ يَٰٓأَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَٱبْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ ٱلْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

O my grief for Yusuf! And his eyes whitened with grief, while he was filled with suppressed sorrow…’ (12:84),

He burst weeping. He stopped there and soon went into kneeling. [Abu Ubaidah]

Hisham Ibn Hasan – radiyallahu ‘anhu – says that while reciting the Quran, Umar – radiyallahu ‘anhu – would burst into weeping and he would fall down. He was carried to his house, where he lay for many days and the people thought he had fallen ill. [Al Hilyah, 1/51]

Hani – radiyallahu ‘anhu – the freed slave of Uthman Ibn Affan – radiyallahu ‘anhu – says that whenever Uthman stood near a grave he used to weep so much that his beard got wet. Someone said to him, ‘When the torment in the hell is mentioned, you weep not and when the torment inside the grave is mentioned you weep too much. What is the reason for this?’. At this Uthman – radiyallahu ‘anhu – said, ’I have heard the prophet saying thus: the first stage among the different stages of the hereafter is in the grave. Whoever so passes this stage safely, for him is ease, and whosoever fails at this stage, for him is much rigor ahead’. He said he had heard the Prophet saying, ‘I never saw a scene more mortifying and more awful or dreadful than the scene inside the grave’.

Hani says that whenever Uthman – radiyallahu ‘anhu – saw a grave he used to recite this couplet: ‘O self! If thou attainest salvation or ease at this stage, thou attainest salvation and freedom from something very heavy or dreadful. Otherwise, as I think, thou shalt never attain salvation at all’ [Targhib 5/322]

Ibn Umar – radiyallahu ‘anhuma – says that once Umar – radiyallahu ‘anhu – passed by Muadh Ibn Jabal – radiyallahu ‘anhu – and found him weeping. He asked him the reason thereof. At this Muadh said, ‘I have heard the prophet saying that hypocrisy , the least of it was polytheism and the dearest to Allah from amongst His bondsmen is one who once conceals himself so much that nobody searches for him when he disappears from amongst them, and none recognises him when he is amongst them. These men are the leaders of guidance and the lamps of knowledge’ [Al Hilyah, 1/61, al Hakim 3/270]

On Making Yourself Weep:

Ibn al Qayyim rahmatullah alayh says in Zaad al-ma’ad

…it is sought after to soften the heart and to increase ones deep fear of Allah sabhana wa ta ’ala, and it is not for the sake of being heard or seen by the people…” Making yourself weep earns less of a reward than actually weeping. However it is the way towards weeping, that is because the one who makes himself weep, is among those who strive heard and fight their souls, and take account of themselves, and endeavour to attain the pleasure of Allah azza wa jal.

Allah subhana wa ta’ala says:

وَٱلَّذِينَ جَٰهَدُواْ فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ

“And those who strive hard in Us [Allahs cause] We will surely guide them to our paths’ [29:69]

So whoever strives to make his soul weep, then Allah subhana wa ta’ala will guide this person to sincere weeping and give him success in achieving it.

On the authority of Anas – radiyallahu ‘anhu – who related that he heard Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam say:

“O people weep, for if you cannot weep then make yourself weep. Indeed the inhabitants of the hellfire will weep until their tears pour down their cheeks, as if they were streams until the tears are used up and then blood will pour down, and their eyes will be covered with ulcers.” [hasan in sahih at targheeb wat tarheeb]

Reflect over the way of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam ordered us to weep or to make ourselves weep.

On the authority of Ibn Abi Mulaykah who said

“We were sitting with Abdullah Ibn Amr – radiyallahu ‘anhu – on a rock. He said, ‘Cry and if you cannot cry, then make yourself cry. If only knew, you will pray until your back broke and cry until you lost your voice.’”

[Al-hakim reported in Marfu’ form and it is Sahih, Adh-dhahabi stated its authenticity, ibn al Mubarak reported it in Mawquf form]

The Weeping of ‘Umar – radiyallahu ‘anhu :

Relates by Zaid ibn Aslam:

“One night I saw ‘Umar patrolling with the night guard. I joined him and marched with him. When we left the city, we caught sight of a fire a short distance away. When we reached it, we saw a woman with two or three weeping small children. The woman had placed a pot on fire and she was saying: May Allah get me justice from ‘Umar, for he has eaten his fill and we are hungry. ’ “Hearing this, ‘Umar stepped forward, greeted her and asked: ‘May I come closer? ’She said: if your intentions are good, you may. ‘He questioned her and she replied: ‘We left our distant homes and arrived here hungry and tired. The hunger has made us miserable and we cannot sleep. The commander of the faithful asked her what was in the pot and she replied: ‘There is water in it. I hope to get the children quiet with this pretense, for they think I am cooking food. “Umar then went to the flour merchant’s shop and brought a sack of flour, which he slung over his shoulder. Then he went to the grocer’s shop and brought supplies and cooking fat. I said: O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, let me carry these things for you.’ Umar said: ‘If you carry this load, who will carry my load of sin and ward off that woman’s prayer against me?’ Umar began weeping and walked to them. ‘May Allah reward you with blessings, ’said the woman. ‘You are better suited to look after the Muslims than ‘Umar is. ’ He then started to prepare a meal for this family. When it was completed, he gave it to the children and said to the woman: ‘Do not wish ill on Umar. He had no knowledge of your troubles. ’Then he left –sobbing into the darkness.”

On another occasion, the other companions saw him laughing and then crying; one after the other. They asked what had caused that to happen to him. He said. “I remember that in the days of Jahiliyya, I used to have this idol made of dates. One day, I became so hungry that I ate a piece of it. And then, I cried when I remembered digging a hole and burying my daughter. Whilst I was putting her in, she reached up and brushed dirt from my beard.” And he had buried her alive. That was the practice those who felt it was a dishonour to have a daughter killed them. That was how hard his heart was. How hard his heart had become, to bury his daughter alive.


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