It is reported on the authority of Muslim that when a baby is born, then Shaitaan comes to him to pinch him. As a baby, we had nothing to express pain or thirst but to cry. In fact crying was the only way to call for attention. In the cot, our expression of discomforts, thirst, bored, etc was only to have recourse to crying. It is the grace of Allah on the mother that she will come and guess on the first eye sight about our cry was what issue.
As grown up, if only we could keep this expression to our Rabb, we would have had everything we ask Him! In fact the prophet SAW told us to cry and if you can`t cry, then make as if you are crying.(pretend).
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ قَالَ سَمِعَتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: “يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ابْكُوا، فَإِنْ لَمْ تَسْتَطِيعُوا فَتَبَاكَوْا، فَإِنَّ أَهْلَ النَّارِ يَبْكُونَ فِي النَّارِ حَتَّى تَسِيلَ دُمُوعُهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ كَأَنَّهَا جَدَاوِلُ، ثُمَّ تَنْقَطِعُ الدُّمُوعُ، فَتَسِيلُ الدِّمَاءُ فَتَقَرَّحُ الْعُيُونُ، فَلَوْ أَنَّ سُفُنًا أُجْرِيَتْ فِيهَا لَجَرَتْ” مسند ابو يعلى
Hazrat Annas r.a. said that I heard the beloved prophet SAW said: O people cry! If you can`t cry, then make as if you are crying. Because the people of fire would cry in the hell fire so much that the tears would flow from their eyes like canals. Then tears would finish and they would cry blood instead of tears, blood will flow. The eyes would burst with tears. So much they would cry that if we had to put a ship in there, it would float in their tears and blood.’’(Musnad Abu Ya`la)
In fact the Qur-aan is a living miracle that should flow out tears from the mu`min.
It is reported in Ibn Majah that the beloved prophet SAW said: ‘The Qur-aan have been revealed with great emotions. So when you read it, do cry. If you can`t cry, then make as if you are crying. And do enhance your reading(with beautiful voice and tone). The one who do not enhance his reading is not from amongst me. ’(Ibn Majah)
In fact the sign of Imaan and piety is to burst in tears when you hear the verses of the holy Qur-aan.
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَى أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الْحَقِّ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
‘ And when they hear what have been revealed to the prophet SAW, you would see their eyes burst with tears…’’(5:83)
In fact several verses incite and approve the action of crying while listening to the Qur-aan:
‘’Those are the ones who Allah Ta`ala has bestowed His mercy to them from the prophets….that we have chosen. When these would hear the verses of Rahmaan(Allah Ta`ala), then they would fall in sajdah, crying.’’(19:58).
‘’They fall on their chins(forehead), crying and in fact these verses increase their humility.’(17:109)
In fact the Qur-aan soften the heart and brings out tears from the eyes of the true mu-min. It is alive and emotion the listener, especially the one who puts his trust in Allah Ta`ala! In fact the Qur-aan is more than that and has a direct effect on any listener!
It is reported by musnad Ahmad that when the Christian King of Habshah(Ethopia) heard the Qur-aan read by Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, he bursted in tears such that his beard got wet.’’
قَالَتْ: فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّجَاشِيُّ: هَلْ مَعَكَ مِمَّا جَاءَ بِهِ عَنِ اللهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ؟ قَالَتْ: فَقَالَ لَهُ جَعْفَرٌ: نَعَمْ . فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّجَاشِيُّ: فَاقْرَأْهُ عَلَيَّ . فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِ صَدْرًا مِنْ كهيعص . قَالَتْ: فَبَكَى وَاللهِ النَّجَاشِيُّ حَتَّى أَخْضَلَ لِحْيَتَهُ، وَبَكَتْ أَسَاقِفَتُهُ حَتَّى أَخْضَلُوا مَصَاحِفَهُمْ حِينَ سَمِعُوا مَا تَلَا عَلَيْهِمْ، مسند احمد
On hearing the Qur-aan Najashi embraced Islam. So know that men should read the Arabic Qur-aan beautifully in front of non muslims as the Qur-aan is emotionally effective to grow faith and Imaan.
Furthermore, it is reported by Abu Dawood that the prophet SAW used to cry lot during nafil salaah, such that a sound of a stone grinder grinding was heard from his chest.
حماد يعني ابن سلمة عن ثابت عن مطرف عن أبيه قال رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يصلي وفي صدره أزيز كأزيز الرحى من البكاء صلى الله عليه وسلم . ابو داود
‘‘I have seen the beloved prophet SAW performing salaah and I could hear a sound of crying coming from his chest(Sallallahou alaihi wasallam), a sound becoming like the grinding sound of the grinder.’’(Abu Dawood)
The sound described here is described by muhaditheens that the beloved prophet SAW was constantly weeping, crying and supplicating Allah Ta`ala and would continue crying relentlessly that the sound becomes like a grinding sound of a stone grinder grinding wheat. One may compare this sound to a child crying and supplicating constantly for more than half an hour. The child would battle for breath, crying bitterly and tears would flow on the cheeks.
In fact the action of crying was in the first khalifah : Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq r.a. His crying was so famous that his salaah had always crying. Reported in Bukhari that he used to cry a lot in salaah even as an imaam:
عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهَا أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ فِي مَرَضِهِ مُرُوا أَبَا بَكْرٍ يُصَلِّي بِالنَّاسِ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ قُلْتُ إِنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ إِذَا قَامَ فِي مَقَامِكَ لَمْ يُسْمِعْ النَّاسَ مِنْ الْبُكَاءِ بخاري
It is said that Hazrat Ibn Abbas r.a. cried so much in front of Allah that he had like by his eyes a thin mark. In fact several prophets and sahabas had this thin mark by their eyes due to excessive crying.
Note that we cannot approach Allah Ta`ala but with the sunnah of the beloved prophet SAW. And it is his sunnah to weep and cry during du`a and supplications. So when you are reading Qur-aan, try to cry. When you are listening to the Qur-aan cry. Else pretend to cry. And when you wake up for sehri, cry in supplicating Allah Ta`ala begging him for his mercy for the ummah and our necessities.
So let`s weep and cry to our rabb in du`as and supplications, as it is a sunnah of the beloved prophet SAW. And if you can’t cry, make the sound and face as if you are crying. Start it as from today.
And during the day, in front of people be smiling and gentle to people as if you are the happiest person. This is the sunnah of the day.
And know if you are not crying in front of Allah at night, then this is missing from your spirituality. You need the ingredient of crying for acceptance of your du`as. So make the effort to reach the state of crying in front of Allah in duas. For that, at sehri time, ask Allah forgiveness and his blessings with a weeping sound and face.
My teacher, M Suleiman Choksi used to say that if you have learnt how to cry in front of your rabb, then you won’t need to supplicate anyone besides Allah Ta’ala. If possible remember me and family in your du’as.