Crying brings happiness in the two dwellings
By: Salah Soltan, Ph.D.
Crying out of fear of Allah is a characteristic of the righteous because it represents the clarity of the heart, the purity of the soul, the good-nature of the inner self, and the softness of the skins. If we want to be happy in this life and the hereafter, we have to carefully reconsider ourselves. Let us try to count some of the apparent bounties of Allah. He says: “and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen?” and “But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.”
This is where man starts his relation with Allah. When he finds the good favors descending upon him despite the evil that he sends bak, he ought to be crying. When he finds the bounties falling upon him like rain despite the sins that he continuously commits, he ought to be crying. When he finds the Lord calling him to his happiness as he is turning away, sinking in the seas of desire, and treating his desire as his lord, he ought to be crying. When he obeys Allah but without any guarantee that his deeds are accepted and without being totally safe from the anger of Allah, he ought to be crying.
‘Abdullah Ibn Rawa>h}ah was fighting the harshest enemies in the fields of sacrifice. He took the leadership of the army with courage and steadfastness after several martyers departed to Paradise. He suddenly cried. He was asked, “do you fear the death that befell Zayd Ibn H}arithah and Ja’far the father of the poor?” He was taken aback by the logic of the questioners and answered: “By Him in whose hand my soul is, I do not fear death; Death is what I came here for. I (cry because I) now remembered the words of Allah, “Not one of you but will pass over it: this is, with thy Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished. But We shall save those who guarded against evil, and We shall leave the wrong-doers therein, (humbled) to their knees.” He continued crying severely until those around him joined in crying. Then he proceeded to fight into the lines of the enemy until he joined the caravan of martyrs. Aren’t we in more need of crying than ‘Abdullah Ibn Rawa>h}ah? He was crying while he was performing the highest level of Islam which is to struggle for the sake of Allah and while he was putting his feet on the doorsteps of Paradise. What about us?
We are drowing in sins, moving in forgetfulness, being dipped in desires and surrounded by the bounties from our Lord. What happened to our hearts? Have they gone harsh? Did they die and forget their destiny? Are they unaware of the penalty of Allah?
Aren’t we, the ones who live in the bounties of this world, smart enough to work hard, pray at night, fast, struggle against ourselves and our enemies, and exert extra effort to elevate our nation and our countries, so that we are saved from endless crying and nonstop screaming? “Therein will they cry aloud (for assistance): “Our Lord! Bring us out: we shall work righteousness, not the (deeds) we used to do!”
Have our sources of tears gone dry after we were guaranteed the acceptance of Allah and the entry to Paradise? How come our tears flow when we miss one of the temporary enjoyment of this world, for the death of a friend, for the loss of money, for missing the meeting of a beloved one, or for the departing of companions? Yes, these are human emotions that we all encounter. Yet, shouldn’t we cry out of the fear of Allah, the awaiting for the Day of Judgment, and the fear of the gathering, the Balance and the Hell Fire?
Our beloved Prophet, the one promised the Firdaws (the highest level of Paradise), cried. Those who were given glad tidings of Paradise cried. The recitation of Abu Bakr could not be heard because of his crying. He was named the man who cries a lot. In the face of ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khat}t}a>b, there were two lines due the the flow of his tears on his cheeks. ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abdil-Azi>z used to cry loudly upon hearing the words of Allah “Say: “I would, if I disobeyed my Lord, indeed have fear of the Penalty of a Mighty Day.””
Indeed, how great crying is when it is out of the love of the Merciful, the fear of the Great, the regret for the past, and the reform of the future. Let us try to cry. Let us be determined not to finish our S}ala>h without crying such that we would lengthen our prostration and accompany it with the cracking of the heart and fear of the sin. “They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility.”
In Ramadan, during S}alat-ul-Tara>wi>h} and Tahajjud, there is an ample opportunity to cry during prostration, bowing and reciting the Quran, especially that our hearts are detached from the worldly affairs. There is a h}adi>th that says, “Cry when you recite the Quran. If you cannot cry, then make yourself cry.” This matter requires training the self to cry such that crying between the hands of one’s Lord would become the dearest thing to a man. Only then, he would feel that he is the happiest person on the face of the earth. He would feel that his breast is expanded and his heart is softened. He would find clarity in his eyes and purity in his soul. Then, fasting, reciting the Quran, and remembering Allah would cleanse all the rust from his heart and would remove harshness from it.
Our people: we have increased the weight of our bodies and have tightened our hearts. This happened when we became satisfied by the tours in the markets of this life and left behind the longing for the hereafter. It happened when we became happy with a fast car, a high position, an elegant suit or a beautiful woman, and forgot about death, the disintegration in the lonely darkness of the grave, the difficulties of the resurrection, the hardships of the gathering, and the the time of the S}ira>t}. We have forgotten that all what is under the sky will vanish. What will be left are the good deeds that will bring reward from the Lord and good hope to the believers. Let us cry to get the feeling that we are true servants of the Lord. At that time, He will take care of our affairs. He will guide our steps.
Allah has decreed that he will not combine two fears or two securities to the servant. Whoever feared in this life will be granted safety in the hereafter. Whoever feeled secure in this life will have fear in the hereafter. Let us, then, cry upon our past so that we reform our future. Let us take the opportunity of this month to reconsider how we spend our time during the night and day, to reconsider how we earn and spend wealth and to reconsider how we treat our parents, neighbors, relatives, and Muslims everywhere. Only then, we would have put our steps on the path of happiness in the two dwellings.
Allah is the One who guides.