Islam Explained By Husain Zakariyya Yawale
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Allah says: “Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, to Him will we give a new life, a life that is good and pure and we will bestow on their reward according to the best of their actions.” [an-Nahl: 97]
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant, and messenger. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time.
The Apostle of Allah was sitting one day with his Companions discussing their affairs, and one of the issues deliberated was about the condition of the Day of Resurrection was on seven people that Allah will shade under his Throne from the unbearable heat of the sun, as it will be brought very close to the mammoth gathering, frying them. The hadith reads: It is related from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade with His shade on the day when there is no shade but His shade: a just Imam, a youth who grows up worshipping Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two men who love each other for the sake of Allah alone, meeting for that reason and parting for that reason, a man who refuses the advances of a noble and beautiful woman, saying ‘I fear Allah’, a man who gives charity and conceals it so that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives, and a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears.” [Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]
Alhamdulillahi! For the last six Fridays we have engaged in detailed exegesis of this hadith, in order that we acquaint ourselves on how we can belong to any of the categories by our deeds, as the time is not late.
So, the next and final category of the most fortunate people whom Allah will shade on the Day of resurrection when the sun will be brought very close to the human skulls and stir fry them into black colour completely, is “a man who remembers Allah when he is alone and his eyes overflow with tears.”
Shedding tears is a natural expression of some feelings which cannot be properly expressed by words. Sometimes the purposes of shedding tears are known, while some other times they are not known by onlookers. However, there are many reasons of crying, weeping, howling, sobbing, wailing, whimpering, bawling, snivelling, blubbering or sobbing. The commonest causes of tearing are traumatic events, protracted stress, severe grief, loneliness, death, acute bodily pain, sudden joy often without merit; cutting onion or simple allergies, may cause the eyes to overflow with tears. People weep for many factors including gender, age, perceptions of events, societal attitudes, health, personality characteristics, and so on. However, religious and scientific evidences provide strong and consistent evidences that crying has considerable health and spiritual benefits.
Scientifically weeping with tears helps in releasing depressing energy, which is a natural way the body deals with unwanted feelings such as stress or anxiety. other reasons are lubricating and protecting the eye's delicate, transparent, adaptive lenses, so that we can see properly. This is because it moisten and prevent the drying of the mucous and nictitating membranes of the eye.
Whatever is the cause or reason for weeping, in islam it is highly recommended to perform it deliberately or unintentionally at certain instances or due to some occurrences. But the intention must be for humility in seeking the mercy of Allah. The Prophet of Islam has on several occasion shed tears publically and secretly. He was numerously reported to cry over the death of his companions, and during the rehearsing of the Qur'an in both prayers and at sessions. He would weep passionately with tears completely wetting his beard and chest. Abubakar and Umar also used to weep inconsolably severally and for a long time, making many others around them sob. In Islam, there are large literatures concerning crying for the sake of Allah in Islam.
Allah, the Exalted has praised shedding tears in glorification of his might. He says: “Those were some of the prophets on whom Allah did bestow His Grace,- of the posterity of Adam, and of those who we carried (in the Ark) with Noah, and of the posterity of Abraham and Israel of those whom we guided and chose. whenever the Signs of ((Allah)) Most gracious were rehearsed to them, They would fall down In prostrate adoration and In tears. But after them there followed a posterity who missed prayers and followed after lusts soon, then, will They face Destruction.” [Maryam: 58-59]
Thus, sobbing is the tradition of all the Messengers and prophets of Allah at various instances of their lives. Weeping depict sense of fear of Allah most especially when it is as a result of listening to the absolute truth of the words of Allah. The Jews and Christians wept furiously when they listen to the Qur'an from the lips of the Apostle of Allah. the Qur'an says: “They fall down on their faces In tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility.” [al-Israa': 109]
Laughter, especially boisterous one on the hand is completely abhorred in Islam; smile is most recommended. Allah warned sternly, He says: “Let them laugh a little: much will They weep: a recompense for the (evil) that They do.” [at-Taubah: 82]
Since weeping or shedding can be as a result of excessive joy, fear or apprehension of the what is ahead, it can be rewarding if they are wisely administered. So, crying, if it is for happiness as a result of expected achievement or favours from Allah or in appreciation for thus, then such is rewardable, and a vehicle to achieving nearness to Allah for the righteous act. Also if the weeping was a prelude to repentance or aftermath from misdeeds, in firm belief that the final abode for sinners is eternal doom, or as a result of misfortunes befalling on a loved one, and in response for lack of appropriate words to express the quantum of the sorrow due to the loss, such expression is also remunerated by Allah.
Indeed, if we carefully appraise our conditions today, we will discover that we are really drowning in oceans of sins, desires and delusions with no intention to repent soonest. Our energies are all directed in the realization of worldly pleasures and happiness. We seldom have time to ponder on what we read, see, hear or do in preparation to the judgment day; an inevitable date indeed! We are at peace and harmony with our conditions here, as if we assured of irrevocable assurance from Allah of His eternal mercy in the Hereafter, notwithstanding our atrocities.
The eyes that weep especially due to deep thinking and pondering of any of the favours and bounties of Allah in the past, present or future, will be amongst the faces that will be forgiven on the day of resurrection. Similarly, the tears that gushed out in apprehension of what is in the waiting for the sinning souls, shall be forgiven and appropriately recompensed. Many hadiths were reported in praised for tears that run as a result of Allah's sake, in appreciation or apprehension. let us take few to help us weep away our sins and shortcoming:
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RD) who heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "The fire will not touch a man who weeps out of fear of Allah until the milk returns to the breast. Also the dust produced in jihad and the smoke of hell will never co-exist." [al-Mishkaat (3828) and at-Targheeb wal Tarheeb].
On the authority of Ibn Abbas (RD) who heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “There are two eyes which will not be touched by the fire: an eye which weeps out of the fear of Allah and an eye which stays vigil throughout the night guarding for the sake of Allah.” [at-Tirmidhee]
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (RD) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "Two eyes have been forbidden from being overcome by the fire; an eye which wept out of the fear of Allah and an eye which stays vigil throughout the night guarding Islam and family from kufr."[ al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak and others]
On the authority of Abu Umamah (RD) that the Prophet (SAW) said: "There is nothing more beloved to Allah than two drops and two marks; a teardrop shed out of fear of Allah and a drop of blood spilled for the sake of Allah. As for the two marks, one which is sustained for the sake of Allah and one which is received in the course of carrying out an obligation commanded by Allah." [at-Tirmidhee, al-Mishkaat and Saheeh at-Targheeb].
On the authority of Uthman (RD) who said that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Rpentance is for anyone who controls his tongue, whose house is sufficient for him (i.e., he is contented with it) and who wept over his errors.” [at-Tabaraanee in al-Awsat as-Sagheer and at-Targheeb wat Tarheeb].
On the authority of Uqbah ibn Aamir (RD) who asked: “I said, O Messenger of Allah! What is salvation? He replied: ‘To have control over your tongue, to be contented with your house and to weep over your errors.’”
The Qur'an enquires those who have submerged in worldly matter without recourse to what may become of them in the Hereafter. Allah says: “Has not the time arrived for the believers that their hearts In all humility should engage In the remembrance of Allah and of the truth which has been revealed (to them), and that They should not become like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? for many among them are rebellious transgressors.” [al-Hadid: 16]
Thus, tears which poured out as a result of fear of Allah is an expression highly commended because it is a sign of an unequivocal and explicit capitulation, trust and hope in Allah. The hadith in discussion is talking about a person who secretly, may be in the darkness of the night, wept for fear of Allah, has certainly attained a high disposition to be humble and modestly before His Lord. His only witness was His Lord, hence its devoid of an iota of show-off.
Fearing Allah is not like fearing deadly animals, serpents or armed robbers who inflict only bodily injuries; it is a combination of accepting the supremacy of Allah, loving Him, obeying Him, observing His laws and above all hoping for His favours and mercy in both worlds. It is about feeling His presence in all that we intend, muttered, say, do or abort, in private or public. Fear of Allah is doing all His bidding regardless of the consequences at all times.
A person who has this type belief in Allah, will not in anyway deceive himself by shedding crocodile tears in public simply to draw the attention, sympathy or praise of people around, for personal benefits. The fact remains that none one can deceive Allah, let alone cheat Him! Allah says:
Of the people there are some who say: “We believe In Allah and the Last Day;" but They do not (really) believe. Fain would They deceive Allah and those who believe, but They only deceive themselves, and realize (it) not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: and grievous is the penalty They (incur), because They are false (to themselves).” [al-Baqarah: 8-10]
So, hypocritical weeping, although people would not be able to differentiate, especially during prayers, Qur'anic recitation or even at instances of showing sympathy, is self destructive in the sight of Allah, rather than scoring any benefit. But if it out unreserved submission, absolute fear, limitless love, expanded hope and unshaken trust, then such emotional expression is rewarded with admittance into the shade of the Throne of Allah on the Day when there will be no other shade except His!
May Allah have mercy on us and accept our righteous deeds regardless of our shortcoming! Amin.