Excellence of Weeping

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

54. Chapter: On the Excellence of Weeping

Allah Almighty says, "Weeping, they fall on their faces in prostration, and it increases them in humility," (W17:108; H17:109)

and the Almighty says, "Are then amazed at this discourse and laugh and do not cry?" (W53;58-59; H53:59-60)

446. Ibn Mas'ud said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'Recite the Qur'an to me.' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, shall I recite to you when it was sent down to you?' He said, 'I want to hear it from someone other than myself.' So I recited Surat an-Nisa' to him until I reached this ayat, 'How will it be when We bring a witness from every nation and bring you as a witness against them?' (4:41) He said, 'That is enough now,' and I turned to him and his eyes were flowing with tears." [Agreed upon]

447. Anas said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, addressed us with a speech whose like I have never heard. He said, 'If you were to know what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.' The Companions of the Messenger of Allah covered their faces and sobbed." [Agreed upon]

448. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "No man, who wept out of fear of Allah, will enter the Fire until the milk returns to the breast. Dust raised in the way of Allah and the smoke of Jahannam will never be joined together." [at-Tirmidhi]

449. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, 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, the Mighty and Exalted, a man whose heart is attached to the mosque, two men who love each other for the sake of Allah, meeting and parting for that reason alone, a man who refuses the advances of a noble and beautiful woman, saying, 'I fear Allah', a man who gives sadaqa 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." [Agreed upon]

450. 'Abdullah ibn ash-Shikhkhir said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was praying and his chest was heaving like a caldron from weeping." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

451. Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to Ubayy ibn Ka'b, "Allah, the Mighty and Exalted, has commanded me to recite to you, 'Those who reject...' (98)." He said, "He mentioned me by name?" He said, "Yes," and Ubayy wept. [Agreed upon]

In one variant, "and Ubayy began to weep."

452. Anas said, "Abu Bakr said to 'Umar after the death of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, 'Let us go to Umm Ayman and visit her as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to visit her.' When they reached her, she wept and they said to her, 'What has made you weep? Do you not know that what is with Allah Almighty is better for the Messenger of Allah?' She said, 'I am not weeping because I do not know that what is with Allah is better for the Messenger of Allah, but I am weeping because the revelation from heaven has been cut off.' She moved them to tears and they began to weep with her." [Muslim]

453. Ibn 'Umar said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, was very ill, he was asked about the prayer and said, 'Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.' 'A'isha said, 'Abu Bakr is a tender-hearted man. When he recites the Qur'an, he is overcome by weeping.' He said, 'Tell him to lead the prayer.'"

In a variant from 'A'isha, she said, "I said. 'If Abu Bakr stands in your place, the people will not be able to hear him on account of his weeping.'" [Agreed upon]

454. Ibrahim ibn 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn 'Awf reported that 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn 'Awf was brought some food while he was fasting and he said, "Mus'ab ibn 'Umayr was killed and he was a better man than I. He was shrouded in a cloak. If his head was covered, his feet showed, and if his feet were covered, his head showed. Worldly goods have been opened up to us," - or he said, "We have been given what we have been given of this world," - "and we fear that our good deeds have been given to us in advance." Then he started to weep to such an extent that he neglected his food. [al-Bukhari]

455. Abu Umama Sudayy ibn 'Ajlan al-Bahili reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to me, said, "There is nothing which Allah Almighty loves more than two drops and two steps: a drop of tears shed out of fear of Allah and a drop of blood shed in the way of Allah. And the two steps are a step in the way of Allah Almighty and a step towards one of the obligations of Allah Almighty." [at-Tirmidhi]

456. The hadith of al-'Irbad ibn Sariya has: "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave us a profound exhortation which made our hearts afraid and our eyes weep." [see 157]