Weeping for Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)
Compiled by: Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Weeping is a state that comes about when man faces a certain event. We weep when our hearts are broken or sometimes, we weep for joy. Weeping is a truth that the Prophets, Imams and Allah’s favorite servants have been involved in especially at dawns when they were engaged in supplications and invocations. It has been considered as cure for some esoteric pains such as separation. Allah’s favorite servants found relief for their afflicted and grieved hearts with it. Today, weeping is considered in the West as treatment for curing certain psychological cases and psychologists prescribe it.
Allah mentions weeping as a sign of true believers: And when they hear what has been revealed to the apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth. (5:83)
There are many narrations about weeping for fear of Allah at midnights and dawns as related by Ahl al-Bayt, which can be collected together as a book.
Amir al-Muminin (a.s.), in the supplication of Kumayl, says: My God! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You, and for which of them would I lament and weep? Is it for the pain and severity of chastisement or for the length and period of tribulation?
In Dua Abi-Hamzah Thamali, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) says: Why should I not cry? I am sad on account of my departing soul. I cry in fear of the darkness of the grave. I cry in dread of the narrowing walls inside the dugout hole. I cry in awe of the questioning Munkar and Nakir would direct at me. I cry over my plight when I will come out naked, in shame, from my grave, loaded with burden on my back.
One of the instances of weeping is to weep for the calamities, which befell the Ahl al-Bayt especially the master of the martyrs, Imam Husayn, which is considered as a prayer and has a great reward. It is a cure for mental disturbances, preparation for repentance, and a cause of Allah’s mercy.
In an authentic narration, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said: One who remembers our calamities and weeps for what has befallen us will have the same rank with us on the Judgment Day. And one who reads our calamities and weeps or makes others weep will not weep when all eyes are full of tears.49
Addressing Musmi, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “You are from Iraq. Have you visited the grave of Imam Husayn?” Musmi said, “There are many enemies of Ahl al-Bayt in Basrah. I fear they will report me to the rulers hence I will be persecuted.” The Imam said, “Do you ever remember what was done to Husayn?” Musmi said, “Yes, I do.” The Imam said, “Do you lament?” Musmi said, “Yes. By Allah, I lament in a way my family see its signs on my face. In that state, I can’t eat.”
The Imam said, “May Allah have mercy on you for your lamentation. You are one of those who will be happy when we are happy and you will be sad when we are sad. Beyond doubt you will meet my forefathers when you will die. You will be recommended to the Angel of Death; you will be given news about something delightful before you die and the Angel of Death will be more kind to you than your mother.”50
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, addressing Imam Husayn (a.s.):
“You are a lesson (of weeping) for every believer!”
“Am I, father?” Imam Husayn (a.s.) asked.
“Yes, my son”, answered Imam Ali (a.s.)
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said: Whoever remembers us and weeps, Allah will forgive his sins even if they are as much as foam of sea.51
Imam al-Sadiq has also said: A moment of sorrow for the injustice done to us is like the glorification of Allah. Grieving over us is as prayer and hiding our secrets is considered as holy war. These words should be written with gold.52
Harun Makfuf (the blind) has reported Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to say: One who remembers Husayn and weeps for him will be rewarded; and Allah is not content with anything less than Paradise for him.53
Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said: A weeper should lament over Husayn, for weeping for him will do away with sins.54
Addressing Ibn Shabib, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said: If you wish to weep for anything, weep for Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib, for heavens and the earth wept for him when he was slain. If you weep for Husayn to the extent that your tears run on you cheek, Allah will forgive all your sins.55
From narrations that recommend weeping for Imam Husayn, we can infer the following points:
• Weeping is accepted from believers. In this case, Allah grants a great reward.
• Weeping of a believer is valuable to the extent of his adherence to Ahl al-Bayt.
• Weeping of man will be valuable if his intention is pure in seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt.
• Weeping of man will be valuable if he does not commit sin, does not rebel against Allah, does not have an immoral life and is not a source of evil and misfortune for people.
• Based on Quranic verses and narrations, on the Judgment Day, a believer’s weeping will turn into Allah’s mercy and forgiveness as well as Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession.
In order to make you believe as to how one thing may change into another, we ask you to pay special attention to the following article:
The Question of Transformation in the Holy Quran
The Holy Quran expressly speaks about changing of one thing into another (transformation) at Allah’s will in the material and spiritual fields.
In Material Field
And most surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle; We give you to drink of what is in their bellies-- from betwixt the feces and the blood-- pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink. (16:66)
Is it not wonderful that, when Allah wills, pure and agreeable milk with different valuable products comes from between feces and bellies, which man hate? Reflection on this issue brings man out of ignorance to the knowledge of Allah.
The Holy Quran says about the bees: Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colors, in which there is a healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect. (16:69)
What does Allah’s will really do? A tiny insect flies miles from its hive, eats of the fruits, while knowing them precisely, returns to its hive without losing its way and gives us a nutritious material!
Allah’s will brings out of water, soil, air and light, fruits, seeds, cereals, grain, vegetables, flowers, herbs for animals which cannot be counted nor can their quality and quantity be measured.
No one is aware of how water, soil, air and light change into all these wonderful blessings! The Holy Quran says: Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and who sends down rain from the cloud, then brings for the subsistence for you. (2:22)
The question of changing one thing into another in the material field is as noteworthy as the universe itself and it cannot be discussed within the short space of this book.
In Spiritual Field
Reflection on Quranic verses proves that any good deed done by human beings will be changed into Allah’s pleasure and will be sent to heaven. Likewise, every evil act done by human beings will turn into eternal torment.
True repentance will turn Allah’s wrath into mercy. True prayer will turn vices into virtues. Fasting will turn into a shield against Hellfire on the Judgment Day.
What is given as rewards to the righteous and punishment to the evildoers on the Day of Judgment is an embodiment of their deeds changed into Paradise or hell: On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that evil, there were a long duration of time. (3:30)
And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2:281)
This is even more evident than all in the verse on eating the property of orphans, which will turn into fire in the bellies of the unjust: As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire. (4:10)
Whatever we do will remain in an invisible world and one day we will see them face-to-face. If our deeds are beautiful, they will change into paradise and if they are ugly, they will turn into fire of hell.
It is related that a woman came to the Holy Prophet asking a question. She was short and when she left, Aishah referred to her being short with her hands. Allah’s Messenger said, “Take a tooth-pick to remove bits of meat from between your teeth!” Aishah said, “But I have not eaten anything!” The Holy Prophet asked her to do what he had said. Aishah did so and a bit of meat came out of her mouth! Actually the Holy Prophet showed to Aishah the invisible result of backbiting in this world: …nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (49:12)
In a Hadith, we read: All torments are the deeds that you have done and they return to you.
49. Al-Amali: 73, H. 4
50. Kamil al-Ziyarat: 101, Chapter: 32, H. 6
51. Tafsir al-Qummi: 292/2
52. Al-Amali, 115, H. 178
53. Kamil al-Ziyarat; 100, Chapter: 32, H. 3
54. Al-Amali: 128, H. 2
55. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 299/1 Chapter: 28, H. 58