Displacing Abraham’s temple and Weeping for the dead
Source: Al-Nass Wal-Ijtihad, Text and Interpretation
By: Allama Abdul Husayn Sharafuddin al-Musawi
The temple of Prophet Abraham (S) is the rock by which the pilgrims offer prayer according to the saying of Allah: “Take as your place of worship the place where Abraham stood (to pray)” (Qur’an 2:125).
Abraham and Ishmael (S), when building the House, stood on this rock to hand over rocks and clay. The rock was stuck to the Kaaba but the Arabs after Prophet Abraham (S) moved it to its place nowadays. When Allah has sent Muhammad (S) as the prophet and granted him with means of power, he stuck the rock to the Kaaba again as it had been at the time of his fathers Abraham and Ishmael. When Umar became the caliph, he displaced it as it is nowadays. At the time of the Prophet (S) and the time of Abu Bakr the rock was stuck to the Kaaba. 151
In the seventeenth year of hijra Umar enlarged the mosque by adding to it some of the companions’ houses around it. The companions had refused to sell their houses but Umar tore down their houses and put their prices in the treasury until they later on, took their monies. 152
Weeping for the dead
The sorrow of man for losing his loved ones and his crying for them are parts of the sentiment of human beings besides that they are among the requirements of mercy if they are not accompanied with bad sayings and doings.
The Prophet (S) has said: “Whatever comes out of the heart and the eye is from Allah and mercy and whatever comes out of the hand and the tongue is from the Satan.” 153
The Muslims have done so everywhere and always without having any evidence to prohibit it. The necessity required it (sorrowfulness or crying) to be permissible.
In fact the Prophet (S) himself has cried in many occasions and he has approved the others when crying in many occasions and admired it (crying) in other occasions. In fact he might have invited to it.
The Prophet (S) had cried for his uncle Hamza, the lion of Allah and the lion of His Messenger. Ibn Abdul Birr and other historians said “When the Prophet (S) saw Hamza killed, he cried and when he saw him mutilated, he sobbed.” 154
Al-Waqidy said: “The Prophet (S) often cried when Safiyya 155 cried and he sobbed when she sobbed.” He added: “Fatima began crying and the Messenger of Allah (S) began crying too for her crying.” 156
Anas bin Malik said: “When the army of the Muslims was in Mu’ta, Zayd took the banner but he was injured. Then Ja’far took the banner and he was injured too. Then Abdullah bin Rawaha took the banner and he was injured too. The Prophet’s eyes were shedding tears…” 157
Ibn Abdul Birr said in his al-Istee’ab: “The Prophet (S) cried for Ja’far and Zayd and he said: “They are my brothers, friends and talkers.”
Anass said: “…then we came to him (to the Prophet (S)) while Ibraheem (the Prophet’s son) was dying. The Prophet’s eyes began shedding tears. Abdurrahman bin Ouff said to him: “Do you cry while you are the Messenger of Allah?!” The Prophet (S) said: “O Ibn Ouff, it is mercy!” Then he cried again and said: “The eye sheds tears and the heart becomes sad but we do not say what discontents our Lord. O Ibraheem, we are sad for your leave!” 158
Usama bin Zayd said: “The daughter of the Prophet (S) sent for him that one of her sons had died. The Prophet (S) went with Sa’d bin Ubada, Ma’ath bin Jabal, Ubayy bin Ka’b and Zayd bin Thabit. The Prophet (S) lifted the boy while his breath was still clattering. The Prophet’s eyes began shedding tears. Sa’d said: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this?” The Prophet (S) said: “It is mercy that Allah has put in the hearts of His people. Allah has mercy on the merciful ones of His people…” 159
Abdullah bin Umar said: “One day Sa’d bin Ubada became ill. The Prophet (S) came to visit him with Abdurrahman bin Ouff, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas and Abdullah bin Mas’ood. He found him in the middle of his relatives. The Prophet (S) asked: “Is he dead?” They said: “No, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (S) began crying. When the people saw the Prophet (S) crying, they began crying too. Then the Prophet (S) said: “Allah does not punish for the tears of the eyes nor for the sadness of the heart but He punishes and has mercy (on people) for this.” He pointed to his tongue.” 160
Ibn Abdul Birr said in al-Istee’ab: “When the Prophet (S) was informed that Ja’far had been martyred, he went to his wife (Ja’far’s wife) Asma’ bint Umays and consoled her. Then Fatima (S) (the Prophet’s daughter) came in crying and saying: “O uncle!” The Prophet (S) said: “Let the criers cry for one like Ja’far!” 161
The historians like Ibn Jareer, Ibnul Atheer, Ibn Katheer and Ibn Abd Rabbih mentioned the tradition of Ibn Umar that Ahmad bin Hanbal had mentioned in his Musnad. 162 Ibn Umar narrated: “When the Prophet (S) (and his army) had come back from the battle of Uhud, the women of the Ansar began crying for their killed husbands. The Prophet (S) said: “But Hamza has no one crying for him!” Then the Prophet (S) went to bed. When he woke up, he heard the women crying. He said: “Then they are crying for Hamza today.”
Ibn Abdul Birr in al-Istee’ab quoted from al-Waqidy his saying: “The women of the Ansar, after this saying of the Prophet (S) “But Hamza has no one crying for him”, did not cry for a dead one of the Ansar unless they cried for Hamza first.”
Crying for Hamza at the time of the Prophet (S), the time of the companions and the time of the companions’ successors was clear evidence on the permissibility of the crying for one like Hamza even if it was a long time since he had died.
The saying of the Prophet (S) “But Hamza has no one crying for him” and his saying “Let the criers cry for one like Ja’far” proved that crying for (good) dead people were desirable.
In spite of all that, Umar bin al-Khattab had prohibited crying for a dead man whatever great he was. In fact he beat with a stick, threw with stones and threw soil on whoever cried for the dead. He did that since the time of the Prophet (S) and he kept on that until the end of his life. 163
Ahmad bin Hanbal mentioned in his Musnad a tradition narrated by Ibn Abbas about the death of Ruqayya, the Prophet’s daughter, and the crying of women for her and then he said: “…Umar began beating the women with his whip. The Prophet (S) said to him: “Let them cry!” The Prophet (S) sat by the tomb and Fatima (sa) was crying beside him. The Prophet (S) began wiping Fatima’s eyes with his dress compassionately.” 164
Ahmad also mentioned in his Musnad 165 a tradition narrated by Abu Hurayra that once a procession of funerals passed by the Prophet (S). Among them there were some women crying. Umar scolded them. The Prophet (S) said: “Let them cry. The heart is sad and the eye is shedding tears.” 166
Aa’isha and Umar were in disagreement on this matter. Umar and his son Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (S) had said: “A dead is tortured because of the crying of his relatives for him\her.” In another tradition: “…because of some of his relatives’ crying” in a third saying “because of the crying of (people of) the quarter” in a fourth one “he is tortured in his grave whenever it is cried for him” in a fifth one “whoever is cried for, is tortured”. All these sayings are untrue due to reason and tradition.
An-Nawawi said, when mentioning these sayings: “All these narrations have been narrated by Umar and his son Abdullah.
Aa’isha denied that and accused them of being forgetting or mistaken. She refuted their sayings by reciting the saying of Allah: “..no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another” (Qur’an 6:164)
Ibn Abbas and all of the infallible imams of Ahlul Bayt (as) have denied these traditions and confirmed that the narrators were mistaken. Aa’isha and Umar were still in disagreement about this matter until Aa’isha cried for her father when he died. Because of that there were some things happened between them. At-Tabari mentioned in his Tareekh al-Khulafa’, vol.4 when talking about the events of the thirteenth year of hijra, that Sa’eed bin al-Musayyab had said: “When Abu Bakr died, Aa’isha (with her fellow women) began crying for him. Then Umar came to her house and forbade her and the other women from crying for Abu Bakr. They refused to refrain from crying. Umar said to Hisham bin al-Waleed: “Go inside the house and bring me the daughter of Ibn Abu Quhafa (Aa’isha the daughter of Abu Bakr).” Aa’isha said to Hisham when she heard the saying of Umar: “I forbid you from entering my house.” Umar said to Hisham: “Enter the house! I have permitted you.” Hisham went in and brought Umm Farwa, Abu Bakr’s sister, to Umar. Umar began beating Umm Farwa with his stick. When the crying women heard that, they separated here and there.”
Here we attract the attention of the men of understanding to search about the reason that has led Fatima (sa) to be away from the country when she wanted to cry for her father (S). She went, with her two sons and her fellow women, to al-Baqee’ (graveyard). They cried for the Prophet (S) under the shadow of a tree there and when this tree was cut, Imam ‘Ali (as) built her a house in al-Baqee’ to weep for her father in it. It was called “the house of sorrows”.
This house had been visited by the different generations of this umma like the other sacred places. This house was demolished recently by the order of King Abdul Aziz bin Sa’ood al-Jundi when he prevailed over Hijaz and he destroyed the sacred places in al-Baqee’ according to his Wahabite belief. It was in the year 1344 A.H. In the year 1339 we have got the honor of visiting this house (the house of sorrows) when Allah has granted us with the favor of offering the hajj and visiting the Prophet (S) and the places of his pure family in al-Baqee’.
151. Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d, vol.3 p.204, Tareekh al-Khulafa’ of as-Sayooti, p.53, Sharh Nahjul Balagha of Ibn Abul Hadeed, vol.3 p.113, Kitab al-Haywan of ad-Dimyari, Tareekh Umar by Abul Faraj al-Jawzi p.60.
152. Mentioned by Ibn al-Atheer in Al-Kamil, the events of the 17th year of hijra and by other historians.
153. A tradition narrated by Ibn Abbas and mentioned by Ahmad in his Musnad, vol.1 p.335.
154. Al-Istee’ab by Ibn Abdul Birr, biography of Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib.
155. She was the Prophet’s aunt.
156. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 3 p.387.
157. Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.148, vol.3 p.39.
158. Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.154.
159. Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.152, Sahih of Muslim, vol.1 chap. Crying for the dead.
160. Sahih of al-Bukhari, vol.1 p.155, Sahih of Muslim, vol.1 p.341.
161. In this tradition the Prophet (S) has approved crying for the dead and ordered of it. In fact the crying of Fatima (sa) only could be enough evidence on the subject.
162. Vol.2 p.40.
163. Al-Bukhari's Sahih, vol. 1 p.255
164. Vol.1 p.335.
165. Vol.2 p.333.
166. One day during his caliphate, Umar heard some women crying inside one of the houses. He came into the house and began beating the crying women until their veils fell down of their heads. Then he said to his servant: “Beat the weeping women…beat them. They have no sanctity…” Refer to Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol.3 p.111.