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Is it wrong to cry over the deceased?

Question

Please clarify if someone cannot control his tears while remembering his beloved child who has passed away, is there anything wrong with this? I have read that when tears flow, it is a kind of mercy from Allah and it is not haram.

 

Answer

Crying over a deceased is certainly allowed. There were numerous instances wherein Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself cried over a deceased or someone who was in the throes of death. Among them are the following:

 

1) Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says,

“We visited Abu Sayf, the blacksmith, with Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He was the father of the wet-nurse of Ibrahim [the son of Nabi -sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-].

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) held Ibrahim, kissed him and smelt him. Then later we visited him when Ibrahim was breathing his last. The eyes of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) began to flow with tears. Sayyiduna ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf (radiyallahu ‘anhu) asked [out of astonishment], ‘Even you, O Rasulullah!’ [Why are you crying?]

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘O Ibn ‘Awf, it is mercy.’ Then more tears followed and he said, ‘The eye weeps and the heart grieves and we say nothing except what pleases our Rabb. O Ibrahim, we are grieved at your departure.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1303 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2315 with variation in the wording)

 

2) Sayyiduna Usamah ibn Zayd (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports, “The daughter [Zaynab -radiyallahu ‘anha] of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sent a message to him saying, ‘One of my sons is in the throes of death, so come.’

He sent his greetings to her and said, ‘Indeed what Allah takes is His and what He gives is His. Everything has a fixed term with Him, so she should adopt patience and anticipate reward.’

She again sent for him taking an oath that he should certainly come. He got up with Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Zayd ibn Thabit and some other men (radiyallahu ‘anhum).The child was brought to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he was shuddering. (I think he said, “Like an old water skin.”). Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)’s eyes began flowing with tears. Sa’d (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, ‘O Rasulullah, what is this?’

He said, ‘This is mercy which Allah has put in the hearts of His slaves. Allah is merciful to His slaves who are merciful [to others].”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1284 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 923)

 

3) Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports, “Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah fell ill. So Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), came to visit him with ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhum). When he arrived, he found him surrounded by his family and asked, ‘Has he passed away?’ They said, ‘No, O Rasulullah’.

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then began to weep. When the people saw Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) weeping, they also wept.

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘Listen, Allah does not punish for the tears of the eyes nor for the sorrow of the heart, but he punishes or shows mercy on account of this,’ and he pointed to his tongue”

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 924 and Sahih Bukhari, with slight addition in the wording, Hadith: 1304)

 

The above narrations illustrate the permissibility of crying over a deceased as well as when remembering the deceased.

 

However wailing and screaming has been prohibited, as explained in the following Hadiths:

1) Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“The deceased is punished in his grave for the wailing done over him.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1292 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 927)

 

2) Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, Leave [the daughters of Khalid ibn Walid -radiyallahu ‘anhu] to cry over him, as long as they do not throw sand on their heads or shout.

(Sub heading of Sahih Bukhari, before Hadith: 1291)

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar