When one thinks about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), one thinks of him as a great leader. However, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was not afraid to show his full range of emotions. In addition, one understands that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept on certain occasions. This blog will describe those occasions on which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept.
There are occasions that were put together in a book that is collected as the sermons of a certain scholar, Muhammad Owais. The book was called, “Friday Sermons (Khutab) in Arabic & English” by Muhammad Ewas.
Nonetheless, it's an excellent collection of sermons. Among the sermons is this one about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) weeping. This scholar mentioned seven circumstances in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept.
First, he would weep while he was praying, especially his prayer at night. Yet, he prayed alone.
Secondly, he asked one of his companions to read the Quran to him. The companion read from the fourth chapter of the Quran, which stated, “What will they do when we bring a witness from each community, with you (Muhammad) as a witness against these people.” Quran [4:41]. He wept. Probably, he was moved that he would be in that position to give evidence against his own people. Meaning, he delivered the message to them, and it's not his fault that they did not receive his message well.
In addition, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept when he visited the grave of his mother.
He wept when his son, Ibrahim, died in infancy. Also, it is mentioned that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept when his daughter, Umm Kulthum, passed away.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept when some Muslims defended the Islamic frontiers. In addition, he saw a vision that he was given the information that they died, one after another. He wept on that occasion.
Also, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept when he saw a young man, Mosab, the son of Umair. Mosab, prior to embracing the message of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was from a wealthy family. He always wore the best clothes. Also, he had the best perfume that could be
smelled from quite a distance. After Mosab embraced Islam, he was disowned by his family. Consequently, Mosab was cut off from that source of wealth and luxury. As a result, Mosab wore rags. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept when he saw Mosab in that condition.
Last, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wept for his followers because he was worried about the outcome of his followers, in this world after his death, and fare in the afterlife. Therefore, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was worried about Muslims, and that drove him to tears.
It’s interesting to notice that men are taught not to cry. However, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a great leader and role model cried.
In fact, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wasn’t the only prophet that wept. If one reads into the Bible, there were great leaders, prophets, and notable people who wept.
From the Quran, Prophet Jacob (AS) wept for his sons. In the Bible, Prophet Joseph (AS) wept when he received his brother, Benjamin. Also, Jesus (AS) wept. According to John, in Chapter 11, when Jesus’s friend, Lazarus passed away, Jesus wept. This is noted as one of the shortest verses in the King James version of the Bible. Since it’s just two words; he wept.
According to Luke, it is shown that Jesus wept when he contemplated Jerusalem. He thought about Jerusalem as the location where the prophets came, preached, and people rejected the prophets. As a result, he wept. He can relate to the prophets before him. He preached and received a negative response from Jerusalem. Consequently, great men weep. We are human beings and have emotions. Thus, it’s permissible to release those emotions.
In addition, the Quran talks about weeping in different contexts. The Quran states, “Do you people marvel at this? Why do you laugh instead of weeping.” Quran [53:59-60]. They should be weeping, thinking about their outcome in the afterlife. Yet, they don't listen to this message.
However, in a more positive way, the Quran shows that believers would worship God, they would prostrate by weeping before God. This is a common response from Muslims in reading the Quran, prostrating, and weeping during the prayers, especially during the Tarawih, the night prayers in the month of Ramadan. A lot of the Quran is being recited. When Muslims listen to the Quran, contemplate it, and one eventually breaks down crying.
Why do you think people weep when they hear the Quran?
There could be strong emotions, and the emotions might be positive or negative. On the negative side, one might be in fear. One is hearing verses of the Quran that’s describing the fire of hell and its tortures, and one is gripped by that description. As a result, one weeps and prays that he or she doesn’t go there.
Likewise, it could be positive. One is hearing about the delights of paradise and that evokes strong emotion. Mostly, it's awe. People are so enraptured with a closeness to God at that time, that one feels closeness. For example, a child didn't see their parents for a long time, and then they're in agony over the separation.
Finally, when they see their parents, they run and hug their parents. That specific emotion is so strong that the child is going to cry. The child is not crying out of fear or hunger. In contrast, the child is crying out of this strong emotion and deep love that they're experiencing at that moment.
Many believers among Muslims would be gripped by such strong emotions as they are praying, listening to the Quran, in deep contemplation, and in a state of devotion.
It's amazing that one could feel that emotion when it comes to God. One needs to feel that more frequently. We ask God to give us the grace to have that closeness to him. Whether it is expressed in tears. Nonetheless, one can experience that emotion. God gives us that everlasting communion with him in the afterlife.