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Crying in Duaa & Crying When Remembering Allah: Equal?

24 November, 2021
Q There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade. One of the seven is a person who remembers Allah in private and sheds tears in doing so. Question: Sometimes when I'm feeling down due to a problem, hardship, etc, I tend to cry while making dua to Allah (mostly in private) or when I really want something I beg and cry to Allah to bless me with it. Is it the same as the person mentioned in the hadith? Could you elaborate on what qualities a person should have to be included in the category above and will deserve the shade of Allah? I also read that it's okay to complain to Allah about our struggles and problems. The example of prophet Ayyub is often given where he asked Allah for help when he was in extreme distress. To clarify, my question is; crying to Allah because I'm overwhelmed with a problem or want something - is it different from shedding tears due to the remembrance of Allah as mentioned in the hadith? In that case, would Allah grant me his shade on Judgement day?

Answer

Salam dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

Seven under the shade of Allah: Who are they?

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Seven are (the persons) whom Allah would give protection with His Shade on the Day when there would be no shade but that of Him (i. e. on the Day of Judgment, and they are):

  1. a just ruler,
  2. a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah;
  3. a person whose heart is attached to the mosques;
  4. two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah;
  5. a man whom a beautiful woman of high rank seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying):” I fear Allah” ;
  6. a person who gives charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the right hand does not know what the left has given:
  7. and a person who remembered Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears. (Muslim)

Virtues of Remembering Allah in the Quran

Among the seven persons whom Allah will shade with His shade is a person who remembered Allah in privacy and his eyes shed tears. Remembering Allah (dhikr) is required from every Muslim in all circumstances. Dhikr is an easy act of worship; you can do it with the least efforts. You just need to focus on the words of dhikr you say and feel the presence of Allah with you.

Allah has enjoined dhikr in many Quranic verses, and has forbidden heedlessness and forgetfulness.

We read in the Quran what means:

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*(remember Me; I will remember you. And thank Me, and never be ungrateful.)* (Quran 2:152) See also Quran 3:41, Quran 4:103, Quran 13:28

Virtues of Remembering Allah in the Sunnah

Many hadiths are reported from Prophet Muhammad about dhikr as dhikr is what connects you with Allah throughout the day.

Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, thus stated:

“I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My Heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Muslim) See also At-Tirmidhi.

Remembering Allah in Private

Ibn Hajar comments on the last person who will be under the shade of Allah by saying:

  1. (“and a man who remembers Allah” – either in his heart, or by mentioning Him out loud.
  2. “when he is alone” – because this is furthest away from showing off. What is meant here is that there are no distractions, so he pays attention to nothing except Allah.
  3. “his eyes fill up (lit. flood)” means, they fill with tears; this is another metaphor.)

Complain Only to Allah

As a Muslim, when a calamity befalls you, you should complain only to Allah and ask for His mercy. Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) was tested with many things. He lost his health, property and children. Prophet Ayyub was tested not for a sin he committed, but for reasons known only to Allah.

Scholars view that Prophet Ayyub was tested in order to raise him to high status by virtue of his patience. We read in the Quran what means:

*{We truly found him patient. What an excellent servant ˹he was˺! Indeed, he ˹constantly˺ turned ˹to Allah˺.}* (Quran 38:44)

Despite all these trials, Prophet Ayyub never complained to anyone. He just prayed to Allah and asked for His mercy. We read in the Quran what means:

*{And ˹remember˺ when Job cried out to his Lord, “I have been touched with adversity, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”}* (Quran 21:83)

Always rest assured that ease will come after every hardship. Based on that, we can safely say that there is nothing wrong with asking Allah for help when you are in trouble. This is the normal course of true believers. 

Crying while making duaa equals crying due to Allah’s remembrance?

Crying while reading the Quran, during prayer or while making duaa, is one of the characteristics of the righteous people. It was narrated from Mutarrif that his father said:

“I came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he was praying, and there was a sound coming from his chest like the sound of water boiling,” meaning, he was weeping. (An-Nasa’i    )

Crying while making duaa is a sign of fearing Allah. Fearing Allah is a command from Allah. There are many Quranic verses which have this Divine command: ‘Fear Allah’. When you fear Allah, you have a passion to do good deeds. Entering Paradise is guaranteed also when you fear Allah.

Scholars maintain that crying during prayer or when you make duaa purifies your heart and brings you closer to Allah.   

Life is all about Trials

Muslims believe that being a Muslim does not save one from being tested in this life. If there are no trials, we cannot distinguish between the faithful and unfaithful. But it is Allah’s divine law to test the believers. We read in the Quran what means:

*{We certainly tested those before them. And ˹in this way˺ Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.}* (Quran 29:2-3)

See what happened to Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) and how he was tested until Allah accepted his repentance and elevated his position. Read the story of Prophet Noah (peace be upon him) to know the nature of his struggle with his people. The same holds true for all other Prophets.

The life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was full of trials. His people did not follow him, except for very few. He had to leave to his homeland when the persecution of the people of Quraysh intensified.

The Companions, the followers and the people who came after them were all tested in different forms.

Tests may include fear, famine, loss of loved ones, and loss of properties. (See Quran 2:155)

A believer may be tested with the effect of the evil eye, or with a disease or with any problem that might cause him some pain. That is to say tests and trials are normal in the life of believers.

What is more important than tests is how to face such tests. A good believer faces such difficulties with patience so that he will be entitled to Allah’s mercy, blessings, and guidance. (See Quran 2:156-175)

Prophet Luqman’s advised his son to observe patience when he is afflicted with difficulties come his way (Quran 31:17).

Crying to Allah when overwhelmed with problems: Acceptable?

Feeling sad or crying when you have a problem is natural as long as you accept Allah’s decree and you are not complaining about it to other than Allah. Prophet Muhammad felt sad and shed tears when his son Ibrahim died. (Al-Bukhari)

Crying is healthy as it relieves stress and sadness. Psychologists argue that those who do not express emotions may end up in a breakdown.

Crying is not a sin and it does not mean that one is ungrateful to Allah. Crying is a normal human behavior that Allah created in us. *{Moreover, He is the One Who brings about joy and sadness.}* (Quran 53:43)

Crying to Allah when you are faced with difficulties is a clear declaration from you that who else is there to rely on except Allah. Allah is always there to help you both in times of hardship and times of ease. 

Based on that understanding, when you cry to Allah because you are overwhelmed with problems, you will hopefully get the rewards of those who shed tears when they remember Allah in private.

We hope this answers your question.

About Dr. Mohsen Haredy
Dr. Mohsen Haredy holds a PhD in Hadith literature from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the former Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait, and a contributing writer and counselor of Reading Islam. He graduated from Al-Azhar University and earned his MA in Hadith literature from Leiden University.