Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) wept on various occasions
In Sahih Muslim:
Abdullah bin Umar said that Sa’ad bin Ubada complained of illness. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) came to visit him accompanied by Abdur Rehman bin Auf, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas and Abdullah bin Masud. As he entered (his room) he found him in a swoon. Upon this he said: Has he died? They said: Messenger of Allah, it is not so. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) wept. When the people saw Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) weeping, they also began to weep. He said: Listen, Allah does not punish for the tears that the eye sheds or the grief that the heart feels, but He punishes for this (pointing to his tongue), or He may show mercy.1
The following narration has been mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawood and Sunan Ibne Majah:
Anas bin Malik reported that: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) entered the room and we accompanied him ..... And Ibrahim breathed his last. The eyes of Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.s.) were filled with tears. Abdur Rehman Ibne Auf said: ‘You are weeping, O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)’. He (s.a.w.s.) replied: "Ibne Auf, This is mercy". Then he said: "Our eyes shed tears and our hearts are filled with grief, but we do not say anything except that by which Allah is pleased. O, Ibrahim we are sorrowful due to your separation."2
And it is mentioned in Sunan Ibne Majah that: Anas Ibne Malik says: When Ibrahim the son of the Prophet (s.a.) died, he (the Prophet) said: "Do not shroud him till I have looked at him." Then he came forward in misery and wept.3
In Sunan Tirmizi it is recorded from Jabir Ibne Abdulla Ansari that:
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) held the hand of Abdur Rehman bin Auf and took him to Ibrahim, his son, when Ibrahim was in his last moments. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) took him in his lap and began to weep. Abdur Rehman bin Auf said: ‘You are weeping? And you had yourself prohibited weeping?’ The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) replied: ‘No, but I had prohibited two kinds of cries of foolish and sinful people: The cry at the time of a calamity, and tearing at the face and the collar. And the second is crying like Shaitan. And there is more in this narration. Abu Isa says that this hadith is good.4
The given narration has been recorded in the books of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abi Dawood and Sunan Nasai:
Usama bin Zaid reported: While we were with the Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.s.), one of his daughters sent for him (the Messenger) to call him and inform him that her child was dying ..... The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) rose up to go, accompanied by Sa’ad bin Ubada, Muadh bin Jabal, and I also went along with them. The child was lifted to him and his soul was feeling as restless as if it was in an old (waterskin). His (Prophets’) eyes welled up with tears. Sa’ad said: What is this, Messenger of Allah? He replied: This is compassion which Allah has placed in the hearts of His servants, and Allah shows compassion only to those of His servants who are compassionate.5
The books Tabaqat Ibne Saad, Maghazi of Waqidi and Musnad Ahmed Hanbal mention the following tradition:
After the Battle of Uhud, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) passed by a house of Ansars. He heard the wailing of the people for their martyred family members. The eyes of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) filled with tears and he began to weep. Then he said: "But there is no one to weep for Hamza." When the ladies of the family of Sa’ad bin Muadh and Usayd bin Huzayr al-Ashhal returned they told them to go and weep for Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.). Then from that time to date none of the women of Ansar have wept for their dead ones before weeping upon Hamza (r.a.).6
It is recorded in Sahih Bukhari that: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) gave people the news of the martyrdom of Zayd and Jafar and Ibne Rawaah even before the messenger had arrived with it (the news). He (s.a.w.s.) said: "First Zayd took up the standard, then he was killed, next, Jafar took it up, he too fell fighting then Ibne Rawaah took it up ....." And he was in tears....."7
A narration recorded in the books of Al Istiab, Usud al-Ghaba, Al Isabah and Ibne Athir etc that:
When Jafar was killed with his companions, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) came to his house and summoned his children. Then he consoled them up and there were tears in his eyes. Asma, the wife of Jafar said: May my parents sacrificed for you, you are crying? Shall I tell you about Jafar and his companions?
"Yes", he replied the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), "I am very sorrowful today."
Then Asma called and the women gathered, and Fatima (s.a.) entered weeping and wailing, "O Uncle!".
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "A brave one like Jafar deserves to be wept upon."8
Many books of traditions like Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmed Hanbal, Sunan Abi Dawood, Sunan Nasai and Sunan Ibne Majah mention the following tradition:
Abu Huraira says: "The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) visited the grave of his mother and wept and made others weep too."9
(i) Tradition of Ummul Fazl.
The first narration quoted by us is recorded in Mustadrakul Sahihayn, History of Ibne Asakir and Maqtal of Khwarizmi, other books also mention this incident.
Ummul Fazl the daughter of Harith came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and said: "O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) I had a dream in which I saw that a piece of your flesh flew off and fell into my lap. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) told her, "You have seen something good, by the will of Allah, Fatima will give birth to a child and you will be present in the house."
Later Fatima (s.a.) gave birth to Husain (a.s.) and Ummul Fazl was present as the Prophet (s.a.) had predicted. She placed Husain (a.s.) in the lap of the Prophet (s.a.). She said:
"Thus when I saw the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) that his eyes were filled with tears. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), may my parents be sacrificed for you, why are you weeping?’
He replied, ‘Jibraeel came to me and informed me that my people will soon murder this son of mine.’
I asked, ‘This son?’
‘Yes’, he replied, ‘And he gave me the red dust of his grave.’
Al Hakim says, ‘This is an authentic hadith according to the standards of Bukhari and Muslim but they have not included it in their collections."10
(ii) Tradition of Zainab Binte Jahash
A similar type of narration has been presented in the books: Tarikh Ibne Asakir, Majmauz Zawaed, Tarikh Ibne Kathir etc:
Zainab says: One day while Husain (a.s.) was in my house and near me at the staircase, then I became thoughtless. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) entered… He said, "Let him be (as he is). The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) stretched out his hands while he was performing the prayers and took Husain (a.s.) to him. I said, "O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) I have never seen you do this before?"
He said, "Jibraeel came to me and informed me that this (Husain) will be killed by my Ummat." I requested him, ‘Then show me the dust of the land where he will be killed.’ And he gave me some red earth.’11
(iii) Tradition of Ayesha
Abi Salma has been recorded in Tarikh Ibne Asakir, Maqtal Khwarizmi and Majmauz Zawaid to have said:
Ayesha said: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) had seated Husain (a.s.) upon his thigh when Jibraeel came and asked, "Is this your son?"
"Yes", he replied.
Jibraeel said, "But your Ummat will soon kill him after your demise."
The eyes of the Prophet filled with tears.
Jibraeel said, "Would you like to see the land where he shall be killed?"
"Yes", he replied.
Then Jibraeel showed him the fine dust of his grave.
In another narration there is a variation where Jibraeel is reported to have indicated towards Iraq and took some red dust from it and showed it to him and said, "This is the dust from his fatal battleground."12
(iv) Tradition of Umme Salma
Mustadrakul Sahihayn, Tabaqaat Ibne Saad, Tarikh Ibne Asakir and other books have mentioned the following tradition from Umme Salma:
The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) was sleeping one night when he awoke with a start. He was in a state of terror. Then again he went to sleep and once more woke up with a start. This time he was more worried. Again he went to sleep and woke up. In his hands was some red dust. He was turning it around in his hands.
She said, "What is this dust, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Jibraeel informed me that this Husain will be killed in the land of Iraq. I asked Jibraeel to show me the dust of the land where he will be killed. And this is that dust."
According to Al Hakim it is an authentic tradition as per the standards of Bukhari and Muslim but they have not narrated it.13
(v) Tradition Anas Ibne Malik
Musnab of Ahmed, Al Mojamul Kabir of Tibrani and Tarikh of Ibne Asakir and other books too have recorded this tradition from Anas Ibne Malik that he said:
"Malik sought the permission to visit the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). He was granted the permission when the Prophet was inside the house with Umme Salma. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, ‘Umme Salma, please guard the door and do not allow anyone else to enter."
Umme Salma was maintaining her vigil when Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.) came, pushed opened the door and entered. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) embraced him and kissed him. Malik enquired, "Do you love him?" "Yes", replied the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)." Surely your people will soon kill him. If you wish I can show you the place where they will kill him?"
He replied, "Yes".
He said, "Then he took a handful of dust from the place where he will be killed and he showed this dust to us. It was red in hue. Umme Salma took it and kept it in her cloth.
Thabit said: "We used to say, ‘It certainly is Karbala.’"14
1Sahih Muslim, 2:636. Kitabul Janaiz, Chapter 6.
2Sahih Muslim 4:1808, Kitabul Fazail. Sunan Abi Dawood 3:193, Kitabul Janaiz, Chapter of Weeping for the Dead. Sunan Ibne Majah 1:507, Kitabul Janaiz. Sahih Bukhari 1:158, Kitabul Janaiz.
3Sunan Ibne Majah 1:473, Kitabul Janaiz.
4Sahih Tirmizi, 4:226, Kitabul Janaiz.
5Sahih Bukhari, Kitabul Janaiz. Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Janaiz. Sunan Nasai 4:22, Kitabul Janaiz.
6Tabaqaat Ibne Saad 3:11 (Beirut Edition). Maghazi of Waqidi 1:315-317. Musnad Ahmed Hanbal 2:40. Sirat Ibne Hisham 3:50.
7Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Fazailus Sahaba.
8Al-Istiab. Usud Al-Ghaba. Tarikh Ibne Athir 2:90.
9Sahih Muslim 2:671, Kitabul Janaiz, Chapter 36, Tradition No.108. Musnad Ahmed Hanbal 2:441. Sunan Abi Dawood 3:218, Kitabul Janaiz, Chapter of Visting the Graves, Tradition No. 3234. Sunan Nasai 4:90, Kitabul Janaiz. Sunan Ibne Majah, Kitabul Janaiz.
10Mustadrakul Sahihayn 3:176 Tarikh Ibne Asakir. Majmauz Zawaid 9:179. Maqtal Khwarizmi 1:159.
11Tarikh Ibne Asakir. Majmauz Zawaid 9:188. Kanzul Ummal 13:112. The tradition is mentioned in the Shia book: Amaali of Shaykh Tusi 1:323
12Tabaqat Ibne Sa'ad, Tradition No.269. Tarikh Ibne Asakir, Tradition No.627. Maqtal Khwarizmi 1:159. Majmauz Zawaid 9:187-188. Kanzul Ummal 13:108. Sawaiqul Muhriqa, Ibne Hajar. Amaali of Shaykh Tusi.
13Mustadrakul Sahihayn 4:398. Al Mojamul Kabeer, Tibrani, Tradition No.55. Tarikh Ibne Asakir. Tabaqaat Ibne Sa'ad. Zahabi’s History of Islam. Maqtal Khwarizmi. Zakhairul Uqba :148. Kanzul Ummal 16:266.
14Musnad Ahmed Hanbal 3:242 and 265. Tarikh Ibne Asakir, Biography of Imam Husain (a.s.) Tradition No.615 and 617. Mojamul Kabeer of Tibrani, Tradition No.47. Maqtal Khwarizmi 1:160. Zahabi’s Uqba :146-147. Majmauz Zawaid 9:187. Tarikh Ibne Kathir 6:229. Kanzul Ummal 16:266. Sawaiqul Muhriqa of Ibne Hajar Asqalani, 115.