When was the last time you cried? Not a few drops of salty water from your eyes, or the odd tear that slipped down your face while watching Muhammad, the Palestinian boy screaming in agony.
I’m talking about a flood of tears that won’t stop. Tears that stain your face. Tears that sting your face because they’ve been there so long, their bitter saltiness hurts your skin.
When was the last time you cried like a baby. Back when you, and all of us, were closer to our Fitra, our true nature.
Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, related that: In the last ten of Ramadan, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to tighten his waste belt (i.e, work hard or keep away from intimacy with his wives), pray all night, and wake up his family for the night prayers (Bukhari and Muslim).
Ramadan is coming to an end. That’s enough of a reason to cry. But what’s even more important is to take stock of ourselves before it ends and we cannot benefit from its blessings any further.
In particular, we should be looking for the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr), which we are advised to seek in these last ten nights of Ramadan.
Aisha related that Rasulullah said: Look for Laylatul Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan (Bukhari).
According to the Quran, the blessings of this one night are greater than the blessings of 1000 months (see Quran 97:3)! We can’t afford NOT to be crying in front of Allah, asking for all that we want in these last nights, seeking the Night of Power.
Crying happens when we remember how much Allah has blessed us with and how much we disobey Him. We can never repay Allah for everything we have, yet we still blatantly commit sins both big and small: whether it’s backbiting, taking and giving interest, treating our family badly, lying, doing good deeds to show off, cheating, etc.
Remembering this, and remembering Allah’s Mercy towards us should make us cry. Remembering how powerful He is, how He can destroy us and this world because of our disobedience, yet He chooses to have Mercy on us instead.
We should also remember how Allah puts us in difficulties and opens ways out of them for us, easing our burdens. Yet, we still disobey Him and take His Mercy for granted.
Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said he would rather shed two tears from the fear of Allah than give a thousand dinars in charity.
And the most telling example of a man who few would think would cry because of Allah is Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). He was known for being strong, fearless, and uncompromising when it came to matters of faith. Yet, Abdullah ibn Isa said that Umar had two black streaks on his face because of constant weeping.
He feared Allah so much that he said ‘If someone announced from the heavens that everybody will enter Paradise except one person, I would fear that that person would be me.
And this is the man who the Prophet was pleased with when he died. Umar also died as a martyr. Umar was one of the strongest believers. Yet he cried and feared Allah.
We have no reason not to cry in what’s left of Ramadan. Let’s be more contemplative and pray for an awareness of and forgiveness for our sins, as well as softness in our hearts. If Umar the brave and pious did it, we have even more need and urgency to do it.