Rafed English

Tears are a means of self-building

Adapted from: "The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts" by: "‘Ali Asghar Ridwani"

Crying and shedding tears is a strong and cutting weapon that can help us tremendously along the way of self-knowledge and self-building. Again, this is why Imam ‘Ali (as) in the Prayer al-Kumayl says,

«إرحم من رأس ماله الرجاء وسلاحه البکاء.»

“Have mercy on one whose only capital is hope and whose weapon is tears.”

In the inner spiritual struggle against our internal enemy (egotism), that is to say the Greater Holy War [Jihad Akbar], crying is the weapon used, not the sword. That is to say, in the battlefield of self-building, shedding tears is the tool, not steel blades.

There are some people who attend gatherings where mourning over Imam al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (as) takes place, but they do not possess that deep perception and discernment which is needed to bring about the flow of tears.

Assuming that they do possess the needed perception and discernment which is needed to cry, if they cannot cry it suggests that they are not blessed with the necessary compassion or softness of heart. Of course, acquiring softness of heart is not easy and is granted by Allah in accordance with our capacity.

From the viewpoint of scholars of ethics, the root cause of most crimes is hardheartedness. When man is afflicted by hardheartedness and lacks compassion, he loses a lot of his natural blessings and talents. The result is that neither will the sufferings of others affect him, nor will his heart beat in love and affection for others.

A heartless man finds no inclination in himself to pray silently and present his needs to Allah. He does not feel in himself the compassionate disposition to give and receive love and affection. Clearly, one of the best ways to prevent and treat the affliction of hardheartedness is shedding tears and crying.

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