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Pretending to Cry while Mourning for the Awliya’ of Allah

The verdict regarding making pretence of crying [tabaki]

Because of certain conditions that exercise control over the hearts, some people find it hard to cry and shed tears. When such people present the appearance of crying, they will acquire the same reward as acquired by those who actually cry. It has been recounted that the Noble Prophet (S) recited the last part of the Surat al-Zumar for a sizable number of the Helpers [ansar],

﴿ وفَسيقَ الَّذينَ کَفَرُوا إِلى جَهَنَّمَ زُمَراً ﴾

“And those who disbelieved shall be driven to hell in companies.”1

All the people who were present cried except one youth. The youth said, “Tears did not flow from my eyes, but I pretended to cry.” The Holy Prophet (S) said,

«من تباکی فله الجنّة.»

“Whoever feigns to cry will be rewarded with Paradise.”2

Jarir narrates that the Holy Prophet (S) said,

«إنّي قاري عليکم ﴿ ألْهکُمُ التَّکَاثُرْ ﴾ من بکی فله الجنّة ومن تباکی فله الجنّة.»

“Verily, I am reciting Surat al-Takathur. Paradise will become incumbent upon whoever cries and whoever feigns to cry.”3

Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh says, “Tabaki occurs when a person forces himself to cry, but without the intention of acting hypocritically.”4

Mir Sayyid Sharif Jurjani says, “The source of feigning to cry is the word of the Prophet (S), who said,

«إن لم تبکوا فتباکوا.»

“If you cannot cry, then give the appearance of crying.”

The objective of this sentence is for a person who has a desire to cry but is unable to, not a person who feigns to cry with the intention of sport and hypocrisy.”5

It can also be understood from the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) that feigning to cry with correct intention is desirable.

Imam al-Sadiq (as) said,

«من تباکی فله الجنّة.»

“Any who feigns to cry will be rewarded with Paradise.”6

And he also said,

«... ومن أنشد في الحسين شعراً فتباکی فله الجنة.»

“… and Paradise becomes incumbent on any person that recites elegies and presents the appearance of crying for al-Husayn (as).”7

  • 1. Surat al-Zumar 39:71.
  • 2. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 1, p. 147.
  • 3. Ibid., p. 148.
  • 4. Tafsir al-Manar, vol. 8, p. 301.
  • 5. Al-Ta‘rifat, p. 48.
  • 6. Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 86, majlis 29.
  • 7. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 282.

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