The Mourning of Prophets in the Quran
Yaqub (pbuh) was a prophet: he had twelve sons, one of who was the Prophet Yusuf (pbuh). Yaqub (pbuh) was temporarily separated from Yusuf (pbuh). However, he was informed by Allah that his son Yusuf (pbuh) would soon be returned to him alive. This proved that Yusuf (pbuh) was alive and well, that later he would be returned to his father, and that without a doubt this separation was merely temporary. Furthermore, Yusuf (pbuh) was not Yaqub (pbuh)’s only son: he had eleven other sons, and yet despite this Yaqub (pbuh) could not tolerate the separation. He cried so much for Yusuf (pbuh) that his eyes turned white and as the Quran states:
And he (Yaqub pbuh) said, "Oh, my sorrow over Yusuf," and his eyes became white from grief because of the sorrow that he suppressed. (Surah 12, Yusuf verse 84)
This was the crying of a prophet, over his living son, so much so that he lost his sight through crying! Why do these ‘innovators’ not cry ‘innovation, innovation’ here? Why are they silent over the crying of Yaqub (pbuh)? Why do they not declare here that it is an innovation and unlawful to cry over a living person?
This was solely the separation from Yusuf (pbuh), one son: the remaining eleven were with Yaqub (pbuh). And yet Yaqub (pbuh) cried so much! But in Karbala, there were eighteen Yusufs of the Bani Hashim clan who were sacrificed with such tyranny and oppression, and yet to cry over them is an innovation! To cry over one Yusuf (pbuh) is the sunnah, the way of a prophet, but to cry over Karbala is wrong? What injustice! As has been said in Persian, ‘the mind is distraught at the incomprehensible ignorance of this tragedy!’