The Reasoning behind Crying about the Sufferings of the awliya’ of Allah
Crying out of sorrow for the awliya’ of Allah, especially the Doyen of Martyrs, Aba ‘Abd Allah al-Husayn (as), is compatible with sound logic and reason. Shedding tears for the Ahl al-Bayt (as) has many positive effects and benefits, some of which we will now refer to:
1. Crying for the Ahl al-Bayt, especially Imam al-Husayn (as), is one of the important ways of manifesting one’s love for them, which (as shown in previous chapters) has been ordered by Allah and is also confirmed by logic and reason.
2. Shedding tears is one of the ways to venerate the signs of Allah, because by crying we show our compassion and acceptance of the purpose and struggle of the Ahl al-Bayt (as).
3. Crying for al-Husayn (as) is a means of repentance. Shedding tears for Imam al-Husayn (as) is a means of returning to that which is all-good and pure, because there is no personal interest involved in crying for Imam al-Husayn (as). On the contrary, we shed tears for him because he is the child of Allah’s Prophet (S) and because his essence and nature possesses all the beautiful attributes.
We cry for Imam al-Husayn (as) because he was oppressed, wronged and martyred on a mission to revive the religion of Allah. Crying for such people is in reality an act of repentance and gaining proximity with that which is all-good and pure. It has been recounted in Islamic traditions [hadiths] that Paradise becomes incumbent upon every person who cries, incites others to cry, or forces oneself to cry for Imam al-Husayn (as) because this type of crying is an act of remorse and returning to Allah, the Exalted.
4. As long as man has not examined his inner conscience and spirit and by means of such introspection gotten in contact with the awliya’ of Allah, especially Imam al-Husayn (as), his heart cannot break and his tears cannot flow. Crying for Imam al-Husayn (as) is a means for a limited human being to get in contact with an infinite being by way of internal intuition. It is clear that through such connection, a limited being can become unlimited. A good example of this is a limited amount of water that collects in a place. If it is not attached to an unlimited sea, it either becomes polluted or dries up, due to the intensity of heat, in a very short period of time. However, if it is connected to an unlimited sea, it will acquire the properties of the sea water and will become immune and unsusceptible to microbes, contamination and drying up.
5. Crying for the oppressed moves man’s emotions and awakens his compassion. It makes him a defender of the downtrodden. Shedding tears is more effective when a person cries for is an infallible person and a ‘Trust of Allah’ on earth or a successor of the Holy Prophet (S), who is the possessor of divine law [shari‘ah]. In this case, man becomes a defender of divine law. Such a man is able to defend the oppressed and downtrodden. It is for this reason that the Shi‘ahs of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), by utilizing and benefiting from this great elixir of life—shedding tears for the oppression and wrong committed against the Doyen of Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn (as)—have historically been the persistent helpers and protectors of the oppressed.
6. Crying for the awliya’ and trustees of Allah, especially Imam al-Husayn (as), is a tranquilizer for those sick at heart. Crying for the awliya’ of Allah soothes the soul because the oppression and sufferings that were imposed upon the awliya’ of Allah are like hot flames of fire and tears shed for them are gifts from a heart which is burning with love and affection. These drops go far in extinguishing those flames.
7. Shedding tears, especially for the awliya’ of Allah, causes the heart to become tender and keeps man away from hardheartedness. It lays the foundation for the light of Allah to enter freely and settle in the heart, because tears that are shed for good reason polish the rust out of man’s heart.
8. Shedding tears for Imam al-Husayn (as) is a kind of practical struggle against tyrants; that is to say, by crying we express our disgust with the tyrants’ ways, just like when Fatimah al-Zahra (as) cried a lot after her beloved father (S) passed away and the event of “Saqifah” came to pass. The purpose of her crying was to make the people contemplate the reason for the sadness and tears of the daughter of the Holy Prophet (S) and ask themselves why Fatimah al-Zahra (as) was crying in spite of the fact that the Ahl al-Bayt (as) had been, up to that time, role models of forebearance, firmness and perseverance.
9. Shedding tears for Ahl al-Bayt (as), especially the Doyen of Martyrs, Imam al-Husayn (as), is an announcement of support for the continuation and revival of the way of those great people. It is also a clear announcement that throughout history we are and will continue to be opposed to Yazid and all tyrants like Yazid and also that we are aligned with and obey Imam al-Husayn (as) and those like al-Husayn in our own time, as well as their ideals and mottos.