Answered by Ustadha Noura Shamma, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I have a question about weeping in prayer. I have a picture in my mind, that i will never forget. On that day when the brother of my mother died, i saw my mother weeping very intensive in prayer. The same happened to me when my aunt died. I just had to weep while in prayer because of my aunt. Now, i know in prayer we should concentrate and i really try to, but in that time, it often was so that thoughts of my deceased aunt overcame me and “forced” me to weep. But is it not so, that i did not weep for Allah but for another human being. Are those prayers invalid?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful,
Peace and blessings on our master Muhammad, his folk and companions.
Assalamualikum wa rahmatullahi wa baraktu,
May Allah envelop all of our Ummah, the living and the dead, in infinite mercy and forgiveness.
Death is a part of the cycle of life and, for the believer, is a reminder that this life is temporary and that all of us will return to Allah Most High. When someone we love dies, it is natural to feel sad at their departing and to cry. When the Prophet’s, peace and blessings be upon him, daughter Ruqayya died, the women of Madina wept and Fatima sat at her grave site crying and the Prophet wiped her tears away. Someone rebuked the women for crying but the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said “Let them weep.” And he said to the women, “Weep, but avoid the wailing of Shaytan. Whatever comes from the heart and eye is from Allah and mercy. Whatever comes from the hand and tongue is from Shaytan.”
Now within prayer, the rule is that nothing should be added to the prayer that is not part (an action) of it. So we don’t talk or eat in prayer because they are not part of the prayer. As for crying out loud, it is a form of communication. So one must distinguish the motivation and intent behind it; if one is crying out of pain, it is as if the person is saying “oh I’m suffering” so it breaks their prayer. If the person is crying out of awe and remembrance of Allah Most High or fear of hell for example, then it is part of what is desired in prayer and so it doesn’t break the prayer.
So crying out of sadness for the death of a family member, if it was just tears, it would not break the prayer. However if there was any sound, it would break that prayer.
[Imam al-Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah.]
May Allah bless you and fill your heart and mind with peace,