Bismillahi ar-rahman ar-rahim
I saw this post while browsing google for articles about crying when listening to Quran and I felt the need to share a screenshot of this reddit post and clear some misunderstandings. I want to explain the emotions and thoughts true believing muslims may experience that brings them to tears since I have some experience of this myself.
But first I’d like to quote some verses of the Quran that tell what happens to believers who listening to the words of Allah(Glorified and Exalted is He) (English from Yusuf Ali translation):
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُّتَشَابِهًا مَّثَانِيَ تَقْشَعِرُّ مِنْهُ جُلُودُ الَّذِينَ يَخْشَوْنَ رَبَّهُمْ ثُمَّ تَلِينُ جُلُودُهُمْ وَقُلُوبُهُمْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُدَى اللَّهِ يَهْدِي بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاء وَمَن يُضْلِلْ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ هَادٍ
“Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself, (yet) repeating (its teaching in various aspects). The skins of those who fear their Lord tremble thereat; then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of Allah’s praises. Such is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He pleases, but such as Allah leaves to stray, can have none to guide.” [Quran 39:23]
قُلْ آمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا
“Say: “Whether you believe in it or not, it is true that those who were given knowledge beforehand, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration.” [Quran 17:107]
وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا
“They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their (earnest) humility.” [Quran 17:109]
Skins and hearts tremble, and if they tremble enough a person will collapse in tears. I watched some “reacting to Quran recitation” videos, and usually the reactor commented that they would get goosebumps.
Underneath that reddit post were comments and there was a very interesting comment that I also took a screenshot of:
I wanted to add that indeed when muslims who care about their own state and place in the afterlife hear or read verses about the Painful Punishment, we become scared because we’ve disobeyed Allah(Glorified and Exalted is He), ashamed that we’ve disobeyed Him, and remorseful for disappointing Him.
Indeed the one who is constantly thinking about Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) the more one is aware of his good and his bad in relation to Him.
But fundamentally why do we cry? Yes there is certainly shame, but it is a painful shame because we’ve disobeyed the One that we claim to love and indeed we do Love him and we are ashamed that despite that love we disobey.
It’s important to bear in mind that everything has degrees and stages. The lowest stage of a believer is to be mortally afraid of being burned by the Fire. It’s important to have this fear but it’s not the most meritorious reason to abstain from sin or be a believer. The next stage is wanting to be in the Garden, and this is better than the first (though both are certainly important to have: fear of the Fire and desire for the Garden). However the best reason is to be afraid to disappoint your Beloved and incur His Wrath, and to desire His Pleasure and Mercy, simply because you love Him and he is the center of your life.
There is another subtler reason why someone might cry at the verses of Punishment and it is because they are sad for the people who will end up there. They have friends who might end up there. They have family who might end up there. Who wouldn’t cry knowing your father or mother or best friend might end up there even for a minute?
Personally I find myself becoming emotional when I come across verses of Forgiveness, as this reassures me that the Door for repentance is always open and I should never be shy to humble myself and repent. I also become emotional when I come across verses showing what Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) has done for humans or when I see that He cares even for the little one all alone. How can my heart not soften and come alive with love for Him when even the Exalted One is tender to a little one?
Indeed those people on Reddit made their state very clear and rejected the warning and got repulsed by the admonition rather than become humble enough to reflect on themselves and live a more clean and spiritually-aware lifestyle. Indeed their hearts are dead.